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After Gilly The Giraffe went down well with my customer who had commissioned me to make it, I was then asked to make another one for her soon to be born niece.

I was told "It's got to be a Hippo with a bird in it's mouth with a toothbrush cleaning it's teeth". To this day I don't fully understand where this association comes from but we shall see.

Henry the Hippo is more complicated than my previous rocking animal and has a bigger cutting list to match.

Step 1: Tools You Will Need

Heavy Duty Bandsaw, with a cutting depth of at least 8" for shaping the head (but you could also use a jigsaw and shape the head by hand using a mallet and chisel)

Angle Grinder - With 80 grit and 120 sanding disc

Lathe (for turning the teeth, but you could use a small hand plane instead for shaping the points)

Mallet and Carving Chisels

Bench Drill with 20mm Forstner Drill Bit

Dremmel or Foredom with suitable wood burr (I used 1" saburr wood burrs on my foredom)


F Clamps (heavy duty ones with quite wide openings) - You will need lots of these

Profile Gauge

Sash Cramps

Spring Clamps

Spoke Shave

Belt Sander


Work Mate or Outside workbench to work on

Dust mask and Face Protection

Hot Glue Gun

Hand Brace with Auger Bits

Big Bottle Of PVA


Eh Lie Us!3 months ago
And not a single cavity?
GraceB4 (author)  Eh Lie Us!3 months ago
Haha :)
KimberlyH303 months ago
How come he doesn't have eyes?
Love Hippos and this is awesome! I could see it without the rockers as a bench seat.
GraceB4 (author)  KimberlyH303 months ago
Thank you :). I don't add eyes to my work. It's sort of my trademark I guess. I think it detracts from the whole form to add eyes. A bench seat sounds like an awesome idea
Creatiedroom3 months ago
this is really awesome!
GraceB4 (author)  Creatiedroom3 months ago
Thank you :)
This is really great. I quite enjoy the finished hippo!
GraceB4 (author)  TinkeringProductions3 months ago
Thank you :)