Creative mum makes DIY busy board for just £20 – to keep son entertained

In times of need...DIY

Right now parents will welcome all inspiration to help keep the kids entertained – such as this homemade busy board by one creative mum.

Taylor Cowin, 23, a stay-at-home mum from Edinburgh, created the imaginative board for her son Josh, 19 months.

Taylor told Latest Deals 'I first came up with the idea a few weeks before Christmas, when I was trying to think of what I could get my little boy.'

Saying, 'he had so many toys and I really wanted him to have something a bit more special and unique. So I started to look at busy boards online. They were all great but prices started at around £60 and even went into the hundreds.'

More inspiration: Mum takes son's bedroom decor to new heights with mountain wall mural

'And they were all quite small compared to what I was looking for!' Taylor adds. So the savvy mum decided to make her own DIY creation, and do it on a budget to make a saving.

How to make your own busy board

busy board with car shape and door stoppers

(Image credit:

'I just started to gather little things from the cupboards like switches, door stoppers, door handles and so on that I already had and could potentially use,' she explains. 'Then I added my little boy's xylophone because he loves it.'

Using toys the kids already have, sounds like music to our ears for saving money!

Explaining his love of cars and buses Taylor decided on the theme for the busy board. 'I decided on the bus shape and drew it onto the wood. My dad then cut the shape because I really don’t trust myself with power tools!' She explains.

'I used spare wood that my mum and dad already had in their garden. I only really had to buy the paint, lights and the tie, zip and button boards. It cost me about £20 for those things.'

busy board with door handle and door stoppers

(Image credit:

After painting the board red Taylor used cable ties to attach the accessories onto the board.

She explains, ' I used cable ties to attach everything so that there wouldn’t be the possibility of any nails falling off. I felt that this would be a safer option for my little boy.'

If you don't have wood, you could simply paint your chosen shape directly onto the wall and attach the accessories safe and securely.

busy board on the wall with cosy carpet and lights

(Image credit:

'I am very pleased with how it turned out because I really wasn’t expecting it to actually be any good!' says Taylor modestly.

'I think it is the perfect thing to have at home because it really does keep my little boy occupied – which is especially important for times like this when you do need to spend more time at home.'

'It's a brilliant time for people to take on these projects, and try to make things themselves because it really does help with boredom!'

busy board with child and door handle with door stopper

(Image credit:

'The tip I would give to anybody who would like to do something similar is that even if you don’t think you’re that good at art or making things you should still give it a try!'

She adds also, 'check your cupboards for random things lying around that you already have but haven’t been using. I saved myself a lot of money doing that!

Related: Budget children's room design ideas – to create a room you'll love for less

Get raiding that kitchen drawer, to see what you can add to your busy board.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.