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Counting in colour: DIY rainbow abacus

07 Mar 2024

This rainbow-inspired abacus is sure to inspire and make maths magical for young learners.

You will need:


  • 4 Gold Craft Hoops – 12″, 10″, 8″ and 6″, sawn in half (we cut ours with a handsaw)
  • Wood beads, 20mm. If holes aren’t big enough to string onto the loops, use a drill to widen them
  • 90mmx450mm board, cut to 410mm length
  • Resene testpots in the colours of your choice. We used Resene Kermit, Resene Bright Spark, Resene Hopskotch and Resene Yabbadabbadoo
  • Resene testpot brushes
  • Sanding paper
  • Pencil and ruler

Step one: Paint the beads. Leave to dry.

Step two: Sand the base until smooth. Wipe with a damp cloth.

Step three: Measure and mark eight holes for the hoops to be placed into. Drill the holes.

Step four: Use a brush to apply your favourite Resene stain. We used Resene Colorwood Whitewash. 

Step five: String the beads onto the hoops and make sure you’re happy with the colour placement.

Step six: Place the hoop ends into the holes.

Project: Leigh Stockton
Images: Bryce Carleton 

Published: 07 Mar 2024