Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Building Kids' Furniture

I think you can probably relate when I tell you I wanted my baby son to have everything. At home with him each day, there was always something I could picture adding to the house that would facilitate his play. I liked to imagine him sitting at a little table, playing in a sandbox, cooking up a storm in a play kitchen, eating a snack with little buddies at a picnic table, hammering his heart out on a tool bench. But everywhere I looked in the stores I found expensive plastic items or really really really expensive wooden items.

Enter Ana White. Browsing one night for DIY ideas, I found this site . Soon I had collected an electric screwdriver, a measuring tape, a selection of nails and screws, and a t-square. I found out Home Depot would cut my boards for me to the right size, and soon I embarked on my first big project, the sandbox with fold-out seats. It was so doable, and turned out so nicely, that I decided to build a work bench and set up a little shop in the garage. I had a new hobby to pursue when my son was napping. Next, I wanted to build a little table and chairs, so I picked up a pocket hole jig that was not too expensive and my very first circular saw. After watching a half dozen safety videos on how to use a circular saw, and inviting a friend over to help me learn how to make pocket holes, I figured out how to safely cut my first boards. Over the next months, I built my son the Clara Table, the stackable chairs, the preschool picnic table, the toy workbench, the storage step, and the play sink and stove.

I now look forward to happy hours in the shop, and have even gotten enough confidence to try crafting some plans of my own. I will be able to make a toddler bed when the time comes and maybe even a playhouse. Learning to build furniture was a great move for me, and if you're at all interested in trying it yourself, I would check out Ana White!

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