Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mom the Builder

Last Christmas my daughter got mostly furniture for her gifts. That might sound lame, but she needed a few things since we moved and she now has her own bedroom. We purchased a set of child-size table and chairs from IKEA, and then I made a little play teepee and a learning tower. I'm very proud of my work too!

Last fall we started collecting power tools to make projects around the house easier to accomplish. To save money, we decided to collect items in the Black and Decker Matrix line. Basically you buy a power drill which motor functions as the base. The nose of the drill can pop off and another tool attached. By Christmas we the drill and a circle saw attachment so I made use of both for my Christmas projects.

I followed this tutorial to construct the teepee. I used an old fitted sheet so it took a little extra time to take it apart and make it work but it turned out so cute and matches the colors of her bedroom. I felt like a real woman wielding my circle saw to cut up the PVC! (Fun fact: I made the rope too. I twisted it at the Family Living Center in Nauvoo over ten years ago. Nice to finally have a use for it!)

Hiding in the teepee with her baby doll

The learning tower was a lot more work. A learning tower is basically a stool with a railing that small children can use to safely reach counter-height, usually in a kitchen. Pepper was at the stage where she'd get frustrated if I spent a lot of time in the kitchen doing stuff she couldn't see, but commercially manufactured learning towers are very expensive ($100-$300). I found this tutorial which was within my power and budget to complete so with the help of my husband, I bought the lumber and the right stool from IKEA to complete my hack.

I like to do things just right, so I spent forever measuring and marking exactly where I needed to cut and where to place screws. The stool that the tutorial used seems to be an older model than what IKEA sells now because my dimensions didn't match. I wasted lots of time marking the wood to match the tutorial and then changing everything after I measured my own stool and realized it was a slightly different size. Be advised of that if you try the hack for yourself.

Reece showed me how to use the tools but then left me to mostly do it myself. It probably took a week of snatching time here and there to finish construction, then a few more days to putty the screw holes, sand, and paint. I used paint left over from painting our master bathroom last fall.

Pepper loves her tower. Reece calls it her Rameumptum.

Fully constructed and holes all puttied with wood filler
Finished product!

I let her have it early so I could do my Christmas baking in peace.
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