It is easy to fall into a birthday buying rut…especially for your husband. Do you know what I mean?
Shirts and movies can be repeated easily. When my husband’s birthday in March was approaching, I wanted to think of something different.
I spent some time listening to what he needed. We love birthdays, but also don’t spend a ton of money on them. Time and thought are huge components of some of our favorite gifts. Matt and I had recently decorated his office and I remembered he still needed a little end table. It had to be small but easily moveable so it could be wheeled around for a coffee table. I decided to get the kids and try to make him one. The result I just adore.
And get this….the kids did it mostly by themselves! I did a lot of the designing and supervising, but they made it. So, it’s not perfect, yet it is. It’s quirky. It’s fun. They made it and they were so proud!
Here’s our process. Adopt it! Grab your kids and try your hand at building. This could be the perfect present for someone you love, and your kids will have a blast too. It’s a win-win!
The first thing we did was buy a bunch of 2″ x 1″ and 3″ x 1″ pieces of wood as well as two 12″ x 12″ x 3/4″ square pieces of wood.
We figured out a good height for the table (taking in consideration that an extra two inches would be added with wheels) and Caleb started measuring the cut lines for me. He used a tape measure and drew pen lines. I can guarantee you that none of our cuts ended up being exactly the same length, but they were close enough. He did a great job and was so proud.
After I had cut all the wood, we started playing with the best way to attach our side boards to the 12″ squares. Those squares were going to act as our top and bottom of the table, so in short we were building a box.
We used my Ryobi Brad Nailer. It’s my absolute favorite tool. You may remember it from our pallet wall. If you don’t have one, you can use a hammer and nails…or just invest in a nail brad. It will become your best friend.
Once the sides were complete, we then decided to change the direction of the wood for the back, which required measuring and then cutting the boards a little shorter.
After our box was complete, Jeremiah came in and sanded it down. He used a rough grit sandpaper and went to town on that thing. This boy of mine loves working with his hands. He often sands scrap wood next to me as I paint signs. He will be some kind of artist someday.
After the box was sanded, we screwed on four little wheels we got at our local hardware store for a couple bucks. I marked a spot on the bottom of the box, and Caleb used the screwgun to get the wheels in place.
Once our box was turned right side up and looked more like an end table, we decided it needed a little shelf in the middle to make it more practical. Caleb measured the wood and Jeremiah painted it. We used scrap wood to help give the shelf a little ridge to rest on and used the brad nailer to hold them in place.
Here is the part Reagan was dying for. She got to paint the whole thing. She got quite messy and painted herself in large parts too by bending every which way to cover her project. She had a blast.
Once the paint was dry, we gave it a light sanding job and then stained it.
At times I wanted to jump in and remove a paint drip or wipe off the stain a bit better, but I refrained. I wanted it to be their piece, and it really does look more vintage-y, quirky fun for it. I just love it, and Matt did too!
Here you can see it with his yellow chairs. It fits right in the middle of that nook to hold a coffee, but it can be wheeled out to hold a laptop for a quick meeting as well. Reagan got to paint a frame too 🙂
This was a gift that had time and thought…and it’s practical! I don’t know how much it ended up costing since we had some of the supplies. You can use scrap wood-even for the top and bottom square pieces! Take this idea, modify it to make it your own (in size, style, etc), and have fun!
I would love to see what you come up with!
I hope you are having a good week and are imaging the possibilities!