Thing 3’s birthday is today. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since he was born.

thing 3 in a chair with food on his face

Although babies are cute and snuggly, I enjoy raising kids even more when they start to interact more purposefully. He’s almost there. He has a couple words, he can take a couple steps, and he’s becoming more expressive every day.

Needless to say, I’m excited for the times my son and I will share together. Since I have so many fond memories of growing up working with my dad on handyman-related things, Wife thought I could make him a tool bench as a present (or maybe she’s just spending too much time on Pinterest, where she got the idea).

The gist of the project was to refurbish a piece of furniture into a children’s toy (this helps to make up for my lack of cabinetry skills). We went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and discovered a pretty amazing place for construction materials and furniture. This place was a lot more than I expected.

We found what we needed:

The girls helped me scuff of the surface for priming and painting:

Then we wiped it down and repaired a broken drawer:

I primed it with Kilz 2 Latex primer and then applied a single coat of a greyish paint we found in the basement.

I cut a section of pegboard for the back from a 2’x4’ section I bought at Lowes. I also bought a paint sample (~8 oz.) mixed to just slightly darker than regular red. This was for the drawer front and peg board so I didn’t need much.

After painting, the girls helped me attach the draw slides and peg board (tip: tapping the screws with a drill first, then letting the kids help with a manual driver makes for good fun)

And it’s finished! I dug up some old pegboard hooks which fit the toolset Wife bought pretty well:

Thing1 inspecting our work:

Happy Birthday, Thing 3

Love, Daddy

Bill of Materials (total cost $43).

  • Used cabinet: $12
  • Primer: $7
  • Red Paint: $3
  • Gray Paint: $3 (actually leftover)
  • Ruler (for drawer pull): $1
  • Pegboard: $5
  • Toys:


picturingtheordinary said on 2012-08-17

Love the tool bench! You’re a great dad!

Xander Dumaine said on 2012-08-20

Very cool. I can’t wait until I have the tools and space for doing stuff like this. I like this a lot better, in terms of creativity and durability, than just buying a cheap plastic one from a kids’ store.

Comments closed