It’s time to share the special homemade gift that Ryan and I made for Henry for Christmas. Behr challenged all its DIY Experts to make a gift with Behr paint this year. And we accomplished something special for our toddler with this little nudge!
In truth, we didn’t actually start building Henry’s gift until the 22nd and completely truly finish until Christmas Eve. And I didn’t take photos until Christmas. So here were are.
But because it was finished in time to give it, I believe we can count it as a success. And the gift was a total hit. (Always a risk making something for a 1-year-old. Since they obviously prefer laptop power cords, keys and someone else’s cell phone.)
Let me introduce you to … the kitchen helper tower.
Henry is obsessed with being in the kitchen. He’s also turned into quite a climber. So when I saw the kitchen helper tower my friend Stephanie has for her son Miles, I was sold. I immediately told Ryan that we had to make one for Henry for Christmas. Once I showed him the plans, he was game.
This was one of only a few gifts we got for Henry this year. We had no interest in spending a small fortune on toys when he already has so much. Plus, I knew that he’d be getting plenty of things from other family members. When people would ask what Henry was getting, we’d tell them that we were planning to make a kitchen helper. To which they responded in blank stares.
We used the plans from Ana White and highly recommend them! And I think this would be a good project for a beginner woodworker, although Ryan is more experienced.
The run-down of the project … first, we made a trip to the barn, where we found scrap wood that covered everything we needed. That meant the only thing we needed to buy was wood screws. (Score one for a cheap project!)
Ryan got to work cutting the wood based on the specifications in the plan. It didn’t take long at all.
Some of the boards were already primed, but that was okay since we were planning to paint.
Henry insisted on helping, so this is how Ryan assembled the tower. On our countertop. In our kitchen. With a baby on his back. It was about 4 degrees outside, so this was a better option than the garage. Henry was pretty comfortable and ended up falling asleep right there.
I really wanted to spray the whole thing with my Wagner FLEXiO 590 paint sprayer. But it is way too cold to do it outside and I didn’t want to deal with doing it in the basement and yada yada. Luckily, Wagner had sent me over a SMART Mini Roller to try. The SMART roller allowed me to fill the handle of the roller with paint and go to town. I was also provided with my favorite Behr Ultra Premium Plus Interior Paint in Satin Finish. I used the color Dolphin Fin, which is a really nice pale grey.
I set up my painting station in
the pits of hell our basement. A few quick coats with the roller and a brush. Bing, bang and boom. (I have painted every piece of woodwork in our house with Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint. It covers woodwork really well and minimizes the number of coats you need. This paint did a really great job of covering the bare wood.)
By painting the panels before final assembly, I was able to to better get into every nook and cranny. Ryan finished assembling and filled the screw holes with wood filler before I touched up everything.
I was so pleased with the finished product.
Henry was pretty stoked, too. When he saw it on Christmas morning, he wanted to be up there right away. He wants to eat his dinner there, play with his trains there, make it into a fort … it’s his new spot.The color looks white here, but it’s actually a lighter grey. I’m planning to paint my entire dining room set this color. Maybe. Possibly.
Between the kitchen helper tower and his trains, I think Henry is good to go. Do you think he’s excited?
If you need Henry, you know where he’ll be.
Did I mention he also got this special green machine from grandma and grandpa?
Yep. He’s pretty much set for life.
Did you make any home-built gifts this year?