Thursday, August 30, 2018

DIY Wooden Work Bench

You may remember me saying that my husband and I are big fans of giving one large gift for Christmas over a million little things.  Most of the time, we try to make this gift handmade.  Why?  It's just something we value and let's be fair... handmade quality is far superior to crappy store quality.  Last year, my husband not only made a gift that my son loves but also held memories for himself.  He recreated a work bench almost identical to the one his father made for him as a child.

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Little ones love to build and create things. It's just part of being little.  We as adults, should encourage this because it helps them with their fine motor skills, problem solving and imaginative play (among other things).  There are some plastic work bench toys on the market such as this one and this one (a cheaper alternative) but if you are anything like us, you might want to build one yourself.

Here's a peek at the original bench that my husband owned as a child:


Ahh he's so little and cute!  It's also totally clear where our daughter gets that blonde hair!  My husband used this picture and what memory he had of it to build our son (our daughter enjoys it some now too as she gets older) his own for Christmas last year.  We set it out right next to the tree so that it was waiting for him on Christmas morning.

We put some peg hooks on the pegboard and hung up his hammer, which he already owned.  The toolbox was a gift that he received the day before from grandpa, which was filled with real tools of his own, such as a wrench, a level, a mini measuring tape, a plastic putty knife, some pliers, a carpenter's pencil, these adorable mini sized screwdrivers and more.  It's easy and fairly inexpensive to stock up on some basic tools and they really do have a lot of "real" tools in compact sizes- perfect for little hands!

Yep... he even got his own little hacksaw and vice.  This should go without saying- please use your judgement on what your child is capable of. Our son was very familiar with tools and tool safety so he knows how to use this tool without harming himself or others.  Our daughter is still too young to be trusted with it so it's put out of her reach when he's not using it or when she is around.

I can't tell you exactly how it was made but it's a simple shape made from wood pieces and a pegboard backing.  You can make it as fancy or as basic as you wish.  Since my husband was using his childhood work bench as inspiration, he made it look like that.  We love the simple wood look to it.

As you may have guessed, it was a hit!  When it got warmer out, we moved it into the tool shed so that our son can work at his work bench while my husband works at his own.  It's very cute to see. (I should probably come back and add a photo of that later- the downfall of writing blog posts at 11 at night is that you can't take last minute photos!)

What do you think?
Do you believe in giving "big gifts" at Christmas/holidays too? Do you ever DIY them?  If you have a little "maker" and "builder" in your life, you should whip them up a work bench just like this one! It's easy but makes for a lifetime of memories.


  1. This is a fabulous project and a great gift for an active child, and what memories! It's a blessing that you have the 1979 photo of your husband.

    1. Thank you. I love being able to have my husband's childhood photo and our son's photo right there next to each other with almost identical workbenches <3

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