Friday, September 12, 2014

IKEA learning tower hack

have you seen the learning towers floating around the internet?! i had first seen them when i was a nanny and thought that something for the girls to bake with me would have been SO amazing. thats when i quickly realized something like this can be $200+! WHAAAAT! is that real life?!

via google images / $199 at target

isaiah is the main cook in our family so dinners are his thing, but with me being home and C now eating solids, i am making breakfast and lunch for him every day. i totally started to think about how awesome it would be to have one again. i showed isaiah a few pictures over the weekend and his response was "lets think about it for a week and then we'll see!" fast forward to Monday while he was making dinner, he yells from the kitchen, "i totally want that tower now!" and i heard the same thing on Tuesday, Wednesday too ;) C is always super excited to see him when he gets home so he loves to be near isaiah when he's making dinner. SO. we made a tower of our own, and it solves EVERYTHING!

we attended a wedding on saturday and the reception hall was next door to IKEA so we made a pit stop there to pick up the bekvam stool to use as our base. 

he's in LOVE with the elevator buttons and discovered them in this photo

we did NOT attach the top of the stool right away because we were going to sew in the four leg posts. so after we had that assembled, we went to home depot on sunday morning to gather some wood and spray paint! when we got home we posted up in the driveway and got to work (more like isaiah got to work and i chased C like a crazy maniac to keep him off the street… which may have been harder!)

supplies that we had used: 
the ikea bekvam stool
4 1.5x1.5 posts
6 1x4 boards
1 dowel (we started with 15inches long and cut it down more to about 13inches at home)
2 cans of spray paint (color is seaside, picked out by crue)
+ the tools (nails, drill etc)

you can see in the photo above that isaiah is attaching the 4 posts to the top of the stool and attaching the sides. we wanted this to be level with our countertops so we first measured our floor to counter height which was 36inches tall. the stool stood 19inches tall so we had our 4 leg posts cut down to 17inches. 19+17=36. 

hot safety glasses babe ;)

once we got the legs on, we attached the 1x4 boards to the side and front. ours on the side are 9.5inches and the front ones are 15.5inches. when those were all safely secured we did a little test with C, so far so good! the front board (15.5) ended up being a little long and too thick for us to cut at home so we just left it as is even though it hangs over each side about an inch or so, its really no big deal! 

for the back we just drilled in two circles to each of the 1.5x1.5 square posts and put the dowel through there. 15inches was too long and we didn't need it to go through the wood so we cut it down at home to about 13inches and it worked just fine. i rather start with too much wood than not enough and make multiple trips to home depot! the pictures below is the top sitting on the bottom portion of the stool but they weren't screwed in together yet as it was much easier to nail boards in to the top by itself as a shorter piece. 

unfortunately, when we were nailing in our second front board, it split. thankfully, we had an extra 1.5x1.5 post so we used that and avoided the trip back to home depot. its not matching but it doesn't change the functionality of the tower.

^^ in the photo above you can see that the lower board in front is the 1.5x1.5 square post instead of the 1x4 board. whoopsie! i would use wood screws to avoid splitting, or buy just a little bit of extra wood incase something does split. 

super easy project! put the stool together from the ikea instructions, attach the four legs to the base of the stool and from there its just attaching your outside boards to keep the kiddo safe inside!
we lined up a few blue shades of spray paint at home depot and this is the color crue pointed to and grabbed off the shelf. it doesn't match our kitchen by any means, but i do love it! its called seaside and definitely reminds me of our cruise trips to the ocean :)

we let it dry overnight and TA-DA! pretty successful i'd say! crue absolutely loves hanging out at a higher level and "helping" us around in the kitchen!

whats your favorite ikea hack?!


  1. I so wish we had room for something like this in our apartment! I would make DH make one! :) Yours turned out great!

  2. I'm saving this post because I'm totally going to want to make one of these for Oliver!

  3. OMG I love this and Mav will totally have one!!! Looks like Daddy will have a project soon! :)

  4. This is awesome! I love the color! Nice work!

  5. So brilliant! Need to store this in the memory bank!

  6. omg amazing. i needed this about a year ago!!

  7. How cute. I wish they had something like that when my daughters were little. By the way, I love finding blogs with couples like me and my husband so I just wanted to say, hi. Have a great weekend... :)