Home DIY Ikea Hack: Toddler Learning Tower Stool

Ikea Hack: Toddler Learning Tower Stool

October 5, 2016

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial | Happy Grey Lucky

When Isabelle was a baby, she wanted to be carried 24/7. In a carrier, on my hip, on my hubby’s shoulders – I didn’t matter as long as she was close to us and at our level. That included when I was cooking. Carrier was fine for that while she was still teeny tiny, but once she was about a year, she was way too wriggly (and frankly too big) for carrier cooking to work properly. So I would sit her on the counter whenever I was in the kitchen.

Now, Isabelle was never your typical toddler. She never tried to dive off the counter or anything (something Nicolas would absolutely do if you took your eyes off him for even a half second) so the sitting wasn’t really that much of a problem, but it also meant I always had one arm on her leg which was not a very efficient way of cooking. So I started looking into alternatives.

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial | Happy Grey Lucky

My googling led me to the concept of learning towers. What an amazing idea, I thought. Unfortunately, they were all a little out of our price range (and most I couldn’t find in Canada anyway). When all else fails, there’s an Ikea hack somewhere on Pinterest. One of my favourite things about Ikea is the ability to hack it and make it something completely new. So when I saw a learning tower hack made of the inexpensive Bekväm stool I was totally on board. There were tutorials a plenty on Pinterest. What I didn’t like, however, was how clunky they were. I didn’t like that the vertical beams were so thick and that the horizontal support beams were attached to the outside of the “cage”. So I made a few tweaks to the original design (which took me way longer than I care to admit), and came up with this version. This whole project cost me under $50 CAD (under $38 USD) whilst any learning tower I found online would have cost me at least 4 times that amount after taxes.

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial | Happy Grey Lucky

Now with Nicolas almost 13-months-old and already walking (and climbing!) confidently for months, it was high time we made another stool for him. We considered putting Isabelle on a regular stool but a) then Nicolas would try and climb it when we aren’t looking (he’s such a little monkey) and b) Isabelle just loooooves her learning tower. Building a second one also gave me the opportunity to share a detailed tutorial since that is one of the most frequent questions I get on Instagram.

Here’s how to make your very own learning tower:

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial - supplies | Happy Grey Lucky

Supplies:

  • Ikea BEKVÄM stool
  • 6′ long 1×2 (¾ x 1½”) piece of wood (*) cut into four 15½” lengths (**)
  • 6′ long 1×3 (¾” x 2½”) piece of wood cut into four 6″ lengths and two 12½” lengths (**)
  • ½” dowel rod (shortest length you can find) cut to 12½” (**)
  • 16 x 2¼” #6-8 wood screws (***)
  • 14 x 1½” #6-8 wood screws (***)
  • wood filler
  • spray primer – we used about 1.5 cans for the whole stool (****)
  • spray paint – if your primer is the same colour as your stool, one can should be enough for the entire stool, otherwise you’ll need 2 (****)

(*) I used pine because it’s cheap and soft. Make sure you use a soft wood for this project (pine, ash, birch, etc.) or else it’s going to be a nightmare trying to drill your pilot holes and screw in anything by hand.

(**) You can get your wood cut at Home Depot to make your life that much easier. It costs something like $1 per cut but I hardly ever get charged and they’re super quick even if not always the most precise. There will be a bit of extra left over for all three pieces of wood – keep it in case the Home Depot cuts don’t all match up. I’ve had good and bad experiences with their precision so it’s better to be safe and have some extra.

(***) Whilst both screw sizes work, if you want to lessen your chance of splitter, the smaller #6 screws will definitely be better.

(****) If you want to save a bit of money, go for traditional paint as you won’t waste as much. I hate painting and, since it’s a relatively small amount of wood, I’m okay paying that little bit extra for the convenience of spray paint.

Here’s the wood cut list again, to make things easier for you (L x W x D):

  • 15½” x 1½” x ¾” (39.3cm x 3.8cm x 1.9cm) x 4
  • 12½” x 2½” x ¾” (31.2cm x6.4cm x 1.9cm) x 2
  • 6″ x 3/4″ x 2½” (15.2cm x 6.4cm x 1.9cm) x 4
  • 12½” x ½” (31.2cm x 1.3cm) round dowel

For reference, my learning towers are 35¼” (89.5cm) high, which was the height of the counter in our old condo. Our current counters are a bit higher but I wanted to match the heights of both stools. If you want to match your counter height exactly, measure the distance between your floor and top of your counter and subtract the height of the ikea stool (about 19¾” or 50cm with a floor protector pad attached to the bottom). This will give you the length of your four 1 by 2s (the first item in the cut list).

Note: it seems IKEA has changed the size of the top plate of their BEKVÄM stool. It’s now deeper than it used to be so you can make your frame a little bit bigger, which will give your kids a little more room. Make sure to measure your stool before starting. The top of my stool is approximately 9″ x 14″ (22.5cm x 35.5cm). If your stool is larger than that, here is a simple calculation to determine your wood pieces:

  • Length of the longer horizontal support beams and round dowel (12½” / 31.2cm in my tutorial): STOOL_WIDTH [ minus ] 1½” (3.8cm)
  • Length of the shorter horizontal support beams (6″ / 15.2cm in my tutorial): STOOL_DEPTH [ minus ] 3″ (7.6cm)

STOOL_WIDTH  is the width of the top plate of your stool, not the whole assembled stool. Same with the STOOL_DEPTH (aka it’s the depth of the top plate rather than the whole stool).

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial - tools | Happy Grey Lucky

Tools:

  • drill (you can rent a drill from Home Depot for $16 a day)
  • 1/16″ drill bit for #6 screws (or 5/64″ for #8 screws)
  • screwdriver
  • tape measure or ruler
  • level
  • 90° wood clamp (recommended) or protractor (or anything that will give you a true 90° angle, such as a hardcover book or a rectangular cutting board)
  • electric sander or sandpaper
  • pencil

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial - step-by-step | Happy Grey Lucky

[ Step 1 ] Put the Ikea step stool together up until everything but the top piece is attached (step 5 in the Ikea instruction manual). If you’re starting out with an already-assembled stool, unscrew the top piece and set it aside.

[ Step 2 ] Take your pre-cut wood and sand all the ends as well as the edges (to keep toddler fingers safe).

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial - step-by-step | Happy Grey Lucky

[ Step 3 ] Mark your pilot holes on the four 1-by-2s (the longer, thinner pieces). I’ve included pilot hole distances from the top of each board. The pilot holes are always 3/8″ (9mm) from the side. Please note that this will mean that the pilot holes on the wider side (the photo on the left) aren’t actually in the middle but rather they are offset to one side, as you can see in the photo. (My mom brain found this whole step to be way harder than it should have been.) I would advise you to label two pieces “front”(the side where your toddler will climb up into the tower) and two pieces “back”(the side that will be flush against your cabinets) to keep track of where each piece goes. Your front and back pieces will have slightly different pilot holes so keeping track of where each piece goes will save your sanity. (I like to put screws in the same direction as I drilled the pilot holes so I went a step further and labeled “left” and “right” since the two front pieces / back pieces will actually be mirror images of each other. But I’m a little OCD so it’s really not necessary.)

Side note: Before we go further, let me just point out two different ways of doing this. I first created the entire top frame and attached it to the stool at the very end. However, all the tutorials I’ve found online first attach the vertical beams and then the side support beams. I found it easier to get the pieces aligned without already being attached to the stool but both ways should work fine.

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial - step-by-step | Happy Grey Lucky

[ Step 4 ] Put together one side of the frame. Take one of the pieces labelled “front” and one labelled “back” as well as two of the short 6″ support pieces. Attach everything using eight 2 1/4″ screws (four for each side). Use an angle clamp, protractor, and/or a level to make sure the horiziontal support pieces are attached to the vertical beams at 90° angles.

Side note: Nicky’s new learning tower is actually my third learning tower. The first one we just completely winged it in terms of holding pieces together in what we thought was straight / perpendicular lines. It was not. I was too embarassed to keep it in my house so I “gifted” it to my mom (sorry, mom). Anyways, this to tell you that a 90-degree angle clamp is soooo worth it! You can grab a cheap one for 20 bucks on Amazon and, if you’re ever planning on doing another DIY project that involves corners (e.g. a DIY frame, giant chalkboard, etc.), it’s worth the investment!

A quick note about splitting wood: pine is notorious for wood splitting, and screwing close to the edge of a piece of wood makes splitting wood more likely. Two things you can try to avoid splitting the wood are:

  1. Use paraffin wax to lubricate the screw before you screw it into your wood.
  2. Use a countersink bit when pre-drilling your holes. Amazon has lots of options, like this inexpensive set. I personally haven’t used countersink bits yet, but I’m ordering myself a set before my next project with pine as I’ve heard good things.

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial - step-by-step | Happy Grey Lucky

[ Step 5 ] Repeat step 4 for the other side of the frame.

A note about putting your screws in: if you want to make your stool as sleek as possible (aka using wood filler on top of the screws to effectively hide them in step 11), make sure to have them be completely recessed. Pine is not the ideal wood for this even with pilot holes so there’s a fine line between getting your screw in far enough to wood filler on top vs. going too far and splitting the wood. Just do this part manually and slowly and you’ll get a feel for when to stop.

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial - step-by-step | Happy Grey Lucky

[ Step 6 ] Now attach the left and right frame together with the two longer (12.5″) support beams using eight 1.5″ screws (4 per side). (Remember that the back of each side piece has two pilot holes at the top and two at the middle vs. just a single pilot hole at the front.) Again, make sure everything is attached at 90° angles using an angle clamp, protractor and/or level.

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial - step-by-step | Happy Grey Lucky

[ Step 7 ] Attach the round dowel to the front of your frame using two 1.5″ screws.

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial - step-by-step | Happy Grey Lucky

[ Step 8 ] Take the top piece of the Ikea step stool and place your frame on top of it. Trace around the legs to mark where your frame will attach to the stool. Take the frame off again and mark the middle of your four rectangles. Drill a pilot hole into each of these four centres.

[ Step 9 ] Put your frame upside down and attach the Ikea top piece to your frame with four 1.5″ screws.

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial - step-by-step | Happy Grey Lucky

[ Step 10 ] Now complete the last steps of the Ikea instruction manual (steps 5 and 6) to attach your frame to the rest of the stool. Functionally-speaking, your learning tower is now complete!

[ Step 11 ] This is completely optional but I like to wood filler over the screw holes as well as any other imperfections in the wood to make the learning tower as sleek as possible. (I didn’t put wood filler on top of the Ikea screws since those are not recessed.)

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial - step-by-step | Happy Grey Lucky

[ Step 12 ] Once the wood filler is dry (give it about 2 hours), sand the spots with wood filler down to make everything nice and smooth. If you want to stick with the natural wood look, stop here!

[ Step 13 ] Again, totally optional, but now is the time to spray paint. Start with a coat of primer and follow with a coat of paint. I’m using flat paint because I like the look best, but if you want them super easy to wipe, use a glossy finish. (Our first stool, also using flat paint, has a few slightly off-coloured spots now after 1.5 years of daily use but it’s honestly not very noticeable. I also didn’t add a topcoat – I’m lazy like that – and it’s been fine.)

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial - step-by-step | Happy Grey Lucky

That’s it! It seems complicated but I promise it’s actually a pretty easy hack once you’ve got the pilot holes figured out (and, lucky for you, I’ve got you covered in that department). I’d say it took us all-in-all about four hours of actual work if you don’t count all the time wasted because of our two tiny “helpers”. (Wink, wink.)

This learning tower is soooo worth the effort, you guys. Not just for having your littles help cook in the kitchen without you worrying about them falling off counters or regular stools, but I can leave both of my kids in the learning tower by the sink and they’ll happily play with the water for a good long time while I get other stuff done. (Make sure you put a towel under there though. I’ve learned that one from experience.) And I’ve also trained Isabelle to make me coffee. (Notice that her stool is right next to the Nespresso machine haha.) She climbs up into her stool, turns the machine on, gets a tab, basically does everything except lift up the coffee mug to pass to me. If that’s not a worthy investment, I don’t know what is.

If you attempt this ikea hack, I’d love to see your finished learning tower! Tag me on Instagram or Facebook (@happygreylucky) to show off your amazing DIY skills. Oh and if there’s anything that’s still unclear, leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to clarify.

Side note: I’m asked a lot about the aprons the kids are wearing. Isabelle’s is from Fine Little Day (love their Gran print for so many things!) and Nicolas’ is a hand-me-down adult-sized apron that shrunk (a lot!) in the wash lol. If you’re looking for kids aprons, Ferm Living also makes gorgeous aprons. We have the rose rabbit and mint dot aprons as well.

Ikea hack - toddler learning tower using a Bekväm stool | Tutorial | Happy Grey Lucky

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80 comments

Laura October 5, 2016 at 2:12 pm

Genius. I want this. Scratch that. I need this!!

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Sina October 28, 2016 at 5:18 pm

I’m sure your kiddos would love it too! 🙂

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Melissa October 5, 2016 at 5:14 pm

So amazing!!! The idea is fantastic and execution perfect!!!

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Sina December 19, 2016 at 11:02 am

Oh I somehow missed your comments. Thanks so much Melissa! Did you try making one yourself?

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Linda October 6, 2016 at 9:59 am

Request for your next tutorial: How to make my kitchen transform into yours. Please 😛

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Sina October 28, 2016 at 5:18 pm

Haha. two words: IKEA 😛

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Joanne October 12, 2016 at 2:38 pm

Brilliant idea! So doing this! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

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Sina October 28, 2016 at 5:18 pm

You’re very welcome! Glad I could be of help and make sure to share your stool with me if / when you decide to give it a go 🙂

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Angelina October 20, 2016 at 11:36 am

I love that this doesn’t look like an Ikea hack, like all of the other DIY learning towers using the BEKVAM. Thank you for this! I hated how the others looked and was about to travel far for a deal on one. Now I can just throw this one together this weekend lol.

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Sina November 3, 2016 at 9:41 am

Sorry I’m just responding now! Your comment landed in my spam for some reason. 🙁 I’m glad you like it! That was exactly my thought about the other Bekvam hacks when I was browsing Pinterest 🙂

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Megan October 22, 2016 at 12:42 am

I’m confused about the wood dimensions.. is it 1×3’s or 3/4×1 1/2? Yours are way skinnier than a 1×3

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Sina November 3, 2016 at 9:45 am

Sorry I’m just responding now! Your comment landed in my spam for some reason. 🙁 Thanks for catching that! I meant 1 by 2s and 1 by 3s (rather than 1 by 3s and 1 by 4s. Going to change that now!

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Jess November 23, 2016 at 12:32 am

What was your final cost?

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Sina November 23, 2016 at 1:16 am

Hi Jess, I mentioned the total cost in the beginning of the post… “This whole project cost me under $50 CAD (under $38 USD)” 🙂

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Brenda November 26, 2016 at 11:26 pm

Hi, I love your tutorial and I am in the process of making two of these for my 18mo twins. They are wanting to “help out” so it’s time! I was thinking long term and wondered if you thought it would be beneficial to make the dowel removable, especially as the children grow (i’m guessing they will use these for a few years as your child is). And by “removable” I mean just for entering and exiting purposes, I still want it on there when they are on the stool. Thanks so much and Happy Holidays!

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Sina November 27, 2016 at 9:25 am

Hi Brenda,
I’m happy to hear you’re making some of your twins! They’re such lifesavers. In terms of removable dowel – my very tall 3-year-old (size of the average 4-year-old) can still easily get in and out. Personally I don’t want to have to do any work for them to get in and out haha but I’m lazy like that. And I think by the time Isabelle is too big to fit in there on her own, the stool will probably be too tall anyway. That said, a removable dowel can absolutely be useful if you can find an easy way to do it where kids can’t remove it themselves. What were you thinking?

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Kristen November 28, 2016 at 8:39 pm

Hi Sina, THANK YOU for this streamlined version!!! I had just started thinking about something similar when I happened upon your version via Instagram. The others I’ve seen are just blocky 2x4s slapped on the outside of a chunky frame.. hmm ;)… anyway thanks for something sooo much better! One question/edit for the screw quantities you have listed: I believe the counts should be qty. 16 for the 2-1/4 screws (8 for step 4, and another 8 for step 5) and qty. 10 for the 1-1/2 screws (8 for step 6 and 2 for the dowel). Maybe I’m missing something but that’s what I ended up using. Thanks again for the effective tutorial!!!

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Kristen November 28, 2016 at 9:35 pm

Oh! Forgot to add the 4 screws to attach to the stool. So: 12 of the 1-1/2″ and 16 of the 2-1/4.

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Kristen November 28, 2016 at 10:21 pm

Omg. It’s 14 and 16. Done constructing, done doing math!

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Sina November 29, 2016 at 10:40 am

Haha the math was (and clearly is!) my biggest problem with this project. Clearly mom brain and doing “complicated” addition doesn’t go well together :P. And I’m with you on the clunky other versions! That’s exactly what I thought when I was perusing Pinterest a few years back.

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Ikea Hack – Toddler Learning Tower… – Best Home Decorating Ideas December 1, 2016 at 6:40 pm

[…] Source: happygreylucky.com […]

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Holiday Gift Guide for Toddlers - Holly Bowman XO December 12, 2016 at 4:14 am

[…] been building a learning tower for George and I cannot wait to see it finished! We are following the tutorial from one of my favourite blogs Happy Grey Lucky and I will make sure to add some pictures of my […]

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Jola December 21, 2016 at 8:29 am

Dear Sina,
My 17 mon daughter and me, we love it! Since i build it, she is always happy to help me out. Before that, it was quite a challenge to cook with my daughter, who was always sticking to my leg, calling mama, always interested to see whats going on in the pan.
I stepped into your design via pinterest. Its sleek und nice and its very well described. The round dowel in my case was only available in beech wood, which is bit harder than pine wood. It was a bit of a challenge to pre drill a hole in it 😉 I think, I would next time take a rectangular piece instead of the round dowel. I bought the step stool in black, and painted the upper potion white.

Thank you so much.
Jola

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Sina January 5, 2017 at 11:30 pm

Hi Jola, thank you so much for your comment! I’m glad my tutorial helped and a half black and half white sounds great! I thick a round dowel is definitely the better bet (even if it ended up being really hard to pre-drill) because from watching my kids go up and down countless times, they do always graze that part of the stool with their head and back. If you do go with a rectangular bit, maybe sand the corners down as much as you can? That would probably make it comfortable enough.
Enjoy your learning tower! I hope your daughter loves it as much as my kids do.

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Art January 1, 2017 at 4:11 pm

It seems a 1/2″ dowel is insufficient. I would recommend no less than a 1″ piece for added safety.

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Sina January 5, 2017 at 11:32 pm

Hi Art, we’ve had our 1/2″ dowel for two years now with more than daily use and it’s held up great. It’s of course entirely up to you what size wood you think is best for safety, but that’s just my own personal experience 🙂

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Erica Nicole January 7, 2017 at 4:12 pm

Hi. I’m excited to attempt this project this week! I was just wondering where did you get the pre-cut wood and how long did this total project take?

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Sina January 9, 2017 at 11:42 pm

Hi Erica,
I got the wood from Home Depot – they’ll cut it to size for you right there. I’d say it took us maybe 4 hours of actual work including painting (but not the drying time), spread out over a few days since our kids need a lot of attention 😛

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Emily Cathrine January 9, 2017 at 2:55 pm

This is great! I made one for my son by following your instructions! Super easy to follow and implement. This has eased some of my sons tantrums during the times I’m in the kitchen meal prepping. As he’s only 15 months old there really isn’t too much he could help me with, so I fill the sink with some water and a little bath soap and let him wash his toys. He thinks it’s great! And his toys get clean!

Just don’t give them a cup if your gonna do this, unless you want them to give themselves a bath!

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Sina January 9, 2017 at 11:45 pm

That’s great to hear, Emily! My son (now 16 months) is the same in terms of actually helping vs just being entertained at counter height. The sink is one of his favourite places to hang out in his learning tower as well. And yep, I learned the hard way not to give him a cup. Haha.
He also likes to “sort” the cutlery drawer (minus knives) or just eat his snacks up there next to me. Counter height is definitely better than being stuck on the floor 🙂

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Souda January 13, 2017 at 11:42 am

Where did you get those adorable aprons?

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Sina January 16, 2017 at 9:54 am

Isabelle’s is from Fine Little Day (they have so many amazing things in that tree print!) and Nicolas’ is actually a friend’s old apron that shrunk (a lot) in the wash haha

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Quin January 13, 2017 at 7:29 pm

Hello from Australia! Going to give this a go today (at 39 weeks preggers, I must be nesting! Haha). Looks like I can’t get 3.8cm but rather 4.2cm pine so hopefully my mum brain can work the math out. Hopefully the website is wrong and they actually have 3.8cm in store. 🙂
Wish me luck!

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Sina January 16, 2017 at 9:59 am

Good luck! And 39 weeks sounds about right for getting everything done haha! The wood sizes that are listed online here are a little off here too, they list larger than they actually are so hopefully it’ll be the same for you. 🙂

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Katie January 20, 2017 at 2:53 pm

I’m so excited to make this, as soon as my Ikea step stool arrives in the mail 🙂 I was thinking about using all 1″ x 2″ instead of 1″ x 3″ to make it that much more sleeker. Do you think that would be an issue? Wasn’t sure if there was a reason you used 1″ x 3″

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Sina January 20, 2017 at 8:39 pm

Yay! Good luck with the project. I used 1x3s because that was what the tutorial that I followed the first time around (and changed up the design of) used. But I don’t think it’s at all necessary. It gives you a bit more space for your screws to go in since for the back two upright “beams” I’m using four screws total and I don’t think a 1×2 could hold that many screws but you should be able to go down to only three screws and not have an issue.

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cathy January 25, 2017 at 11:42 pm

These are cute toddler stools that are personalized. I thought it would relate to the blog.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/507131159/personalized-childrens-foldable-stool?ref=shop_home_active_5

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Natalie January 27, 2017 at 10:36 am

Thanks for these plans! We already have the stool so I’m going to make one for our 17-month-old this weekend! I think I probably will use all 1×2 depending on how strong it feels as it is coming together. I will report back how it works out.

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Sina January 30, 2017 at 9:03 pm

Definitely let me know how it is with all 1x2s. Looks-wise I think it would look fantastic 🙂

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Juliet January 30, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Hi!

I got everything and started to put it together and got to step 4 before I got stuck 😵😵😵 is it just me or is it almost impossible to drill those screws in the wood? Because they are so thick maybe? I tried to pre-drill small holes and then do the screw and I still couldn’t get it to go all the way in before warping, and it was very difficult to even get that far… any tips? Did yours go in easy? Maybe I’m doing something wrong. SOS as I have so many steps to go!! Haha

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Sina January 30, 2017 at 9:11 pm

Hi Juliet! Oh no that you got stuck! What do you mean by warping? Do you mean splitting? I actually found they went in alright (with a bit of effort but nothing I couldn’t handle myself) after I did the pre-drilled hole. My husband likes to use a power drill to get the screws in but I prefer by hand. Maybe try that? Or make your pilot holes a bit bigger / use one size down in screws? Or, by warping, do you mean the two pieces not going together (aka the screw going through both pieces) with them being straight? For that I find the 90 degree angle clamp helps loads because our first stool we definitely had a bit of trouble with keeping the two pieces to stay put whilst we screwed them together. If I’m completely off base here in terms of understanding your issue, you can always send me a photo of your progress so far (sina [at] happygreylucky [dot] com) and hopefully I can help you more!

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Gilda January 30, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Hello I’m working on the list material and i’m a little confused on the screws measurements, What size of screw did you used #6 or #8?

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Sina January 30, 2017 at 9:12 pm

I used #8s for this particular stool but I’ve used #6s in the past. I don’t think it particularly matters (both worked fine for me), although #6s might be easier to get into the pine wood.

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Natalye February 3, 2017 at 7:16 am

Thanks for your detailed sharing! I want to make one of these but some older posts said that the measurements of the stool have changed in recent years. I wanted to make sure that the stool you got is the 43x39x50 one… is that correct?

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Sina February 11, 2017 at 11:43 pm

Hi Natalye, sorry it’s taken me a little to respond! I got my stool in September 2016 so I’m guessing it’s the new dimensions? Let me go measure… yep, 43x39x50cm is correct, give or take a few mms.

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Thanks February 8, 2017 at 6:34 pm

I love this! I had trouble with screws- couldn’t get them flush even with pilot holes. Do you think it’d work with nails?

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Sina February 11, 2017 at 11:38 pm

I don’t think nails would be sturdy enough to be honest. Are you using flat screws? What about using a thinner screw with a smaller head?

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david carlson March 23, 2017 at 4:19 pm

Nails, of the same diameter, are stronger than screws for shear strength. My suggestion is use a new battery and the low speed setting, being sure to set the screws in one smooth effort (i.e. dont screw in some, pause, screw more, pause, screw more. Also be sure your pilot holes are full depth

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Sina March 27, 2017 at 9:45 am

The main problem with nails would be the counter-pressure from kids pushing against the top of the learning tower. Screws are much better when there is pressure from multiple directions, as is the case here. 🙂 Just my two cents, I’m not a carpenter by any means.

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Anahi Brown February 12, 2017 at 5:40 am

We did the absolute same but with 2 of the same stools. My eldest loves his and my husband will be doing a new one for our second son soon! Best idea ever and it gets them into cooking.

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Sina February 12, 2017 at 10:43 pm

I’m intrigued – did you use two stools to make a single learning tower? I’d love to see a pic! And yes, definitely one of the best pieces of furniture to have with young kids 🙂

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Susanne February 14, 2017 at 8:30 am

Hi this learning Tower is amazing.
Are the masurements in Inch? I’ m coming from Switzerland and need “cm”.
Can you help me?

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Sina February 16, 2017 at 11:43 pm

Hi Susanne,
I wrote the wood cutting measurements in both inches and cm so you can grab that from the post itself. For the other measurements, I’ll try and update the post soon to include both, but in the meantime just multiply whatever I wrote in 1″ by 2.54 to get cm. (So a drill hole located 1″ from the top would be 2.54cm from the top)

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liutong February 22, 2017 at 10:08 am

Hi sina,this stools is perfect,thanks for your details.I decided to make this for my baby as a 1year gift!But I am confused about step 3.Why the pilot holes on thinner side are not equal of each wood?(the front woods are 8+1/2 and the back woods are 8+3/4)

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Sina March 14, 2017 at 12:11 am

Hi Liutong, so sorry for the delayed response. If you’re still wondering, the front and back pilot holes are not equal because on the back you have a rectangular piece of wood that is a little thicker than the round dowel that goes in the front. So to line it up with the edges, your pilot hole will be in slightly different spots because of this. Hope that makes sense!

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TOP 10 IKEA hack | ladnebebe.pl February 23, 2017 at 9:01 am

[…] źródło zdjęć: 1/2 […]

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Storage & Style Upgrades: Super Smart IKEA Hacks for Your Kitchen – Pioneers Discovers March 1, 2017 at 4:58 am

[…] you have little ones who love to help in the kitchen, this IKEA hack from Happy Grey Lucky might come in handy. Sina made these ‘learning towers’ from a BEKVAM stool and a little […]

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11 Super-Smart IKEA Hacks for Your Kitchen — Apartment Therapy | Caribbean Blogz March 2, 2017 at 8:03 am

[…] you have little ones who love to help in the kitchen, this IKEA hack from Happy Grey Lucky might come in handy. Sina made these ‘learning towers’ from a BEKVAM stool and a little […]

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Rache March 3, 2017 at 12:02 pm

I am so excited to make this! I put the stool together last night and I am going to the hardware store this afternoon. Have you heard of anyone having trouble with the stool being wobbly? One leg is about 1/8 inch shorter than the rest making the stool so wobbly! It is already driving me a little crazy and we haven’t even started using it.

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Sina March 14, 2017 at 12:12 am

Hi Rache, I haven’t heard of that before but it being a cheap ikea stool I’m not completely surprised. Did you bring it back? You should be able to get it exchanged. Alternatively maybe add an extra floor protector pad to the bottom to make the leg difference less noticeable?

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Pharmf222 March 12, 2017 at 1:36 am

Hello!

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Montessori: Učící věž March 12, 2017 at 7:03 pm

[…] Stručný návod na výrobu učící věže najdete třeba na Jídlo do tlapky. Spousta šikovných rodičů ji začala dělat také na zakázku. My máme věž udělanou právě z dřevěných schůdků/stoličky BEKVÄM, takže pokud byste si ji chtěli vyrobit doma, můžete se inspirovat také tímto videem nebo tímto návodem. […]

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Dresden March 14, 2017 at 8:42 pm

Your hack is the cleanest and best one I’ve seen! But, where did you get those aprons?!?! I’m a doting auntie and I’m about to make this for my niece, but would love to get one for her.

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Sina March 15, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Thanks, Dresden! I’m sure your niece will LOVE her stool, how sweet are you for making it for her. Isabelle’s apron is Fine Little Day and Nicolas’ is a hand-me-down adult-sized apron that shrunk in the wash (clearly a lot haha). I just updated the end of the post with the link to Isabelle’s apron as well as a couple other ones I find adorable.

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Bloggse March 21, 2017 at 8:43 am

Hi!

Just wanted to let you know that we have used your DIY in a article on our front page about Ikea hacks. We´re Swedens biggest platform for bloggers and the article will be up tomorrow at 7pm. Loved your DIY!

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Sina March 27, 2017 at 9:46 am

Thanks for the feature! Loved your article 🙂

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Liana March 23, 2017 at 6:14 am

Hi’! We are so excited to make this! First time type of project. We marked the pilot holes with pencil. Did you use the screw driver first to make the predrilled holes then put it together with the 90 degree clamp and use the wooden screws? How deep do you drill the predrill holes?

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Liana March 23, 2017 at 6:14 am

Oops I meant drill for predrill holes than screw driver for screws

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Liana March 24, 2017 at 9:16 pm

Okie update: figured it out and finished making this! Nice set of directions! The wood does split a bit using the #6 screws with pine but it’s nothing to worry about. thank you! 🙂

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Sina March 27, 2017 at 9:27 am

Hi Liana, thanks for the update! It’s hard to not split the wood, that’s for sure. I’ve updated the post with a few tips on avoiding splitting wood – for your next learning tower 😉

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david carlson March 23, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Great set of plans – worked well for me, and much better looking than other similar plans

My only comment is use #6 screws – the #8’s work, but have slightly more chance of splitting the wood, even with pre-drilling.

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Sina March 27, 2017 at 8:38 am

Thanks for the tip, David! I’ll update the post to include your recommendation 🙂

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Angie March 26, 2017 at 4:56 pm

I’m having a problem drilling straight pilot holes. Did you do yours with a drill press or by hand. Mine keep going in at an angle causing the wood to split.

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Sina March 27, 2017 at 9:15 am

Hi Angie, I did mine by hand but, to be fair, I have a lot of experience drilling pilot holes at this point that I’m relatively good at gauging how straight they are going in. What kind of wood are you using? Softer woods will make things easier. But you can also buy a pretty cheap drill guide on Amazon – here’s one for $8 that should be able to help you: http://rstyle.me/n/ci5n3zb8qa7

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Angie March 27, 2017 at 10:01 am

Thanks. I’m using pine. I have already broken on drill bit 🙂 I’ll try getting a guide or sweet talking a friend with a drill press to do them.

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Sina March 27, 2017 at 7:08 pm

Oh no, you broke a drill bit?? If you have a friend who has a drill press, definitely try and sweet them them 🙂

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ChristopherM April 9, 2017 at 4:32 am

Used your article as a quick and rough guide, built my son one on Saturday afternoon – he loves it.

Greetings from Cape Town, South Africa.

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Sina April 13, 2017 at 11:37 am

Hi Chris, so glad your son is enjoying his stool! Greetings back from Toronto 🙂

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Weronika April 15, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Thank you for this article! We’ve just assembled two helpers (one for our home and one to be kept at greandparents house) and our son already loves them!
Greetings from Poland!

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