Kids Furniture

Thought it about time to show off some kids furniture I built before I started blogging. A toy storage unit plus a table and chairs set.

Storage unit and kids table & chairs

First up is the toy storage unit. Initially I just bought the tubs to try to organise our quickly increasing supply of toys, but soon realised they would work really well in a unit. I had seen similar things from the likes of Ikea and other furniture places and it seemed pretty useful. 

The finished unit. 3 different colour tubs to help organise the toys

I never took many build photos, but the whole thing was made from some super cheap pine shorts glued up into panels. All simple butt joints reinforced with biscuits. Some runners nailed into place to support the tubs under their rims, and there are some felt pads under it all to keep it from cratching the floor.

Not the most ideal clamping but I managed to make it work

About the only trouble I had was the tubs I bought weren’t all exactly the same size and I happened to measure up the largest, meaning I made the gaps a little too wide.  I fixed this later by adding some thin strips on the runners a that you can’t see in the photos. 

The tubs slide in and out easily enough for the kids to access them without trouble

The table and chairs I built a little later. I really enjoyed making these more than I expected. It took me about an hour to knock up a simple design, and $30 worth of pine for the materials. While pretty simple, they are so much sturdier than many commercial options, and in a lot of cases way cheaper.

I used a combination of biscuits, dowels, and good old nails to put it together. It was really quick to make as every piece was square cut, and to finish it I just hit it with my orbital sander to round over all the corners and smooth out any crimes.

My boy even gave me a hand putting it together 🙂

On both these projects the one worry I had to start with was the finish. A draw back of pine, in my books at least, is it looks like.. well… pine. I guess I’ve been conditioned over the years to see it as the cheap and nasty option so I tend not to like the look of it unstained / unpainted. I really wanted something that would look OK beside the other furniture I’d built out of Tas oak / Vic ash (being the most easily available local hardwood). So for the first time ever I actually used a stain, and found something with a reasonable match for tone.

Comparing the stained pine (rear) to the unstained Tas oak (front). I think it fits in quite nicely.

When I built both these units and chose pine, I knew that being soft, and being for the kids, it was likely to get dings and scratches. Two years on and yes if you look closely there are a lot of little battle scars, but really from a metre away you can’t even tell. As much as I will still be happy if they don’t last forever, I see no reason why I couldn’t freshen up the finish and give them to another family when we are done. So that’s awesome and I’m really happy I decide to build these rather than get some chip board flat pack furniture.


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