We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
You’ve probably seen Learning Towers online. They are great because they are a safe way for a little one to use a step stool! You don’t have to worry about them falling off. If you were to buy one of the fancy shmancy ones, it would cost you $150 or more! Ouch!
Thankfully, there are so many DIY versions on Pinterest, many using IKEA’s Bekvam step stool. I made one for my daughter about 6 months ago. She LOVES it and uses it daily. She enjoys helping me in the kitchen, and this is so much safer than letting her stand on a chair. PLUS it’s custom made to match our counter height.
Anyone I know with a toddler who comes to my house comments on how genius the idea is. I recently made one for a friend. Since it was the second one I made, I consider myself a pro. 🙂 This one came out PERFECT!
I highly recommend using a miter saw. We used just a skill saw before, and, let’s just say, it was way easier with our new miter saw! The cuts were so accurate and straight! So, here is a tutorial on how to make your own Learning Tower for a fraction of the cost!
- IKEA Bekvam step stool ($20 in store, $38 on Amazon)
- One 2x2x96 inch piece of wood
- One 1x4x96 inch piece of wood
- 28-1.5 inch wood screws #8
- 2-2.5 inch wood screws #8
- miter saw
- tape measure
- drill with bits and drivers
- sander/sand paper
- paint & polyacrylic (optional)
Step 1: Assemble the Bekvam step stool but STOP at the last step where you attach the top piece.
Step 2: Measure the height of your kitchen counter. Subtract 19.5 inches from that number, as this is the height of the stool. You just figured out the length of each of your 2x2s.
Step 3: Make your cuts. The more perfect they are, the easier this project will be!! You will need:
- 4 pieces of 1×4 cut to 9.5 inches
- 3 pieces of 1×4 cut to 15.75 inches
- 4 pieces of 2×2 custom size-To find: (Your counter height) – (19.5 which is the height of the stool) = length of each 2×2 piece
Step 4: Make the side pieces. You will be attaching two of your 1x4x9.5 pieces to two 2x2s. See the picture below. I used a spare piece of 1×4 to perfectly space them. DRILL A PILOT HOLE FIRST! This really helped me make sure I got my screws in the right places!
IMPORTANT! To make sure my screws didn’t end up hitting each other when coming into the 2x2s from different sides, I invented this handy-dandy, high tech tool-a piece of painter’s tape with 4 equally spaced dots on it. 😉 I taped it on each piece before drilling pilot holes and drilled into the ones with arrows on it for the side pieces. Then I used the ones without arrows for the front and back.
Step 5: Once the side pieces are both finished, you will attach them with the 1x4x15.5 pieces using the same technique. Just make sure to not run screws into each other! I left the bottom piece off of the back part of the stool. This is so your child can climb into it on their own when they are old enough. You could always just attach a 1×4 and remove it later to be extra safe. You would just have to lift your child into it every time. No biggie.
Step 6: You should now have the entire top half complete! Turn it upside down, then place the Bekvam stool top UPSIDE DOWN on top of it. If your cuts were correct, the corners should all match up perfectly. Use 2.5 inch screws to attach the stool top to the new addition you just made (after drilling pilot holes, of course!).
Step 7: Noooowww, you can attach the last piece of the Bekvam stool to its base.
Ta-da! Ain’t it a beauty?! Sand it down really well, as you wouldn’t want your little one to get a splinter. If you want to paint it a fun color, go for it! Just make sure you finish it off with at least 2 coats of polyacrylic, as you want this thing to be able to wipe away any mess left by filthy little toddler feet.
**Just like any kid product, use with caution. You should always be near your child when they are using this stool and be aware of what they can reach when using it. It is also important to teach them how to use it correctly. It is NOT a toy and does not give them free reign in the kitchen. I have taught my daughter to ask before using hers. I highly recommend doing that!**