Friday, December 2, 2016

DIY Small Activity Station

Children's art and their art supplies are a sensitive subject in our house.

Dad:  "Why is the baby eating that crayon?"

Kids 1, 2 & 3: .......................................(Blank stare.)

Dad:  "That is a rhetorical question for, get that crayon out of the baby's mouth!!!"

Kids 1 & 2: "Can I have that please baby?"

Baby: ...............................(Runs away laughing.  Then gags on crayon.)

Kid 3:  ..........................(Skips away and sneaks a cookie.)

Yup, sounds familiar doesn't it.  Thought so!

Art supplies never seem to make it back to where they came from.  What if tiny people had their own personal caddies to keep their scissors, pencils, glue sticks and more importantly...crayons.

This is a simple and easy Christmas gift idea that can be built with minimal tools, time and materials.  Plus it doesn't have to be used for kids supplies either if you don't have children.

It could come in handy to store all sorts of other things.

  • Paperclips
  • Pens
  • Erasers
  • Calculators
  • Post It notes
  • Scotch tape

The list goes on...but you get the idea.

DIY Small Activity Caddy


1 - 1x2

1 - 1x3

1 - 1x4

NOTE: All board lengths are 8' long and 3/4" thick unless otherwise noted.

Choice of Stain

Cut List

1 Top Cross Piece @ .5" x 1.5" x 8"

2 Front & Back Pieces @ .5" x 3.25" x 7.5"

2 Side Pieces @ .5" x 1.75" x 8"

2 Interior Dividers @ .25" x 1.5" x 7.5"

4 Interior Dividers (short) @ .25" x 1.5" x 2.75"

5 Bottom Pieces @ .25" x 1.5" x 7.5"

Cutting Diagrams


Step 1

Lets start with the front and back pieces.  Cut to length.  Then measure and mark 3" in from both sides and 1.5" down from what will be the top of the activity caddy.  Mark the waste material using a pencil and use a hand saw or pull saw to cut the shape shown below.

Then you can route a 1/4" rabbet along the bottom of the workpiece and two 1/4" dadoes down both sides of the center section.

Step 2

A similar procedure for the two side pieces.  The one difference to note here is that 1/2" rabbets get routed on each side of both pieces.

Step 3

Apply wood glue to each of the four side rabbets and assemble the four pieces.  Clamp together lightly.  Just firm enough to be able to accomplish the next step.

Step 4

The bottom piece can be one whole board if you can find a project board big enough to get these deminsions.

However, that is not how I have it listed in the cut list above.

I have 5 boards listed that make up the bottom piece.  So edge glue the 5 pieces together and then cut it to final size on the table saw.  You could start the glue up process first thing.  Then by the time you are done with steps 1-3 it would be ready to come out of the clamps to be sanded and trimmed.

Step 5

The interior dividers are next.

In the cut list I simplified the shopping by having you get these 1/4" thick pieces out of a regular 1x4 that is actually 3/4" thick.  If you have a thickness planer you can plane down the material to the desired thickness.

If not, you could just buy 1/4" project pieces at your local home improvement store.  It costs more but if it's what you gotta do then by all means.

Step 6

A little bit of wood glue in the dadoes and just slide them in place.

Step 7

The shorter interior dividers can now be set in place as well.

Step 8

The top cross piece can be cut to length.  Two 1/4" diameter holes can be drilled on each end for pencils.  Then a slightly larger diameter holes can be drilled to hold something a little larger in girth.

I have 1/2" holes pictured below.

Step 9

Glue and clamps the top cross piece in place.

Final Thoughts

Once the project is dry it can come out of the clamps and be sanded down.  A few coats of your choice of stain along with a few more coats of a project sealer such as some polyurethane will complete this awesome gift giving idea.

I hope you enjoyed our 2nd Day of 12 DIY Christmas Gift ideas.

Don't forget to stop by again tomorrow for another great project to help you with your gift giving dilemma's.

Until then!

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