My husband and I have always managed to build things, despite having limited tools. We even built a rather nice shelf when we lived in an apartment, using our then coffee table as a sawhorse. The one thing always necessitated was for me to draw up plans. Depending on the difficulty of the project, it takes some time. I don’t mind. I like designing things.
However, when I learned about Ana White’s free designs online, it seemed like an easy introduction to woodworking for my daughter. She also loves to design things and was curious about woodworking.
We decided to start with something simple. The Bigger Kid’s Picnic Table seemed like a perfect first project. We planned to build it out of old pallets. However, after asking on a couple of groups about where to find bulk free pallets, there was a mad rush for them…good ideas and all. We opted for a trip to Lowe’s. Ana posts how much wood to buy. Even with purchasing new wood, we spent less than $20 on the project. With my husband’s savvy cutting, we didn’t even cut into the last board.
The table started out as a mother/daughter project. When our younger daughter needed to nurse more, my husband stepped in, making it a father/daughter project. Later, when my daughter lost interest (desigining and planning are much more fun), it became another husband and wife project.
The kids came back to the project for puttying and painting. They had a blast. I finished up the painting so that we could keep any more paint off of other things, such as legs, arms, hair, clothing, etc. They volunteered to help with any other painting of future projects.
We were going to pick out a snazzy color but ended up opting for some leftover house trim paint. It works for now. When we move, we may see about picking out a fun new color for the table.
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