A Play Store From Ikea Components

Is 2011 the year of the play store? Maybe so and we'll have no complaints. Ella and her husband built this terrific one for their two children, primarily from Ikea products. The success of the final product belies their limited skills. According to Ella: "My husband and I are not skilled carpenters...this project only requires the ability to saw and drill holes." That's our kind of project!

Take it away, Ella:

I thought your readers might be interested in this super-easy DIY market stand that my husband and I made for our kids (3.5 years and 8 months). We were, first and foremost, inspired by Pam's adorable market posted a while back and my husband really liked the look of Noortje's Bazar, but we knew we did not have the technical skills or tools to pull that one off. With these great models in mind, we set out for IKEA.

When we saw the RAST side table used in the first post, we decided it was smaller than what we had in mind. We looked around for something else we could turn into a market and spotted the GORM storage system. We bought four 45" posts and two 30" wide shelves. In addition, we got three Byholma baskets and a yard of fabric for the awning. I believe our grand total at IKEA was $60 or so. We also stopped at the hardware store and bought a couple strips of wood that were 1/8 of an inch thick and a few feet long.

My husband and I are not skilled carpenters. This project only requires the ability to saw and drill holes, a well as a drill and hand saw. Our first challenge was the "craftsmanship" of our GORM unit- the posts were different lengths, making for a very wonky market stand. My husband sawed small pieces of wood to glue under the shorter legs to make the unit level and stable. He also attached a piece of that wood across the back bottom of the unit to prop up the baskets at an angle (a terrific idea from Pam's post). He used the same wood to make a frame at the top for the awning. Finally, my husband anticipated that our daughter was going to slam the drawer of her toy cash register shut, sending the heavy toy crashing to the floor (or worse, onto her baby brother's head). So he added the piece across the front top shelf. We also had some extra pieces of thicker scrap wood that happened to be just the right size, so he attached those on the sides for added stability.

I did the awning. I do own a sewing machine, but the only thing I can sew is a straight line. So, of course, the awning is just four straight lines. I think you can use hemming tape to achieve the same result if you don't have a sewing machine. I attached it to the wood posts with a staple gun. I sanded the unit and covered all the wood with butcher block oil (in hopes of affordng some protection from crayons and stickers) and attached the little knob as a hook for bags (the knob is also from IKEA, left over from a dresser remodel years ago). The chalkboards are from the wood section of a craft store (AC Moore), painted with chalkboard paint. The cash register is a Learning Center toy. The scale is an inexpensive kitchen scale. The fruit is Melissa and Doug. Although it's plastic, I was pleased to find it actually has some heft, so my daughter can weigh it on her little scale.

I'm certain our kids will have loads of fun with it for a few years. Thanks to Ohdeedoh for all the great inspiration!

Thanks Ella! It's wonderful!

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DIY, Family, How To

As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.

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