Carpenter Dad Turns His Kid’s Drawing into a Real-Life Piece of Furniture

published Feb 1, 2020
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When kids and adults collaborate to make things—combining kids’ uninhibited creative visions and adults’ motor skills and experience—the results can be delightful. Just take a look at IKEA’s plush toys based on kids’ drawings or these 3D renderings of kids’ dream houses. Recently, one parent-child duo made their own contribution to the genre: a dresser based on a six-year-old’s drawing, brought to life by his carpenter father.

Chris Salomone, a furniture-maker who posts woodworking and design videos on YouTube, explains in a recent video how the father-son project came about:

“A few weeks ago, I was drawing some furniture designs on my computer, as I often do, when my six-year-old son wandered over and decided that he wanted to draw a piece too. So I set him up with a pencil and paper, and this is what he came up with.”

The original drawing shows a low dresser-shelf hybrid with two sets of cabinet doors on the left, drawn with wavy lines.

“Seeing it made me think about those drawings where a professional artist fancies up a kid’s drawing of monsters… And, well, I thought it would be fun to take his drawing and translate it into a real-world piece of furniture,” says Salomone in the video.

“The trick with this job is that I didn’t want to do a really quick and bad job of building it. Even though in the end it has to look kind of weird and messed-up, it has to look like it was done on purpose… My idea was to build it really nice and square, similar to how I would build any furniture, and then after it’s together, just go back and remove material to achieve that messed-up or drawn look.”

The end result looks like a perfectly sturdy and functional piece of furniture, with the shaky, asymmetrical lines of the original drawing. To see how Salomone balances quality and function with an organic, kid-drawn look is pretty interesting. You can see the whole process in the original video here:

In the end, the designer does have some critiques, but he also gives his dad this encouraging praise: “Actually, it’s okay.”