DIY Tinkering Workshop for Kids

My son Micah is that kid who is always trying to figure out “how things work.”  He absorbs information like no one I know and often amuses us with the most off the wall, interesting facts that he “read somewhere in a book.”  He also loves science and technology.  We always say that he’s going to be a famous inventor someday!

For the last couple of years, Micah would often say, “Mom, I wish I had a workshop of my very own!   I wish I had a place that I could just go and build stuff.”  Whenever he said this, I was left feeling like I didn’t even know where to begin, so I’d look up a project on Pinterest or try to get him engaged in a creative activity.  I never really thought it would be possible to make his dream a reality.

Recently,  I started talking to Micah about what he wanted for his 11th birthday.  He didn’t have a specific gift in mind.  Then inspiration struck!  I started dreaming about how we could make a special workshop just for Micah in our house.  We have this random, small utility room between our living room and garage that had basically become a storage space for all kinds of  random things.  I realized that this could become a perfect tinkering space for Micah.

I knew that I wanted to start with large pegboard on one wall, so we took a trip to Lowe’s to see what we could find.  In a matter of days, Micah’s workshop came together, and I was very pleased that we were able to keep the cost down to under $60 by using a bunch of thing we already had in our garage and in our house.

I put together this little video (below) of “The Making of Micah’s Tinkering Workshop” which includes a cost breakdown and a few fun moments with Micah too!  Micah is thoroughly enjoying his “place to go build stuff.”  The first day it was finished, he spent over 4 hours in there working on building a robotic arm that was given to him by a friend.

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We would love to hear from you!  If you know of any cool building projects for kids or ideas of what Micah could do in his workshop, leave us a comment and let us know!

DIY Framed Chalkboard

I absolutely love chalkboards!  They are so versatile and you can change them anytime to create a new look in your home.  You can add quotes and drawings to go with seasons and holidays.  The possibilities with a blank chalkboard are endless!

When we moved into our home over a year ago, there was an odd roll up door in the living room.  It seems like the previous owners had used it as a sort of bar to serve drinks, but we didn’t quite know what to do with it.  We have talked about closing it off, but haven’t gotten around to it.  A couple of weeks ago, while sitting in my living room, I was struck with inspiration.  I saw the frame around the roll up door and thought, “I wonder what it would look like if I turned this into a giant chalkboard?”

A few coats of chalkboard paint later and project complete!  I am happy to report that it turned out even better than I expected! I used Rust-oleum ChalkBoard Paint from Lowes.  It took 3 coats of paint to cover the area thoroughly.  I let each coat dry for at least an hour before adding another, and one 30 oz. can of paint did the trick.  I purchased a white chalk marker at Michael’s and found a fall quote on thankfulness that I love.  I used our projector on my new chalkboard to get the quote just right and then traced it with the chalk pen.  I filled in some of the lighter areas with a regular piece of white chalk to create some contrast of texture and I absolutely love it!!! I already have a Christmas quote picked out for December!  This is definitely a great addition to the decor in our living room.

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