The other day while we were at IKEA picking up supplies for a little project I’m working on in honour of Miss G’s upcoming 2nd birthday, we decided to pick up one of IKEA’s classic step stools too… The Bekvam.
There’s no doubt that modified versions of this little stool has been featured dozens of times on sites such as ikeahackers.net, apartmenttherapy.com, and pinterest and rightfully so – it comes unfinished and just begging for some prettying up.
Since the stool was for Grae, I chose to use leftover paint in one shade lighter than her bedroom walls. While Gracen happily painted rocks, I gave all of the pieces two coats front and back, and let them dry in the sun for the remainder of the day.
The next day, while picking up some paper for a couple of block orders I’m working on, we came across this beautiful cherry blossom print, which really couldn’t be any more perfect. Anyone who knows me well, knows my love of cherry blossoms. I love them so much, in fact, that we hired an artist to paint a cherry blossom mural in Grae’s previous nursery in Kuwait.
Pretty paper in hand, it was time for the second part of the project… Beautifying the top. To start, I gathered a pencil, ruler, and a pair of scissors.
I cut the paper into a 12″ by 7.5″ rectangle, attached it to the the bench top (leaving a 1 inch border around the edges), and used a couple of pieces of rolled tape to hold it down temporarily.
Next, I flipped the bench top over and traced the oval cut out onto the backside of the paper.
After carefully removing the paper, I cut the oval out just outside of the traced line.
Next, I busted out some matte Mod Podge and a foam brush and spread a thin, even coat of Mod Podge over the entire surface of the bench.
After waiting just a minute to let the Mod Podge get tacky, I carefully placed the paper onto the bench top and smoothed it from the centre outwards to remove any bumps and bubbles that had formed.
Next, I topped the entire bench top with a couple of Mod Podge layers, letting it dry fully in between.
For added protection, I took it outside and gave it a couple of coats of a matte spray-on sealant, again letting it dry in between layers.
After a day of drying time, my little helper and I assembled her pretty new toddler bench.
I was excited to have her test it out and it turns out that her first instinct was to use it as a table and chair combo, rather than a step stool (I thought I might have to show her that, but not needed). She collected her baby and her jar of snacks and wasted no time putting her new bench to use. She’s used it constantly since, for everything from drawing, to sticker play, to meal eating, and game playing. The best part is that not only can this little stool be used as a toddler table/chair combo, but it can also be used the way it was designed to – for hand washing, teeth brushing, and kitchen helping too.
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