Mom's Release

The trials and tribulations of a mom of four great kids!

DIY for Kids (and dads/moms): Top Bunk Shelf

My 9 year old was on a roll this week! After designing and completing his DIY for Kids: Laptop Stand, he had another epiphany: a shelf for his top bunk! He decided he wanted to solve his problem of no shelf for his top bunk. He said he was tired of the mess he had on his bed becasue he didn’t have anywhere to put the things he wants to have near him when he goes to sleep…kleenex, book, water, etc. He came up with a way to fix it (see a need, fill a need!)… and what a great fix! It mounts to the rails of the top bunk. Check this out!Top bunk shelf4.jpg.jpg

This one required a bit more help from his dad. He knew what he wanted to do and what it would look like, but he needed some help with figuring out the actual dimensions and pieces he needed to make it. He drew what he saw in his head so his dad could see what he was explaining. They then set to work together to come up with dimensions. Here’s what they did :


Wood (spruce, pine, whatever you have around will work):

  • 1″x2″ wood pieces – 2 @ 3-1/4″, 2 @ 5-3/4″
  • 1″x3″ wood pieces – 1 @ 15″, 1 @ 21″
  • Table top (we used a piece of MDF shelving) – 21″ x 16″
  • 1×1-1/2″ – 1 @ 22-1/2″, 2 @ 16-1/2″ (use mitre saw to cut both ends of the 22-1/2″ piece to 45 degrees and one end of each 16-1/2″ piece)

Screws – 1-1/2″ phillips (we used 26…wanted to make sure it was super secure!)

Finishing nails – 3/4″ or 1″

Wood glue

Mitre saw
Phillips screw driver



  1. Cut the 1×2 pieces to length and insert screws as shown (please forgive the picture quality…hubby wasn’t paying attention to the lighting/backdrop!)1x2 pieces.jpg
  2. Attach 1×2 pieces to 15″ 1×3 support, as shown.1x2 to 15 piece.jpg
  3. Attach the 21″ 1×3 piece to the longer 1×2 pieces, as shown.13 to 21 piece.jpg
  4. Glue and screw shelf piece to 21″ support, as shown. It’s probably sufficient to just screw the top to the support, but the 9 year old wanted to use the wood glue and the hubby seems to like to “over design” a little bit. (Again, sorry for the not-so-clear pics…the 9 year old wanted to do that part, too!)glue screw top.jpg
  5. Attach the outer edge pieces (1×1-1/2) to the shelf with finishing nails. This is not an absolutely necessary step, but we thought it would help prevent anything being pushed off the shelf, thereby saving our 11 year old from possible bumps on her head from falling objects!outer edge shots.jpg

Here’s a picture to show you how to install and remove the shelf…this is so you can take it off to change the sheets and make the bed easily…smart cookie, he is!installing pics.jpg

The result was a really cool design and one very happy boy!Happy boy3!.jpg.jpg


DIY for Kids: Laptop Stand

So, we had a rare quiet Saturday, without the usual mayhem that is a very large part of life in our house….no hockey, no commitments, no places we had to be at any given time.  It’s funny, but we tend to have a hard time getting anything done on those kinds of days because we’re so used to running here, there and everywhere, fitting tasks in whenever we can manage.  We seem to lollygag with decision making on days that are wide open…clearly, we work better under pressure!

We decided to take advantage of the day and get some exercise, so we took the younger two kiddos and the dog for a walk. On our way back to the house, my 9yo asked to use his computer when we got home.  I am not a fan of time spent by children on brain-sucking, mindless games, so my immediate reaction was a simple, “not today” and I waited for the inevitable arguing that always follows.  I was lucky this time in that he had already spent his allotted screen time, which is what I told him.  To deflect his attention and prevent more protesting, I told him he should use his tools to build something (he’s a huge tool guy and loves to make things with wood!).  He was very interested and the rest of the walk home was spent brainstorming what he could make with what we already had available at home.

The winner was a laptop stand to make it more comfortable when he’s sitting on the couch, in a chair, or on the bed using his laptop.  He drew what he wanted, searched the furnace room for the scraps of wood he could use and he was off to the races, as they say.  (We were extremely grateful that we had the supplies on-hand because he’s a bit like a dog-on-a-bone when he gets an idea in his head!)  How cool is this?!

laptop stand pinterest.jpgMy husband helped by cutting the pieces to length, but he did the rest of it…figured out the dimensions, marked where the cuts had to be made, drilled the pilot holes and screwed together the pieces (with a little bit of extra muscle from his dad!).  It took about 45 minutes from start to finish and it turned out so great I thought I should write up the plans and post so other kids like him can give it a try!

Materials: (Any wood type can be used – we used pine because that’s what we had.)

  • Flat piece of board, 3/4″ thick, 17-1/4″ long x 11″ wide – that is the size of the board we had available and it fit his laptop perfectly.  Adjust the length, as needed.
  • Approximately 30″ length of 2″ x 2″ – two front legs of 4-1/2″ and two back legs of 8-1/2″.
  • Four, 1-1/2″ screws – that’s what we had in the house, but other similar lengths can be used.


  • Mitre saw (for angled cuts)
  • Drill (for pilot holes)
  • Phillips screwdriver (to put everything together)

How to make it:

1. Cut the flat board to desired length (the board we had was 17″, so that’s what he used)
2.  Cut the legs to length: two at 4-1/2″ and two at 8-1/2″.

dimension pic.jpg.jpg

3. Cut one end of all four legs to 22-1/2 degrees (standard cut on mitre saw)

4. Lightly outline the shape of the legs in each corner of the top board (mimicking where to place them)         and drill a pilot hole in the centre of each square.


5. Attach each of the legs by screwing into the pilot holes.



final product.jpg

You can paint it, stain it, or decorate it any way you’d like!  He and his sister were so excited to use it, so I relented my screen time limit  and let them watch a movie…they loved it!landmwith stand.jpg

Not too shabby for a 9yo, huh?!  Get your handy kids to give   it a try and let me know how it turns out…I’d love to see   pictures!

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