DIY Helper For Less Than $40

DIY Kitchen Helper.  Full tutorial on the blog.

Hello again,

Today I have a DIY project to share with you that I am super excited about! I'll give you some hints and see if you can guess...

It's something we use in our house every day, multiple times a day!  
Something our toddler can use "all by self" to assist him with good hand washing.  
Something my very handy friend and I built with our own two hands.  
And, something that normally costs between $130-$200 but we built for less than $40. 
Have you guessed it yet?!?  Probably not, so I'll just tell you 


DIY Kitchen Helper.  Full tutorial on the blog.

The idea to build one of these came from Instagram a while back.  I saw a picture of a little girl (not the one shown in the picture) about my son's age in this contraption that looked like a stool but had rails all the way around it so she couldn't fall out.  I loved it because she was able to stand in this thing with ease and help her mom at the kitchen counter.   So I looked on Amazon and found out that this thing was called a "kitchen helper" and it ranges in price between $130 to $200...

Not only was this out of my price range but none of the colors/styles really matched our kitchen.  I definitely wanted something like this to assist with hand washing and allow our toddler to easily be involved in making pancakes on Saturday mornings, but I didn't want it to be an eye sore in our house.  So, I decided to build one myself...

DIY Kitchen Helper.  Full tutorial on the blog.

My handy friend and I built this kitchen helper to fit the exact dimensions of my counter tops and a specific corner in my kitchen where the "helper" would stay while not in use.  With that in mind, instead of giving you a step by step tutorial, I thought it would be easier to provide you with a list of materials I used and then a picture of the dimensions so that if you are interested in building one yourself, you can make it the exact size you need... 


Materials Used: 
-4 2x4's (Parts A-C)
-1 piece of oak plywood (Part D)
-16, 1-1/2" wooden dowels **sidenote-next time I would use "L brackets" instead of dowels.  MUCH EASIER and better chance of achieving perfect right angles!
-20 3" wood screws
-paint & paint brush 
-wood filler
-drill & 1/4" drillbit

Explanation of Materials:
-Parts A-C were cut from 4 pieces of these 2x4's...

All cut by the nice employee at Lowes...

-Part D was made from this piece of oak plywood...

We notched out the corners of this board with a jigsaw. (see picture above for notching dimensions)   I recommend doing this step last, just incase your angles are not perfect right angles and you need to make some measurement adjustments.  (we definitely had to because we used dowels.  your margin of error for this step should diminish with the use of L brackets) 

As you can see in this picture here, the "helper" pulls up flush with the sink so our son can push it right up to the edge and reach over at the perfect height to wash his little hands... 

DIY Kitchen Helper.  Full tutorial on the blog.

After all of the building was complete, I patched the screw holes with some wood filler and sanded them down.  Then I caulked all of the cracks in order to give a more clean, flush look.

Lastly, I painted the main frame of the helper with the exact same color as our kitchen cabinets (Dove Wing by BM) so that it blends in with the rest of the kitchen.  I wanted to save the beauty of the oak so for the platform, I just did a light wash of Dove Wing diluted with water (probably 1 part paint to 3 parts water) for the piece of oak plywood in the center...

DIY Kitchen Helper.  Full tutorial on the blog.

As you can see, the oak board sits nicely inside the base.  I simply laid it in the middle, on top of the base (after my handy friend notched out the corners with a jig saw) and it didn't need to be secured with screws or glue.  

 When we aren't using the helper, it lives in this corner off to the side of our kitchen...

DIY Kitchen Helper.  Full tutorial on the blog.
Isn't my model adorable???

DIY Kitchen Helper.  Full tutorial on the blog.

DIY Kitchen Helper.  Full tutorial on the blog.

DIY Kitchen Helper.  Full tutorial on the blog.

I think this is by far the most practical thing I've ever built!  We use it every single day, multiple times a day.  I love it because its light weight and our little guy can push it around and use it all by himself.  It has come in handy for more things than I ever intended and I plan to keep it around our house for years to come!  
This project is a total DIY-er but I have to give a special thanks to my handy helper "Mrs. S" for seeing this project through!  I couldn't do life without you! 

Well that's it for today.  Send me pictures if you make your own helper!  

Have a great day!  I'll be back soon with some more recipes to try...