We had a long and busy Hanukah, with some wonderful family and community celebrations. The best part: my boys made sweet gifts for each other (a karate belt display board and a see-through birdhouse), so sweet they nearly made up for the fact that they didn’t make me ANYTHING! I will start hinting much earlier next year.
Noah and I decided to make a karate belt display for Ryan to keep in his room. He is due for a belt test soon and I thought that seeing his progress so far might provide some extra inspiration.
We followed a fairly simple DIY from Brit & Co. This is a perfect entry-level mild carpentry project that any child/adult pair can handle.
We used a precut hobby board (8 inches by 2 feet) from Home Depot, added some stain, holes and a bungee for a kid-made gift that any big brother would love. And did! Ryan was so surprised by this gift from his little brother and so proud to show off his stripes in his room (instead of in the bottom of his closet where the old belts had accumulated).
This project happened so quickly and required my hands-on attention, so I don’t have too many pictures to share.
Supplies needed: wood board, sand paper, wood stain, rag (to apply stain), ruler, drill, bungee cord and picture hanging kit.
1. Show your child how to smooth any rough edges on the wood board with sand paper.
2. Use a sponge or rag to apply wood stain to board. Noah loved seeing how fast the color changed and especially liked comparing the stained board with an unstained one. Following manufacturer’s instructions for drying time. We used two coats for our desired honey-colored wood.
3. Using a ruler, determine where to put the holes for the bungee cord and the adult can drill the holes (Noah squeezed the trigger while I guided the drill). We measured 2 inches from the side and found the middle point from top to bottom. If you don’t have a drill bit big enough for the bungee to fit through, you may need to visit the hardware store. Our local Ace Hardware guided us to purchase this spade bit, which worked perfectly.
4. An adult can remove the plastic hook from one end of the bungee cord by prying up the staple around the bungee loop. Then the child can slide the bungee cord through one side. Nail or staple in place (the Brit & Co. tutorial successfully guided us to use a regular stapler and hammer in the staples).
5. Noah helped me screw in a picture frame hanger and attach a wire. This board works great for sunglasses and hats, scarves and jewelry too.
The reciprocal gift was fantastic too. Ryan and Scott made Noah a birdhouse, with a clear plexiglass back, using this tutorial. Once it is suction-cupped to our window, Ryan is hoping Noah can watch birds nesting from our living room.
I want my boys to always enjoy gift-giving like this. Whether homemade or store bought, I hope they always take their time and enjoy planning, shopping and creating something special for their loved ones.