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Lucy’s learning tower: IKEA step stool hack

Like most toddlers, our Lucy was a curious little one…

I wanted her to be able to look, help and play at our kitchen’s counter height but didn’t feel safe letting her stand on a chair…

BEKVĄM step stool
DIY learning tower IKEA hack

Besides, she was so short she couldn’t even climb up on to the chair independently.

IKEA item used:

I knew that “official” learning towers weren’t in our budget… I finally came across this beautiful Montessori website and this DIY version.

Here are the measurements and instructions for our learning tower IKEA hack:

(Note that the BEKVÄM has undergone changes in its measurements over the years. Please see comments for alternative measurements. And do measure your new BEKVÄM stool to ensure fit before cutting materials.)

– The four posts are 1.5″ x 1.5″ x 17″ (cut four) – *** but I suggest that you place the stool by your counter to make sure that the height of the tower will not exceed the height of the counter if you use our measurements. Therefore adjust the height of these posts according to your counter height.

– We used the same 1.5″ x 1.5″ wood for the sides as rails in the centre of the tower – 7″ long (cut two)

– The other rails are all 3/4″ x 3.5″ wood. The side rails on the top measure 9 7/8″ (cut two). The back rails measure 15″ (cut two).

– Our dowel (5/8″ diameter) on the front measures 16 3/8″ and goes through all the layers of wood on the ends – *** but I suggest that you only drill holes in the posts (1.5″ x 1.5″ x 17″), then thread the dowel through to both ends and then attach the side rails which will cover the holes – in this case, your dowel should be 14 7/8″ long (cut one)

My husband used a combination of 1 1/2 wood screws and 2 1/2 wood screws…

Begin by drilling holes (5/8″) through two of the posts, 1 1/2″ down from the top of the posts.

Attach the vertical posts by screwing upward from the step stool (I’m not sure how the step stool comes when you buy it, but if that top step is not attached, just wait to attach it after the posts are in… in our case, the stool came assembled from the side of the road, so hubby had to detach the top step in order to attach the posts). Be sure to attach the posts with the holes onto the FRONT of the step and place the posts so the holes at the TOP.


Related: 5 fun ways to use the BEKVÄM step stool for kids

5 fun ways to use the BEKVAM step stool

Attach the back rails – one lined up with the top of the posts and the other roughly in the centre. Use two screws for each end.

String the dowel through the holes.

Attach both of the top-side rails. (The dowel should now be ‘sandwiched’ between the top rails.)

Make sure that the screws don’t run into each other (on the corner posts, the screws intersect into the same post, so make sure to spread them out so they don’t split the wood by going into the exact same spot)

Lastly, attach the centre-side rails. These should fit snug between the posts. Again, be sure that the screws do not intersect.

Lucy getting on and off the learning tower

DIY learning tower IKEA hack
DIY learning tower IKEA hack

Then follow IKEA’s instructions on assembling the rest of the step stool (i.e. attaching the top step and everything you’ve now created onto the rest of the stool)

I then filled the holes with wood filler, sanded, filled again and sanded one more time…
Then primed the whole thing (wood sucks up a lot of paint) and painted two coats of paint.

And that’s it. Our learning tower IKEA hack was complete.

DIY learning tower IKEA hack

Our little Lucy loves it.

~ by Jenny, Toronto, Canada


See alternative Learning Tower IKEA hacks:
  • Learning tower IKEA MOLGER cart hack. See it here.
  • Toddler learning tower from recycled materials. Click here.
  • Another version of the Learning Tower IKEA BEKVÄM step stool hack. See it here.