Toy Workbench

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Delight your little woodworker with this simple workbench suitable for toddlers and preschoolers.

This week, our entire family has been battling a couple standard Alaska things.  One being the weather.

And the other being wheezing.  I'll spare you a photo.

So I was quite grateful to the Ram tonight for lending his superior building skills and whipping this one out.  I was helping him cut some boards, then went inside to tell Grace a bed time story . . . perhaps dozed off for just a few minutes, and the Ram wakes me up to tell me to get the camera.  So don't think you don't have time to put something like this together for your little one in time for Christmas.

Would be cute pink too!  This piece cost about $10 to build, and is definitely sized for a preschooler toddler.  I used mostly scraps, with some new 1x3s furring strips for $1.43 each.  Dimensions are based off the Pottery Barn Kids one.  Because the bench is made of solid wood, you can drill holes in the legs, back, or workbench for pounding blocks through or hanging tools on the back or even attach a vise or pretend saw blade.  Your creativity (and time of course) are your only limitations!  Can't wait to see what you build!

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

1 – 4′ long 1×12
2 – 8′ long 1x3s
1 1/4″ screws
2″ screws
wood glue, filler paint and finishing supplies

Cut List

1 – 1×12 @ 18″
1 – 1×12 @ 19 1/2″
4 – 1×3 @ 11 1/2″
3 – 1×3 @ 19 1/2″
4 – 1×3 @ 18 1/4″

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander


Step 1

Tabletop Sides

Here’s an easy trick – lay some 1×3 down on the table flat, then lay the 1×12 tabletop down on top of the 1x3s. That way the top is elevated 3/4″. Then simple screw the sides to the tabletop. Use glue, predrill pilot holes, and use 2″ screws or 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Step 2


This is easy too. Just predrill holes and screw on. Use 2″ screws and glue.

Step 3


Attach the back to the top with 2″ screws and glue.

Step 4


Predrill two holes along the top edges of the legs. Then attach to the tabletop with 1 1/4″ screws and glue.

Step 5

Step 6

Bottom Front and Back

And now the front and back. Use 1 1/4″ screws and glue this time.

Step 7


Fill holes with wood filler and let dry. Make sure holes are completely filled – you may need to add a second coat. Sand with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum and wipe clean with a damp cloth. Prime and paint.

Step 8

I sure appreciate you reading my ramblings, and trusting my plans. Thank you!


Florence Lewis (not verified)

Tue, 11/30/2010 - 22:42

I bought my six year old daughter the black and decker toy tool kit, (at her request) it has a drill, flashlight, sander and a jigsaw all in it's own briefcase for Christmas. Now, [ just in time] I'm going to have to build her a workbench so she can "use" her tools, awesome! Thank you, for this build. [one less thing I have to design in my head!]

Lynn (not verified)

Wed, 12/01/2010 - 01:29

Love this! I was wondering what to make for my twin nieces and I think I now know! I may have to adapt this to be a garden bench for them and add some of your stacking boxes, but I think it could be great! You are awesome!

Keisha (not verified)

Wed, 12/01/2010 - 04:09

What about using pegboard for the back? I think I may add a shelf at the bottom.
This is just what I was looking for as a present for my son, thank you so much for your great website!!

Sarah R. (not verified)

Wed, 12/01/2010 - 04:30

You never cease to amaze me--this is so going under the tree for my 3 yo boy. He is going to die!

Megan (not verified)

Wed, 12/01/2010 - 04:34

This is such a cute idea! I'd love to make it for my son, not so sure he'd know what it was, being that we use a plastic fold-able table for a work-bench... lol!

PS- even though you had to jump the car, I'm jealous of your snow!!

Tsu Dho Nimh (not verified)

Wed, 12/01/2010 - 05:05

Oh wow ... you are going to make so many little kids happy with that bench.

I can see it with a pegboard back panel, and all kinds of hooks for hanging tools.

kate @ www.bro… (not verified)

Wed, 12/01/2010 - 05:30

Hey Ana! This is too cute! A couple questions though... I was going to make Claras table and the stackable chairs for my sons birthday this month and do a chalkboard finish for the tabletop but I love this workbench! Could I still finish this tabletop as a chalkboard for him to use as a table and just take the backs off those chairs to make stools instead? Would that work or do you have a better idea? And on step 4 are you attaching the legs to front, back, and sides of the tabletop? Sorry so long;)

tiffany (not verified)

Wed, 12/01/2010 - 06:02

We are fighting the sickness this month too. It's only -30 here though! Cxute plan as always. I like the addition of the complete dimensions at the beginning, but don't leave out your "rambling." Putting the pieces together in the right order and place doesn't come easy for everyone unless each step is shown. That's what makes your sight give us a project and then show exactly how to do it so ANYONE can built with great success!

Kelly (not verified)

Wed, 12/01/2010 - 06:05

This is great. I definitely want to make this for my little girl. Now, where do I find tools for a two-year-old?

Farm Marm (not verified)

Wed, 12/01/2010 - 06:48

I LOVE it! But I agree with Tsu Doh Nimh..I would use some peg board for hanging tools from. My two lil ones also have the Black and Decker tool set..what they haven't destroyed.. I would like to get just the tools from a Little Tikes set.....

kerry davis (not verified)

Wed, 12/01/2010 - 06:58

Ana - you are awesome! And I am the slowest painter around! It takes me forever to get my stuff painted. Do you use a sprayer?
BTW - I love reading every word of your ramblings!!

SebringvilleMum (not verified)

Wed, 12/01/2010 - 10:08

Ok... it's been driving me nuts for awhile now... WHAT does Ram mean???
I'm assuming it's a cute nickname for your husband, but what does it stand for??


zigmommy (not verified)

Wed, 12/01/2010 - 13:15

Thanks Ana!! I'm gonna have to knock this out in the next few days...I have all the lumber in my garage!

My one Black Friday stop this year? ACE, because they were selling a Peak Portable Jump Starter for $29.99 (Oh, I bought the Shop Vac too because I just couldn't pass it up)!! My Expedition doesn't like the cold and we've already had weeks of negative temps in Montana. Never again do I have to be stranded with a dead battery or rely on the kindness of strangers to jump my car! This thrills me to no end, lol!

Kirsten (not verified)

Thu, 12/02/2010 - 01:54

I'm going to make 2 of these--one this size for my 2.5 year old, and a bigger version for my almost-6 year old. AND, looks like a pallet project to me!! Between the pallets (yes, untreated) my husband brings home free from work and some plywood I have on hand, I'm looking at just the cost of screws. I was thinking about the pegboard idea, too...seems I could just drill holes at regular intervals in the back and get some hooks, huh? Anyway, totally excited about this!

Jim Reeves (not verified)

Tue, 12/07/2010 - 01:14

Ana, l like this child work bench, going to make 2 one for my great neice and great nephew.
As always thanks so much for inspirational plans, gives me daily confidence to get into the workshop. No matter how bad my body is hurting or screaming in pain, i just look at your web site read other inspiring stories and their great looking peices and of course look at your many many master peices l then get inspired.

I had pretty much given up on woodworking my life long dream, when l seen your site l heard a little voice inside of me you can do it.
Once doctor says l can return to normal life woodworking lifting again, resulting from 2 heart attacks
2 1/2 weeks ago 6 days apart l will be building items from your inspiring web site.
Thanks so much anna
Jim, from Trenton, Ontario, Canada

Kylie Habedank (not verified)

Tue, 01/01/2013 - 19:22

I am totally building this for my son! You rock and I am addicted to your web page!