Hey loves! This season of my life is full of preparation; we are preparing our nest for future emptiness, and helping our children prepare for independence. We have four kids: a recent college graduating new at “adulting”, a college sophomore moving soon in to his first apartment, a rising high school senior in the throes of college applications, and a high school freshman. Oh the tears and frustration. And that’s just me. ;) Last week my 19 year old son came to me with an idea to build a DIY coffee table for his apartment.
Oh my heart.
My first reaction was to jump in with both of my mama feet, take over the process, and “help” him build the most awesome Fixer Upper style DIY coffee table EVER. Then I remembered the chocolate cake story.
What does chocolate cake have to do with a DIY coffee table? Nothing really, but it has a lot to do with my relationship with my 19 year old son. Let me tell you.
When son came home for Thanksgiving last year, his first year of college, I asked him what you might call a “leading question.” I asked: “are you glad to be home and see your family?”, fulling expecting to hear what I wanted to hear: “yes, mommy, I miss you terribly.”
Well…what I got was this story.
“Well, Mom, it’s like this. When you’re growing up, you LOVE chocolate cake. It’s your favorite dessert, and you can’t imagine loving anything more. But chocolate cake is all you know. THEN, someone gives you cheesecake. You still love chocolate cake, but…
Good grief. THAT answer is not what I was expecting, but it kind of changed my approach to our “new” relationship. I had to take a tiny step back and let him grow.
Back to that DIY coffee table. He asked a few questions about what kind of wood to buy, and set about designing his new table. And a TV stand.
DIY Coffee Table For A College Apartment
(there are affiliate links in this post for your convenience)
The bases are constructed from 2×4’s screwed together.
Not exactly Joanna Gaines’ style, but I’m working with chocolate cake here, people.
The tops are 1/2 inch plywood.
Cute, huh? (I meant the kid…)
He asked for help with the finishing, so I showed him how to sand, and helped him stain the tops with General Finishes Antique Walnut. GF gel stain is perfect for the types of wood that fit a college kid’s budget because it doesn’t penetrate as deep, leaving a beautiful finish on even lower grade lumber.
He painted the bases with DecoArt’s Americana Decor Satin Enamel in Classic Black.
And here we have a finished DIY coffee table, designed by a future engineer, perfect for a college apartment, and about $25 to build…
but priceless for the mom that got to help.
The moral of this story? Take a small step back and let your kids figure things out, ready to help when they have questions. AND be sure that you have chocolate cake waiting when they move home for the summer. Yes. I. did. ;)
Thank you SO MUCH for reading, have an awesome day!!
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