One nightstand


Dana has been absolutely hounding me to build a nightstand for myself. We used to have a nice little matching set we bought when we moved to the big city and decided we were fancy-ass people who needed a matching set of nightstands.

Then we did our big home renovation last year, and I’ve been without a nightstand since. It’s literally been more than a year, and you don’t know how much you really need a nightstand until you finally get one back.

For that year, I would lean down and smash the alarm clock on the floor, hoping it didn’t wobble out of my reach. Or I’d just throw books into a big dusty pile on the floor. I stopped using a lamp altogether because it was too much work to lean way down, stretch past the alarm clock and book pile, and then try to turn it on or off without knocking it over.

So when I finally built and installed this puppy, I couldn’t believe how much of a lifesaver it was.

“Did you know I could just reach over and put my book down next to me?!” I told Dana the first night the new stand was in place, “And that it would be right there in the morning? Not lost in a pile?”

“Um … yes.”

“And did you know it’s so easy to hit the snooze button when you don’t have to stumble for the alarm clock on the floor? It’s right there! On a nightstand!”

“Um … yes.”

“And the lamp! I can use the lamp again! Oh my god, it’s so shiny and bright — look at it! Revel in its warmth and glow!”

Try going without a nightstand for a month and then watch as your life changes, in an instant, when you finally get it back. It’s magical. Fucking magical, I tell you.

The weird thing is I didn’t really set out to build a nightstand last week. I was at Ikea to pick up supplies for a school art project and I saw this cutting board. It looked pretty, all the wood joined together like that. Then an instant later I saw some bamboo junk boxes and the idea hit me.

Why not?


I used a circular saw to cut some angles into the wood and then screwed on the bamboo boxes and some legs. Knowing it would be installed right next to my head, where nightstands traditionally go apparently, I took a lesson from my jewelry making experiment and decided to polish it all with a nice bees wax, instead of shellacking it in a dripping film of stinking varnish. (Huh, it occurs to me I apparently have a thing for making things out of cutting boards — there’s even a kid’s toy cutting board project in my craft book. Weird.)

And voila! A new nightstand.


Denver Post: “Explosive Awesome!”

Denver Post

Always fun to wake up to a great review. This one from The Denver Post.

Just a day left to win a signed copy of both books!

Free craft and science books for Spring Break!

dad's books!

Many schools begin spring break in the next week or so, and because Emme and I always love to do fun DIY projects or invent some crazy new game during school breaks, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to spread some love.

So enter the contest below and one lucky winner will receive two signed copies of my books — one before it’s even available to the public — just in time for spring break fun.

Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments – set for release April 18 — helps you turn your kitchen or your backyard into a fun science lab. It was just named an Amazon Hot New Release for science books. Can’t wait until you see it.

(I love this early review from the Austin American-Statesman: “With step-by-step instructions and color photos, he explains how to do the projects and then has a section called “Why it Works” to explain the science behind the thing you just blew up.” Word.)

Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects has dozens of ideas for easy or complicated crafts that will keep the kids busy for hours. It was named a 2013 Amazon Book of the Year for crafting and DIY and can be found in just about any bookstore.

I’m a big believer in letting kids take charge, and a lot of these projects are designed for kids to do on their own without assistance — unless you want to join in the fun.

So consider this a Spring Break Sanity Saver Package. You get scores of fun ideas, and then the kids go off and do them.

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