CAUTION: If you are unsure of how to make this safely, please do not recreate this TROFAST helper tower. Get an original Learning Tower.
When our son was about a year old, I wanted to find a way to get him more involved when I cooked. It was then that I stumbled across the concept of a helper tower.
However, the readymade options in the market are really expensive. And I was not ready to invest such a sum after a long maternity leave.
My ability to work with wood being limited, the option of building it myself from scratch was also out of the question.
So I turned to social networks to find an idea to adapt an existing piece of furniture on a learning tour.
I came across several sites that showed how to turn an IKEA footstool into a learning tower. However, this idea did not suit me because I was looking for something that could grow with my son. Which meant, I wanted a helper tower with a height-adjustable step.
I then decided to develop my own IKEA hack by adapting another of their furniture. And since I have never seen anyone on the Internet with the same idea, I thought it might be of interest to you to know how I did it.
Adjustable Helper Tower IKEA Hack
As the idea of having a helper tower with adjustable levels was important to me, I decided to use the IKEA TROFAST toy storage frame as the base of my project.
TROFAST frame | IKEA.com
It’s very simple. The idea is to NOT install the top shelf in order to create an opening at the top of the frame.
Then, using pieces of pine plank that we already had at home, I made a large box platform. It slotted into the rail groove closest to the ground.
This platform protrudes from the module by approximately six inches. It provides stability to the structure and serves as the first step up.
Finally, still with the wood scraps we already had at home, I made a sturdy shelf. We made sure that the thickness of the wood was a tight fit for the grooves to avoid any movement or slippage.
The shelf has a support beam running under it to prevent any sag. This shelf can be raised or lowered depending on the height of the child using the tower.
The shelf is so tight in the groove that it doesn’t slip and I did not use any brackets to hold it up. Nevertheless, you may want to add some brackets or cleat supports, depending on the wood used. Please use your own judgement in creating a safe and sturdy platform for your child.
(Please take note that the IKEA TROFAST shelves may not be strong enough to support the weight of a child. They also tend to fall off the grooves.)
Jules Yap started IKEAHackers.net in 2006 as a personal blog to showcase the most impressive IKEA hacks from all over the world. Since then, she has learned a lot more about power tools and DIY. Her site has helped thousands modify IKEA furniture with step-by-step tutorials, craft projects and home styling.