DIY Latch Board for Emerson


I'm back with a quick and fun little DIY project for all the little ones out there! I first saw this idea a couple years back on my favorite blog, Young House Love. At first when I saw it, I had no idea what it was - a bunch of hinges and latches on a board? Huh? Well, that was before I had a kid. And now that Emerson is here, I will do anything and everything to keep her occupied. New things are always welcome since she has the attention span of about 1.5 minutes (please share any other cool ideas you have for 11+ month olds)!

STEP 1: PICK OUR YOUR HINGES
After work one day I picked up Em and headed straight to Home Depot to pick out some latches. I spent so long in the aisle (Em fell asleep) picking out a good assortment of different latches, hinges, and handles in varying finishes. I basically tried to find the cheapest ones (some of those are expensive!) that had a lot of movement, would be fun to un-hook/re-hook, and weren't too sharp for Emerson to use. I think I spent about $30-40 in total on latches. 

STEP 2: BUILD YOUR PLATFORM
We had some leftover wood scraps laying around from our headboard and console table projects, so I commissioned Zach to build me a little platform after laying out all the hinges and latches where I wanted them to get a good idea of how big I wanted the platform. I think it ended up being about 2 feet x 1 foot.

STEP 3: SPRAY PAINT (OR PAINT) YOUR BOARD
I'm kind of obsessed with this color lately - Tropical Rain Forest from Valspar. It's bright and vibrant and almost like a kelly green, but with more teal. I love it.  A couple coats and it was good to go! Maybe we should have just left it as a platform for Em! :)


STEP 4: LAYOUT & ARRANGE YOUR HINGES
Layout your hinges to get a good idea of what you want the board to look like before you start screwing in everything. As you can see, I played around with it quite a bit. Also, make sure to keep all the nails and screws close to the hinges so you don't lose them or get them mixed up!


STEP 5: SCREW IN YOUR HINGES & LATCHES
Pretty self explanatory. I started using the power drill, but it was running out of batteries (always happens right when I want to work on a project). Using a regular screwdriver seemed to work better, though since it didn't split the wood as much. I added a little piece of pom pom trim I had leftover from Emerson's pom pom curtains I made for her nursery to add a little texture. I also added the E wrapped in twine which is actually a pin on letter for Christmas Stockings, but it was a little too heavy for our stockings to hold the weight. It fits perfect on her board!



STEP 6: ENJOY!
Emerson seems to like it (off and on when she is in the mood). Her favorite part is the doorstop. She loves flicking it to make it go Boing! and after each time she claps! It's so cute. She also loves the wheel. I love that it is substantial and will take a lot of wear and tear over the years. Check out my instagram feed for a cute video of Em having fun with her Latch Board!


Have you made any fun baby toys lately? Or, do you have any suggestions for awesome toys that your baby loves? One of the reasons I wanted to make this, is because it's made of non-traditional items, and these days it seems like that is all Emerson wants to play with! She loves the bottom drawer in the kitchen filled with (safe for baby) kitchen utensils! It's her favorite. So I'm hoping she will like this for years to come!

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