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Joie Henney, owner of Henney's Woodworking, started offering children the chance to build wooden step stools a few years ago.

"I wanted to give kids the chance to bring out their inner artistic talents," said the woodworker, who creates historically accurate furniture from his Simpson Street workshop.

During the month of July, Henney had a table set up across from his booth in Central Market where children could help build, and then decorate, their own step stool.

"We started with birdhouses," he said, but the kids would later tell him that they were damaged being outside. So Henney came up with the step stools.

The stools are modeled after a 1704 five-board bench and, as small as they are, can support 500 pounds. After nailing the top board onto the already built legs, children can decorate them with paint and markers however they like.

"Some make them for Mom or Dad, some just for themselves," Henney said.

The best part is, it's free.


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