Quick & Dirty:
- Grab a table
- Order Lego flats ($4.99 for 10 x 10's, $14.20 for 15 x 15's)
- Use Liquid Nails to Glue them on to table
- Space them properly with legos, use books to weigh them down and 'cure' overnight
- Add rails, buckets, magnet strips from Ikea with screws & power drill
Our Lego Table Story:
I browsed the many tutorials online and most people seem to buy a new ikea table to cover for this purpose. Then you buy the Lego "base plates" and stick them on with gorilla glue. I particularly consulted this tutorial from kidsactivitiesblog.com.
|These "Trofast" Tables could work if you wanted to start fresh, and the bins fit underneath!|
So now you have a table, you ordered Lego flats, so next you glue. You must do some math. I came up with the design after learning the standard plates are 10 x 10 and asking my children if they wanted any "roads". They said no. That made it a little easier (and cheaper.)
Also I was not planning on cutting any base plates as filler...so I designed to add some bins and possibly magnetic storage just like I saw in this tutorial from kojo-designs.com. The question was to make the little magnetic storage "bins" towards the middle, or the edge? I chose middle because that is how most play tables (including the one at their school) are set up, especially in this tutorial. Also, rods on the edge for hanging buckets! But I wasn't sure if the KidKraft Table could withstand a drilling.
I had in mind two parallel workspaces so that each kid had a zone of their own. [Got twyns!?!]
The other unique part of our train table is that it is made of two "planks" that can be flipped over to reveal a play scene. I wanted to preserve this functionality if possible, so that is another reason I kept my design light in the middle.
So I ordered the Lego flats on Amazon.com. I price-shopped between Lego.Com and Amazon.Com and because I am a prime member, it worked out better to go through Amazon, but we are talking a difference of a few dollars. $58 total for 2 X-Large (15 x 15) Base Gray Plates ($14.20 each), 4 Green (10 x 10) Plates ($4.99 each), and 2 Blue (10 x 10) Plates ($4.99 each.)
Then I went to Ikea to shop for my accessories.
|These magnet tins would be a perfect fixture in the center of the table.|
|There are a ton of rail/bucket options! I chose the cheap plastic ones.|
So I got home, put the kids to bed and got to work. I spaced it out according to my design. I actually screwed the magnet bar on first before I glued the flats so that I wouldn't disrupt the table during 'curing.'
Then I glued. I used "Liquid Nails." I think I could have used more on the edges. We'll see how long they last. Remember the kids have to pull legos up off of this thing!
The last tidbit of info I received from every tutorial was that you must keep Lego spacing in mind when joining the plates. You may need some wiggle room. So I utilized legos to set the spacing while the plates were 'curing.'
My last "issue" to address was that the drawers in this table started out flimsy, came off eventually, and left a gaping hole in each side. I thought I might be able to add the magnet strip or hanging buckets there, but I couldn't find anything that fits that size exactly. Hubby might build something later. For now, we'll just keep bins underneath.
The twyns saw it this morning and started playing right away. My son shouted "A. REAL. LEGO. TABLE!!!" and I swooned, of course. They loved putting little characters in the tins, and the fact that I actually separated the legos out by color. They wanted to use the 'green bin' then the 'red bin', etc.
I liked that I kept the negative space for play and display, but my son wanted more lego flat space. So we can always add more! It would just require some cutting and sanding, but as any mommy knows, your work is never done...