Friday, April 4, 2014

A Lego table built for twins! DIY from KidKraft Train Table


OMG this was super duper easy.  First of all, there are a dozen tutorials out on the interwebs about making your own Lego Table so you can pick and choose a lot of elements you need to trick out any table you already have!

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:

As for us, I was hoping the train stage would last a little longer...longer enough for them to really put their own track designs together and ask for fancier and more complicated sets...but alas, this table has been a multi-tasker from the start. It was one of the first pieces the kids could pull themselves up with before the age of 2 (right when they got it) and at such a height that they enjoyed playing with all kinda of toys on top of it.
So even though we are starting to let the train sets go, I'm not letting the table go. It needs new life. It needs to be a part of our new Lego obsession and be brought back from the dregs of the basement, back into its once proud spot in the family room. (Maybe the wooden building blocks can take a pausa.)

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. 

Are you surprised I immediately took out my graph paper, normally used for my quilt designs? ;)
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. 
All done! Now curing and waiting for the morning reveal.
Immediate hit
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...

HAPPY FRIDAY!!


4 comments:

  1. How friggin cool is that? Nice job! You probably need to be thinking about moving into Chris's workshop room cause he doesn't have anything over you!!

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  2. My older son has the Kidkraft table that has the two huge rolling drawers. He has an entire lego city set up (we didn't' put flats on it) and the drawers are full of other set. The rest of his legos are in plastic drawers. Be careful - legos will take over your life LOL.

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