Over the summer, we've spent a good bit of time enjoying Lego and train tables at local libraries and bookstores. Tiny usually goes for the Legos, while Peanut is my choo choo obsessed boy. I took a look at train tables online after seeing how much both kids enjoyed them - and then I saw the price tag. Until very recently I thought American Girl had cornered the market on expensive playthings, and then train fever hit our son - how can one tiny train car cost so much, Thomas? And how can James be both vain AND lots of fun?
I am not a particularly crafty person, and I am no DIY diva - but I decided to try my hand at making my own toy tables. One trip to IKEA and one evening of work later, we had two fun tables for our kids at a fraction of the cost.
Can you assemble a small table? Can you operate a bottle of glue? Then you too can make your own Lego and train tables at home for a fraction of the cost - and you can customize them to suit your own taste.
Here is what we used and how we did it:
one IKEA Lack side table
four Lego base plates
How we did it:
After we assembled the side table, we arranged the base plates in a checkerboard design. I wasn't sure the Tacky Glue would be enough to hold the plates in place, so I used a bit of Krazy Glue for extra hold. (Helpful tip: try not to accidentally superglue your finger to any of the glue bottles as you work.) Once the plates were glued in place, we snapped a few bricks across the plates to be sure they lined up properly and then we weighed them down to help ensure they were firmly in place.
one IKEA Lack coffee table
IKEA Lillabo train tracks
How we did it:
Once the table was assembled, we laid the tracks out on top and rearranged them until we were happy with the design. I glued the pieces in place one by one, making sure the tracks joined smoothly along the way. The bottom shelf makes a great storage spot for extra train track pieces!
Note: many other DIY train tables feature adorable hand-painted designs on the tabletop - this one doesn't, because my littlest train enthusiast is fond of hammering his train cars on the table to express his deep enjoyment of trains. If your budding engineers are more careful, paint away!