As you know, I have two girls who are mostly interested in dolls and Paw Patrol. They love to play with LEGO but perhaps didn't reach that age when you get obsessed over it. It's a completely different story at my sister's house, where she has three boys - one big one and two small, haha. During my last visit, I built them a DIY lego table, that could also be any other activity table. It's an IKEA hack, an extra-large kids' activity table. I'm still not sure to whom it belongs - to my brother-in-law or to my nephews, but one thing is certain - their family is super happy with the new addition to their playroom 😉
If you prefer a video version of this DIY LEGO table tutorial, you can watch it on my YouTube channel
Few words about the design
This lego table turned out so functional and stylish (the last feature was very important to my sister who didn't want to stare at some ugly large construction every day). To build this DIY lego table we took two TROFAST units and added a large tabletop with beautiful trim. The trim definitely added some charm to the table and a finished look.
The tabletop's overall dimensions for the LEGO table are 37 ½"x 73 ½", including trim.
The extra storage adds functionality to any playroom. My sister wanted to have shelves instead of IKEA containers on one side, so I made her 6 dividers that create 9 frames. Then we used clear acrylic containers to sort all the LEGO by colors! This DIY LEGO table is a dream come true!
When you are deciding on the finish of this table, keep in mind a few things. TROFAST storage units already STAINED! I've got myself into quite a situation when suggested that we stain this beautiful pine with new Minwax solid colors stain. My sister was all over this idea and got Minwax solid color stain in beautiful olive color. When I applied it to TROFAST storage unit, it didn't work! The stain wouldn't soak into the wood grain. AT ALL! I even sanded one side, to see if it would help, but had no luck! I decided to paint it over. Only now, while writing this blog I see on the IKEA website that this unit was treated before!! "IKEA - TROFAST Storage combination with boxes, Light white stained pine/white". I guess that's why the stain didn't want to hold!
So always check the treatment of the unit before you decide on the finish.
We ended up painting this DIY lego table with SW Privilege green color, but let's take it to step by step.
Ways to use this large DIY play table
Even though I label it as a DIY Lego table since my nephews needed a functional table with various storage for their LEGOs, it could be literally anything. The concept is quite simple but very functional, those shelves could be perfect for all the craft equipment that you have.
So let's see what we could use it for:
- lego table
- craft table
- play table
- train tracks table
- Science table (for that one you probably need to cover the top with some durable protective layer)
Basically, this IKEA hack kids activity table can be whatever you want it to be 😁
When you use TROFAST storage units, your LEGO table should be at least 37" wide. The length could be customized to your needs. We chose 6 feet so there would be a space between storage units that could fit 2 small chairs on each side. So 4 kids would be comfortable enough to play next to each other without bumping onto storage units.
To determine what length of the activity table you need, take a good look at your space.
Layout a masking table on the floor of dimensions that you think would work the best! Take into consideration the size of the room and how much clear space you'd have on the sides. It should be enough for kids to be able to move freely around it.
- (2) TROFAST Storage combinations with boxes for one side
- ¾"x4x8' Plywood (doesn't have to be a nice grade, it will go underneath anyway)
- ½"x4x8' Plywood sheet (for shelves- optional)
- Smooth wall panel with a prefinished white coating
- (3) 1x2"x8' select pine
- Wood glue
- 1 ¼" brad nails
- Wood filler (optional)
- ¾ x 36 x 72" (tabletop)
- 36 x 72" - white panel (tabletop)
- (2) 1 x 2 x 73 ½" - mitered on both ends (trim for long sides)
- (2) 1 x 2 x 37 ½" - mitered on both ends (trim for short sides)
- (6) ½ x 17 x 11 ¾" (shelves)
Layout for cutting wood suggestion
Tips for assembling IKEA furniture
As I mentioned in my Instagram stories, I'm obsessed with assembling IKEA furniture and I was seriously considering being a professional Ikea furniture assembler as a gig during my student times. I've learned a thing or two over the years. So here are some tips on how to assembly an IKEA Trofast for our DIY Lego table.
- Read the instructions. One tip that is so obvious so often overlooked. Don't skip this step
- Use a hammer to tap the dowels into the holes lightly. A hammer also helpful when putting sides together. Do yourself a favor, get one ready.
- Take out your power tools. I don't have to explain that using a screwdriver can make the process so much more painful than it should be. If you use an electric screwdriver, it makes the whole thing so much easier! I've got a Dremel electric screwdriver and oh my, how much I love that little powerful thing! I've been using it so much lately, on different house projects, it's super convenient! (Disclosure: It was gifted by DREMEL but the opinion is mine)
- PRO TIP: When you have 3 screws in a row, always start with the middle one and never drive it all the way in. Instead, drive all screws halfway in and then go back to finish it off. It will make assembly more even.
- And if you want to save yourself some time, always double-check your work!
How to make a tabletop for large kids play table
To make the tabletop you simply need to cut the plywood sheet and plastic sheet to size. It seems easy and straightforward but there are some hidden snags.
You can ask the guys at your home improvement store to cut it for you. This is an obvious move since it's highly unlikely the full 4x8' sheet will fit into your car unless you have a pickup truck. This is the easy route and we of course went with it the first time. Unfortunately, after the guy finished cutting it turned out that a plastic sheet is ¼ inch wider on one side and ¼ inch shorter on the other. Ugh! At first, I thought I could cut it off with a circular saw but when I tried it chipped terribly and we had to go to get another wall panel to make it work.
Tips on cutting a wall panel
Ask at your improvement store to cut a ¾" plywood sheet to length (it's hard to mess it up). Cut your wall panel at 5-6" bigger than your dimensions (so it could fit into a car).
At home, lay down a plywood sheet and a wall panel on top. Mark exact lines on the wall panel to make it flush with the plywood. Add a masking tape on top of that line. And cut it with a circular saw or another saw of your choice.
The masking tape will prevent the wall panel from chipping on the edges.
if you still mess it up a little, don't worry, you can always either paint that spot over with white paint or use caulk to hide some imperfections.
I also found that if you make a guiding line with a box opener or utility knife prior to taping it over, it could help with a cutting process.
PIN IT TO MAKE LATER>>>>>>
Step by step tutorial
Let's get down to business and break down step by step how to make this activity table
Time: 6 hours
Cost: approx $260 ($170 - TROFAST units + materials)
Assemble two IKEA TROFAST storage units as per instructions.
Cut ¾" plywood and a wall panel to length. In my case it was 3x6'.
Using gorilla glue, attach the wall panel to plywood.
Make a trim. Cut 1x2s to length. Attach them to the plywood board and plastic sheet using wood glue and a brad nailer. Use wood filler to hide the cracks (if you have any haha) and to cover holes from brad nails. Sand it all smoothly.
Make shelves for one side. This step is completely optional. My sister wanted to have clear acrylic containers on one side so I made her 6 shelves. I used ½" plywood that would fit perfectly to the shelf sections of the TROFAST storage unit. Dimensions of the shelves are 17x11 ¾".
TIP: Always buy an extra wood so you don't have to run to the store if you mess one plank up ;D
Paint the table and trim. First, I covered the whole area with a primer, and only after that painted with color.
Attach tabletop to the TROFAST storage units. I used 1 ¼" screws and they were a perfect length for this project.
In the end, we used caulk to hide all imperfections on the sides of a tabletop 😉
This DIY LEGO table is such a fun, easy IKEA hack! I'm pretty positive any kid in your life will absolutely love to have it! So what are you waiting for? Go and make something!
What do you think about this LEGO table? Leave me a comment below 🙂
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