Thursday, April 17, 2014

Homemade DIY LEGO Table Top for Kids

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Looking for homemade LEGO table ideas? Here's how to make your own DIY LEGO table top (that's also portable).

When I first built the light table, I knew that I wanted to make it versatile. Something that would grow with my boys and and their interests. Something perhaps with different activity table tops so it could be converted into different things besides a light table.

One of the first things I created was a double sided table top. One side has roads to drive cars on. And the other side is well, our DIY LEGO table. The one you see below. And the one you're obviously here to read about...

Since these different table tops are removable, that means our LEGO table can quickly become a portable DIY LEGO table. Wahoo, awesome, right?

The kids can take it off the table and use it on the floor. Or play with it in the sunroom. Or take it to their bedroom to play. Bonus: this homemade LEGO table top can slide right underneath their beds for storage, even with some taller creations on it. That's obviously incredibly important.

Okay enough jibber-jabber. You just want to know how to make your own LEGO Duplo building table so let's get to the tutorial.

DIY LEGO table top tutorial and instructions

DIY LEGO Table: Here's What You'll Need

First up, let's talk materials and supplies. Here's what I used to make the Lego building table:

  • 1/4" thick hardboard - The size you need will depend on how big you want to make your lego table. Ours was cut to fit on top of our light table.
  • Silhouette Cameo (completely optional, you could always skip the quotes or paint your own)
  • Vinyl (only needed if you are using a Silhouette Cameo to cut out some quotes)
DIY LEGO Duplo play table top

How to Build Your Own DIY LEGO Play Table

I arranged the LEGO table baseplates on the hardboard until I found the layout that worked best for the size of my table. Then I marked the edges with a pencil.  

Next step is to remove the Lego baseplates so you can paint the table. I gave it two generous coats of white acrylic paint. Obviously letting it dry completely in between coats and all that jazz.

The next step is to glue the baseplates to the painted table. But before you go ahead and glue anything, there's one really important thing you need to know. 

Super Important Tip: When gluing LEGO baseplates, you have to leave a small gap between the baseplates in order for Duplo or regular Lego to fit on more than one baseplate at a time. Put them too close together - or too far apart! - and you won't be able to build on two baseplates at once. 

What I did was attach two baseplates together with some Duplo while I glued the baseplates down. Doing so ensured that I had the correct spacing between baseplates.

Okay now that you know about this important tip, you can go ahead and glue the LEGO baseplates to the table. Be sure to press them down firmly. They will glue super quick!

After the baseplates were all glued down, I was unhappy with the amount of white space there was. I decided to pretty it up with some inspirational quotes cut from vinyl. I used the quotes, "Imagination will take you everywhere," by Albert Einstein and "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have," by Maya Angelou.  I made the key words (imagination, everywhere, and creativity) in bold, bright vinyl colors. This step is completely optional.

To protect the painted surface of the finished activity table, I applied a couple coats of Mod Podge. To hold everything in, kind of like Spanx.

And that's it! Now you can revel in its beauty. Or, you know, like let your kids play with it or something because your LEGO Duplo play table is now officially ready for play.

Portable DIY lego table top instructions & tutorial

Our Finished DIY LEGO Table Top

Like I mentioned earlier, this table top is removable which means sometimes we play with it on the floor. That's what's great about making a custom LEGO playing table. There's no one way to make your own lego table. You can create them however you want! You can make it a permanent table of its own or make it more portable like we did.

Homemade LEGO table with LEGO Duplo bricks

LEGO Duplo on a DIY LEGO duplo activity table top

Building with Duplo on a custom LEGO playing table top

Other times we put this LEGO Duplo activity table on top of light table in our playroom. It really depends on our mood and what the kids want to do. And I like that we have the option and flexibility to move it around. I also like that we can flip it over and play with the cars activity table that's on the other side.

Homemade DIY LEGO table

Homemade DIY LEGO table

I really love how our portable DIY LEGO table top turned out! It's one of three different table tops we made for our DIY light table. The other two are linked below.

Other DIY Kids Activity Table Ideas

DIY Road & Cars Activity Table Top