I am not a DIY person, but my kid’s love for LEGO led me to this project. We had a well-loved Melissa and Doug train table since they were little. It hasn’t been used in a long time and they were so excited about the idea of converting it into a LEGO table. Here are my instructions on how to make a DIY LEGO Table.
Here is what you will need:
- measuring tape
- pencil/ paper
- marker board or MDF cut to size
- spray adhesive
- LEGO base plates
- clear packing tape
- rolling pin
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You will need to have a piece of marker board or MDF cut to fit on top of your table. This will allow you to easily convert the table back to a train/ activity table if you want to.
You want to measure your table keeping in mind that the board is going to be set inside. At Lowes, we picked up a piece of marker board and they kindly cut it to size for us.
MDF is a strong, thick type of plastic sheet. It is strong enough for it to stand alone inside of the table. Marker board is much more thin and the surface is really shiny. Since I was placing my board right on top of the green table that was already there, I didn’t need it to be very thick. The man at Lowe’s gave me a piece that was damaged so he only charged me $7. The damage part got cut off so it didn’t affect the project at all.
Back at home, I set the board into the train table and gave it a good clean.
Next you will have to do some math to determine how many base plates you will need. They come in two sizes: 10 by 10 inch squares and 15 by 15 inch squares. The 10 inch squares cost $5.99 at Target and come in blue, green and white. The 15 inch squares cost $11.99 and only come in grey. You will have to take your table measurement and figure out which size base plates you need to cover the most of your table. They can also be cut with regular household scissors.
My table measured 48 inches by 32 inches so I needed 6 of the 15 inch base plates. I was fine with having a small gap down each size. If you want your entire table covered, you will have to do some trimming.
Now that you have everything you need, you will want to lay out the base plates on the table. This is the most important part… You can’t just glue the base plates on the table so that they are flush with each other. Using Lego pieces, hook each base plate together. You will notice that there is a tiny gap. Without that gap there, the LEGO pieces won’t fit together and you will have a frustrated kid. The more Lego supports you have the better.
Next you will want to reinforce those edges with clear packing tape. The reason you are doing this is because you are going to have to flip the whole thing like a pancake. This is the most challenging part of the project. I tried it will the kids and it completely fell apart and I had to start over. I even tried duct tape, but clear tape is better because you will be able to see if any of the LEGOs popped out of position.
Once it was flipped over, we placed it on a tarp so that we could spray the adhesive glue on the table as well as the bottom of the base plates. Be sure to read the instructions on the back of the glue bottle. Most want your surface to be a little tacky when you place the base plates back on.
When you flip the base plates back onto the table, keep in mind that you are really only going to have one shot to get it right. It will be so super sticky, that only minor adjustments are possible. I had made a pencil outline to help me with the placement since I wasn’t going to take up the whole table. Once placed, quickly check to be sure none of your LEGO pieces popped out of position.
Use a rolling pin to push the base plates down on the table and secure them in place.
The hardest bit is waiting for it to dry. The kids wanted to try it out right away but you should give the adhesive a couple of hours to dry first. The boys want to design a huge city scene. Lizzie was happy to discover that her Duplos also fit on the table.
I hope this was a helpful guide on how to make a DIY Lego table. It really isn’t complicated and you can make them out of anything. Take a peek on Pinterest, because they have a lot of unique ideas. Many people make them out of cheap IKEA tables. If you don’t have an old train table, search on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or a local yard sale site. Happy building!
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