Most of the time when I see something that I feel I can build I tend to have the attitude that I don’t need to buy it for “that much” when I can make it for less. I say it and then never get to the project. So maybe it’s worth the purchase. But once in a while I find a project I’m willing to do.
My baby is 7 months old and has been using anything he can cling to stand up. The only time I have noticed I don’t need to be watching him intensely is when we are in the children section of the book store or the toy store where they have their own kid table with trains on them. I love watching him observe and play with the trains and thought that would be a great gift for him this year.
When I checked out the prices for these tables they were above my price range (My budget for him was to be dispersed between the kid play table and backyard fun for him). The tables ranged from $100 to $200.
So this is a project I was willing to do. Plus I knew I would be proud that I made it and saved money as well.
It took me less than a day to complete. Most of my time went into bringing all the supplies together and figuring out what I was going to do.
STEP ONE: Shopping for supplies
*Helpful Tip #1: IKEA has a back corner near check out loaded with discounted furniture that was used on display or returned. This is great if you are putting your own design together and needing separate pieces.
We found a black wooden board marked at $10.89 and a night stand for $3. There was hardly any damage and it was perfect for the Kid Train Table design.
Next we purchased green felt to cover the table top and give the design of grass. With the Michael’s Coupon it totaled $13.50
*Helpful Tip #2: Download the Michael’s Store app. They are constantly offering great deal and discounts. Check their app or site for coupons and updates.
STEP TWO: Measuring and Assembling
I first measured each side to find the center. First on the board and next on the night stand. I used a chalk for easy markings and clean up. Just wipe down with a damp cloth after assembling.
Before placing the top board onto the nightstand cover the top of the nightstand with wood glue to secure a tight hold. Then, screw the center point of both board and nightstand together to keep them in place. Continue with each corner. Make sure you give yourself an inch inside your measurement points to insure the screw don’t slip out the sides and miss the nightstand.
STEP THREE: Cut and Glue your Felt (Grass)
Measure your felt to fit the table. Mine was a little small for the board so I measured, marked and cut the felt into a perfect square. Next, I measured the board and centered the felt. Glued it and set to dry. I measure 2 and a half inches thick the border and glued it around what remained of the board,
Another idea for the board cover is contact paper. Instead of gluing you and pull off the back sheet and stick your design on the board like a giant sticker.
STEP FOUR: Cut out Boarders
This is great to help keep the train set from slipping off when baby starts to play with it. Cut each corner, after properly measuring it to the table, at a 45 degree cut. Paint and let dry. I wanted to go with the more earthy look and painted them brown. As he gets older we’ll add some trees and more details. But for now just a simple look.
Set to dry. Glue each corner together and leave to dry. Carefully set the frame around the table and hammer nails into the sides (or if you have a nail gun), 3 per side worked nicely for me.
STEP FIVE: Set up and Play
I found a great train set from IKEA for $9.99. Wooden 20-Piece basic train set and wooden blocks from //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=parrishute-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B00LX9BNRG&asins=B00LX9BNRG&linkId=6d4d23b35682d2e2e6999757dce82fc2&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>Amazon.
Baby will love practicing balance and how to stand holding onto something he can have fun with and enjoy playing with. Total for the table and supplies was just under $30.
If you have any questions or need help with an idea you may have, leave me a comment below. You’ll be proud to create something like this for your child to play with. Good Luck!