Monday, February 11, 2013

The Super Secret Project: The Day the Glue Gun Let Me Down

And now, at last, I reveal the super secret project that I actually already mentioned, back when I posted about August and Milo's room. It's also a really simple project, both in theory and in execution, so I hope no one feels too let down by all my "super secret" build up.

I came across the idea to make a lego table out of Ikea Trofast shelves awhile back on SunScholars blog:

Pretty cool, isn't it? I loved the way it looked and the idea of the built in storage. But I wanted something a little smaller for Milo and Gus' room, so I decided to make theirs out of just one Trofast shelf, instead of two attached together. 

We picked up the shelf and bins (I wanted all green, but they didn't have green for the bottom ones, so we went with white instead) at Ikea last Sunday. Then I looked around online to find the best combination of baseplates. The best deal and the best fit for the single shelf was 2 of the extra large gray plates. Each one measures 15 by 15 inches, and the shelf is around 17 by 36, I believe, so two of them would fit nicely with just a few extra inches. 

I waited for the baseplates to get here from Amazon. They came in a ridiculously big box:

...packed in a million inflatable bag things that the kids have been having much fun with:

Then I sat down to start assembling the shelf:

I got about this far:

...before Abe decided he was all done with his fun butterfly mat. Then Milo held him for awhile and bought me another 3 minutes or so:

Then Dave came home and I finally finished putting it all together. Trofast shelves are relatively easy to assemble, as far as Ikea stuff goes. 

Next I broke out the glue gun to attach the baseplates to the shelf. First I attached them to each other with legos, to make sure they'd line up correctly once they were on the shelf, as per the suggestion of Sun Scholars:

There was a lot of area to cover, and I had to put a new glue stick in the glue gun halfway through, but I went as fast I could, got a bunch of glue on there, turned them over and pushed down, and....they didn't really stick at all. Yeah. I'm not sure if the glue had too much time to dry before I could get it turned over or what, but, at any rate, glue gun fail.

Dave suggested liquid nails. But our liquid nails container said it was no good for plastic.

So, finally, I went with heavy duty double sided tape. This is what Sun Scholars used, but she said it was because they wanted something less permanent and suggested that glue would probably be better if that wasn't a concern. Or maybe not, it turns out. I'm sure there's some kind of glue like substance that would work, but going with double sided tape seemed easier than hunting said substance down.

So the next day Dave picked some up at Target and, after a lot of time spent picking dried glue off the plates with my fingers, I gave it another shot.

That was the whole roll of tape. It costs $4 a roll and doesn't go very far. But far enough, it seems. So far it's holding up very well. 

Then we hauled the finished project up to Milo and Gus' room and turned them loose to rehome the legos and start playing. They have some sort of elaborate organization system in mind, so the transfer from the old bin is still a work in progress, but they've been having fun.

I moved that shelf that used to be against the mural wall over to under the window, where the bin of legos used to be. I wanted the lego table this way so that a kid could be on either side of it. Within an hour, it looked like this:

So there you have it. An easy lego table and, I'm hoping, a way to keep legos where they belong instead of all over the floor and under the bed.

Not the thriftiest project in the world (the Trofast shelf is $69. The bins are $4 for the big ones and $3 for the smaller ones. Base plates were around $15 each), but it saved us some money over buying a pre-made one and we were able to get it exactly how we wanted as far as size and amount of storage space.

Linking with:

Classy Clutter's Spotlight Saturday
Under the Table and Dreaming's Sunday Showcase Party
Tuesdays Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
TwelveOEight's Pretty Things Party
Tutorials and Tips at Home Stories A to Z
From Dream to Reality at the DIY Dreamer
Tutorials, Tips, and Tidbits at Stone Gable Blog
Hookin' Up With House of Hepworths
Somewhat Simple
The Inspiration Gallery Link Party
Chic on a Shoestring's Flaunt It Friday
The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday
Tatertots and Jello's Weekend Wrap-up Party


  1. That is a really fun project! Also, the pictures of your boys KILL me. So sweet and handsome.

  2. Love it! Looks great and what a fun way to keep all those pieces in order. I will have to keep this in mind for when Little Pilot gets a little older and into Legos.

  3. This is fantastic!!! What a wonderful way for them to have a fun spot to create! Your pic of the two of your boys is adorable!

  4. Oh yes. I will show this to Andy and you will start a fire under him that will not be quenched until we have one of these of our own, even though Weston's still a little young for Legos. Andy has been trying to get me to let him start hoarding Legos since - I am NOT exaggerating - I was pregnant with Weston. :) Love this idea!

    1. ha! I recommend you enjoy this time where you don't step on legos everywhere you go for as long as you can ;). We got most of our legos as a bit mixed lot on ebay a few years ago, btw....a lot of people sell them by the pound on there.

  5. I love it! Lego Tables are the bee's knees. You're the coolest mom :)

  6. I love how your kids' rooms look nice, but also look like so much FUN and are so functional for kids. All of your projects for their rooms are so great, because they look nice but are mostly about making their rooms better/more fun for THEM.

    Gretchen for the win.

    1. Aw, thanks so much--that is a lovely compliment :). It's a tough balance to strike; it helps that my tastes are often very seven year old-ish.

  7. It looks so great and so usable. It makes me wish (again) that B was into playing with Legos after he is done assembling them the first time.I call him a single time Lego user...

    I loved the kids putting those inflatable bags to good use :) Isn't the Amazon packaging just crazy sometimes???

    1. My oldest (same age as B, I think? 11?) isn't at all interested in legos and never really has been. Probably a good thing, or I would have had to make 2 lego tables :)

  8. That is just brilliant!!!
    My son was obsessed with lego's when he was little - wish I'd known about this then!
    Amazing job -
    Visiting from Classy Clutter

  9. This is genius! Organized and functional... LOVE! Thank you for linking up to Monday Funday!

  10. What a great idea! Please share it on a terrific linky – Design D├ęcor Tuesday. See you there! ☺

  11. Another great project! I love this and I think it's a great way to store all those little legos. I really like your blog and am happy to be following you via GFC.

  12. What an awesome idea! I bet your boys just love it!!

    1. They're having a great time with it. I need to go back and take a new picture to show how the lego structures have multiplied since I first made it :).

  13. What a fantastic idea. It looks like such a great size too. Not too bulky. I might have to figure out the perfect space to put one for my boys. Right now the legos live on the kitchen table.

    1. Thanks Cerise! Yeah, it really doesn't take up much could also go against a wall to save space and just pulled out when in use so a kid could be on each side.

  14. What a great project!!! I need lego storage sooo bad for my sons room

  15. Oooh, great easy project! I want to turn the top of an old dresser into a lego table.


Like all human bloggers, I love comments! I make a valiant effort to respond to as many as I can and to hop over and check out your blog if you have one. So let me know you're here, if you have a bit of extra time on your hands :)