Thursday, October 27, 2011

67 Organizing Legos: Part 2 - Creating a Table for Play

One of the Lego "situations" we had goin' on around here was the fact that Legos inevitably end up all over our home.  Bedrooms, living room, kitchen and stairs, even the bathroom sink.  Not kidding.

I thought it would be best to create a Lego play place that the boys wouldn't want to leave.  And since it's the one toy they all have in common, the new playroom is going to be very much designed to revolve around Legos.

I started to solve the Lego problem by assigning a build bucket to each boy.


But that was only the tip of the iceberg.  The next step was to give the kids a place to spend endless hours creating and building.  And to teach them that their Legos love that new happy place and that happy place only {meaning, no more Legos all over the abode}.

That said, I was on the mission to find the kids a great "build"/project table.  So, I started browsing through thrift stores to find the perfect one, and one fine Friday, Parker and I discovered this coffee table at our local Habitat ReStore.


Don't you LOVE it?  It was only $15!  What a find!


OK, so maybe you don't see the potential, but I did!

The top was a laminate {like a counter-top}, the bottom real wood.  The bottom wanted to be painted, so I listened.

I taped off the laminate...


And I selected yellow for the legs!


After two coats, I ran out of yellow.  And I didn't want to wait another day to drive twenty miles each way to get another can.  So I picked a new color.  One I had plenty of.  Rustoleum Lagoon.  So pretty and playful, a total blessing in disguise!


I removed the tape and was well on my way to a great build table for the three P's!


I then brought it inside and gave the top 4 coats of chalkboard paint.  Wait, WHAT?  You read that right, chalk board paint.  I really wanted the boys to be able to not only build on the table, but also use their imaginations and create a backdrop to their creations!


{Never mind the white rug.  It's only going to be white for a very short time; I have big plans for that soon}

I followed the directions and primed the entire table top with a piece of chalk.  Ew is right.


But it was worth it for my little babes.  Because then we drew and built and played!




The boys love that they now have a table to build on in their evolving space.  Mom loves that too!  And I especially love that it only cost me $15 and some leftover chalk paint!


A super fun thrift store before and after!


Where's the weirdest place that you have found random Legos?  Do your littles have a designated Lego land in your home? 

67 comments:

  1. I can't see the chairs you use- but if you make them over, you can use chalkboard paint on the top part of the back so you can draw their names on it. That's what I did for my babies. So cool.

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  2. Weirdest place....work. I used to bring my son up to my desk on the way to daycare so I could drop off my bags (as an aside, why do I take so many bags tomwork???). He brought some Legos in his pocket and left them on my desk so I had something to play with at work.

    I also find then in my bags for the same reason. Along with stuffed animals.

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  3. I love it! My first thought was, "paint the top with chalkboard paint!" I'm so glad you did! They will have fun on that table for many years to come!

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  4. Great table! And, yes! We have a lego play table for my little guys. Found the idea off of Pinterest, of course :)

    http://houseofwoyaks.blogspot.com/2011/09/20-lego-table.html

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  5. I always enjoy seeing befores and afters of things! This looks very easy to do!

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  6. Yesterday was my son's birthday and he scored lots of new legos. I said "Thank goodness my favorite organizing blog is doing a segment on getting a handle on these things!"

    I have found legos in my purse, the washing machine, the dog bed, the inside of the vacuum .... !

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  7. One day as I started to sew a lego leg fell out of my machine onto the fabric. Not happy...I never found the rest of the lego person and that was our dinner discussion that night. jeni

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  8. What do you use for chalk board paint? Spray paint? Thanks!

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  9. Love the idea of the chalkboard top! I have an old Ikea coffee table that would make a perfect play table for my nieces and nephews!

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  10. Adorable! We do not have any lego's yet... but I did just find out about a Lego camera! Very cute.

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  11. Beautiful makeover Jen! I love the color! Even better that your boys now have a designated play area!!!

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  12. I love play tables!! Yours is awesome! The weirdest place I have found a lego is out by the mailbox. I have 4 boys( 3 too old now) and a bazillion legos!

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  13. Love this idea, it's phenomenal!
    xoxo
    Kerri at HollyMuffin

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  14. Holy cow, Jen. I LOVE IT!! Seriously, that is such a great idea. I love the Lagoon spray paint, too. It's such a fun color. :) Can't wait to see what you do with the rug. I'm sure it will look amazing.

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  15. i have 2 boys (6 and 10) who are lego freaks! that is the one activity they can do together and not fight about it. i love your idea of the "build bucket" since i find their "in work projects" all over the house. i find legos in every nook and crany of their room. its amazing where those little buggers can hide :)

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  16. I have an 11 yr old who is a Lego maniac and has been for years. A couple of years ago we were having problems with our a.c. and the repair guy needed to thaw out the coils. When he did so, he found a piece of paper in among the coils...it was....wait for it.....a page from the building instructions for a Lego set!! haha Not actual Lego blocks per se, but I've found Legos E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E as my 3rd child, an almost 3 yr old boy is following in his big brothers footsteps and has quickly become a Lego maniac as well.

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  17. LOVE it! I was just thinking of heading over to reStore to check out their goods! The weirdest place to find a Lego? How about up my son's nose!?!?! If you ever need to know how to get a Lego out of a nose, I'm your gal!

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  18. That's a brilliant table, love the chalk board top. My kids (4 and 1 yrs) have a little ikea coffee table used for play, it's currently got some of their stickers on it, might just have to repaint it :) We are on the hunt for some bargain lego blocks at the moment, my daughter got her first little box this year, but won't dismantle what she has made (that was in February!)

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  19. I love the idea of a specific table play space. We, unfortunately don't have space for that right now in our house. But I am trying to think up a solution for that! I have found legos on the bathroom countertop, in the diaper bag, my purse, under the stove, pretty much every spot in my house! :)

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  20. Oh my-I have 3 boys, too, so the question is, "Where HAVEN'T I found legos?" They are always in the sink traps. They are always in the vents. They are always on the stairs, in pockets, in the dryer, in the couch, on the front lawn, in my purse, in the car. I have found them in suitcases and in the printer. I have removed them from *MY* bin of toiletries in *MY* bathroom and as I sit here in my office typing this, I can see 4 underneath my desk. Sigh. Life with boys!!!!

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  21. @Jenni, I just used a quart of Rustoleum chalk board paint found at Home Depot. I have used the same can for so many projects, a little bit goes a long way! :)

    And everyone else, I am giggling at all the crazy places you are finding Legos. I am SO glad I am not alone, it's always a mystery where they will end up next!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  22. Cute Jen! No legos around here yet, but you are giving me lots of ideas for when we do! (Also could use that table for our never ending pile of my little ponies...) :)

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  23. Oh PLEASE do share this gorgeous piece of furniture at my turquoise lovin' party!! ;) http://www.sweetlittlegals.com/2011/10/turquoise-lovin-10.html I love your site!

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  24. my personal favorite (NOT) is in your shoes. You never notice they are there until the day you decide to wear that one pair that never gets worn and you quickly put them on and OUCH! Lego attack. lol

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  25. ohhhh my! i LOVE this so much! thanks for sharing your awesome ideas!

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  26. I LOVE the table, so much better than those uber expensive ones at toys r us.... which yeh we caved in and bought a few years ago... It takes up sooo much space and is not that decor friendly... :( Oh well, live and learn.
    My fav is finding my little guys with their mega blocks ( legos are still to small) sticking out of their little jean back pockets. It is soooo cute.

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  27. Awesome idea! I have 3 C's and the third C is the only child left that likes to play with Legos, but he still needs a table! Thanks!

    I remember when I was a child my mother pre-heated the oven for dinner. Soon after, the smell of melting plastic wafted through the air. Mom looked into the oven to find my brother's latest Lego creation melting in her recently cleaned oven. Remember moms.... look in the oven before pre-heating! To this day I think of melting Legos when I take a peek before pre-heating.

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  28. Such a darling idea. We were just about to give the train table the boot. It has a wood top right now covered in a vinyl fabric for them to do crafts on, etc. But this would be a fun switch up. Thanks, girl.

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  29. My husband walked in one night and asked if it was a capitol offense to kill a lego policeman with a garbage disposal.

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  30. Love the table!! I have a fab little table from Ikea that we don't use anymore & it would be perfect for a make over!
    Strangest place I've found Lego? Hmmm, I think the most uncomfortable was the one in my work boot....Ouch!

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  31. We don't have kids or legos, but we do have dogs and chew toys that somehow end up under our pillows.

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  32. LOVE the idea of the chalkboard on the table top. We have a train table with lego plates on one half of the removable top but nothing on the other side! Hmmm...

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  33. My son had one in his bed and laid on it all night. The next morning he had a bruise imprint of a lego on his face.

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  34. The strangest place for a Lego was in little sister's nose. I have washed a dried a few as well!

    We did the play table but my guy is into displaying them so he table quickly filled up...think I am going to bust a move on a bookcase turned display case!

    He also has lots of little, special pieces so we have a tackle box type container that he has sorted those special pieces into. He can find them easier and also put them away when younger children are enjoying his collection.

    So excited about a series on Legos!!! When I was a child, my idea of storing legos was to just vacuum them up!

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  35. I would love a lego link party. I am right now trying different ideas on organizing them for my 6 yo.
    Craziest place for us; purse, washer, and the best up my son's nose. Not a fun trip to ER.
    I LOVE your site.

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  36. That table is awesome, I love how you made it into a kids table.


    http://cleanoutcloset.blogspot.com/2011/10/6-rules-to-clean-out-closet.html

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  37. What a great idea. Any little boy (or girl) would love to use their toys on this table. How creative!

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  38. I LOVE the table!! And the color! We built a play/craft table for our little ones too, but I like your idea of using the chalkboard paint. Love the little roads you created on it already!!

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  39. Love the chalkboard table!! My son isn't quite old enough for the smaller lego yet, but when he is I'm sure I'll be finding pieces everywhere! lol!

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  40. Love this idea! I have a play table with wooden legs and a laminate top. I painted the whole thing with a primer/paint combo and it's peeling off the top. Grrr!

    Did you have to prime before using the chalkboard paint? Have the boys ended up with chalk dust all over their sleeves (and everywhere else)?

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  41. @Mike & Kate - The chalkboard paint adhered well and I put on four or five coats without priming. I have never primed anything I have used the paint on and so far so good!

    Chalk dust, yeah a little... but they are so happy with it that it's cool with this mama!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  42. What a great little project! I love the color you put on the legs. The chalkboard paint was a great idea too.

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  43. Absolutely going to make my kiddos one of these....thanks for sharing!!!!

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  44. OMG you are sooooo inventive!!! Love it. I used to love my Lego's when I was little. Maybe one day when I have kids, I can use some of these ideas. I HEART this project!!! :)

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  45. Thanks for sharing your ideas for organizing Legos. I have two boys, and I find Legos in every nook and cranny in the house. It drives me nuts. We are in the process of making the basement into a play area, and I may incorporate some of these ideas in that space.

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  46. So cool, Jen! I love it! I'm off to find an old coffee table to paint... :)
    My boys are still too young for legos but I am considering myself warned. I remember when my brother would leave just one on the floor and I would step on it. ouch!

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  47. I love your Lego ideas. We made a Lego table for my Little Man for Christmas last year. Makes life so much easier when Lego has a spot to go!

    http://www.ordinarymom.ca/create/index.php/2011/10/our-house-boys-room-lego-table/

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  48. Love all of your projects and the colors you use. I actually just painted a side table a few weeks ago using the Lagoon color. Totally love it!

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  49. I have found Legos in my bed, on my nightstand, and on my desk (I work from home). My son has gone through several Lego phases. The most recent phase was him building "ships" out of Legos and leaving them in my bed. My favorite phase was when he built "trophies" for me to celebrate that Mom is working and trying to bring in extra income.

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  50. Love this idea! The strangest place we have found Legos is the fridge! One of my kiddos made a ketchup bottle out of Legos and thought it needed to be refrigerated! We have also found them in all the beds (including Mommy and Daddy's), as well as the kitchen and bathroom sink and the bathtub. Legos are EVERYWHERE. We have tried several different Lego play areas over the last 5 years but they still end up everywhere.

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  51. This is such a cool idea! I love your blog and hope to have a space of my own soon to decorate and organize as I please. Then maybe I can share the tips and tricks I learn along the way on my blog as you do on yours. Keep up the good inspirational work.

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  52. Hey Jen,

    I love it and we painted one of our tables with chalkboard paint last night! 2 questions though - 1)Did you wait 3 days like the directions on the paint can say before priming it with chalk and using it? 2) Did you use a brush or roller? We used a brush and there are a few streaks where it is thicker...I'm wondering what I can do to fix it.

    Thanks!!

    Melissa

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  53. @Melissa,

    I used a foam roller and I did wait the three days before priming {after multiple coats of paint}. I do find that to really get a clean table in-between uses, I do have to wash it twice with a microfiber rag and water, to really get rid of the drawings and dust, but it really has held up wonderfully!

    You may want to try to sand out some of those minor streaks and go over it one more time with the foam roller.

    xoxo!
    Jen

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  54. ahoughton765@gmail.comApril 5, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    Hello Jen,

    I just stumbled across your site while trying to find inspiration towards the building of a lego table for my kids.....and I must say that I have now found it:)
    I love the idea of turning the top of this table in to a chalkboard as it allows for expansion of creativity in the lego world. From all the sites that I have visited, your is the first one that I have seen taking this approach. Bravo!

    Andrew

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  55. Ok I know this post is from awhile back, but I just now noticed that you asked for the weirdest place people had found Legos. How bout in the contents of Baby Brother's diaper? A tiny sword, no less? Um yeah...guess we need to do a better job of keeping them off the floor!

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    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness I am cracking up over here! :)

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  56. This table is genius!

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  57. I love the table! I am planning on doing one myself but have a question. How does the chalkboard paint hold up to cleaning from crayons, food, and does play dough stick to it?

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    1. The kids have not used the table for food or play dough, as those items stay in the kitchen, however, I have scrubbed it clean numerous times with both microfiber rags and abrasive sponges and it has held up wonderfully!

      xo,
      Jen

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  58. Thank you for your 3 posts on Lego organization! We just moved into a smaller house and were talking about ways to organize our thousands of Legos that our 3 boys play with daily in such a small space. I came across your blog and love this system! Luckily we have an Ikea right by us now too. I do have one question, have your boys kept up with sorting the Legos into the proper bins?

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    Replies
    1. Hi there!

      The system has been working wonders! We love it! And it is so easy for the kids to maintain and easily find their pieces. Win win here. We still have builds and messes, but clean up is a breeze.

      xo!
      Jen

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  59. Love your blog! So many of the things you do I am doing, but you just do them "prettier!". Regarding this lego table, when I saw the link to the post I thought "Ah! I have one of those!" I re-purposed our train table to be legos. Neither kid is into Thomas anymore, so the trains got packed up, I flipped the board on top (that had the lake and greenery scenes on it) and shelf papered it. Voila! Lego table. And the nice touch is that there is a rim all around it, so the legos aren't going anywhere!

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  60. You can make your own DIY chalkboard paint .... 2T. Non sand grout, 2T. Water mix to smooth, then add 1 cup of flat (only) latex paint mix well. Paint will become thicker but 1 cup does go along ways, keep to small batches. Allow about 2 days cure time. Prime by taking a peice of chalk, rubbing it all over surface, then wipe off, ready to use. Enjoy.

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