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    Side Table to Lego Table {IKEA Hack}

    Posted by  ·  July 21, 2011

    We are lucky to have Julie also known as Angry Julie guest posting today. She lives in Orange County, CA and works full-time in the legal sector taking photographs. She is married, and has a 6-year old son. When she isn’t busy taking pictures of her son, she is photographing her food. Sometimes, Julie attempts to be crafty so she can be friends with Cindy, from Skip To My Lou. Find more of her photographs and ramblings on her blog at Angry Julie Monday.

    Thomas The Train is no longer a crowd pleaser in our house. We have now become the House of Lego. My 6 year old son is acquiring Legos by the gallon and we are constantly looking for new places to put them all. We loved our precious train table that our son got for his second birthday, and we were sad when it fell apart. I started looking for something similar to build Legos on, and realized that Lego tables are pricey.

    IKEA Lack Side Table Turned Lego Table

    My husband kept coming up with the next big “brilliant” idea for a Lego table, but never followed through. He was going to build one out of wood, but had to draw up plans, cut the wood, built it, etc. While we were shopping at IKEA one day, I had an epiphany. Why don’t we use one of IKEA’s inexpensive tables and build our Lego table out of that. We chose the Lack Side Table in black. We didn’t want to build a huge Lego table because we have a small house, and Lego Baseplates can get expensive.

    Because we’ve been busy with our full-time jobs, Angry Kid, Little League, and several other projects, our Lego Table got put on hold for about a month. I politely asked (nagged) Angry Husband if we could work on the Lego Table this past weekend.

    We used the following items in our Lego Table project:

    • IKEA Lack Table
    • Lego Baseplates (1 Extra-Large Gray Lego Baseplate and 4 regular green Lego Baseplates)
    • Exacto knife
    • Level or ruler
    • Sharpie or other permanent marker
    • Spray Adhesive or Contact Cement (We used spray adhesive, not suggested, we had to fix it)
    • Painter’s tape (for temporary securing of the Lego Baseplates to the table)
    • Dremel or Laminate Cutting Tool (to trim the edges of the table)

    We started with the IKEA Lack Side Table (I have no pictures of ours, but here is the stock photo from IKEA).


    We then centered the gray Lego Baseplate in the middle of the table. This Lego Baseplate is extra-large. You could use all green Lego Baseplates, but we made the center look like a “street” and surrounded it with green Lego Baseplates for “grass”. After the centerpiece was measured out, we taped it down to the table with blue painter’s tape.

    Lego Table Tutorial

    We then took the green Lego Baseplates and placed them around the edges of the table. We temporary secured the green Baseplates to the gray Baseplate with Legos. Angry Husband then went underneath the edge of where the green Baseplate comes up to the edge of the table, and took a Sharpie to mark the area to be cut (excess Baseplate). Angry Husband then used a level as a straight edge and cut the green Baseplate on the backside (non bumpy side) with an Exacto Knife. He said that he did not cut all the way through, but scored it. He then snapped the plate to break it into two pieces.


    After each cut was made, Angry Husband placed the cut pieces of green Lego Baseplate around the edges of the table. He secured them with Legos to the gray piece. This may not seem important, but it is VERY important to the layout of this Lego table. You have to secure the pieces with Legos for proper spacing. If you butt the pieces of together and just tape them, they will not line up. Angry Husband showed me this. It is very easy to make a mistake during this part of the process. We had a box of loose Legos nearby that we used for placement.


    We left a little extra of the green Lego Baseplate hanging off the edge of the table. Angry Husband said that we needed it, just for error and placement after the glue was laid out. The excess Baseplate will be trimmed at the end of this project. After all the Baseplate has been cut and laid out, the table will look like the photograph below.

    Lego Table Tutorial

    Angry Husband then taped butcher paper around the edges of the table to project is from the glue, and well excess glue.

    Lego Table Tutorial

    We then removed the Lego Baseplates from the table (gently holding them together). We sprayed the IKEA Lack Side Table with spray adhesive. We also CAREFULLY flipped over the Lego Baseplates and sprayed the back of them with spray adhesive. We recommend you use contact cement. We had to fix some edges that did not firmly glue down.

    Lego Table Tutorial

    Lego Table Tutorial

    We left the Lego Baseplates and table sit separately for thirty minutes for the glue to set up. Angry Husband then cut up some cardboard strips to help place the Lego Baseplates onto the table. Angry Husband laid them out and we gently flipped over the Baseplates.

    Lego Table Tutorial

    Lego Table Tutorial

    We then carefully removed the cardboard strips after the Baseplates were centered onto the table. After each strip was removed, we pressed down on the Baseplate of that area. Angry Husband said that we needed something heavy to place on top of the table to hold the pieces together until the glue was firmly set. We were very tired as it was late. He grabbed the first thing he saw, a bucket of screws.

    Lego Table Tutorial

    After two days, Angry Husband removed the box of screws from the table. He also removed the blue painter’s tape that he had on the table for precautions. He then used a laminate cutter (you can use a Dremel or similar tool) to cut the excess Lego Baseplate from around the edges of the table.

    Lego Table Tutorial

    Random Trivia and Information Related to This Project:

    • The word “Baseplate” was used 28 times in this blog post.
    • I need to let my husband move Lego City Fire Departments. I went to move my son’s Lego City Fire Department for the staging and pictures for my post, and dropped it. It literally crumbled into hundreds of tiny pieces. My son would have been traumatized if he had seen the condition of it. Angry Husband had to re-build the entire Fire Department.
    • KEEP your Lego Kit instructions. You never know when you have to re-build something.

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    Leave a Comment


    1. Caryn
      Monday, September 5th, 2011
      What a great idea! Perfect for a fire station or police station.
      If it makes Angry Husband feel any better I did the same with my son's Lego Police Station and my AH had to rebuild:)
    2. Sunday, July 31st, 2011
      We made one of these a while ago from an old coffee/end table we got at a thrift store. We wanted a bottom shelf, a lip around the lego top, and wheels on it=so it is quite different but does the same job. :) We have a lego-obsessed boy 6 year old who also has 3 little brothers- so it will be getting lots of use! Here is the link:
    3. Thursday, July 28th, 2011
      Very neat - you can also look up instructions on-line at the Lego site. We discovered this when a 3-in-1 robot/car/truck needed a rehaul.
    4. Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
      very, very cool table! My son's 10 and still I wake up every morning to the sound of lego's being pawed through. Nothing is like that noise!
      Never fear! If your lego booklets get lost or destroyed (like ours usually do) If you go onto Lego's website and under customer service there is a link for building instructions there you can download the building instructions for every set. My son loves this and has used it to build sets that he doesn't own. Also you can order replacement parts.... in case your kid is anything like mine when he was 7 and felt that his mouth was a safer place for a lego suitcase is in his mouth rather than his pocket....
    5. inji
      Monday, July 25th, 2011
      thanks for posting!!
    6. Friday, July 22nd, 2011
      Love this! I'm adding this to my husband's list of projects he needs to do :) I think I'll have him do it on a piece of pressboard that can be set on top of our game table that our grandson currently has hijacked for his Legos. He could use the board on top of the table and we could just pick the whole thing up and move it when we want to use the table as intended!
    7. Thursday, July 21st, 2011
      Great idea! Thanks for sharing the instructions!
    8. Thursday, July 21st, 2011
      I have that same table in the boys' playroom! Never would have thought of this! Love it, thanks so much for sharing!
      Scissors & Spatulas
    9. Thursday, July 21st, 2011
      Great idea.. Thanks for sharing!
    10. Suzanne
      Thursday, July 21st, 2011
      Oh my gosh! This is brilliant!
    11. Sherron
      Thursday, July 21st, 2011
      I feel your pain with the set falling apart problem. I got so sick of the sets falling apart (let's face it, they aren't that sturdy most of the time) that I started to super glue the pieces together as we assembled the sets. They stayed together a lot longer and the boys were happy!
    12. Shannon P
      Thursday, July 21st, 2011
      This is so neat. My 10 year old LOVES Legos. He has the coffe table version of this table in his room now for his tv and X-Box. He saw this Lego table over my shoulder and asked how long it would take his dad to make him one. I'm in love because the tables will match AND he's almost 11 and still loving his Legos. Thanks so much for this idea!
    13. Thursday, July 21st, 2011
      Great idea!
    14. Ally
      Thursday, July 21st, 2011
      Brilliant. End result looks great, and I'm sure it will be used for hours and hours of fun. Also, genius idea using Legos to hold the pieces together during construction. I don't think I would have thought of that! Spacing is everything with Legos. Well done!
    15. Sarah Campa
      Thursday, July 21st, 2011
      Such a good idea! My son is old enough for Legos, this is a must!

      Incase someone doesn't have an IKEA by them, Walmart sells the same little end tables for $14 or a set of 2 for $24 :)
    16. Thursday, July 21st, 2011
      LOVE this idea!