IKEA Lack Side Table becomes Lego Table with Tutorial

My almost six year old son loves Legos. Although most days, I think my husband loves Legos just as much.  Our house has Legos everywhere.  When my son was little, he was really into Thomas The Train.  He had a huge train table to play with his trains on.  My husband and I both wished there was something similar to a train table, but for Legos.

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).

lack

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.

DSC_0027

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.

DSC_0028

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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82 comments
chunkylover53
chunkylover53

I don't understand why you cut the green plates with an X-acto knife but left an overhang that had to be cut off later after the plates were glued to the table (with a laminate cutter?).  Why don't you just cut the green pieces to fit before you glue everything down?  I don't know if I'm missing something but that seems like extra work.  Otherwise, great project idea!

Doug W
Doug W

Very good idea.

However has anyone ever tried to FIX an electric Leggo train track(12volt) to a wooden base board.

I need to do it for my grandchildren.

Doug W

Lizbeth Orr
Lizbeth Orr

You're a genius!! I was going to refinish an old coffee table, but I have a few of these tables in the playroom not being used. Now to find a free weekend;)

louise lynch
louise lynch

we made our own too, we sized a piece of plywood to our play table, and glued the building plates on.. we then emptyied one side of the playtable drawer and put in 4 baskets from dollar store to hold the leggos.. then you slip the plywood on top of the table and there you go.. legos.. we also painted other side like a dino landscape and in the other side drawers we put his dino train playset.. then we can just flip the board to what he wants to play.

sherry
sherry

I want to make this and I was wondering where the cheapest place to buy lego base plates would be. Ebay wasn't cheap. Found on Amazon at OK price... Do you think there is anyplace cheaper if I want to make a bigger table and need around 10 or so? Thanks!

Kelly Russell
Kelly Russell

That was brilliant. I really would love to do something like that for my kids. And I might just try. I have done most of my Xmas shopping and wanted to buy them a Lego table , but can't afford it now. I had thrives break into my car and stole almost all my 4-6 yr olds gifts. But maybe in the future when I get the money saved up I think I might try this. Great job mom and dad. And happy holidays c

becky shaw
becky shaw

thanks! Bought a used lego table on craigs list for my sons fifth bday but it was larger legos. This will be perfect!!!

donna
donna

We are trying to make a lego table to go over the existing train table, for our 4yr old grandsons birthday (next month). Any ideas where to get plans?

Kari
Kari

Thank you so much for the step by step instructions. I am doing this project today for my 6 year old son and needed some ideas of where to start. Table looks awesome!

mandy
mandy

My sons birthday is in a few weeks and were planning on getting him a lego tabel (he'll be 7). I like your table better than any of the ones I've seen available in stores and would rather make him one. I was woundering how yours was holding up and if there was anything you would do differently now that it's been in use for a while. By the way thanks for the step by step instructions(so helpful)!

Linda Mcmahon
Linda Mcmahon

It's one of those games you don't want to miss playing over and over.

Beatrice Hardin
Beatrice Hardin

did the glue you used work super well? I did something similar for my daughter last winter, but I bought a table from goodwill ($15) that was about 2.5 times the surface area of that one.

Lori
Lori

I am totally doing this project right now for my son. He asked "Santa Clause" for a lego table for Christmas. I found and end table someone was selling on Craigslist and it was the perfect size. Got it for $10, then after measuring it ordered the baseplates. I'm in the process of priming and painting the table right now. It is drying as I am typing. Was wondering what kind of glue I should use to secure the bases. I have 5 children and this is going to get a lot of use so I need it to be secure.

Michelle
Michelle

Thanks Julie! I had the same idea and was googling baseplates (where to buy them) when I stumbled on your blog.. Does your son sit or kneel at the table.. I bought some chairs at IKEA and they work now (he's 4 but probably will not in a couple years) I am going to do something less permanent because I want to use it as a playdough/play table to, but something removeable may almost be easier to do as well.. :) Thanks for the inspiration, hopefully I will get motivated to make it a reality!! I also bought this awesome stool from IKEA that was just in kids section.. storing Lego's in it and it fits under this LACK table easily too.. can also be used to sit on and top removes easily, it's brown with a red top.. Lego's even fit in the little hole on top for super easy pickup! LOVE IT!! :)

Sandy
Sandy

Thanks so much Julie! I've been looking online for something like this already made, but have been so disappointed...and shocked at how expensive they are...luckily we have an IKEA in town...this looks so awesome! My son is going to love it! Thanks again!

Jen
Jen

Wow thanks for this! Never thought to use that table! I think Target has the same kind of Table if there isn't an ikea in your area.

Rachel
Rachel

FYI if you go to Lego.com, they have every instruction from every set! Brilliant!

Lalena
Lalena

great indeed! wish I had had a angry husband like yours ;-)

Milica
Milica

ABsolutley inspirational. If I had a tube of no more nails adhesive I'd convert my longer version of the LACK right now. Tomorrow, I am going straight to IKEA.

Jaime
Jaime

You can get any Lego building instructions from after 2002 in PDF form right off their website. Home page bottom left hand corner. It has saved our life more than once!! Love the table, thinking for a Christmas present!!!

Tania
Tania

Would these plates work with the lego duplo?

Tania
Tania

Hi what are the sizes of the plates?

Molly
Molly

Oh you're a genius! I've already got the perfect table to do this with, I'm going to have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

Samme
Samme

I did something similar for my daughter last winter, but I bought a table from goodwill ($15) that was about 2.5 times the surface area of that one. I painted half with a yard, lake and road (acrylic craft paints $1 a tube) and just glued a couple baseplates to the other side for building on. I also had trouble getting the baseplates to stick and ended up using Elmer's plastic cement.

shannon
shannon

If anyone still has an old train table laying around (we did!) you can buy very large inserts made by Nilo that fit perfectly into most train tables. Our table is a Pottery Barn one and I had to use my dremel to smooth down about 1/4" off the short edges to make them fit. The best part is they are removable. We bought 4 of them for around $70 and sometimes the kids use all 4 for large builds, or they take one or 2 out when building vehicles they want to drive. They are 2 sided, so can be reversed for Duplo if you have a younger builder. http://www.qualitytoys.com/nilo-toys-two-sided-block-building-mat.html

James
James

I am so glad I found this post. I was going to build a table for my son on his birthday b/c as you said they are so expensive. I found this post while looking for plans. FYI for other readers who may not have an IKEA store close by... They don't sell that table online. However, wallmart sells a table just like that. Its made by Mainstays. Its the Parsons End Table model for $11.88 at my store. Thanks so much for your useful info.

Betsy F.
Betsy F.

Oh, back to like 1993, you can find literally every single instructional booklet in full color!! My son is super OCD about his booklets now, but when he got his first sets he had no clue. Enter Mommy, 2 years and hundreds of dollars of legos later, he wanted the Spongebob bus put back together after he got three other new SB sets. Thank you, Lego.com! (And we're so making this table.)

Last Minute Mel
Last Minute Mel

Some one just gave us this exact table...my kids would LOVE it if I was a cool a mom as you, and did this for them...thanks for the inspiration :)

Tammy@she wears flowers
Tammy@she wears flowers

This is such a great idea! You are so smart!! I'll be linking on Thursday--please stop by! ;) she-wears-flowers.com

angryjuliemonday
angryjuliemonday moderator

@chunkylover53  It was easier to cut the base plates after they were mounted and dried because of the spacing. I indicated about making sure we used legos to hold the plates down for spacing. We didn't want to cut the plates too short because they are pricey.


It was a great project and my son still loves it today!

Crystal
Crystal

The Lego store online has the best deal going from what I found. The price was slightly higher at R' Us. I am trying this out today! Good luck to you!

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

I have not seen any official plans myself, but I bet that you could do a search online to look for the adaptation from train table to Lego table.

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

You are so very welcome! I'm glad that I could help you with a fun project!

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

The glue that I used did not hold well. We had to use some other glue, I can't remember but it was super tacky.

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

I'm a total slacker in replying to my email. I would use a STRONG tacky glue to put the base plates on. Something that would hold from all of the adding and removing of the Legos.

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

My son uses one of the chairs that we have from Pottery Barn Kids. We have their small table and chairs. Good idea about the stool.

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

I'm sure that there are many similar tables that you could use to make Lego tables...luckily, the IKEA Lack Table is cheap.

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

HAHAHA, he usually helps with my "projects" but sometimes, it takes a lot of persuading.

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

Yep, I finally found out abou the instructions on their website. And it would make a great Christmas present!

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

Absolutely! I think you would just need to measurement the sizes you need and cut them to fit.

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

The sizes are all different. My husband kinda of guess-timated. I am wary of giving the exact measurements as they might not work for everyone. He mostly eye-balled it.

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

You did a great Lego also too. And I heart Gorilla Glue....IKEA rocks!!

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