Before I had kids, I had this vision that they would keep all their toys in their rooms, ALLLLL the time, and I would live in a lovely tidy clean and toy free space.
Oh My Word.... how wrong was I!
Turns out as the kids grow, so does the toy collection......haha! (HELP!).
My husband recently introduced our son to Lego (basically my husband needed an excuse to start a collection under the guise of ..."it was a bargain! we'll save it for his Christmas and next birthday"... when in fact, what he actually means is: "I really wanted it for myself, but I am a grown man with adult responsibilities, but if I say it's for our beloved child, who can argue with that!"). So we now have a situation where all of the "bargain lego" arrives, he builds up every model for 'quality checking' purposes and before you know it, I'm lodging in Lego land!
Something needed to change. I wanted to take back control of my home, and my life, so I started designing a simple multifunctional piece of furniture, which looked good, hid all the toys, and could be easily (and safely) moved around.
And I came up with this! A simple Ikea hack using the classic TROFAST storage unit. It can double up as a coffee table as well as an activity/serious lego collector building station (eye roll), and you can lift the top off, turn it upside down and use it as an activity tray for the floor.
When you need more space, you can simply take the table top off and wheel the 2 storage units out the way. The options are endless! Well... I mean, there is probably a limit to the options, but who has time to work that out eh!
So here it is, your step by step guide to create your very own cr*p hider.....Sorry, I mean activity table.
Let me know what you think!
YOU WILL NEED
Sheet of 18mm ply wood (I got mine from B&Q)
Pine strip wood (I got mine from B&Q)
Fine sand paper
Ok lets make the table top.
This bit will not only hold the 2 storage units together, but can also be taken off, placed on the floor and used as an activity tray for the floor.
Cut down a sheet of ply wood large enough to cover the top of the storage units when they are pushed together back to back. Make sure you allow a good even amount of space all around, from the storage unit to the edge of the ply wood so you can add the "lip".
TIP: You can have this cut down to size if you take measurements to your local B&Q or timber yard.
TIP: If you are cutting yourself without power tools (like me) - use a saw with fine teeth as this will give a cleaner straight cut. Do not saw at an angle, but saw in a straight downwards motion above. I found it easier to lean on the wood with my knee and hand as a support and saw straight down, rather than standing to cut. Just be safe, whatever you do!
Place the ply wood on the floor with the good side (the side which you want to be the table top) facing DOWN the way.
Take out all the trays from the storage unit and lift both units onto the ply wood, upside down and back to back. Move the units around until they are centred onto the plywood and you have a good even gap all around.
Ok, this bit you need to make sure you get right.
Cut the wood too short and the table will not fit comfortably over the top of the 2 units.
Cut the wood too long and the table top will move too much and cause the storage units to move around underneath as well. What you are aiming for is precise measurements and precise cuts. No pressure! haha!
Ok let's do this..... with the units still pushed together and upside down on the ply wood, measure all around the storage units then add on whatever the thickness of the strip wood is x2 and then another 2cm for wiggle room. For example, if the storage unit length is 100cm, and your strip wood thickness is 2cm, your strip wood measurements for 2 sides will be 106cm. Repeat for all 4 sides.
Cut your strip wood to size (using the measurements you took from the above step!) and sand down any jaggy edges so you have a nice smooth edge.
Line up the stripwood all around the plywood to check all the edges will meet ok. Trim off any excess (or sand it down)
Mark up - Take a pencil and draw around the stripwood onto the ply wood. This will be your guideline for gluing the stripwood "over hangy bit". (all the technical words here! haha!)
Remove the storage units from the ply wood so you can see what you are doing. You should be left with the line you drew.
Using the line as a guide, glue down the strip wood all around using the wood glue.
TIP: I used "G" clamps to help push the wood down whilst drying, which helped ALOT, otherwise the wood would just keep popping up all the time and not stick down.
While that is drying.....Let's add the wheels!
For this I am using 2 packs of castor wheels which I got from Amazon. It is important that you buy wheels which have at least 2 breaks per storage unit to make sure when the kids are playing with the table, it doesn't move.
Build a block base for the wheels - In order to have something secure for the wheels to be screwed onto, we need to build up the corners. Cut down 18 small rectangles of scrap wood, wide enough for the wheels to be screwed on.
Make the blocks by gluing 2 pieces of scrap wood together, allow these to dry and then glue these blocks into each corner of the underneath of both storage units.
Screw all the wheels into your new corner blocks!
Sand down the whole table top and round off the edges of the table top with a fine sand paper then dust off.
Osmo it! Last step! Protect your ply from water, stains etc with Osmo. I poured some of this into a tray and used these scourer type things from amazon ........ to apply 2 coats as instructed on the tin.
And that's it!
Sit back, enjoy and celebrate that you have just made your very own, new, multifunctional piece of furniture!
An activity table, coffee table, activity tray and storage unit!