Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Repurposed Train Table

When Little Man was nearly two, my husband's boss graciously gifted us a set of trains and tracks that his kids had outgrown. They immediately became my Little Man's favorite toy and thus, the train obsession was born.

For Little Man's second birthday, my husband and I scoured Craigslist and found him a train table. I can't tell you how many hours Little Man has spent at that train table over the past couple of years. He has played with it daily! Every penny spent on the trains, tracks, and table was totally worth it. I dug through old photos and found a picture of the train table all set up to surprise him on his birthday!
The train table has been living in our playroom. It has never quite fit perfectly and is really too large for the room, but it was worth it because of how much and how frequently Little Man enjoyed it. However, as Little Girl has grown and we've added her toys as well, the room quickly become overly cramped.

Our first idea to give us more space in the playroom was to move the train table to Little Man's room. His room is just too small, though. We had been planning on building a slide out Lego table for under Little Man's bed, but it hit me that we could repurpose the train table to function as a train/Lego/activity table instead! We were so excited to find a way to keep his train table for him to enjoy, while still gaining much needed space in the playroom!

The process was really straightforward. Jeremy removed the top boards and center supports (they just lift out), then removed the legs from the table. Then, he reassembled the side boards. The side pieces were originally screwed into the legs, so he replaced the legs with wood blocks he cut to size.
Pro Tip: Use similar types of wood. We used wood scraps and screws we had on hand already, but because the scrap wood was harder wood than the train table was made out of, the nail gun wouldn't work properly. We knew that, but decided to just screw the wood block in from the outside and have visible screws. If this was going to be out in the open all the time, we would have bought a new piece of softer wood for this project so we could use the nail gun and avoid visible screws on the outside. But, honestly, because the train table was going to be stored under the table, the visible screws just weren't a big enough deal to warrant buying a new piece of wood.

He attached casters to the scrap wood block so that the table could roll in and out easily.
Jeremy was super sweet and remembered to take pictures along the way. I secretly think he left sawdust on the caster to add a manly touch. Haha!
Then, I painted the table to match the bed and attached a handle (found at Lowe's) for easy maneuvering. We put the top boards back in place and ta-da, done!
I feel like I should stop right here and add that Little Man's bed never ever ever looks this neat. It's ridiculously hard to make a bed with bed rails! Plus, there are usually 28,495,187 stuffed animals and blankets in his bed. Ha! 
Honestly, this was a very easy project! I'm so happy to have given the train table a new way to continue to function beautifully for Little Man! He absolutely loves it and uses it for trains, Legos, cars, puzzles, etc! Shh, don't tell him, but for his next birthday, we are going to get him some large Lego boards to use on the table. So fun!
I realize that not all train tables are built the same way, so this project may not work for them all. But, if you look, the basic frame would actually be very easy to build if you wanted to make one from scratch!

Click to see how we made the bed rails and for details on the painting!


Linking up to Savvy Southern Style and Cedar Hill Farmhouse! Check the "Link Party" button at the top for more places I link up each week and tons of inspiration!

28 comments:

  1. My little guy's train table's side are one uniform piece with its legs but I'm really loving how big and awesome yours is! I'm thinking I may just attempt building one from scratch to match!

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    1. Thank you! I really think it'd be an easy build! Send pictures if you make one--I'd love to see!

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  2. So creative! I love that it can be stored under his bed and it looks a lot prettier too, y'all did a great job!

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    1. Thanks so much! It sure is great to be able to just roll the toys under the bed!

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  3. I love this idea and you guys did a great job executing it. Kudos.

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  4. Awesome idea! I love using underbed storage space & adding wheels is genius. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty - we hope to see you again next week :)

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    1. Thanks for you kind comments and for hosting a great party!

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  5. How cool is that? I love it. Nice job.

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  6. Such a fantastic idea! I love that you can just slide it under the bed and out of the way. I have a bulky train table in the middle of our dining room and I'd love to do something like this with it. ~Amy

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    1. Thanks! It really makes for easy clean up! ;)

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  7. This is awesome, Samantha! Thanks for sharing at Think and Make Thursday. I'll be pinning, tweeting and sharing it across our social media this week.

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  8. Oh my goodness!!! I have been on my husband to do this forever! Maybe with your inspiration and instructions, I can get him to do it.

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  9. What a fantastic idea!! Love the finished product and I bet your boy does too!! Thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded!! Featuring you this week :)

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    1. Thanks! Yes, he loves it! Thanks a million for the feature!

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  10. I love this idea! Just wanted to let you know I'm featuring it at On Display Thursday this week! Congratulations and thanks for linking up!

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    1. Thank you so much for the feature!!

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  11. Great job on re-purposing!! I happily pinned! :)

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  12. I need to do this! My husband's brother gave us his boys' old table and all of the trains a few years ago. It was sooo big and our boys (1 and 3 at the time) didn't seem to play with it much. But now I think that if I put it somewhere like under my older son's bed, they would both love it, and it wouldn't be so obtrusive! Whenever we go to the library they play with the train table for a long while. Thank you for this idea. You're home is beautiful and I love the clean design.

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    1. Thanks for your kind comments! Yes, do it! Train tables can be used for so many things!

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  13. Can I ask where the bedsheets are from? They are adorable and would totally go with the color scheme in my little guy's room.

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    1. The sheets are from Target. I bought them around fall of 2013 so not sure they still have them. The quilt was Pottery Barn clearance. Hope that's helpful!

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  14. Totally brilliant idea, Samantha! Takes ups sooo much less space!
    Kendra @ www.joyinourhome.com

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  15. Featuring this on my weekend spotlight series! Projects I found via bloglovin! I found you for the Easter egg topiary, but my eyes went to this! laura {notatrophywife.com}

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