How I Built a DIY IKEA LEGO Table For Kids


Let’s talk about the easiest way to build a LEGO table that will grow with your kids.  I originally wrote this article in 2011.  At that time I built 3 of these LEGO tables as Christmas gifts for each of my three boys who were ages 6, 8 & 10.

10 years later, the LEGO tables we built are still functioning proving that this simple DIY LEGO table project will stand the test of time and grow with your kids.

Let’s start at the beginning way back in 2011…

Completed DIY LEGO Table in Room - We built a LEGO table on IKEA table for older kids and this is how we did it
Building a LEGO table is easier than you might think!

Large LEGO Table Needs

When my husband and I started looking for a LEGO building table sized for older kids, we were surprised that there wasn’t much available.   Every LEGO table we found was sized for the toddler crowd, but our boys’ LEGO bricks needed a space for storage, building and display.  

At ages 6, 8 and 10 the boys were ready for a regular height table and chairs!  They have already grown out of the basic kids LEGO tables with child-sized chairs and table height.  In fact, they viewed the smaller LEGO tables as things for “little kids” and my playroom floor was over-run by various LEGO building projects in various stages.

We decided to build our own LEGO table.

How do you make a Lego Building Table?

After doing some research, we decided modifying an IKEA table for Lego purposes would be our cheapest option.  IKEA had the best selection of inexpensive tables in different sizes and also had a wide variety of chairs and benches that could be used with the finished kids LEGO table.

At IKEA we did a lot of LEGO math!

What We Needed in a DIY LEGO Table

We wanted the largest LEGO building surface area that wouldn’t take up more space than we have in the room.   None of the tables/table tops/desks we found had exactly the right measurements to add LEGO baseplates without alteration and it was our goal to have a portion of the LEGO building surface permanent.

This is what we ended up choosing to create our LEGO tables at home:

LEGO Table DIY supplies - IKEA table top, IKEA table legs, LEGO base plates in green and blue as well as road base plates
To build our DIY LEGO table, we used IKEA table top & legs plus a variety of LEGO base plates.

DIY LEGO Table Instructions

You can see in the graphic above the supplies we used to build this full size LEGO table.  Oh, and the 2011 prices are there too just for fun!

To Build this LEGO Table, You Will Need:

  • 1 – IKEA Vika Amon Table Top {in red} – dimensions: 59″ x 29 1/2″
  • 2 – IKEA Moliden Underframe – each underframe was 2 table legs at a height of 27 1/2 inches 
  • 8 – LEGO baseplates {green}
  • 2 – LEGO baseplates {blue} 
  • 4 – LEGO road plate packages {2 pack} 

The entire project cost a little less than $200 in 2011.   We could have saved an additional $40 by choosing a cheaper leg option for the table at IKEA and an additional $20 by going with a solid color vs. road baseplates.

LEGO Base Plates

LEGO base plates can be purchased at any LEGO store or online. Since they are not as readily available as popular LEGO sets, you might not always find them in the toy aisle of your favorite big box store or toy store. You can purchase them individually in colors like green, blue, white, sand and gray.

What size are LEGO base plates?

Classic LEGO baseplates are 10″ square (25 cm) and measures 32 x 32 studs. Occasionally LEGO releases smaller or limited release baseplates that are available for a limited time.

What’s the biggest LEGO base plate?

The classic baseplate is usually the largest baseplate available for purchase outside of a LEGO set.

How Many LEGO Baseplates Do You Need for Table Top?

The IKEA table top measured 59″ x 29 1/2″ and the LEGO baseplates are 10″ square.   To cover the table completely, we purchased 18 baseplates.

Our plan was to glue down the baseplates around the edges of the LEGO table allowing flexibility of the full size base plates in the middle to be exchanged out as desired.  The middle baseplates shown here in grey and blue were left intact and not glued down.  I can say that this plan withstood the test of time and worked great over the last 10 years.  The kids did not change out the baseplates very often so if it is easier to glue everything down, I don’t think that would be an issue for play in the future.

Lego Table baseplate layout on IKEA table top included 28 pieces of baseplates - some glued down and others not glued
We only glued the outer perimeter row of LEGO baseplates allowing the inner baseplates to be exchanged during play on LEGO table.

Can You Cut LEGO Baseplates?

I had no idea how controversial it would be when I first wrote this DIY LEGO table tutorial to cut LEGO baseplates.  If you look at the comments below or find information about this set of LEGO table instructions online, there has been an outcry because we cut the outer perimeter of baseplates a size that allowed the use of full size (uncut) baseplates in the middle.  I would like to defend myself and explain why cutting LEGO baseplates for a LEGO table is actually a really good idea:

  • I only cut the baseplates that I ended up gluing permanently to the table.  It actually worked out really well that by doing so it allowed the majority of the baseplates used on the table to be intact and removable.
  • I couldn’t find a table that was scaled exactly for the 10″ square baseplates.  So, if I wanted the entire table to be covered with studs for LEGO building, I was either going to have to build my own table (no thanks) or cut LEGO baseplates.
  • LEGO baseplates are easy to cut with a circular saw and the cut edge is not sharp which makes it ultimately flexible to create the exact size studded surface you want for your DIY LEGO table!
  • I had a friend who decided not to cut the baseplates but followed these same instructions for making her LEGO table.  She glued all the base plates starting in the center of the table so a consistent band of non-studded space surrounded her baseplate center.  It worked for her, but she did have a band around the entire studded surface that was not LEGO building surfaced.

How do you glue LEGO plates to a table?

We found the best way to attach LEGO plates to a table top was with Elmer’s Glue. Use enough so that the entire back of the baseplate is covered, but doesn’t squish out when applied to the table. Let it dry completely before play.

The Best Place to Buy LEGO base plates?

The largest selection is through LEGO.com. You may have luck finding used baseplates, but probably not in bulk or all the same color.

Steps to Building this DIY LEGO Table

This article contains affiliate links.

Step 1 – DIY LEGO Table

Lay out the baseplates on the table top and determine the size you need for the outer border of baseplates in order to create a glued perimeter of cut baseplates to corral the inner full size baseplates.  You can use a marker on the back of the baseplate to keep track of what needs to be cut and label where on the table that piece will be glued because that portion will not show in the final LEGO table.

For our table with the dimensions: 59″ x 29 1/2″:

  • The green baseplates that ran along the long sides of the table were cut to a depth of 14 studs.  This involved cutting 5 plates into ten 14 stud pieces.
  • The green baseplates that ran along the shorter sides on each end of the table were cut to a width of 13 studs.  This involved cutting 2 plates into four 13 stud pieces.  
  • The green baseplates that sat in the four corners of the table were cut from one baseplate into four 13 x 14 stud corners.
Lego table cutting baseplates

Step 2 – DIY LEGO Table

OK, now that we have the table laid out and the green LEGO baseplates marked on the underside, we used a circular table saw to cut the baseplates with a fine tooth blade.

Once the baseplate was cut, I gently sanded the cut edge with sandpaper.

Step 3 – DIY LEGO Table

Next, lay out all the LEGO baseplates on the LEGO table how you want them to be arranged when finished.  I always faced the cut edge on the outside edge of the table which will keep the gaps between baseplates consistent so LEGO bricks can be applied across gaps.

In fact, this is really one of the most important steps.  You have to make sure that the adjacent baseplates are positioned so that kids can create buildings across different baseplates. 

To easily accomplish this goal, once you have the baseplates in desired arrangement, place bricks across each gap connecting all the baseplates into one moveable piece the size of the table top.  These bricks straddling each baseplate connection is key to getting a functional studded play base.

DIY Lego Table step for gluing using blocks for spacers to make sure studded baseplates are functional for play
There is a little gap needed between LEGO table baseplates to allow kids to build across the transitions between surfaces.

Step 4 – DIY LEGO Table

Once the entire layout was one unit, we lifted up the green border pieces around the perimeter slightly and squirted Elmer’s glue underneath making sure it was liberally covering the area.

We placed books on top of the glued border until dry.  Once it was dry, the interior plates could be removed and rearranged as desired for play.

What Glue is Best for Making a LEGO Table?

I tried multiple types of glue over the three LEGO tables I built and the numerous LEGO tables friends, family and readers have built and if you are gluing baseplates onto a finished surface like an IKEA table, hands down the glue that held the most consistently was just regular old Elmer’s glue!  

This is good because every once in awhile during play, you may find a glued baseplate piece pops off and it is easy to repair it quickly with glue you already have on hand.

DIY LEGO table - Lego Table border of glued baseplates allowing the empty area shown in middle to be used with full sized baseplates for play
When the glue dried, this is what our glued border of baseplates looked like on our homemade LEGO table!

Finished DIY LEGO Table for Kids

I can say without reservation that this was one of my most successful DIY projects…ever!  This was the first one I built and then I did two more.  Nearly every family whose children came to play ended up making a variation of this LEGO table for their own home.

The reason is simple.  It is an easy LEGO table to make and it grows with kids as they grow, but still love to build LEGOs.

DIY LEGO Table finished and shown with bench seat in play room
Our DIY LEGO table is finished and ready to build LEGOs now!

Over the years, I found some clear plastic bins with lids that fit really well in the space under the LEGO table and we used those to store LEGO bricks and LEGO sets with instructions.  There were times when all three LEGO tables were pushed up next to each other for a massive building surface in our playroom and there were times when each boy had their own LEGO table in their room.

Do you need chairs for a LEGO table?

You do not need chairs for a LEGO table at table height.  They are just too restrictive and take up space that kids want to use for moving around while building.  I think that chairs at a LEGO table is a toddler thing because it just makes adults feel better about it being a table they are spending money on!  But I would say even the toddler LEGO table we had when the boys were younger, they rarely used the chairs.

LEGO Desk FAQ

Does IKEA have a LEGO table?

IKEA does not have a LEGO table at this time. The closest they have is a Bygglek box set which are LEGO storage boxes with LEGO plate tops for building. IKEA does have a lot of variety of table tops in different sizes that are appropriate to be used like we did to make your own LEGO table the size and shape you desire.

How do you stick LEGO base plates to wood?

We tried many different ways to stick LEGO base plates to wood or other solid surface table tops like the IKEA table top used and the best solution was the simplest, Elmer’s Glue! Yep, after testing several different types of glue, we found that the Elmer’s Glue worked really well and held the base plates onto the table surface for years. When they did pop off several years into the use, I just simply added a little additional glue under the wayward base plate and held it in place until the glue dried enough to keep it in place and then had the kids avoid playing on the LEGO table for a few hours.

LEGO Base Plates (What are they? Do they come in different colors and sizes?)

LEGO base plates can be purchased at any LEGO store or online. Since they are not as readily available as popular LEGO sets, you might not always find them in the toy aisle of your favorite big box store or toy store. You can purchase them individually in colors like green, blue, white, sand and gray.

What size are LEGO base plates?

Classic LEGO baseplates are 10″ square (25 cm) and measures 32 x 32 studs. Occasionally LEGO releases smaller or limited release baseplates that are available for a limited time.

What’s the biggest LEGO base plate?

The classic baseplate is usually the largest baseplate available for purchase outside of a LEGO set.

How do you attach LEGO plates to a table?

We found the best way to attach LEGO plates to a table top was with Elmer’s Glue. Use enough so that the entire back of the baseplate is covered, but doesn’t squish out when applied to the table. Let it dry completely before play.

The Best Place to Buy LEGO base plates?

The largest selection is through LEGO.com. You may have luck finding used baseplates, but probably not in bulk or all the same color.

Prep Time
1 hour

Active Time
2 hours

Total Time
3 hours

Difficulty
Medium

Estimated Cost
$200

Materials

  • 1 – IKEA Table Top
  • 4 – IKEA Table Legs
  • 8 – green LEGO baseplates
  • 2 – blue LEGO baseplates
  • 4 – road plate packages of LEGO baseplates

Tools

  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Sharpie
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw with fine tooth blade
  • Sand paper

Instructions

  1. Lay out the baseplates to determine the most efficient use of baseplates.
  2. Mark any cuts you are going to make on the back of the baseplate with Sharpie.
  3. Using a circular saw, cut the baseplates as needed.
  4. Sand the cut edge of the baseplate with sandpaper.
  5. Arrange baseplates on table in desired configuration and attach LEGO bricks that span the gaps between all baseplates for proper placement.
  6. Lift solid unit of baseplates you just made and glue underneath the ones you want secure to table (reattach the LEGO blocks if they fall off during that process).
  7. Let glue dry then remove LEGO blocks between baseplates.

Notes

I created a perimeter of glued baseplate pieces that allowed for full-size pieces to fit in the middle. Those I did not glue so the kids could exchange the type of baseplates during play. The outside glued pieces kept them in place.

Building LEGO towns on the LEGO table

After the appearance of the first LEGO table, our boys built for days.

The roads were rearranged to create a main city street.

Lego Table in use

This street will eventually need a bypass because the traffic is TERRIBLE!

Lego Table traffic jam

This style of DIY LEGO table has been a big hit. Since its appearance in the playroom, it has been used almost every waking hour for literally years and years.

Good LEGO Tables for Younger Kids

If you have younger kids, I recommend a LEGO table that fits the standard size LEGO bricks instead of the larger brick size especially if there are older kids in the house.  Those toddler brick size bricks quickly become “baby toys” for preschool builders who become very coordinated with the smaller bricks.

When it comes to choosing a LEGO table for younger kids, storage is key.  You need deep storage you can dump bricks into for clean up quickly.  As the kids get older, they will accumulate more and more bricks, but when they are little they will have a more manageable number!  Here are some LEGO tables I like for younger kids:

  • KidKraft 2-in-1 Activity Table with LEGO base and large storage area – it is likely you will never use this for anything other than LEGO bricks, but I like the ability to reach around any side of the table for building purposes and the storage is big!
  • Utex 2 in 1 Kids Construction Play Table with Storage Drawers – this is a nice looking table that is super functional although those storage drawers will fill up quickly.  If you want the version with the chairs (you don’t need the chairs!), you can see that here.
  • The GOLOHO Large 2 in 1 Kids Activity Table with Storage is probably my favorite because it is adjustable for the height of the table all the way up to 22.5″ which gives you a little more flexibility for growing LEGO builders.  The LEGO table we built above is standard table height at 28 inches for comparison.

I still can’t find a full size regular table height LEGO table for sale anywhere.  Which seems super weird over 10 years after we built these DIY LEGO tables.  This product which is a tower of baseplates for building and storage is about the tallest thing I have seen.  

It just confirms that I was right not to wait around for someone to make what we needed for our kids and simply make the LEGO tables ourselves!

More LEGO ideas from Kids Activities Blog

Please tell me about your LEGO table experience in the comments below.  And if you want to yell at me for cutting up LEGO baseplates…I can handle it!





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