Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tutorial: Just My Size Kids Table

This table was my entry for the Hardware Store round of SYTYC. While it didn’t earn enough votes to move onto the finals, I’m still very proud of it and can’t help but think of all the other “wow factors” that could be added to it. The best part about this table is just how simple it is to build. It was built and partially painted in one evening and finished in the other.

Now I’m just dreaming of some cute chairs to go with it… Ok, focusing back in. Want to make one yourself?
Materials Needed
-1 24”x24” plywood board (yay for not needing to cut!)
-4 14" pre-fabricated legs (in the trim section at Home Depot. I used the coffee table height legs.)
-1 1x2 board
-2 4’ decorative trim pieces
-Wood glue
-Drill, hammer, saw, nail gun if you have one

Step 1—Prep Your Boards
Sand down your boards and make sure all edges are smooth.
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Step 2—Install the Legs
Measure out five inches in both directions from the corner, draw a line into the board and make a dot where the two lines intersect. Do this at each corner. This will be where you place your table legs. I liked how this spacing look, but if you want them closer to the outside or further in, feel free to put them where you want them.
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Using a drill big just slightly smaller than the screws in the legs, drill a hole just deep enough for the leg to screw into. Be careful that you don’t go all the way through your board or you’ll have to do some patching like I did!
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Check to make sure the leg will fit. If you need to use a slightly bigger bit or drill deeper, do that. Then, when the hole is just the right size, apply some wood glue to the leg and screw it in.
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Step 3—Trim
Cut your decorative trim. I didn’t buy enough to be able to miter the corners, but ended up liking the look of it anyways. Since the pieces came in 4 foot sections, and I needed two 24” pieces, it was easy and they just had to be cut in half.
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The trim around the legs takes a little more work. Measure from the outside of one leg to the next and cut two pieces at that length. These are your shorter pieces. Then cut two more boards so they overlap with the short boards.
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Apply a thin line of glue to the boards and put them on the table so they trim out the legs.
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At this point I used the nail gun to nail the trim boards to the legs and each other. You could also just use a hammer and nails, just be sure you use small finish nails.
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And don’t forget safety gear!
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Nail your trim pieces to the outside edge of your table top.
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My table top had some rough spots and there was a gap in some places between the edge and the trim, so I used wood filler to smooth things out and fill in the gaps.
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Step 4—Paint
Paint the underside, legs and outside trim. Tape off the center area where you want the checker board pattern to be.
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Paint that center area your contrasting color.
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This next step was tedious! I later realized I could have just cut out vinyl squares in the size I needed. But at the moment my plan was to draw out the grid and tape off every other individual square.
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Paint over the squares left un-taped and the entire table top. Once your paint dries, remove the tape.
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To scuff up the paint I put a worn piece of sandpaper on our electric sander and ran it over the whole table top. Scuff up the edges and legs as well and finish it off with varnish!


I love the way the yellow showed through the red squares after some sanding!

And the legs are my favorite part—after all, they are the reason I decided to build a table in the first place! After seeing this post on Mary Engelbreit’s blog, I’m feeling inspired to make some chairs to go with it! If you end up making a table yourself, I’d love to see it and feature it on here! Leave a comment or send me an email at nolanandjill {at} gmail {dot} com.

Parties I’ll be linking up with:


  1. What a cute idea! My kids would love this!

    I would LOVE if you would link up your project to our {{What I Made Wednesday}} Linky Party! We're also hosting a giveaway, so don't forget to sign up! :)

    I'm also your newest follower. We would LOVE a follow back if you love our blog too!

    Briana @ Sweet Peas & Bumblebees

  2. I love the look of it, especially the legs - makes it look like an heirloom piece. I still have a small chair I had as a child (coincidentally, it is red and yellow too).

  3. OOHHHHHH I love this and how you used vinyl to peel away. Great table and so adorable.

    Would love to invite you to link up this great project at Nothing But Country - Creative Creations link up party. It closes tonight. And we will feature projects on our blog this coming Tuesday and reopen with another party as well. Hope you will join us.


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