Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DIY Train Table

Do you have a kid who would love a train table for Christmas? (Let me re-phrase that, who doesn't have a kid who would love a train table for Christmas?!)

Last year my little girl really wanted a train table.
My husband I spent a fair amount of time shopping around and pricing things out to see if we could make her wildest dreams come true, but it soon became apparent to me that my husband was appalled at the options for the actual table. "$150 for that flimsy thing?" he kept saying.

Out came the paper and pencil and off to Home Depot he went. He soon figured he could make a bigger, better, stronger table for only about $40 rather than the $100-$200 we saw everywhere else.

Here's our finished product:

DIY: $40
BUY ONE: $100- $200

So, if you have the tools and the inclination to build a train table this year, here is the know-how:

Step 1. Build a frame. My husband used 2x2s for the frame. The inside dimensions were 36" x 48".

Step 2. Attach either 1/4" or 1/2" ply wood to the frame to serve as the table top.

Step 3. Use 1x6s as an edge around the whole thing, leaving a lip around the table top (see images below).

Here is a view from the bottom of the table.

And here is a view from the top of the table. You can see where he screwed the top onto the frame.

Here is a view of the table top with the lip around the edge.

Step 4. Attach legs using 2x2s.

Step 5. Stain the whole thing.

Step 6. Put your trains on top. Not much of a train table without them. :)

Step 7. Feel the satisfaction of seeing your kids LOVE the Christmas gift Santa brought for them and of knowing it won't break when they immediately climb on top of it. :) Good Christmas indeed!

Now get to work! :)

Hoping your holiday gift-giving is fun and successful,

Here's where we are linking up.


  1. This is great. I have thought the same thing your husband did when looking at the tables in the stores. Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. That is such a great idea! Thanks for taking the time to post this.

  3. I'm wanting to make the same thing for Christmas. How big did you make it?

  4. I'm also wondering the dimensions, mostly length and width... Great idea!

  5. Hi Shannon and Crystal,
    The dimensions of the train table (the inside area) are 36 inches by 48 inches. Hope that helps!!

  6. Where did you get the train set?

    1. Hi Josie, It was a few years ago, so I don't remember exactly. I know that we bought Thomas Trains but the track was a different brand (maybe Brio??). I think it might have been Happy Hen (it's one of our favorite toy sites)


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