Lego Table-a DIY Project

Hello Friends,

Our lives have been full of school activities, what with the end of the year and all. I feel like a little break though. A while back I mentioned that I wanted to share more of our project life, so here goes…and the fact that it is a Lego-centric post is gravy on the potatoes.

Projects were a part of our lives well before the girls arrived. I am still a DIY kind of guy, but my projects have shifted. As life would have it, they have gone from “my projects” (1955 Buick), to “our” projects (1920 Bungalow), to “their” projects. This last category hosts a long, ever-growing list of things that need building, modifying, or repair. Recently, we customized a table to create a Lego building/play space.

I mentioned this table in my Lego History post, but the backstory is that we bought it from the liquidation sale when they closed the Sears down the street. Formerly for product display, the table is an all-steel frame with pressed-wood inserts. It was a little beaten up, but a sanding and a fresh coat of paint cleaned it right up.

Wife and I then set about the baseplate layout. She had picked up the green plates at Target for the girls’ free play. The road plates are from my Lego building days in the eighties (big thanks to the Q nephews and nieces for taking care of them!). As I mentioned in the history post, we wanted some type of layout, without sacrificing free play space. So far, the table is a combination of sets from buildings mixed with the girls’ creations. Free building and set following in one!

You can see that the height works perfectly for these chairs we found at Costco. There is also the lower shelf for storage (you can just see our storage bricks). And the girls love it. I don’t think a day goes by where they aren’t building and playing at the table. And many days, I have to kick them off so we can make it to school.

In total, this project cost under $75. The table itself was $23, a weird price because of the liquidation sale. The green plates are $7.99 off the shelf at Target. The paint is a $15 quart of Rustoleum (plus a handful of cheap brushes). Granted, we had the road plates, and the Costco chairs, so there was a re-assignment of existing resources. If I had painted in the warmer weather, I could’ve saved time and money with spray cans. But again, the girls are at the table daily, and their friends gravitate right to it when they come over to play. I think this project has already paid for itself.

So there’s our Lego table project. I will continue to share more of my projects, so you’ll be seeing them. I just caught wind of an IKEA/Lego collboration, so there may be a better, official option soon. Anyway, let me know what you think, or share your Lego play space.

We’ll see you out there!

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That Yard Tho’…

Hello Friends,

This spring I shared the post-remodel state of our yard and the beginning of our next plans. The main focus is on a paver “pad” where we will put a playhouse for the girls.

The location is great, the size almost perfect (nothing some yard tools can’t adjust), so we’re off. My years in the bodyshop taught me that a good end result is all about the prep work. First step, excavate.

There’s the pad after excavation, first layer of weedcloth, and the initial “Paver Base 1” (all sand-like products are Sakrete brand). This was followed by more Base 1, levelling, tamping and then some “Paver Base 2”, also know as levelling sand. Then we were ready to start fitting pavers.

These nifty guys are an AZEK product that Wife found on Home Depot’s website. Made from recycled rubber, they give a little when you step on them. Hopefully it cushions the falls. Eight (8) bricks come on each base which makes alignment and gapping much easier.

The pad is boxed in by the sidewalk and the garage foundation, so we had to make some cuts. Both the bases and the bricks can be cut to size, you just need a coarse-tooth blade and some patience. When you cut rubber too fast it smokes, stinks, and burns! Nice and easy here, friends.

Edging! I almost forgot about the edging! This plastic paver edging by Edgepro was easy to work with. I used a heat gun to warm and bend the corners, and my nifty multi-tool for cutting. Hot plastic this time, so again, some patience.

After testing, edging, levelling, trimming, more levelling and installing, we got this:

Nice shadow, huh? I think you get the point, though. Wife liked the pattern I laid out. I liked that the pattern happened as I put the bricks in the bases. Seriously, I’m not even sure how to plan out this pattern. It was like a big Lego set in a way, except easier to find and fix mistakes. Next step, locking sand!

This stuff was a little funky to work with, but steady work with gentle water got it all done. Wife and the girls kept washing the bricks with water to insure the polymer did not leave a film on them. The continuous water, not aimed at the seams, helped the sand dry evenly and smoothly.

That gets us ready for the last part of this project: build the house!

To be clear, I’m just sharing our project with you all. This isn’t meant to be a tutorial on laying pavers. I collected most of the technical info for this project from the back of the product bags. The rest I found online. From there it was chipping away at each step until I got where the bag said I needed to be. All of the products for this pad were purchased through Home Depot, either online or in the store (I see you Addison and Kimball!). Home Depot did not, however, sponsor this post. But I have a long list of projects and there is plenty of opportunity! That’s a big hint, Home Depot contact me!

Alright, next update will cover the playhouse. Again, I’m not going for a tutorial, just show you our adventure.

We’ll see you out there!

Accidental Craft Outing

Hello Friends,

The girls’ and I were out-and-about this past rainy Saturday afternoon and we stumbled into a great little activity. Not that I need more reasons to dig Home Depot, but they nave a monthly craft event for the kiddos. And before I launch into the story, you should know this is not a sponsored post (but it could be Home Depot-hint, hint).

So that green blob on the plate is actually a wooden humvee model. The girls had to assemble and secure, with nails, the top half and grille piece. Of course I didn’t snap a photo of that-I was too busy aligning nails, making sure my fingers didn’t get whacked, and cheering the girls. We pick up here at step two, the paint job. You could paint your humvee any color, as long as it was green. After the paint dried it was time to hammer the wheels into place! Last came the included sticker set, which I post-poned until we got home.

We lucked out, as you are supposed to register for the craft events. Thanks to the weather the attendance was low and we were able to join the fun. And burn up a half hour doing something (sitting in front of the television came later that afternoon!). The girls thought it was great and walked away with their humvees, a certificate of completion and a lapel pin. Thanks Addison and Kimball Home Depot!

November is a special month as they have a second event coming up, an ornament craft I think. Check out the Home Depot website for details and registration information. Here’s to a monthly craft activity – hopefully your local store offers the same events!

Hey, can I tell people my girls are little makers now? Maybe makers-in-training!