Happy New Year! I’ve missed you guys so much. 2014 ended in a whirlwind of crazy, so much so that I had to take a break from my blogging adventures. But here’s to a fantastic 2015! Life will never be calm around here, but it’s already been a great start to the new year.
You should know that I have been mentally blogging for months… mainly when I lay down in bed at night… I talk to you. I talk out a whole blog post in my mind, but sadly I have not figured out a way to get those thoughts to automatically show up on a computer screen complete with edited pictures and the whole nine yards. Things have been so hectic that I haven’t been able to accomplish (you know, start, but never finish) any DIY projects around here. Until the other day, when I decided on a whim to build a Lego coffee table. The idea has been rolling around in my head for quite a while now, but never anything I’ve sat down and planned out. Plus there’s the whole issue of me trying not to start anything new until I finish up some of the million projects around here that I haven’t finished. Well… I was lazing on the couch with hubby one night and I decided enough was enough and it was high time we had someplace to put our feet up. (Really his feet, because mine have been resting comfortably on the new chaise for the past few months, but you get the idea.) So without hesitation I asked him to run out to the freezing cold garage and bring in the chest/crate/box thing that’s been sitting out there for a year. The Lego Friends immediately made it their home.
I bought this antique crate at a flea market more than 10 years ago and I’m sure at the time I told myself I was going to make it into a coffee table, but clearly that didn’t happen right away. Clearly. I call it a crate because it has no top, but really I’m not sure what its original purpose was. But I do know that the colors are awesome and I’ve never even painted it. The only thing I’ve ever done was seal the inside with Thompson’s WaterSeal a few summers ago. That was after several years of using it as a toy box on the screened porch. You can see it in the back of this picture from 5 years ago. Look at my little rugrats. We lived on the back porch that summer.
But I never did make the crate into a coffee table… until now. The timing is perfect because the family room renovation is finally coming together. That + my need to put my feet up + the need for a place to store our ever expanding Lego collection + the need to get crap out of the garage = my new Lego coffee table. Happy new year to me!
So where did that top come from you’re wondering??? I threw that bad boy together while watching TV the other night. I thought about using pallet wood, but was too lazy to pull apart a pallet, so I bought two 8ft 1×6 boards, cut them in half and laid them on top of the crate to see how much overhang I wanted. (OMG I can’t wait to get rid of that ugly tile in my kitchen!)I trimmed the boards to length then glued and clamped them together. I even ran out and bought these giant 36″ clamps because there have been so may times I wish I had them, but we’ve never owned any that big. I do love the other Irwin clamps we have, so I shelled out the $$$ for these.It took about 2 episodes of Bones on Netflix for the glue to dry, then I bolted the pieces together. My idea was to use two pieces of 1×3 to sandwich the boards together. By running a bolt through the sandwich at each 1×6 board, I didn’t need to screw the 1×6 boards together. Does that make sense? The 1×3 would also serve as the necessary lip to fit snuggly inside the crate, so the top couldn’t be pushed off. Because my table top is going to be reversible, it is necessary to have the lip on both the top and bottom. The important thing to remember is that each bolt goes through 3 pieces of wood, and that there are 8 bolts.Next I sanded off the excess glue and used left over stain from the back porch. It’s not my favorite and I would never wast money on Sherwin Williams stain again, but I had it and I thought the “driftwood” color might work.I wasn’t happy with how it looked, so I added some paint I already had. This is a Valspar color sample called Liquid Jade.I added some brown stain to age it a bit, then I tested out what it would look like with the Lego baseplates attached. The kids were definitely on board!But the color still wasn’t right. I tried some deep turquoise acrylic paint next. Nope. I mean I loved the look, but it clashed with the crate.So the next day I snapped this picture and ran to Lowe’s and happened to find the perfect color sample sitting on the shelf — Hotel St. Francis Spirit Blue.
I also added a little white paint and some more brown stain and voila! Now for the fun part… I used Liquid Nails to glue two 15″ gray baseplates to one side of the table top. (According to the Lego store they have discontinued their current baseplates and will soon be coming out with new colors and sizes. Oddly, the only “new” baseplate I’ve seen is a 15″ gray one. Go figure.) I weighted them down over night and they were ready for play the next day.So there you have it. It feels so good to be back in the groove of things. I can’t wait to tell you all about my adventure installing the family room floor. I will say that it was totally worth it because I L.O.V.E. how it turned out!