I admit sometimes I feel like the evil Lord Business (from The Lego Movie) and want to Kragle (or Crazy Glue) all my kids’ Lego sets together. Not only is it annoying to have pieces ALL OVER the house, but it seems like such a waste for Santa to spend $200 on a Lego train set, only to have it taken apart and used for spare parts. It drives me nuts! I made my then 5-year-old son swear he was going to leave the train set completely intact after we spent a week assembling it at the dining room table. He left the trains alone for a while, but the tracks were a mess from day 1. I guess I did break into Lord Business mode, at least a bit, because I decided to glue the tracks down to this. (I mentioned it on Facebook a while back…)
Luckily for me I’m kind of a hoarder. Hubby and I saw these Ikea desk/table tops on clearance for about $5 a few years back and I talked him into buying 2 small ones and 2 big ones. I can’t even remember if I had a plan for them because that was so long ago. Three of them have sat still wrapped in my garage since then, but one of the small ones gets used all the time for random things. It is currently serving as an island top in our makeshift kitchen. (The demo is still going on, by the way. I’ll update you when I’m finished-ish.) Ikea still sells the large LINNMON for $45, but under a different article number. They are very similar to the GALANT table tops, which are $40.
The Lego train set was a huge hit for a couple of playdates and all the friends had fun taking turns with the remote control. But eventually my son still managed to take the train cars apart. Grhhh! And of course now he’s pissed it doesn’t work. Go figure, kid!
One of our other big Lego problems is that my son likes to spread his building pieces out all over the floor. He would never be able to function if I organized his pieces by color, which is such a bummer because I love the look of Jen’s beautifully organized Ikea TROFAST Lego storage over at IHeart Organizing.
My son would do much better with this type of set up… Actually he would L.O.V.E. this Lego table! And so would I because it would keep all the pieces contained! But I can’t really think of a place for such a big table right now. Maybe eventually in the basement, but for now I don’t want the Lego collection down there because I’m afraid the pieces will be thrown all over the room, especially when they have friends over.So the next best thing I could think of was to give him a place to spread out his Lego pieces that WAS NOT the floor. Bonus = it takes up no room + can be hidden out of sight! Win-win!!
How to Make an Under the Couch Lego Storage Drawer:
I used only supplies I had on hand and finished the entire thing while watching TV the other night. OMG it is so nice to actually complete a project for once!! I used one of the smaller Ikea LINNMON table tops (they’re still only $5.99!) that I’ve had stored away in my garage for years. The two shorter pieces of wood were scrap I had lying around and the longer pieces are craft boards I bought to use as trim under the staircase, but hadn’t got around to using yet. I ended up using a bigger thing of Liquid Nails (that I also already had) because that one was completely dried out (who knows how long I’ve had it). The sample paint from Lowe’s was also used on the Lego coffee table and I took the drawer handle off an old cabinet door I just used as a shelf in the garage.
- Cut wood pieces to length, which will totally depend on what base you use and the thickness of the wood. I cut two pieces of 1×5 (really 3/4″ x 4.5″) to 23 5/8″ and two pieces of 1/4″x 4.5″ craft board to 40 7/8″ (the 39 3/8 length of the LINNMON + 2x 3/4″ thickness of the two pieces of wood on the ends). I chose these heights because they were the tallest heights that would fit under my couch. I had to use craft board on the sides because there was not enough clearance for a 3/4″ thick piece of wood.
- Drill holes for the drawer handle
- Paint the INSIDE of each piece of wood. They were dry enough to attach to the base after about 10 minutes.
- Glue and nail to the LINNMON. (I used my pneumatic nailer and it’s times like these that I wish I had a Ryobi Airstrike so I wouldn’t have to lug the air compressor around everywhere I go.)
- Attach the feet (wheels, felt pads or furniture glides)
- Paint the outside
- Attach the handle
- Slide that bad boy under your couch!
My son was super excited to see it finished when he woke up! And because he is maturing now that he’s 6, he decided he wanted to use the Lego drawer for projects he’s already built, you know, instead of taking them apart two seconds after they’re built. Good man! So I let him have his way.…for a few days. But after picking Lego pieces up from the floor for the millionth time, I moved these builds over by the window and dumped (some of) his random pieces in the Lego drawer.
Please excuse my wrinkly couch and unfinished half wall. Our family room renovations are STILL ongoing. And I have no one to blame but myself. 🙂
I have seen other versions of this online, so let me point out a few differences with mine, like it doesn’t have wheels. Wheels are super cool, but I just did not have the height to spare. I used felt pads because the “drawer” will be sliding over tile. (Read the posts on how I installed the herringbone patterned floor tile HERE and HERE.) I ended up going to Lowe’s and purchasing these furniture glides, just to raise it off the floor a little more. The painted wood sides weren’t far enough off the tile.
My version does not have any divided sections or glued down base plates. The coffee table already has Lego base plates, but don’t worry the top does flip over to reveal a non-Lego side, we just don’t ever seem to have that side up. I didn’t add sections, because I told you my son is not into sorting his Lego pieces. This picture shows a failed attempt at sorting. He ends up not using the pieces that are organized, even if I do it by type and not color. He likes to build with whatever is in front of him. I can easily add sections later, or simply stick a few of these Ikea GLIS boxes to the drawer.
I’m not sure how hefty other versions are, but because this storage drawer was made with an Ikea LINNMON table top it is strong enough for my son to stand in or walk through. You might think that is a silly consideration, but it really comes in handy for us because the storage drawer pulls out right in front of the step-down into the family room. (Post on how I built the step HERE.) But he doesn’t have to pull the drawer all the way out to have fun. He can play with or clean up his Lego pieces without having to pull the drawer out all the way. Oh, and another bonus of using the LINNMON is that I didn’t have to paint the base, or seal it, or wait for it to dry. Love it! This was such an easy little project I think I’m going to build something similar under Lulu’s bed. We’re in the process of swapping out her beds. I gave up on the trundle bed, but haven’t painted her “new” bed yet. It’s the same twin bed Smart Jr used before she go upgraded to a full, and I remember there being like zero clearance underneath it. I guess not zero, because this type of drawer will definitely work. Do you hear that??? It’s Ikea calling!