A Thoughtful Place: The Many Lives of a Train Table

2.17.2011

The Many Lives of a Train Table

I must admit that the train table in our home lasted for about six months! My children much preferred to build a new set of train tracks all over the floor. And I loved that they did that. Of course that meant that we were stuck with a giant train table. I considered selling it until one day when the hubs brought in a scrap piece of wood from the garage. It was the exact size of the train table. It slipped right on top of the table so that there was no longer a deep lip around the table. {It’s really uncomfortable for kids to lean over and draw or create when the sides are higher}. Immediately my wheels started turning. The children’s playroom would now have a great art table {for free!!!}.

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So we were off to Target to pick up a vinyl cloth. We wrapped the board like a present and set it inside. I added our Ikea paper roll {highly recommend!} and our art supplies {a favorite gift to give}. Our unused train table was now an art table, play table, etc. The possibilities are endless. It has even served as a stage for many a performances.

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You can buy activity tables all over the place such as this one from Pottery Barn. But if you have an unused train table, or can find one on Craigslist, ditch the trains and think outside the box!! With a piece of wood set inside, you have  a whole new set of possibilities.  What I love most is the height of the table. When kids come over for play dates they can gather around the table and everyone is comfy. On the table they set up toys, create masterpieces, put together puzzles, and pretend to be rock stars. The once sad and neglected train table is now used every single day. Works for me!

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Our train table went from this . . . {used for all of six months until my children were over it}

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to this. . .

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So what do you think? Have you given new life to something recently?

32 comments :

  1. Love it! I have grand plans on making an old coffee table that we have into a game table with 4 different game boards but it is on a long "to do" list so not sure when I'll get to that. I love the paper roll and those adorable buckets for the pens and pencils.

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  2. Great idea! I know so many of my girlfriends bought those train tables only to find the kids preferred the floor! I know mine did.

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  3. Wonderful idea! I think you are so right about the height being perfect for kids.
    Jennifer
    www.bigdandme.com

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  4. OMG I'm so glad I caught this post. Our train table is currently sitting in the corner because my 5 year old is SO over it! This is such a fantastic idea!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Paula

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  5. Great idea Courtney! I have so many toys and things that my baby liked for all of 2 months and the shunned. Wonderful idea to repurpose things. Loving the idea of an art job!

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  6. This brings back memories and you are so clever with your cute little labels and organized stuff :)

    -Rene

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  7. My son refuses to use his train table as well. I'm so glad we decided to repurpose an old table for that use as opposed to buying the actual train table!
    I love your ideas; the table is adorable! I'll have to pass this one on to my friends who possess unused train tables.

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  8. Love this idea. I have been dying for a PB craft table for our playroom but haven't wanted to spend the money. Great idea.

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  9. I love it! Have you ever thought of maybe fixing it where one side could be painted with chalkboard or dry erase paint so the board could be flipped to use on the other side that way?! Just thinkin' outloud! - Karen

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  10. It is darling...that is such a clever solution to a big problem (I mean as in size!)! Btw, your little princess is too cute...

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  11. Aaargh! I love this! My train table lasted 6 months, too.

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  12. That's a great idea, girl. I love repurposing! You're so creative (: And how cool is that roll from Ikea?? LOVE it.

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  13. I love the stripes! My kids would love an art table.

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  14. Isn't it great to find a new purpose for something in your house?? The vinyl tablecloth is a great idea. I used to buy a couple yards of oilcloth from the fabric store and staple it to the underside of my kid's craft table....easy to wipe up messes and looked so cute too.

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  15. That is a great idea!!! We never had one of those because we don't have a playroom...but I'd love one! Great makeover!!

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  16. That looks great! I love the redo and for cheap is even better! :) We love our IKEA easel - ikea is great!

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  17. I love it!!! We recently moved our old coffee table from the living room into my sons room because we didnt have anywhere else to put it. Then I realized it would be the perfect place to put his toys (its from Ikea and has huge drawers on each end). It now houses cars on one side and legos on the other. Painting it is on my to-do list.I'm debating leaving the top clear for play area or making a cushion for bench seating.

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  18. This is a wonderful idea! It looks great and a fun space for your kids to play and create. Your daughter is adorable, Courtney.

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  19. Yes we are actually in the process of cuting down a captains bed to fit inside the closet to become the platform for a reading nook in the closet. I just ordered the cushion today and I am so excited. It is a bed my hubby made for my now grown son for his 9th birthday and now it will be used by my grandchildren to read on!! Love that,KS

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  20. Great repurposing! I really love the paper roll idea! You daughter is unbelievably cute Courtney!

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  21. Our train table has been transformed into a LEGO table. The lip keeps all the LEGOs contained and it's big enough to build some of the larger sets on as well. We keep them in containers under the table.

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  22. What a great idea! It's a perfect use for an unused train table!

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  23. I absolutely love what you have done with this train table! What a great idea.. our train table is neglected also, and recently became a zhu zhu/kung zhu table.. but I think it may be getting yet another overhaul in the not too distant future now I have this great idea!
    Thanks heaps.. http://awishfulwhimsy.blogspot.com/

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  24. So clever! I love the new table. So much fun! Great job!

    :)

    Roeshel

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  25. hi...where are your red bins on your shelf from? i'm looking for something similar for our playroom, thanks! :)

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  26. What a great idea!!! We have a train table as well that has become more of a dumping ground and hardly is used. This is a wonderful idea to repurpose the table.

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  27. I love the color paint on the wall! What is the color?

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