Playtable and Wheeled Storage Carts

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/19/2009 - 22:08
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Small children have a way of taken over your coffee table with their toys. This play table when not in use rivals the beauty of a coffee table, but is at just the right height for play, and the carts hold all the toys! Special thanks to Jen for sharing her photos with us.

33 1/2" x 49 1/2" x 15 1/2"


Shopping List

Materials List for Playtable

3 – 2×2 Boards (8′ Long, measuring dimensionally 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″)
4 - 1×2 Boards (8′ Long, measuring dimensionally 1 1/2″ x 3/4″)
1 – 4′ x 8′ 3/4″ Hardwood Plywood (for staining) or MDF (can be used if painting)

Materials List for Storage Carts

Plywood or MDF leftover from Playtable
10′ 1×12 Board (Measuring dimensionally 3/4″ x 11 1/2″)
8′ 1×12 Board (Measuring dimensionally 3/4″ x 11 1/2″)
8 Casters, at least 2 1/2″ overall, plate mounted (see photo below)

Common Materials
2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

A) 4 – 2×2 @ 14 1/4″ (Legs)
B) 2 – 1×2 @ 30 1/2″ (Side Leg Support)
C) 2 – 2×2 @ 29″ (Side Apron)
D) 2 – 1×2 @ 45″ (Front and Back Apron)
E) 5 – 2×2 @ 30 1/2″ (Tabletop supports)
F) 1 – 32″ x48″ 3/4″ MDF (for paint) or hardwood plywood (for stain)
G) 2 – 1×2 @32″ (Top Rail, Front and Back)
H) 2 – 1×2@ 49 1/2″ (Top Rail, Sides)

Storage Boxes

I) 2 – 28 1/2″ x 18″ 3/4″ MDF (for painting) or Hardwood Plywood (for staining)
J) 4 – 1×12 @ 18″ (Front and Back of Boxes)
K) 4 – 1×12 @ 30″ (Sides of Storage Boxes)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
General Instructions

Start by cutting all your boards. Use 2″ nails and glue unless otherwise directed. To increase the strength of your table you can use glue and 2″ screws. If you are using screws, predrill your screw holes before fastening. Cross nail whenever possible (meaning nail from different directions into any possible neighboring boards).


Step 1

Fasten the legs, A, to the side leg support pieces, B, as shown above. Leave a 3/4″ gap on the ends of board B, as shown above.

Step 2

If step 3 is done correctly, piece B, the side apron, will fit perfectly as shown above. Make sure you screw from the leg support piece, B, and the legs into the side aprons, C.

Step 3

Add the front and back aprons, D, as shown above in red. Make sure you screw into the front and back aprons, D, from the legs,A, and also into the side leg support piece, B, as shown above.

Step 4

Evenly space the tabletop supports, E, and screw or nail into place, as shown above.

Step 5

Step 6

Add the side rails, G, to the side, leaving a 1/2″ gap on the top. This gap will keep toys on the table. Keep the side rails flush on the ends. Also add a few nails into the apron from the side rails.

Step 7

Fasten the front and back rails, H, to the table, using the guidelines in step 7.
Storage Carts

Step 8

Fasten the front and back of the storage carts, J, to the bottom of the storage carts, I, as shown above. Leave a 2″ clearnace under the bottom of the storage cart (adjust the clearance to the height of the caster wheels).

Step 9

Cut the top of the fronts and backs of the storage carts, J, as shown above.

Step 10

Fasten the sides, K, of the storage carts to the bottom, I, and front and back pieces, J, as shown above.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill holes with wood putty and sand well. Finish as desired. Then add the wheels to the storage carts and paint with chalkboard paint labels on the ends of the storage carts.


Ana White (not verified)

Sat, 12/19/2009 - 22:10

My list is very long of all the projects that have been requested. Although this project was just requested today, it is not because I have not prioritized plans. I actually am building two of these tables and just happened to already have the plans! Happy Holidays, Ana

Jennifer Guire (not verified)

Sun, 12/20/2009 - 01:31

Thanks for all your plans! I plan to build a table when I get back home after Christmas. I will share then! Love your site!!

Ana White (not verified)

Sun, 12/27/2009 - 21:03

My husband built this table for our nephew (I will be posting photos soon) and it is AWESOME! The drawers are huge.

HOWEVER - I will be modifying these plans so that you can build it from 1 piece of plywood and some 1x2s and 2x2s (saves you the 1x12s which can be spendy!) So check back! I will post these modifications with the photos.

Its So Very Cheri (not verified)

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 04:18

I am doing my post about you and adding in a lot of pictures and links to your blog. I saw this and I am building my own crates this week. Already have the wood cut and ready to go. They are going to go under the tables I did on Kari's today.


Catherine Hans… (not verified)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:41

I have just spent way too much time going through your blog. I LOVE building furniture and I love all your plans. I just had to comment here because this table was one of the first things I was inspired by myself. My kids have loved this table so much and when they are too old to use it anymore I plan to put a piece of glass on the top and turn it into an awesome coffee table! I will have to find a photo to send you.. All the very best. You do great work and I sincerely hope you get your own TV show! You deserve it!

Stephanie Saunders (not verified)

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 15:07

I already have the Land of Nod table (man, if I would have known I could BUILD it, I would have saved tons!!), and the corners aren't so harsh. Can you sand down MDF corners to make them a little less dangerous to uncoordinated toddlers? I want to build the carts. I've never worked with MDF, so I thought I'd check with you first.

Jennifer (not verified)

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 13:46

Hi Stephanie!

Having worked with MDF on two projects so far, you CAN sand down the pointed corners just like any other wood. 120 grit sandpaper works perfectly.

undermentals (not verified)

Wed, 08/11/2010 - 14:14

Thanks for these plans. I've seen the table in the catalog and thought it would be perfect for my son who loves to build models.

I'm in the middle of the build but I'm having problems. The narrow part of the 1X2s that abut each leg are just too slight to support a screw or nail. The 1X2s have splintered and cracked in each corner. It helped to add a 2X4 triangle as bracing to each corner,giving a wider nailing/screwing surface, but it became a difficult project as a result, and requires a partner to hold it while you attach it. And when I attempted to attach the MDF top to the frame it couldn't handle the stress - the frame buckled and I had to essentially start from scratch.

In reply to by undermentals (not verified)


Thu, 12/19/2013 - 22:34

I know my kids are going to be climbing all over this thing. I need it to be strong and not wobble a bit if all my hard work is going to last. So, my solution was to attach some upcycled 2x6 about an inch from the bottom between the legs on the short ends w/pocket hole screws. I also replaced the long 1x2 aprons with 1x4's and cut the legs longer to accommodate those cute storage boxes.

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