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.


TripletDad (not verified)

Sat, 11/20/2010 - 16:04

I made this table for our 2 yr old triplets who are obsessed with Thomas the Train. Overall, I thought the plans were good and the table looks great. I found that the legs don't support the weight of the table all that well. The table was a bit shaky and I knew our kids would be leaning on the table and even trying to climb on it. So I was worried it would collapse. To stiffen it up, I added some plywood panels to the rear and sides, which made it very solid. I left the front side open to leave room for the storage bins to be stored. I also raise the height of the table to about 20 inches. I thought the plans left the table a bit too low for our trips. But good plans and thanks for providing this. I think part of the process is taking plans and tweaking them to adjust your individual needs. Thanks again!

grandpa Roger (not verified)

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 09:14

I just finished building the table - but haven't painted it yet. I used finish grade plywood so the total cost was substantial - about $150 in total. Here are a couple of suggestions. The left over plywood could be used in lieu of the 1 x 12's for the drawers. Save about $26 and is straighter so it makes better fits for the drawers. Also, I found that the legs were wobbly and needed reinforcement, there just isn't enough adjoining wood to create a good joint. I took a scrap piece of 2x4 and created corner braces - worked well and is very stable now. Finally, rather than use the 1x2's to trim off the table, I used 1x4's, and I mitered the corners, which covered all the frame parts and give it a nicer final appearance.


Sat, 05/07/2011 - 17:18

I am currently in the middle of building the playtable, and I've had some trouble with the frame as well. It's very difficult to get everything square and straight and screwed in without splitting a board, and I can't seem to keep the legs straight. Right now I've resorted to adding a bottom frame around three of the sides to help stabilize it, which is helping a lot. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong or if I just don't have the skill level to build this the way it's meant to be yet. (I've only completed a few projects so far, although I'm having some trouble posting brag blogs for them.) Anyway, I think it will still turn out beautiful and will hopefully have better luck with the brag blogs in the future so I can post a pic. I've completed a twin fancy farmhouse bed with a few modifications, a bench, a small wall mounted bookcase, and just finished the taller standing flat bookcase. They all turned out absolutely perfect!

Thank you Ana, for giving women like me, who've never picked up a saw before, the inspiration and courage to make such beautiful things for our homes, and for giving us a little boost in the self esteem department. I feel so much pride looking at the things I've built, and it's because of you. Thank you so much!

Tsu Dho Nimh

Sun, 05/08/2011 - 06:42

1 - make sure your cuts are absolutely square and straight, and that the boards are also straight.

2 - pre-drill the holes for the screws to prevent splitting,

3 - use clamps to hold legs in position for drilling and screwing.


Sun, 06/19/2011 - 18:40

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Jamie B (not verified)

Fri, 11/16/2012 - 06:51

I love this table and plan on making it this weekend for my son's Christmas present! However, I cannot seem to get the PDF version downloaded and the printed version from online does not show the measurements on the pictures. I have a MAC so not sure if this is why.