1 – 1×8, 8 feet long
1 – 2×2, 8 feet long
1 – 1×3, 8 feet long
1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
3 – 1×8 @ 32″ (if your 1×8 is EXACTLY 96″ long, cut these boards at 31 7/8″ to account for the saw blade)
4 – 2×2 @ 21 1/4″ (legs)
2 – 1×3 @ 17 1/2″ (End Aprons)
2 – 1×3 @ 27″ (Side Aprons)
Cut your Boards and Drill Pocket Holes
Many of you do not have a Kreg Jig™. My sister, who took wood shop in highschool, has built quite a bit of furniture, and showed me how to use a circular saw the first time, has never seen a Kreg Jig™. After this project, she’s getting one. Also consider this. A similar table and chair set runs around $240. My cost for this table? Seventeen dollars. Spend the cost differential on a Kreg Jig™. Its worth it.
Cut your boards, according to the cut list. Measure the 1x8s and make sure they are in fact 7 1/2″ wide. Mine up here in Alaska are, but others say theirs are 7 1/4″ or 7 3/8″. If your 1x8s are narrower, take the difference, multiply it by three, and subtract that from the cut length of the 1×3 side aprons.
Next, drill all your pocket holes. I like to make Xs where all the pocket holes go as I cut.
Build the Tabletop
There are other ways to build this tabletop without pocket holes, but in order to get a tabletop worthy of coloring and cheap, this was the answer. I love using solid wood in this application because you can always sand and refinish – and you just might have to. This table was left unfinished for about 3 hours. When I got the paint brush out, it was covered in very large awkwardly written Gs. A few minutes of sanding beats being upset any day.
This simple children's play table is easy and economical to build, at the perfect height for toddlers and preschoolers.
Drill all your pocket holes first (see step 4) and then attach the legs to the aprons. I like to either inset my aprons slightly or to drill my pocket holes on the outsides to keep the legs from splitting. Adjust for square.
Now is the fun part. Line the table top up with the base and screw together. The coolest thing about pocket holes is that it sucked up any differences in the tabletop. Sometimes when you join boards that are not perfectly square, your tabletop isn’t smooth. The pocket holes forced the tabletop square with the aprons.
But then, you already knew there had to be a table to match those stackable four dollar chairs from yesterday.
Clara might be just 18 months old, but the table is plenty big enough for her almost four year old cousin, Grace (who yes, depends on hand-me-downs and refuses to brush her hair). And I won't make you look at the photo, but I in fact can sit at this table with my legs under the apron, on those chairs, comfortably. So don't be intimidated about making this table for your preschooler, or even grade schooler.
BUT the table is small, perfect for small spaces. You could put up to four chairs around it, but it would be tight.
The girls were playing library with their pretend library. You can get those plans (and more pretend play plans) right here.
And of course, Clara's table plans are right here. Oh, did I mention that my sister and I put this table together in literally minutes?