Tuesday, May 18, 2010

lego my messy legos

I wrote this post a few weeks ago, knowing I would be too busy to blog for awhile. The table's been finished for almost a month now, and we are still loving it!

if you have boys, then you know what i'm talking about. legos have taken over our lives here. my 8 year old son LOVES them, asks for them for every birthday/christmas. the problem is, with so many different sets, how do you find the teeny tiny specific piece that you need when making a particular project?

you dump out all 240,000 legos all over the carpet in your bedroom and dig through them. then when your mommy comes in and says it's time to pick up and get ready for bed, you cry because you just spent the last 6 hours hunting for that piece and still didn't find it, and now you have to pick them all up and start over tomorrow.

my kids may tell you differently, but i really am a compassionate person. i TOTALLY understand the frustration of not being able to find something when you need it. believe me, a good portion of my childhood was spent searching for things and then giving up on whatever game/craft/school project i was working on because our house was a black hole.

this boy is so creative and i don't want him to give up on that. coming up with a lego solution was on the list, but lots of other things were coming first, until my friend Kathleen needed to go to IKEA and even though i didn't need to, i went along (because i can always find something to buy at IKEA) so the project began, even though it was probably not as urgent as some other things on the list.

here's how we did it:

i bought two TROFAST units in pine and primed them.

eric and i went to Lowes' and got some 1/2 inch MDF and 3x1 birch boards, and built a top for the tables.

then we painted the TROFAST units black using a gloss latex enamel and a sponge roller (and lots of Flotrol)

two coats

he spray-painted the table top - it needs to be a bit more durable.

we sorted all of the legos by color, as well as people and wheels, and any other categories that make sense to the kids. (there is room for 18 small bins)

Eric went to the Lego store and got some of the flat gray base pieces. he was going to glue them down, but then we wouldn't be able to use the table for games or other stuff, so they are just sitting on top.

i made some labels using clip art from Just Something I Made, cut them out and taped them on with packing tape.

the kids were thrilled, and I love that the legos get put away! there is a huge resurgence of creative building in our house thanks to this simple and awesome organizing tool!


  1. this is AWESOME and as soon as we buy a house and have room to spread out, i'm going to build this. We've been trying to figure out lego storage for a while, and this will be perfect.
    kendra (ellis family friend from clayton)

  2. This is really very awesome! WOW!
    Brady was always a deprived child because his mom HATES stepping on legos with her bare feet, so they are pretty much banned from our house. If I would have know about a cool sorting table it might have been different.

  3. Are there two of the ikea units back to back?

    Cooper is working on a Science Fair project at this very moment using Legos. He found the box in the garage with all of the legos that we have saved from Jonathan and Jeremy. Do you remember how many? Whoa, do we ever need a storage place!

    Great job! Guess we will have to get busy this summer!

  4. Good job, Lydia! That is such a great idea and now I don't believe you about being unproductive.......let me know if you ever run out of projects at your house.

  5. Wow, that is amazing. I wish you lived closer, I could use some project advice at times (and my husband is not always the best at helping me). I will have to share this idea with my sister. My nephew who is 5 is really getting into legos, but they have the same problem. Very impressive!

  6. wonderful job and such a neat thing to do for your kids. My son played with legos more than ANYTHING else, ever. so I know exactly what you are talking about. this brings back such fond memories for me...

    enjoyed this very much...

  7. Absolutely LOVE this Lydia:-) You are so inspiring! My kids have definitely been deprived in the lego dept. because of the mess they create. Now I know there's a better way!