There are SO many awesome ideas for LEGO® tables out there, and yet despite all the Legomaniacs in our house we have never had one! The boys mostly build with LEGO®s on the floor, but when I saw this idea on Pinterest to create a LEGO® table from IKEA Trofast shelves, I knew it would accomplish a couple of things:
- Pleasant looking LEGO® storage and simple organization
- A place to build large forts other than all over our school table
Since “hack” seems to be an extremely popular word right now (well, at least with the Pinterest crowd), I thought I would call this an IKEA hack LEGO® table. To me, “hack” sounds like something you do with a saw, so I’m not sure how “hacks” came to mean clever tips. Anyone know the answer to this? Anyway, this is seriously a great way to slightly re-purpose IKEA storage with an awesome result!
We are so happy with the finished table. I love the fact that it improves the look of our play room.
There are six storage bins on either side of the table. We labeled the storage bins with paper and clear tape. Each of the boys has his own bin for sets and parts that belong to them (a continuation of our Lego organization system) and then we made tubs for wheels (and other car parts), minifigures, and special bricks. We want to play with it a while longer before deciding what to label the other side, but I know that I want labels for Hero Factory, and two of the large tubs will be basic bricks.
If you want the base plates glued down, I would recommend something strong. We did loops of painter’s tape for now because the boys may want to put road base plates on there sometimes. I didn’t want them to be limited to one layout.
The table is 20 inches high, so higher than a train table and lower than a regular table. Kids will kneel to play, or you could put chairs around it.
To make one, you will need:
- 2 Trofast shelves – We bought ours at the IKEA store, and they did not have this option in the store. In the store, you buy the frame and storage tubs separately from each other, and they only have black and white tubs in the store. The price is the same either way.
- 9 LEGO® base plates
- Four metal brackets, we used 8 inch brackets
- 4 half inch screws
- Glue or tape for attaching the base plates. We used painter’s tape as we want to be able to rearrange them.
First assemble the shelves following the IKEA directions.
To attach the shelves to each other, my husband used four metal brackets and four half inch screws – one bracket on the top and bottom of each side.
There is still plenty of room for the tubs to slide in and out, and if you want to move the table or use it as two separate units again it would be easy to remove the brackets.
We were inspired by this Lego table on Sun Scholars. Check out their post for a photo of a larger version of this table using four Trofast units!
Also check out our post on Lego organization, especially when you have multiple kids sharing the LEGO®s.
LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO® group of companies which does not sponsor. authorize, or endorse this site.
JJ Sep 3, 2014
I was JUST thinking of making a Lego table! Perfect timing. :o)
Casey Nov 22, 2014
Hi there I love this table idea. But I am wondering do you guys put it together and ship it? I am a single mom with no family around to help build it and to be honest not real handy when it comes to building things. I would be willing to pay for all expenses.
Sarah Nov 22, 2014
Casey, I'm sorry, but that is not a project that we would be able to take on. My husband said that the shelves were not really too difficult to put together, so it might be worth a try? Good luck!
Patty Oct 16, 2017
You could obtain a train table from a local swap site for about 20 dollars and glue the base on it. Then put assigned bins, plastic tubs or baskets stored under it.
Saro Nov 22, 2014
The term hack comes from hackers, the people who take computers and software and change them, often for the better. Its usually looked at mistakenly as destructive, though, by a misinformed few that mistake malicious hacking and general hacking as the same thing! In reality, the two are as different as someone opening fire on a crowd, and someone recreationally going out to target practice with a gun.
ALS Apr 11, 2015
Right, so to 'hack' something that's not computer related means to take pieces from a variety of things and put them together to make another good thing - just like you did in this cool project! Thanks for sharing.
Jennifer Dec 13, 2014
This is our Christmas Project - so excited to be able to sort and store legos! What size base plates did you use? 10x10?
Dianne Dec 15, 2014
Love this! We have a standard train table that gets ZERO use...but I think this would inspire the kids go break out the LEGOS and trains again! Thank you!
Phil Dec 26, 2014
How much did it cost all together?
Sarah Dec 27, 2014
We spent about $200 at IKEA for the two Trofast units plus the tubs. Then $5 for each baseplate at the Legoland Discovery Center. So the total cost was about $250.
Virginia Jan 3, 2015
I think using industrial strength Velcro would be an easy way to secure base plates but make them fairly easy to rearrange.
John DD Jan 21, 2015
Hmm, velcro sound good but it'll be a pain to properly align the plates (esp height wise).
I would think of making a small cut-out that fits the plates between them, so you could easily swap them with a similar grid. Less flexible though.
Carrie Jan 9, 2015
WOW! This is really neat! I considered it until I clicked on the link to price the TROFAST systems. $91 for ONE and I would need TWO?? An almost $200 lego table?? Is that right? OUCH!
Sarah Jan 10, 2015
Yes, that's what we paid. We have an IKEA nearby so we were able to just pick them up. We have five kids and will use this Lego table for years to come, plus I needed a surface large enough for multiple children to play on. If the price doesn't work for you, you certainly don't have to do it!
mickie Nov 2, 2015
Plus, you can often find Trofast systems cheap on craigslist, or similar shelving units at target, etc. No need to be huffy about the price from Ikea!
Raquel Jan 16, 2015
I just picked up this from ikea, put this together without help from the hubby, quite easy. To save costs, I just went with one trofast shelf, 60 dollars total, including bins. I still need to buy the lego base boards, but at $5/each, not bad at all. You can always add another shelf later as your budget allows. Considering the sanity of not having lego projects splattered across your living room, you will find it well worth your nvestment!
Raquel Jan 16, 2015
BTW, I purchased the white melamine Trofast shelf, a more budget friendly option to the Pine shelf Sarah used. Probably not as durable, but I believe 15-20 dollars less per shelf system.
Sarah Jan 16, 2015
Thank you so much for sharing your adaptations - very helpful!
Bekah Jan 17, 2015
We did something similar with the IKEA Lack tables and the IKEA Lack tables that are on casters. I believe the lack tables are $7? We purchased 4 of the mid-sized plates, and glued them to the table. Lego table, done. We made two. The lack on casters we put in their bedrooms. My husband made shims to create a place to keep two bins (they easily slide in and out). IKEA hack lego tables have been a great solution to the never ending lego mess.
Ingrid Jan 22, 2015
Thanks for the superb idea! Read your guide last night, and this evening we went to Ikea and bought all we needed - have opted for small bins though so that the Lego pieces are possibly easier to find. The table is now ready for the kids to clear their rooms (and floors!) of Lego and sort into the bins. Looking forward to a tidier home (although my husband is not convinced
Dave Feb 3, 2015
I have been struggling to find affordable base plates to cover my 32" x 48" train table top. These would be over a $100 at retail. Not sure where to get cheap Lego-compatable plates. Any suggestions?
Yvan Feb 3, 2015
This is a beautiful setup ,i am doing almost the same project for my 3 kids , i don't find it too pricy , like you said those shelves will be useful forever . For folks looking for a cheaper option , all you need to do is go to Ikea, and just before the cash registers there is a section of returned/damaged/discolored furniture at 50% off at least ,mind you that i live in Canada , hopefuly you all have that section too , i bought these 2 same pieces (no baskets) for 68$ due to previous buyer overtorqueing some screws and ovalizing a few holes , no biggie fixed witj cedar plugs ! The money is not the issue here , you will grow and spend time with the kids !
jenn Feb 15, 2015
This is great!!! Think I may do half lego and half knex - thanks for sharing!!!
kim Apr 30, 2015
You could glue some "edge"plates down which can have the middle plates attached with bricks, but then the middle plates can be changed as they want.
Or glue felt or plastic from spotlight for the base plates to sit on and then they can be changed, but other bases be used, like hand drawn city scapes or battle grounds for the heros....
So many options!
Jenny May 31, 2015
do you glue the lego base plate to the top or theystay put on their own?
Sarah May 31, 2015
We used masking tape because we like to move the base plates around, or take them off altogether. Sometimes the boys just put baseplates up there with no tape. Many people glue them, but I would lean towards not gluing!
Jen Aug 2, 2015
I am considering buying the same set-up for our Lego storage and using it as a coffee table in the family room. I'm concerned that the Trofast shelves are a little too tall to use as a coffee table... Do you think it's too tall for coffee table??
kim Dec 13, 2015
Do you think this would work as a train table? I've noticed most train tables have sort of a lip that comes up around the sides, and I'm wondering how critical that is.
Sarah Dec 13, 2015
I think it would work! I'm not sure why the lip is critical. We had a train table for many years and got rid of it because of space (and lack of interest). The only thing that was different about the train table is that it was lower to the ground and rectangle shaped. But I think this would work just fine!
amy Jan 3, 2016
Were the brackets to connect them something that IKEA sells, or where do you find them?
This would also be good for a train table if the plates weren't permanently attached
Ellen Russell Feb 3, 2016
Just wanted to say thank you so much for showing how you put this together! I've been struggling to figure out Lego storage for our boys- they have all of my Legos from when I was a kid plus they get more every year. I'm asking for the Ikea shelves as a gift for my boys' birthdays & Christmas this year so we can make this :-)
Amber Aug 16, 2018
Hi, I’ve just started this project. But when I put my two trofast units back to back, they are not flush as yours appear to be. There is a gap between ours. Thoughts?
Sarah Aug 21, 2018
Oh dear, I'm not sure what to tell you! I hope they haven't changed the Trofast design. Without seeing it, it's hard to say!
Janvi Nov 28, 2019
Hello, this is a great idea. Where can I buy the brackets to join the 2 tables?
Meg Nov 21, 2020
Looking for ideas for a diy LEGO table for my grandson for Christmas and came across your idea. Reviews on the IKEA site for the Trofast say the buns fall out when used for LEGO pieces. Did you have this experience?
Sarah Nov 27, 2020
No, we have not had that problem! We are still using our Trofast unit. It has lasted several years so far!
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