I don’t know about you, but I hate stepping on tiny legos while barefoot. Ouch!! My boys have done a great job of keeping their legos mostly confined to their individual trays (a cookie sheet from the Dollar Tree) on our farmhouse table. However, when it came time to clean up, they would have a meltdown because they wanted to leave their legos out. Same thing happens with puzzles. By the way, stepping on a puzzle piece on hardwood floors 9 times out of 10 will make you slide and fall flat on your butt, just an FYI. Since their lego collection has been growing, I decided it was time to make a designated Lego area that will work also for puzzles or whatever else the boys want to leave out. We only have so much space, so I thought a DIY Lego Tray that would fit under the couches would be a perfect solution!
As usual, I tried to find a solution that we already had most of the materials for. I found a huge piece of leftover 3/4 inch thick plywood in our garage and decided to add sides to it to make a tray that would fit under our couches for easy clean up. Each child has their own tray, and at their request, their letters i.e. initials are on each one as well. The only materials I had to buy for this project were the furring strips (.97 cents each) and handles ($2.98 each) coming out to under $16 for both trays. The hardest part was figuring out how big I wanted it to be (Make sure you measure under your couch before you decide on the tray measurements)!
Materials used for DIY Lego Trays: Below are the materials needed for 1 tray. I made 2. (Amazon Affiliate links are provided in this post. I receive commission on the sale of the products, but this does not result in additional charges to you or cost you anything extra. For more information, see my full disclosure here.)
- 2- 1x2x8 furring strip cut down to: 2 at 24 inches long, 2 at 32 inches long
- 3/4 inch thick plywood cut to 30×24 inches
- Hammers and finishing nails (like these)
- Elmer’s Wood Glue
- sander and sand paper
- Minwax Interior Wood Stain in Dark Walnut and a foam brush
- 2 handles that were 4×1-1/2 inches
- electric drill
- stencil for initials (I used these)
- paint for initials and brushes
- Valspar Clear Finish Spray Paint
I then applied a thin layer of wood glue along the edge of the plywood and nailed the 24 inch long furring strips on either side- 3 finishing nails on each one. I did the same thing to the 32 inch long pieces. This forms your tray!
After I built both trays, I sanded them down and rounded the edges. I recommend an electric sander for this, but you can also do it the old fashioned way. I wiped both trays down well and stained each of them using Minwax Wood Stain in Dark Walnut. I applied it with a foam brush and followed the instructions on the can.
Once dry, I used these stencils to make the 4 inch letters. I measured out the center of the tray and taped down the initals. I used a black pen to trace the letters- This leaves a line as well as a slight indention, so filling in with paint is pretty easy!
To fill in the letters, I used my favorite small brushes: Martha Stewart Detailing Brushes, Set of 5. These brushes are perfect for outlining and make is so easy! I used some leftover white paint that we had, and I did 2 coats. Once that was dry, I sprayed on Valspar clear coat.
Next up: handles! These make it easy to push and pull the tray under the couches. I found these handles at Lowe’s. They are 4x 1-1/2 inches and the perfect size for the tray. I found them down the hardware aisle, and at $2.98 a pop, they were much more in my budget than the cabinet and drawer pulls were that I found in the size I needed. I’m just glad I only needed 4! To attach the handles, see the steps below.
- Buy your handles.. you will need 4 of them. The screws to attach them come with them.
- I measured out the mid-point on the side of my tray (I attached handles to the 24 inch long furring strip)
- I centered my handle on the tray and marked off where the screws would go with a pencil. After that, I pre- drilled each of the 4 holes (Note: always, always, ALWAYS pre-drill when you are using furring strips because they tend to split easily and predrilling decreases the likelihood of that happening!)
- Hold up the handle, and using your drill, screw in all 4 screws
- I did this 3 more times to complete both trays.
The trays have been a hit with my kiddos! They have been perfect for their legos, puzzles, and other toys. I plan on eventually getting some of the lego plates to put on here, but I will deal with that when the time comes. For their larger lego items that will not fit on the tray under the couch, the boys usually leave out on our train table in the playroom. I can easily pick up the trays (thanks to the handles!) and put them on our ottomans to use for board games or holding drinks and snacks for movie night.
Thanks for reading!