DIY Slide Under the Bed Train Table

DIY Slide Under Bed Train Table

My toddler really wanted a train table, but the last thing I wanted was another thing taking up space in my house.  The best solution was to build a train table that fit perfectly under his bed.  This way we could roll the train table away when we weren’t using it.   I could have bought one already made but I wanted to make sure it fit in the space we had.  Also, I wanted the train table to be a decent size and the pre-built ones weren’t as big as I wanted.

Measure the space the train table will go in and then look for a play mat with those dimensions.

(Disclosure: There are Amazon affiliate links in this post that I may receive a small commission from when you click through and make a purchase.  This commission comes at no cost to you.)

The first thing I did was measure the space under the bed.  There are support legs in the middle of the space so I measured the one side it would go on for width, length and height.  Once I determined how big I could go I started looking for a road themed play mat with similar dimensions.  I found the Children’s Play Mat Carpet  on Amazon. This play mat came in four sizes and the 32″ x 48″ was perfect for my space.  I ordered the mat and waited for it to come before I did anything else.

Cut the binding around the mat off so the 1×4 railings sit flush on top of the plywood.

When the play mat arrived I cut the binding off with utility scissors and re-measured.  I lost some inches all around after cutting the binding.  Also, the mat wasn’t exactly 48″ inches long to begin with so I am glad I measured after. Once I knew the “new” dimensions of the play mat I allocated some extra space all around.

After I cut the binding off the mat was 31.5″ x 46.” At Home Depot I had a piece of 3/4 inch thick plywood cut a half inch wider than the mat. My piece of 3/4 inch thick plywood was cut 32″ x 46.5.”  If you are new to working with lumber, like me, know that when they say 1 inch by 4 inch they really mean .75 inches.  Not knowing this could really throw your project off size.  For the railings I had them cut (x2) 1×4’s at 46.5″ and (x2) 1×4’s at 30.5.”

Items used to make an under bed train table

Play Mat = 31.5″ x 46″

3/4 inch thick Plywood = 32″ x 46.5″

1×4 = 30.5″ (x2)

1×4 = 46.5″ (x2)

sandpaper, wood filler, paint, paint brush, 2 inch wood screws, 3/4 inch wood screws, a handle and castor wheels

Prepare the wood

I sanded the 1×4’s and the plywood all around the edges.  There were some “gaps” in the side of the plywood so I filled those places in with wood filler.  While the wood filler was drying I painted the railings blue (my toddler’s favorite color).  Once the wood filler was completely dry I sanded the plywood one more time.  Then I painted all around the edges of the plywood too.

Glue the play mat to the plywood and screw the railings on

Next I used Gorilla heavy construction glue to glue the mat to the plywood.  This was probably over kill on the type of glue but I had it handy so that is what I used.  Once that dried I drilled pilot holes on the back side of the plywood and then drilled the 1×4 railings to the plywood.  I attached one of the longest pieces first, then the two small pieces, and finally the other long piece.  When I went to attach the final piece my plywood was overhanging a bit.  Easy fix, I pressed the long board up against the two short pieces made a mark of where it should fall and then used my hack saw to trim it off.  Of course I had to do a little sanding and painting on that side again.

Add a handle and castor wheels

To make sure I got the holes right for my handle I photocopied the back of it.  Then I used the copy to align my holes exactly right.  Finally, I flipped the train table over and attached a castor wheel to each corner using 3/4 inch wood screws.

 

This train table cost me about $80 to make myself and the best part is it is the exact size that I wanted it to be.  I bought a 100 piece triple-loop wooden train set from Amazon that included 16 trains and cars and my toddler was in business.  He loves his train table and I love that I can put it away when it isn’t being used.

(The Amazon links below are affiliate links that I may receive a small commission from when you click through and make a purchase.  This commission comes at no cost to you.)

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