Introduction

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

Create a clever, crafty activity station from an old wooden dining table and a mixing bowl.

A Space for Creativity

We cut the legs down on an old kitchen table making it the perfect height for kids. A hole was cut into the middle of the tabletop and fitted with a big metal bowl to hold art supplies and pencils. A fresh coat of paint was the final step. When deciding on a table to use for this project, keep in mind safety as well as spatial needs. Round tables are ideal for use by kids due to their lack of sharp edges. You don’t want a table that’s too wide, or the kids may end up sitting too far apart from one another. Round wooden tables 30” to 42” in diameter work best.

Step 1

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

 

Find a Table and Gather Materials

To make an activity table, you’ll need: a wooden dining table; a hand saw; a mixing bowl; a jigsaw; measuring tape; a marker; semigloss latex paint; a drill with a 1” drill bit; a ruler; a 1” wood or metal screw; an orbital sander; a mini roller handle and sleeve; a mini paint pan; spray paint; a drop cloth or roll of kraft paper.

Step 2

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

 

Measure and Mark Legs

In order for the table to stand at kid height, the legs will have to be cut down so that the top of the table sits 18” above the floor. Use measuring tape and marker to measure and mark the legs to size.

Step 3

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

 

Cut Down the Legs

Referring to marks made with marker, cut the legs to size.

Step 4

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

 

Get the Right Mixing Bowl

It’s important to choose the proper mixing bowl for the center of the tabletop. Get a mixing bowl that has a small lip around the top edge. The lip will hold the bowl on the tabletop, preventing it from falling through the hole. Use measuring tape to determine the depth of the lip.

Step 5

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

 

Determine Bowl Placement

Place the bowl in the middle of table, using a measuring tape to ensure it’s perfectly centered. Mark the center point of tabletop with marker.

Step 6

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

 

Make a Compass

While straight lines can easily be traced along any object with a straight edge, circles require a compass. Create a compass from a small, cut strip of lumber or a ruler. Use a screw to temporarily attach the ruler to the surface at the table's center point.

Step 7

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

 

Mark a Circle

Place pencil along the leading edge of a cut strip of lumber or ruler, marking the exact diameter of the mixing bowl. Subtract the depth of the mixing bowl’s lip, and trace that diameter directly to the tabletop.

Step 8

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

 

Use a Jigsaw to Cut Hole

Place the jigsaw blade into the drilled hole, then guide it directly along the marks made by tracing the compass.

Step 9

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

 

Fit Bowl in Hole

Ensure a proper fit by placing the mixing bowl inside of the cut-out center of the tabletop.

Step 10

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

 

Prep the Table's Surface

Remove the existing finish on the table and smooth any rough edges with an orbital sander.

Step 11

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

 

Prep the Tabletop

Use a mini roller to apply semigloss paint to the tabletop.

Step 12

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

 

Paint the Legs

When the tabletop is dry, use spray paint to update the legs. For a perfect finish, hold the can 8 inches from the surface, moving back and forth in a slow, controlled motion.

Step 13

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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

 

Add the Bowl and Crayons

When the paint is completely dry, place the mixing bowl into the cut-out. Fill with markers, crayons and crafting supplies.