It doesn’t seem fair. You buy children’s furniture and just as you get the item paid off, the child has outgrown it. You can store it for another child, sell it at a yard sale for a fraction of the price, give it as a gift, or toss it in the trash. All that money wasted.
Not all children’s furniture is limited to a specific size of child. Chairs tend to be size-specific, but by building your own chairs from PVC, your child can have a new custom-sized chair anytime.
Keep in mind that in building furniture for a child, height is not the only factor. Weight is also an issue. Heavier or thicker materials should be used for a heavy or obese child. For example, if plans call for 2-by-2 wood or 1″ standard furniture PVC, the plans should be modified to use 3-by-3 wood, 1″ schedule 40 PVC or even 2″ schedule 40 PVC pipe. Schedule 40 is thicker, so it will tolerate water pressure. It is much stronger. The plans can also be modified to use 2 or 3 PVC pieces at the corners instead of one. Working with PVC to build furniture is interesting. You can learn more about it at these links:
PVC can be painted or stained to match the room’s colors. You can also paint it to resemble marble.
Child’s Game Table With Changeable Tops
Children of different ages need tables of varying heights. The task can be daunting. This table is designed to stay in use by changing the table legs as the child grows. It can be painted different colors over the years and has different tabletops to increase the table’s usage.
Use the table in any game room, or as a coffee table.
You will need:
- · Sandpaper- medium and fine, to sand cut edges smooth
- · ABS PVC multi-purpose cement, clear
- · Measuring tape and marking tools
- · PVC Pipe, 3/4″ schedule 40 – purchase the same size connectors
- · Connectors: 4 three-way, 4 end caps, 4 threaded connectors, female, 4 threaded connectors, male
- · Caps for the ends, either insert able or end cap
- · Hacksaw with PVC blade or PVC cutter
- · Drill with bits
- · MDF- one sheet
- · Paint in different colors
- · Newspaper or plain brown paper.
- · Dowel, 3/8″ diameter and a wooden knob (see alternative)
- · Construction adhesive
- · Protractor (optional)
This table measures 36″ square. The legs are made to be removable so longer or shorter legs can be attached. This provides instant versatility. Add longer legs for adults, to use the table as a guest table, child’s dinner table or more.
Lay the paper on a flat floor. Measure and mark a 36″ square. Place the three-way connectors at each corner. Tape in place with scotch tape, if desired. Measure the distance between the connectors. Add enough to the length so the pipe inserts all the way into the connectors without affecting the length.
Cut the pipe to length, and dry fit. Check for square. The corner inserts should be pointing up.
Cut four pieces of pipe, each 4″ long. Insert into the corners. Top each piece with a threaded female connector.
Measure the height of each connector. They need to match. If everything is square and the heights match, proceed to the next step. Do not cement anything yet.
Attach the male connectors to each of the female connectors. Measure the height of the corners. Subtract this height from the desired leg height. Remember to include enough length for insertion into the connector.
Cut the pieces, and insert into the male connectors. Attach the end caps on the legs and measure the height again. Now is the time to make any adjustments.
Cement the pieces together. Allow 24 hours for the cement to cure. Do not cement the male and female threaded connectors together. This allows for longer or shorter legs to attach and make the table serve different functions.
Cut the MDF in a 36″ square. Paint your favorite game on it such as Backgammon, Checkers/Chess, or other game. Seal with polyurethane for durability.
You can print different pictures of different game tables, take them to a Kinko’s or other printing shop, and have them printed to size. The prints can be attached to the MDF surfaces with decoupage or other techniques.
Lay the MDF on the table top. Measure four inches from each corner and drill through the MDF and through the PVC all the way with a 3/8″ bit.
Cut four pieces of 3/8″ dowel that will fit through the MDF and the PVC. Glue these pieces to the wooden knobs using construction glue. The knobs can be screwed to the dowel pieces as well. The construction glue will ensure little hands cannot separate them.
Set up the table and have fun. To use for dinners or other uses, carriage bolts, washers and cap nuts to keep the tabletop secure. This can be used in small children’s rooms as well; make sure the cap nuts are on tight enough to prevent small hands from unscrewing them.
There is no end of board games or uses for this tabletop. Use chalkboard paint to create a surface for colored chalks. When another tabletop is used, this can stand against a wall, hang on hooks using the holes or on an easel.
This table makes a wonderful gift for any family.
Source: Jeff Miller (2002), “Children’s Furniture Projects,” Newtown, CT, The Taunton Press