Case in point: Allow me to take you on a stroll down memory lane all the way back to Sunday, when we were getting ready for church. I was gathering some of Campbell's things while she was safely playing independently. Less than a minute later I find her on the carpet, surrounded by our stationary with an uncapped permanent marker in her hand. She'd gone all Bob Ross on the stationary, her hands and arms. The white carpet, and her new dress, remained amazingly unscathed - an accomplishment on par with NASA putting a man on the moon, as far as I'm concerned.
She's not exactly Miss Manners right now.
So, that is one of the many benefits of a good play table - so stray crayons, markers and playdough don't end up on your couch or carpet. Not to say they still won't, but you're tilting the odds in your favor.
That and, because it is her size, she freaking loves it. I can only assume that's because she can use it without one of us boosting her up into the chair. I dunno, I'm not a toddler whisperer. (Editor's Note: I wish I was - there's money in that, I'm sure.)
The set I built was from Ana White's plan (of course it was - table here and chairs here).
Quick side note...you've probably noticed I have been posting a lot of projects lately that have used Ana' building plans. Here's the thing, I LOVE coming up with a concept, figuring out the dimensions, measurements, etc. and building the piece all on my own. There is something so satisfying about being able to say "yeah, that was all me." And, I still do that...a lot. But, with a real full-time job and a family, among other things, sometimes there just isn't enough time for all of that. So, while it somewhat bruises my ego to use perfectly laid-out plans for projects here and there, the practical side of me says "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
I can save my creative ideas for projects that don't have an established roadmap, like turning old picket fence boards into crosses, making a rocking horse from a picture I found online or finding yet another way to re-purpose a pallet.
The genius of it is that it is built completely out of 1x2, 1x3 and 1x8 boards. All in all, I think I spent about $75 on the wood. That's for one table and four chairs, and I'm pretty sure that total included a few other items not related to this particular project. It's not the curbside discount I'm used to, but not too shabby, nonetheless.
You'll notice on Ana's plan that she claims these are $4 chairs. But, she's either a mathemagician or she's got the hookup at the hardware store, because according to Lowe's, 8 ft. 1x3's are $4 a piece and 8 ft. 1x2's are $3 each. So that's $11 per chair. Still, not terrible.
Why four chairs, you ask? Because I made this for my in-laws to keep at their house so Campbell and our two nieces could use it.
Since I already told you where to find the plans, that provide waaaay more detail than I ever would, I'll just skip to the pics. If you are wondering about the finish, the table top is stained with two coats of Minwax Early American, and the table legs and the chairs are painted with a flat latex buttercream color from Benjamin Moore. Edges and corners were distressed with an orbital sander, and the whole thing was wiped down with stain, quickly wiped off with a dry rag and then coated with clear Minwax Polycrylic for protection.