My daughter loves to play trains with her older brother. When it came time to transition her room from nursery to toddler, I wanted a train table or train set that was cute enough to go in her room. After checking around, I decided the least expensive option was to make my own.
I began with a train table my husband made for our son. He used a sheet of plywood for the top secured to 2″x2″ boards for legs. Triangle braces lend support.
Then he took some inexpensive train track (Imaginex was the brand) and secured the track to the top with screws. Although my son now has a free-form train set where he creates elaborate railways, attaching the tracks was great when he was two and his hand coordination not as steady.
I used the colors from my daughter’s room as a jumping off point and started painting. I wanted a train table that was whimsical, rather than accurate, and colorful, rather than pink-explosion.
I painted parts of the train table, deciding to leave some of the natural wood exposed. I also used Mod Podge to secure patterned paper on the table. To date, the paper has started to lift at the edges. I either needed to give it a stronger glue-water ratio or just another coat.
I love the dip-dye look, but don’t have anything like that in my home, so I gave it a whirl here. Using electrical tape, I taped each table leg and tried to keep each leg even with each other. Then I simply painted over the tape a little and the rest of the leg. Once dry, the tape peeled off easily and required minor touch-up.
I thought about painting the train tracks, but instead decided to take plain trains from my son’s enormous stash and paint each train car a different shade of pink for an ombre effect (another trend I love, but don’t have in my home).
The pinks came from the same card and I had almost every sample thanks to my daughter’s nursery.
A train set wouldn’t be complete without a little village.
I dipped wooden trees (from Hobby Lobby) in paint and painted little peg people. I also added paper houses from Lille Huset. This company has the cutest doll houses and inspires kids to use their imagination and decorate their little house.
Since my daughter is a little young for the houses, I decorated them. I also glued the houses together for stability. They come apart easily, perfect for an older kid who likes to change things up a bit.
My daughter plays with this train set all the time. She loves her pink train and people. It was such a fun project to make for her.