I’ve always enjoyed Lego. As a kid, I had two huge boxes full of the stuff (I still have these).
Many a time, I would tip the boxes out into a big pile on the floor, clear a space in the middle for me to park my butt and sit for hours making random things. Sometimes I would pick out an instruction manual from one of the many sets I had and make it. I liked to make the pirate and foreign legion bases, and the Robin Hood sets that I had. On the occasions when I would just build from my own mind, I never really built anything exciting, just things like houses and cars – I wasn’t an overly creative child.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve started to get a bit more creative with what I do. I’ve still on occasion bought a set – like the Ecto 1 from Ghostbusters for example. But mainly I’ve been able to create things either from my own mind or translate an already existing item or design into Lego.
By far, the best thing that I’ve created so far is my Lego table.
A few years ago, I had an item to transform an ordinary, boring IKEA table into something a little more “me.”
At first, I was looking at buying some pixel stickers – that I’d previously used to transform a wall into a mural of Godzilla and Space Invaders attacking a city – but as I was planning it, I couldn’t really come up with a decent enough design that I was happy with, plus I had trouble sticking them on straight, so it probably would have looked a bit crappy. But then, something else came to me.
Like a lot of the furniture at IKEA, the table that I’d bought felt very light, like it was hollow, and, spoiler alert, it pretty much was.
One day I took a hammer to the top of the table to find out what was really inside. Once I’d made a suitably large hole I found there was a mesh of thick cardboard that held the thin top layer up to stop it collapsing inward. After completely removing the top, and this filler, I ended up with a hollow frame.
I spent a few days designing what would go inside – using my favourite design programme, MS Paint – and buying the materials I needed – wood, glue, Lego base plates, and a hell of a lot of the single brick Lego pieces.
I started by doing a quick test with a single character to see how it looked. For this I chose Dizzy.
I measured and cut thin pieces of wood so I had a raised platform that the base plates could sit on, and then cut those to size too. Then the fun began, I started to create my design with the Lego.
My design was a collage of several characters from some of my favourite video games – mainly ones that I grew up with. You’ll see them all in the images below, but they included; Link, Kirby, Q*Bert, Yoshi, Dizzy, and Alex’s favourite Pokémon; Bulbasaur.
Piecing it all together was something I really enjoyed, on occasion I would run out bricks, so would either have to filter through my vast collection, or, if I couldn’t find what I needed, I’d have to buy some more.
In between doing this, I was painting the inside of the table black to match the outside, and measuring up for the glass top that I wanted and getting it ordered.
Once the Lego design was finished and I’d fitted and glued it onto its wooden mount, it was time for the glass top.
For the top, I wanted to be able to see the design, but for it also to be sturdy enough to be used as an everyday coffee table. I ordered from a site online so that it would be cut to the right size, but also have holes in it so I could screw it to the rest of the table.
All of the design and building took me just over a month, and I was thrilled with the end result. Now the table sits in the middle of our lounge, as a reminder to me that I can do things. Even when I hit a low point and think I’m useless, it’s something that shows me I’m not.
Over the past couple of years, Alex and I have made other bits and pieces from our collection of Lego – which is now sorted into its very own set of drawers by colour. Most things have ended up in the games room or dotted about the house, these include a Space Invaders “picture”, that will eventually end up on the wall in the new games room when we move, some Pokéballs and some Mario items (all pictured below). We also did a more “grown up” design, with a geometric pattern.
It’s been a while since we did anything with Lego so its probably about time we did something new. I’ve been trying to think of a new project similar to the table, but so far nothing has come to mind. I also considered making more tables and selling them, I just don’t know what the market would be like for them. If you think you’d have one, let me know so I can gauge the want for them.
Below are several images of the table along with the other things we’ve done.
Do you still do things with Lego? Are you more of a set person or a design yourself kind of human?
Also, can you name all of the characters in the table and where they’re from?