Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Homemade Birthday Present: Train Table

For the last week and a half this has been referred to as "Daddy's Project," rather secretively. As in - "Don't go out there, daddy is working on his project." Or "What is this for? Well... it's for Daddy's Project."

What our son didn't know was that the reason we were being so secretive is because Daddy's Project was actually his Birthday Present. And we were trying so hard to keep him from figuring it out, even though we were building it right under his nose.

Here is a photo of the Birthday Boy "helping" daddy, which he was very excited about. It's funny, isn't it, how much our children can utterly trust us sometimes? He was so diligent in helping and yet, when he would ask us what it was going to be or when it would be finished, all we could give him were very diplomatic answers.... like "we'll have to wait and see!"

Please note the teeny tiny 10'x6' space in which my husband did all this work!

It all began about two weeks ago. We were out as a family doing lazy Saturday afternoon things. One of the Birthday Boy's favorite places to go is the bookstore. Purely because they have a Thomas the Train table there with all kinds of track and trains and cool looking buildings... he could easily play there for hours. On this afternoon, while watching our son play, it occurred to Joel that he could probably make a train table for a lot less than the cost of buying one and since the boy's birthday was coming up, why not do it for him as a birthday gift?

I left all the drawing and planning and measuring and woodcutting and routing and sanding to Joel (of course). Haha.

When it came to painting the thing though, I agreed that Joel could paint the body "Thomas blue," but I wanted to paint the table top. I decided to take inspiration from the store-bought versions by painting grasslands and trees and lakes and all that.

So, tonight we finally did the "big reveal," so to speak. We had him hide in his room while we put the pieces together, and then brought him out and showed him what Daddy's Project had really been about all this time. It finally came together in his brain, and he was so excited. After a little giggling and a little hopping and a little playing with it here and there, he proclaimed that this was "...the best birthday ever." So that made it all worth it, of course.

Oh look, he's wearing his train shirt. How apropos.

We got one small set of track to go with it. But our son already had several trains that felt right at home on the table.

Joel did great work. Good job, honey!
Now we just gotta figure out how to fit it into the boy's room! :-)


  1. oh my awesome! good job mom and dad!

    from Jennie (team dean) since google still will not answer my request to be able to comment on other peoples blogs!

  2. What a cool table and it is fun that Caleb got to help!


  3. I painted a huge brio board years ago for two certain little girls. Great job both of you and the birthday boy is very cute!

  4. Thanks to both of you.

    Jeannette - I am pleased to hear that I am doing anything remotely similar to what you did when raising your children, because you are a wonderful woman and your kids are very special and very bright young ladies. :)

    Now: what is a brio board? Hahaha.

  5. I found you through Bread on the Water, and just have to say What a beautiful train table -- truly inspiring!

  6. Hello, Gretchen!

    I haven't seen you in forever! Hope you're doing well. And thanks for visiting my blog! :)


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