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DIY Car Play Table

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Create a DIY play car table out any table using paint and artificial grass. 

It’s no secret that kids love toy cars. Having a place for the to play with their cars keeps those little guys off the floor so you don’t step on them. It’s easy to make your own car play table. 

You can create this car play table on almost any table. Just make sure the surface is clean and dry. We made this table by drilling four 2 x 4 legs to a piece of plywood. You can use scrap wood, extra wood, an old table, a coffee table – the possibilities are endless.

If your table surface is painted, rough it up a bit with some 120 grit sand paper before applying the grass. Then wipe off the dust. You can leave the painted areas smooth.

You can use this same process to create your own train table, too.  Add some DIY Wooden Town Play Set buildings to the table for even more fun!

Create a Blueprint for Your Play Car Table

Find a piece of paper that is roughly the same size and shape as your table.  Get creative and use a marker to draw your layout. This will be the rough draft and blueprint for your play table. 

This is a great time to include the help of your kids to help you map out the table.  Our son suggested parking spaces and asked for a cross walk. He also wanted water so we added a little pond to the corner of the table. 

It’s helpful to use actual matchbox cars when working on the blueprint in order to create a more lifelike size in relation to the cars. For reference, on our play car table the parking spaces are 1.5″ apart and 2.5″ long. The width of the road is 3″. The crosswalk is 1″ wide.

Transfer the Car Table Blueprint to the Table

Once your blueprint is done, use a pencil to draw the layout on the table. Use a ruler or tape measure to draw straight lines.

Label the areas you want to cover with grass with a number. Each area should have a different number. Instead of grass you could also use sand or rocks depending on the landscape you want. 

Paint the Car Table Roads

 Start by painting the road areas with black paint. You really want to use a quality paint on the roads. We used a high gloss multi-surface indoor/outdoor acrylic paint for the road.

Use a semi gloss at the least for the black as it will create a smoother surface that you can wipe clean if necessary. A high gloss will make it even easier to keep clean. Two coats of paint may be necessary. Let dry completely.

Next, paint the pond blue. Paint 2 coats of blue and then add some white to the blue to create some dimension and waves in the water. Our blue paint had glitter in it and we just rolled with it. 

Add Artificial Grass to the Car Table 

Take a separate set of paper (or small pieces taped together) and created a template for the grass areas. Number the paper template with the same number as that area on the table. 

Place the paper template onto the turf grass. Make sure it’s face down. You’ll mark on the back of the turf grass with white colored pencil. Use scissors to cut it out and place onto your table to make sure it fits.

 

Continue to cut the remaining areas of turf for your table and checking to see that they fit on the table.

In a well ventilated area, and according to the directions on the can, apply the contact cement with the foam brush. Apply the contact cement to the table and then to the back of the turf grass before placing them onto the top of the table. Press down firmly. 

Repeat until all grass is attached to the table.

Add Parking Spaces, Roads, and Crosswalks to the Car Table.

Use a white colored pencil to draw the dashed road lines onto the paint. On our play car table the parking spaces are 1.5″ apart and 2.5″ long. The width of the road is 3″. The crosswalk is 1″ wide.

Don’t be afraid to make modifications as you go along. We decided to angle the parking spaces. Our blueprint changed a bit as we added angled parking in the center vs straight parking.

Use puffy paint to trace the white pencil marks and apply the road striping.

Use yellow puffy paint for the crosswalks, white for the road and parking.

We even used blue paint for the handicap spaces. Let dry completely (overnight) and play!

Yield: 1 Car Play Table

DIY Car Play Table

DIY Car Play Table

Create a DIY play car table out any table using paint and artificial grass. 

Materials

  • Large sheet of paper, or small pieces taped together, the size of your table (to create your blueprint) plus additional sheets for turf patterns.
  • Black Acrylic Paint -use a high quality paint, preferably a gloss black
  • Blue Acrylic Paint
  • White Acrylic Paint
  • White Puffy Paint
  • Yellow Puffy Paint
  • Blue Puffy Paint
  • Green Turf Grass -available by the foot at most hardware stores
  • Weldwood Contact Cement

Tools

  • Marker
  • Pencil
  • White Colored Pencil
  • Ruler or Measuring Tape
  • Paint Brush
  • Foam Brush

Instructions

  1. Make a blueprint of your car table using a large piece of paper. Make sure your large piece of paper is roughly the size of the table you are making. Get creative and use a marker to draw your layout.
  2. It’s helpful to use actual matchbox cars when working on the blueprint in order to create a more lifelike size in relation to the cars. For reference, on our play car table the parking spaces are 1.5″ apart and 2.5″ long. The width of the road is 3″. The crosswalk is 1″ wide.
  3. Use a pencil to draw the layout on the table. Use a ruler or tape measure to draw straight lines.
  4. Label the areas you want to cover with grass with a number. Each area should have a different number. Instead of grass you could also use sand or rocks depending on the landscape you want. 
  5. Start by painting the road areas with black paint. You really want to use a quality paint on the roads. We used a high gloss multi-surface indoor/outdoor acrylic paint for the road.
  6. Use blue paint to paint in a pond, if part of your plan.
  7. Take a separate set of paper (or small pieces taped together) and create a template for the grass areas.
  8. Number the paper template with the same number as that area on the table. 
  9. Place the paper template onto the turf grass. Make sure it’s face down. You’ll mark on the back of the turf grass with white colored pencil.
  10. Use scissors to cut it out and place onto your table to make sure it fits.
  11. Continue to cut the remaining areas of turf for your table and checking to see that they fit on the table.
  12. In a well ventilated area, and according to the directions on the can, apply the contact cement with the foam brush.
  13. Apply the contact cement to the table and then to the back of the turf grass before placing them onto the top of the table. Press down firmly. 
  14. Repeat until all grass is attached to the table.
  15. Use a white colored pencil to draw the dashed road lines onto the paint.
  16. On our play car table the parking spaces are 1.5″ apart and 2.5″ long. The width of the road is 3″. The crosswalk is 1″ wide.
  17. Use white puffy paint to trace the white pencil marks and apply the road striping.
  18. Use yellow puffy paint for the crosswalks, white for the road and parking.
  19. Use blue paint for the handicap spaces.
  20. Let dry completely (overnight) and play!



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