Cutting Down A Table To Make A Kids Table

The walls of Clara’s big girl room are dry and the few items of furniture that we have (mainly just a daybed, an old side table, and two small wooden thrift store chairs that I don’t think we’ve even shown you yet) are back in the room. So here’s how it’s looking now:

Totally done and magazine ready, right? Just kidding. But it’s a huge improvement from this so we’re psyched.

The new wall color is awesome. Pardon these not great pics of it (Monday’s pics did it more justice). In person it’s subtle and warm and cozy but not too yellow-y or peach. And since it’s not too bold or compete-y, it’ll allow us to layer in a ton of other colors. Highly recommend it.

Oh but since the title says something about table tweaks, here’s the scoop on that. Wait, first a little info on the chairs. We got them for $8 each at a thrift store in West Virginia on our way back from redoing Granny’s bathroom way back in September. Then we just tossed them into the cluttered playroom and hoped we’d see them again someday. Haha. Now that it’s all cleaned out, it’s like discovering an extra room in your house. Amazing. Anyway, I think we’ll paint the chairs a crazy bright color (red?!) and keep the table crisp and white.

Speaking of the table, remember when it used to be a side table in our first house‘s den?

It was actually a side table from Target that we tweaked by adding a larger top and then painted white a few years back (originally for our master bedroom, then it moved into the den once we found a TJ Maxx ottoman that worked better in the bedroom).

It actually hasn’t found a home in the over-two-years that we’ve lived in our current house, so the poor thing has just been sitting randomly in the corner of the sunroom or the basement. Poor little listless side table. Until now. We realized that thanks to those two thrift store kids chairs the table would make a cute little spot for those chairs to saddle up to, but it was too tall to work as-is. See how it towers over the other kid-sized table that we made for the living room here?

Well, it was nothing a little sawing couldn’t solve. After unsuccessfully finding any screws to free up and remove the stem from the top, John sawed it off with a reciprocating saw and then went back with his Dremel to clean up the part we’d be attaching it back to later (so it was nice and level).

Trimming the 4-inches off of the stem proved challenging given the angle of the base. John’s first attempt looked something like this. He’s the first to admit that it wasn’t his finest work.

Especially since it resulted in a not-so-level cut.

So he went back, remarked a level cut line around the stem on all sides, and then carefully shaved it down a bit more with his Dremel, being careful to stick to that line on all sides as he went.

Much better. But it was about a 1/4″ shorter than we originally intended. So we had to throw it away. Just kidding, that quarter of an inch doesn’t matter, thank goodness.

With everything cut, he used his Kreg jig to make some pocket holes to reattach the stem to the base. Sure the pockets show a bit, but it’s so far under the table base that you won’t see them unless you’re under the table on the floor (Clara does that sometimes, but we don’t think she’ll mind ’em, haha).

Now it’s nearly the same height as Clara’s drawing desk in the living room, see? (Note that this shot was taken while laying on the floor, so you can barely see those little pocket holes).

Now Clara will have a table for coloring/play doh/dolls/Gin Rummy in her room with her two thrift store chairs (which I fully intend to paint bright red as of right now, but you never know when I’ll change my mind).

So that’s what we’ve been up to in Clara’s big girl room. I’d call it 7% finished. Haha.

The blanket is my favorite (from a Joss & Main sale about a month or two ago). And the two tie-dye-ish pillows are from West Elm. I want to add more pillows of course (wouldn’t navy look cool on there too?).

Oh and the pink C pillow was from the same Joss & Main sale as the blanket. Isn’t it cute? Clara is OBSESSED with her big girl bed. The doc said not to switch her until she’s uncomfortable in her crib or climbing out of it (the girl climbs into it but never out – go figure!) so we’re happy to keep her contained to her crib where she happily snoozes… but man oh man, she sure looks cute in this bed. And someday she’ll get to officially move in.

Until then it’s a pretty fun playroom…

… which beats the heck out of the junk-room that it has been for the last two years by a long shot. She says hanging her head in shame. Oh well, better late than never.

We’re still sorely missing some major elements in here, so here’s what’s on the agenda:

  • painting those chairs a bright happy color
  • bringing in a dresser (we’d love to find something secondhand)
  • making/hanging some curtains
  • adding a rug
  • hanging art on the walls along with a few other 3D objects that we have in mind (how’s that for cryptic?)
  • installing a new light fixture
  • hanging a mirror at Clara-height somewhere in the room (she loves making funny faces and laughing at herself)
  • turning that junk closet into an actual clothes closet/reading nook
  • adding crown molding (along with tackling the other un-crown-molding-ed bedrooms on this side of the house)
  • adding accessories like more pillows, storage bins for toys, etc

You know we’ll keep you posted as we inch along! What are you guys painting, tweaking, and cutting down these days? Anyone else finding thrift store chairs or converting old Target tables? Spill it.


  1. says

    Since that daybed has a back, you might try flipping it so that the open side faces the wall. That might give Clara a safer feeling as she transitions to the big bed. No rolling out!

  2. Kelly says

    I can’t wait to see how this progresses! My daughter is going to be in the process of moving into her “big girl room” soon, and she wanted pink and red, just like Clara. I’ve been totally stumped, thinking I’d have to paint the walls some kind of crazy color, but you’re giving me some amazing ideas already for keeping it neutral with big splashes of color. Thanks!!

  3. says

    My husband and I are completely obsessed with the Kreg Jig. We actually have whole conversations about all the amazing projects we could do if we had one! Glad to see one “in the wild”!

    Last night I found an $85 Heywood Wakefield crendenza on the Richmond Craigslist. Tried posting it on your Facebook but I don’t think it went through! Here’s hoping someone can give it a nice home (I’m so sad it won’t be me!).

  4. says

    Aww, very cute. That’s one heck of a big girl set up she’s got going on there. I know plenty of adult girls who’d love the same thing! (The bed/bedding is very fun!) I can’t wait to see how many ceramic animals make an appearance in there! I saw deer head at West Elm and thought of you guys even though it isn’t ceramic. Hang on let me find it…

    …okay, I couldn’t find the same one but I found this instead and it’s WAAAAY better and ceramic! I’m dyin’!

  5. says

    Looks like a great start to a big girl’s room! I love that you kept the paint color neutral. My parents always insisted on painting my room crazy colors when I was growing up, and I’d lose interest after about a year. It’s probably why, as an adult, I don’t mind apartment-white paint…haha!

  6. Chelsea says

    I had a quick question about the daybed as Clara’s bed. I ask this as someone with no kids who doesn’t really quite understand even how they work (kids, that is– as in, I asked my friend with a six month old if he was eating real food yet and she took a pause and said, “Well, he needs teeth first”), but are the sharp edges and cut-outs and holes safe enough for a kid to sleep in? I guess when you guys had been talking about how Clara is all over the daybed being her big girl bed that she’d get A day bed, but I didn’t realize it’d be this? Super curious and interested to know how it is that it can work.

    Thanks! LOVE the Ikat blanket!

    • says

      Oh yes, daybeds make great transition beds since they’re lower to the ground than most beds and can be turned around to face the wall to create little safety rails to keep them from rolling out. Those little cutouts are sort of like the slats in her crib (her legs and arms can hang out, but it doesn’t hurt her in any way) and the corners on the daybed are also like the corners of her crib, so it’s pretty much the same thing. I mean I wouldn’t put a baby in a daybed (since crib slats are designed to be a certain distance apart, etc) but a 2.5 year old on a daybed like this is totally safe :)


    • Megan B says

      And technically, kids don’t need teeth to eat real food! What does one little tooth in the front really do anyway? My friend’s kids didn’t get teeth until after they turned 1, and they were eating real food much earlier than that. You just don’t want them to eat anything hard that they can use their gums to break down. So, in other words, it really wasn’t a bad question for you to ask. :)

  7. says

    So excited to see this come together! I would never think to put red and pink together in a room but that blanket is totally going to pull it together and make it rock. And the color scheme right now is spot on Valentine’s Day like a mood board I just put together – – but you’re right, some pops of navy and yellow and it will be such a fantastic kids room!

  8. mariela says

    Love the progress! Random question from this pregnant reader :) love this paint color for our neutral nursery…if we do horizontal lines, would the white lines still be visible? Thanks Sherry!

    • says

      Sorry, I’m not sure I’m understanding the question. Are you asking if this wall color along with white will make the lines visible? I think it would – it would be subtle and so pretty! It looks great in this room with the white trim :)


    • says

      Hi Mariela, stripes should work just fine. It will be subtle and pretty. Perfect for a neutral nursery. I did something similar with our spare room and made myself a little sewing nook. The contrast color is slightly darker than Clara’s room, but I thought I’d share to give you some inspiration. Stripes are tedious, but SO worth it! Good luck on your makeover and with the new little one! :)

    • says

      That was a wedding gift from John’s Godmother from West Elm back when we got married. Love that thing! We have a similar one in the sunroom also from West Elm.


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