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. Dani says

    looking good – can’t wait to see it as it evolves!

    Keep her in that crib as long as possible!! Both of my kids went from amazing crib sleepers to more high maintenance bed sleepers. Not terrible but more work :) I didn’t have climbers either.

  2. Lindsey says

    Can’t wait to see what else you do with the room! We are currently redoing our sons room (which he’ll share with his little sister in April) and our master bedroom – we had to switch rooms with the kids so they’d have a bigger room to share. I’ve been looking for the perfect neutral gray / tan color for the walls in both rooms. I’m going to have to get a sample of Alaskan Skies and try it out!

  3. Amber says

    She is soooo precious jumping on her bed! Love her! I agree with your doc though…don’t move her too soon. I moved one of mine at 3 yrs old and it was perfect. The 2nd I moved way earlier and my once angelic sleeper woke up all the time to check on mommy, daddy & brother. She was much easier in the crib : )

  4. says

    Simple & Beautiful!

    I’m wondering if there will be any Clara-framed art work or a space to display it after she works her wonders at the table (or elsewhere).

    Looking forward to the progressions and learning who’s the king/queen/princess of Gin Rummy.

  5. says

    Looks cute so far – love those chairs!

    If you don’t mind sharing what are you thinking about the curtains? I always have the hardest time picking fabric (I think I’m waiting for some amazing fabric that doesn’t exist) and mixing colors/patterns. Will you look for something with navy in it? Just red and orange? Solid? Will you use fabric for the closet again? Same as the curtains? Just wondering your thought process.

    • says

      I think we think the rug will be a choice we make before the curtains and then that + the bedding will inform what we choose. I think we could go a ton of different ways, so it should be fun to see where we land!


  6. Susie Parker says

    so jealous that you still have Clara in a crib. My 26 month old figured out to hoist herself out of the crib last week (mainly thrusting herself headfirst to the ground)which resulted in prematurely moving her to a toddler bed. I would have loved to have had her corraled until she was 3.

    • Cathy says

      Well, it could be worse. Our son started climbing out of the crib at17 months. It was a rough transition to the toddler bed.

    • Karen F says

      Some unsolicited advice – I put a gate up in my daughter’s doorway at bedtime (she’s 3) so she can’t get out of her room (our bedrooms are upstairs, and we have a very steep staircase, which I also have a gate across). the one I have by her room is not permamently installed (it’s by safety first, I forget what it’s called, but it basically just fits snug in the doorway, then we can remove it in the morning). when she wakes up sometimes she plays in her room for a bit, and she also can’t startle me in the middle of the night! I did the same thing with my older daughter and it worked great. Once they are completely potty trained (no nighttime diapers or pull ups) is when I stop using the gate.

    • says

      We had a giant yard sale and an auction for charity with lots of book stuff that was in there. We have also craigslisted some things, and a little bit of the extra stuff has moved down to our basement to be stored out of the way (like the extra frames, etc).


  7. says

    Those last two photos are adorable. Are you going to keep a final reveal secret from Clara at any point (not letting her see the finishing touches until it’s done)?

  8. Amanda says

    What in the world did y’all do with everything that was once in the room?! The bed and small table obviously stayed, but I thought there was a bunch of other pictures etc?

    (Love the blanket too!)

    • says

      We had a giant yard sale and an auction for charity with lots of book stuff that was in there. We have also craigslisted some things, and a little bit of the extra stuff has moved down to our basement to be stored out of the way (like the extra frames, etc).


  9. Ali says

    My wedding colors are navy, light pink, hot pink, grey and a little white. Love the combo! I’ll have to keep that in mind for a future room makeover too!

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