DIY Light Table
I joined our preschool board of directors last May and it has been a blast helping get the preschool equipped with awesome learning tools. Our preschool was in need of some upgrades and less "day care" items! We have built new lockers gotten new toys and teaching supplies and have even made some of our own to save some money!! (like our 3 way art easel)
(The president, Trina, my husband and I made the easel during the summer last year... it was another "we can make that" moment while looking through over priced education catalogs) Because we donated the cost of the project the preschool didn't pay a dime, we saved over $100 making our own and it was so easy!
The preschool uses it every day so its priceless!
I enjoy "window" shopping through the new education store catalogs that come in and I noticed some different light tables. I have thought our preschool was in need of one after visiting the Telus Spark Science Centre. They are SO expensive!! These two basic tables that are smaller than what we built are OVER $400 CND each. (both from wintergreen.ca)
My mom had one made for her back when my sister and I were young for drawing. I knew it was possible to make our own, just needed some inspiration. Off to Pinterest I went... I found everything from train tables converted to frosted Rubbermaid containers used as light tables. I got an idea of what I wanted, started looking at IKEA and what I could convert. I thought if I could convert a cheaper piece of furniture it would save the cost of supplies. So after some planning and sharing my idea with my husband we both started to get excited. My husband got possibly more excited than I was to build one and was thrilled to come up with something that would work. We decided to get enough supplies to build our little preschool a light table and to build our kids one too. We walked though IKEA saying to each other, "This would work" to more than a few different options. But we finally decided on the following:
What you need:
- LATT children's table and chairs. ($24.99 CND and it comes with 2 chairs!)
- Two sets of the DIODER LED lights. We got two in white ($29.99 CND each) for the Preschool's table and two sets in color ($39.99 CND each) because my husband got a brilliant idea to make our's a color table.
- After the IKEA run we stopped by Home Depot to get some OPTIX Acrylic sheets, you need exactly an 18"x 24" sheet. we got the .080" ($13.99 CND each) thickness but would suggest thicker if we did it again.
- Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass Finish spray paint ($7.97)
- knife blade to notch out corners or table saw (be careful not to chip Acrylic)
- Screw Driver (or drill) and 4 small screws
- Velcro if desired
Lets get started!!!
You need the table pieces (if your LATT table comes with the support beams for the top you do not need these, one of our tables did not have these one did so you may end up with extra pieces you wont use, you may not)
Step 1: use the white table top to mark on your acrylic sheet the corners that need to be notched out. Then spray several thin coats of frosted finish paint over the acrylic. The more layers you apply the better. Only frost one side as well. One can worked perfectly for 2 tables!
This is all you get in one of the multi-color LED sets, you wont use all the pieces!
This is all you need for cords out of the two sets.
This is how we connected our lights: We connected 2 strips directly to each other, one extension, one strip, two extensions and then the final strip. Make two of these.
We have had fun playing all day with our new light table! Photographed below is the white LED light table.
Mixing colors with dyed vinegar and baking soda
Cheap manipulatives purchased at the dollar store!
Playing with Primary colors
Adalie, her cousin and her little brother Everett having a blast playing!
Did some coloring on the light table too!
Playing with plastic ice cubes
Demo of the light options of the multi-color led table! So much fun!
Hope you enjoyed this DIY Light Table - Ikea Hack.
Total cost for White Light Table: about $ 110
Total cost for Multi Color Light Table: $130
Total savings... roughly $280-$300+
Could possibly be made even cheaper with fluorescent lights but my husband loves the idea of LED and I am pleased!
UPDATE: We were featured on Buzzfeed! Check it out #18!!!
Check out this other tutorial at Moonbeam And Applesauce