Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DIY Portable Lego Tray revised

Build: lego tray (revised)

I was shocked and surprised at the response to my first portable Lego tray, thank you to everyone who shared the idea, I'm truly flattered.

The portable Lego tray is a simple build and the first version is fine but I'm always looking for ways to improve on my projects.

After receiving many requests from friends (and strangers) looking to purchase the Lego tray I revised the build slightly to make a better product.

I made multiple Lego baseplate layout options:

And now the underside of the tray is completely smooth (in the first version the pocket holes were visible):

I also contacted the Lego company to request the baseplates be made in 'girl colors' to coordinate with the Lego Friends collection - maybe yellow, pink, purple, bright blue would work well with any of the Friends sets:

 Below is a portion of the response I received from JoAnn at LEGO Direct Consumer Services, just maybe someday they might have new baseplate colors, maybe?
Here's how I made the portable Lego tray (revised):
1. Purchase multiple Lego baseplates:
blue and green: 10" x 10"
grey: 15" x 15"

2. Cut and arrange the baseplates to form a 20" x 15" playspace:

3. Cut your boards:

1/2" plywood @ 20" x 15"
2 - 1x2 @ 15"
2 - 1x2 @ 21.5"

4. Using pocket holes attach the shorter side pieces.
The pocket holes should be facing up:
(*You could also countersink screws from the outside through the 1x2 into the plywood, use #6 @ 1 1/2" screws.)

5. Now add the longer side pieces.
Then the handles centered on the short sides:


6. Using construction adhesive:

apply adhesive directly under baseplates
(see how the baseplates will cover up the pocket holes!)

7. Add weight while adhesive dries:

8. Prepare to wrap:

Ready to gift:

A great DIY project that any Lego enthusiast would love.

LEGO please, please will you make the baseplates in colors to coordinate with the Friends collection?


  1. I love it! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  2. It's cool that they wrote you back, but you need to get a patent on that design NOW! Because they'll probably come out with Lego trays just in time for Christmas. You might as well make some money on your idea.

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  4. I *need* to make this for my son's birthday next month! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  5. this is fantastic, what an awesome gift to someone :)

  6. Yup. I still love it. I'd love to get something like this with a pillow on the bottom so my boys could use it for road trips! You really are an inspiration!

  7. I LOVE this!
    Why don't you just spray paint the base the color you want it? :)

  8. Love this! We have our Kitchen Fun & Crafty link party up and would love for you to share this!

  9. This is brilliant! I need to make one for each of my kids I think. Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial!

  10. Thank you, Jamie! We made your Lego trays and I posted pictures of our experience. They are a hit!


  11. That is just what my kids need! Love your idea! All of us play with LEGOS in our house. Even my 16 yr old daughter. It's our family time and we love it. Thanks so much for sharing your idea!

  12. This is awesome! Just yesterday I was in need of a portable Lego solution as the 10 month old tried to eat the 4 year old's Legos! Eeeeek!! Thank you! Pinning and making!!

  13. This is so awesome! I actually have a tray that is not getting used that would be perfect for this! Visit me a www.six-cents.com.

  14. That is such a cool letter from LEGO. I love these trays - Sawyer loves his LEGOS. So do I. I am one of three daughters but we always got sets of LEGOS for Christmas from my Dad.

  15. My daughter is a huge Lego girl. W have the Friends sets and are now acquiring the Creator sets. This tray is exactly what she needs! Thank you so much for sharing :)

  16. My daughter is a huge Lego girl. W have the Friends sets and are now acquiring the Creator sets. This tray is exactly what she needs! Thank you so much for sharing :)

  17. What a simple and awesome idea, I'm going to make this for a Lego gift basket for a school. I think I will stain the wood and add felt to the bottom.

  18. i love this! where do you buy lego base plates?

  19. I love this idea!! I wanted to make this for my daughter but didn't have the time to construct the tray part. So, I bought the lego plate and searched for something I can easily put it in. I ended up finding a scrapbook frame. I took out the glass and left the back part. I glued the lego plate where the picture would go. It has worked out great because it's deep enough the lego pieces do not fall off. Just wanted to add a quick version.

  20. This is an awesome idea! Definitely adding it to the build list.

    I think Lego used to make the 1/4 sized and 1/2 size platforms/baseplates in yellow (we have some "vintage" ones in our collection), if you look on eBay or at
    local garage sales you might find some. :)

  21. I can't think of a way to do it that would be efficient, but it would be possible to use green and blue to make a roughly heart-shaped lake, which would suit the LEGO Friends town well. My first thought was just to have three blue squares in a rough "L" shape on a field of green--if your builder is willing to apply some imagination, that might be adequate.

    For those considering staining the sides, I'd recommend cutting the corners at 45 degree angles, rather than butting them at 90 degrees as shown. Stain tends to look somewhat darker on end grain, which is more porous and soaks up more of it. Not the sort of thing most kids would care about, of course, but it would give a slightly more consistent look.

  22. What is the best way to cut the lego baseplates?