My Grandkids were getting a slew of Legos for Christmas this year, so I decided to make them each their own personalized framed Lego tray to build on.
Step 1: Step 1: Cuts and Glue Frames to Base.
I used some left over furring strips that I had from a previous project. I bought two sheets 48"x24" of 1/4" MDF board. I cut them down to 22" sqaure. Miter cut the furring strips and using my corner frame clamps assembled the frames then Wood glued to the MDF boards. After frames were glued tight, I went back and used some wood filler to plug any gaps. Sanded and prepped for next step.
Step 2: Step 2: Wood Burned Names & Varnished Frames
Now before proceeding with this step I double checked my Lego plates to make sure all 4 plates fit inside the frames. I had done the Grand kids names before on other items with Wood Burning. So using the same type fonts I did similar for these frames. After this I varnished each frame. I used several cans to stack and separate each board enough to varnish the frames edges all the way around.
This worked great for doing multiple coats (3 coats for each). Between coat of varnish I steel wooled the frames to remove any burs that may have occurred from the varnish. This step took several days to allow to dry properly between coats.
Step 3: Step 3: Glue Plates to Framed Tray
I ordered 12 - 10" green Lego plates off Ebay provider. (It proved to be the cheapest option).
4 Plates for each frame, this gives the kids a large area to build on. I made sure the plates fit into my finished frames before attempting to glue. I used a clear glue called 3000. It worked great but I ended up needing more glue,(wish they sold it in bigger tubes).
TIP!!!!: Use spare Lego blocks to join the plates together to make sure they will line up for building later.
Once I had the glue on, I placed the plates in position and using a set of old encyclodpedias to weight the plates down in position. I let each gluing set for 24 hours for it to set a permanent bond.
Step 4: Step 4: Custom Leather Handles
Since the frames are rather large for the kids at their age, I wanted them to be able to carry the frames around with out using both hands. I had some left over leather from another project.
I cut a strip the same width as the height of the frame and did a custom end cut design unique for each frame. By placing my hand under the leather I marked the frame with a grease pencil (that I could then wipe off for positioning.
First I used a small amount of super glue on each end. Then I nailed the leather strap in place with brass tacks with rounded heads. Finally for added security I used a brass screw on each end between the nails.
Step 5: Finished Trays & Gifted
The Grandkids are receiving these for Christmas (So shhhhh mums the word). I signed the backs and wrapped them in tissue paper and are sitting behind the Christmas tree, waiting for the big say.
I hope they'll enjoy them for years to come.