Tetris Table




Let's say you have hundreds of wooden cubes and a dream...a very particular dream.  Specifically, the dream of having a Tetris-themed end table for your living room or patio.

Or you haven't had that dream, but it sounds kinda neat anyway.

Then this is the Instructable for you!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Lots and lots of 1" wooden blocks (about 350)
Kylon Gloss Spray Paint - Banner Red, Peekaboo Blue, Regal Blue, Rich Plum, Sun Yellow, Emerald Green, Pumpkin Orange and Crystal Clear
Kylon Satin Spray Paint - Black
Wood Glue
Duct Tape
Wood screws (16)
Cardboard or newspaper to use as a backdrop for spray painting

Table top - 10" x 10" piece, I used 1/2" thick wood but any will work
Legs - 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" pieces 18" long (4)
Sidebars 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" pieces7" long (8)


Step 2: Create Shapes

Glue up sets of 4 blocks into the Tetris shapes.  Make 14 of each shape:

  • Square
  • Straight
  • L shape - Right
  • L shape - Left
  • Z Shape - Right
  • Z Shape - Left

Also reserve a few extra single blocks to be painted in each color.

Now, you might be wondering why I don't just spray a bunch of blocks first and arrange them in shapes.
Since the blocks are a little irregular, any seams will follow along with the glued shapes
It is easier for me to layout using the shapes, rather than individual blocks.  And it is more fun : )

But, if you don't want to make the shapes ahead of time, you can skip this step and go right to painting the blocks.

Step 3: Sand

There is probably a better way to do this...but in order to even out the blacks a bit, I attached them to duct tape and ran an electric sander over them.

This would not be an issue if you were cutting your own blocks, but these came pre-cut and are slightly irregular.

Step 4: Paint Blocks

Get out your spray paint, move to an outside location, and apply 2 -3 coats per side as follows:

L shape Right - Regal Blue
L shape Left - Pumpkin Orange
Square - Sun Yellow
Bar - peekaboo Blue
Z shape Right - Emerald Green
Z shape Left - Banner Red
T shape - Rich Plum

Note: Carefully follow directions on the spray paint.

Step 5: Table Frame

The frame is simply held together with wood screws.  There is no need to hide the screws since they will be covered over by Tetris blocks.  Once the frame pieces are cut, create frame:

  1. Measure and mark 1/4" from the top and 4" from the bottom on one side
  2. On the next side mark 3/4" from the top and 3 3/4" from the bottom
  3. Drill through all marks
  4. Affix side bars to legs with wood screws
  5. Attach legs to form frame
  6. Glue on table top

Step 6: Paint Frame

Cover entire frame with 3 - 4 layers of the Satin Finish Black Spray Paint.

Step 7: Table Top

Arrange blocks into a 12 x 12 square for the top of the table.

Consider timing your friends to see how long it takes them to make a perfect square!

When you are happy with your pattern, glue all the pieces together.  Using a glue brush will make this much easier and neater.

Step 8: Attach Top and Create Sides

Wait for table top to completely dry.  Decide which side will be up and make sure that side is facing down.  Cover all but the outside rows with glue and place frame on top. 

While this is drying, you can build the sides.  Just add a few more levels around the sides.  this is where a few extra singe blocks may come in handy if you want to maintain the shape patterns on all sides. For example, The dark blue L shape uses a couple pieces from the table top, so I only needed two block to create the L shape on the side.  For another example, I forgot about this for the two red pieces under the yellow block on the corner.   And yes, it kinda bugs me that I missed that...

The bottom rows can also be arranged and glued at this point.  I glued them together in small groups and affixed them along the bottom sidebars with clamps.  This allows you to work on this step while the table is still in the upside down position from the beginning. 

Step 9: Gloss Coat

Now just the finishing, um, finish.

Use the Clear Gloss Spray Paint to coat the entire piece 4 - 5 times.

Now you have the perfect item on which to serve Mario martinis, Pac-Man pizza or Call of Duty canapes!

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    24 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Since i am not able ot create a level table, i might go with this to start: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10193734/ a $13 IKEA table


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I would think wood square cutouts like http://www.craftparts.com/blocks-squares-wooden-square-cutouts-wood-c-209_213.html would work better but maybe they don't give the edges. i could see doing one with just the top done with the cutouts.

    I can visualize spending the money for enough blocks to make a bed frame, or a work table for my crafts. You can get the blocks online at www.craftparts.com, several sizes. Or ebay of course, but craftparts (which is Woodworks, Ltd) is reliable and fast. You can spread the cost out by doing it a little at a time.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    this is fantastic but after looking around it seems it would cost me £100+ even with a table already. its a shame i could see myself doing this.

    2 replies

    The blocks were $20.00 (ebay), the table was made out of $5.00 of pine (Home Depot. The paint was the expensive part...I think $4 - $5 per can. Accounting for glue and wood screws, I think I'd say $80.00 US on the high end if I were buying everything (I already had some of the paint and materials).
    Maybe some friends have leftover paint or wood from other projects, or you'll accumulate as lot of it as you do other projects. You could also buy cheaper paint (but don't mention that Krylon!).


    ah, to live in the US. UK is stupidly expensive for everything esp hobby/diy stuff, if its $5 in the US its £7-10 in the uk which is upto double the price you guys pay. thanks for the reply.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, my word.

    If I wasn't prevented by a bug, I'd give this five stars!

    Awesome! just a note to you or anyone else. If you plan to use it outside and leave it there all year round, consider using some spar varnish (marine varnish; spar urethane) instead of spray clear. It is the only way to truely waterproof wooden furniture. It should be available in most hardware stores and is not expensive (less than $10 for a spray version at home depot).


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I love this table, and definitely see the Tetris theme, but the first thought that popped into my head when I saw the picture was of the game "Don't Break the Ice." Now that would be an interesting end table ;)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice job.. I would have to go with an original gameboy color scheme if I made one since the color is too bright for my tastes :-)


    7 years ago on Step 7

    A couple of the red ones are going the wrong way.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is great!!! Wonderful idea... I might have to steal it... :)