How to Make a Sensory Table for $35

I have been wanting a sensory table for my kids for a while now, however the hefty price tag has kept me from purchasing one. They average about $250+ depending on the style. Additionally it’s rare to find free shipping on this kind of item so add another $30ish dollars to cover the drop ship costs and I was looking at spending over $300 total including taxes and shipping. I would often visit various websites that sell sensory tables and a few times even placed one in my cart. Although I just couldn’t bring myself to hit enter and actually purchase one. On multiple occasions my hubby had said he could easily make one for a fraction of the cost. I finally decided to take him up on this offer and have him make one for a Christmas present for the kids.

Once we decided to make our own I was on a mission to find a table from a thrift store that we could convert into a sensory table. It had to be the right design/size, not too heavy, and at the right price. After a few weeks of searching I found this table and this bin at a thrift store. They were both the perfect size and shape and price! I spent $12 and walked out of there one happy customer! Next stop? Home Depot!

This was a coffee table which sits too low to function as a sensory table. So we first needed to figure out the best way to raise it up. After discussing a few options we decided to purchase two large dowel rods that could be cut to size and replace the existing legs. This seemed the best option because it would require the least amount of labor, be cost effective, be aesthetically pleasing, and result in a durable table, yet light enough that I could easily move it as needed.¬† At home depot we spend a total of $23. The dowel rods were $7 each (x2 = $14), the clearance can of paint was $6, and the hardware (bolts) totaled $3. Now we were ready for the easy part…making the table! It was a simple enough project to complete in a weekend. It¬†involved basic skills/knowledge of power tools, woodworking, and measurement.

Making the table consisted of 5 basic steps:
1. Cutting off existing legs
2. Cutting dowel rods down to appropriate size
3. Cutting a hole in the table top for the bin to rest
4. Bolting in new legs
5. Painting table

Hubby cutting off existing legs with a jigsaw

Bolting in new legs

Finished table ready for sensory exploration!

Voila! A sensory table for $35 made with recycled materials from a thrift store! And I figure with the money saved from making one rather than purchasing one I can get some fun accessories to use with the sensory table! I am really excited for all the fun, messy, sensory play ahead of us!!

What simple DYI projects have you made for your children? Any special homemade Christmas gifts you would like to share ideas for? I would enjoy hearing from you!

-Sarah

PS. Tomorrow’s Tasty Tuesday is a recipe for one of my favorite vegan soups!

Tags: christmas present, DYI sensory table, how to, sensory table, thrift store

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