How to Build a Simple Lego Tray

DIY Lego TrayOne of my good friends, just celebrated her son’s 3rd birthday. He’s a big Lego fan, so I thought this cute and clever Lego tray would be the perfect birthday gift. I had some scrap wood, paint, and polyurethane already on-hand, so the only purchase I made for this project was the Lego baseplate ($14.99) and the handles ($5.02). Here’s how it all went down for me…

First, I cut 1/2″ plywood to 15″x15″ and 1×2 boards: 2 @ 15″ and 2 @ 16.5″. Then I pre-drilled pocket holes on all four sides of plywood and attached the 15″ side pieces and then the 16.5″ pieces to the plywood. Just to secure the side pieces together, I nailed the corners with 1 1/2″ finish nails, then used a nail punch to hide the nail heads and filled them up with wood putty.

After measuring the center of the 15″ side, I aligned and marked holes for handles on both sides. Then, I pre-drilled holes for the handles. I gave the whole tray a quick sanding, then wiped it down with a damp cloth. I had some blue paint on hand and gave the tray a couple of thin coats. Then, I printed out his name, centered it on the side of the tray, then used a ballpoint pen and traced the letters, creating an indention on the wood.

After I painted inside the indention, I sealed the entire piece with a couple of coats of satin polyurethane. Then I applied Gorilla glue to the plywood and attached the Lego baseplate. I weighed it down with some paint cans and let it dry overnight.

Then I added some felt circles to the bottom, attached the handles, and voila!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Eli!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hello and happy Tuesday lovely readers! I’m Jen from The House of Wood and I’m so thrilled to share my very first DIY post with you here on Somewhat Simple! Let’s be friends, it’ll be fun!

Todays Post

Todays Post

This post was written by a guest on Somewhat Simple. If you have any questions regarding the content of this post, please contact the author directly.
Todays Post

Latest posts by Todays Post (see all)



  1. Tiffany Patterson says

    Even easier: get a frame, screw handles on the end and glue in the Lego board.

  2. says

    This is the Karen that has the Elijah that got the Lego tray and I can tell you that this gift has been used NON-STOP since he got it Saturday. And as an FYI- we have a bunch of Duplos, too, and the Lego mat works for both, so it’s a great cross-over gift for a 3-year-old. Thanks, Jen! I still can’t get over the perfect cleverness of this gift for Eli!

  3. Jenna says

    This is THE cutestidea ever! My 6 year old son loves Lego’s and would really love this tray! Can’t wait to make one! Thanks for sharing your creativity!!

  4. jen says

    I love this!!! I am going to try to make one that is about 3 of the baseplates long on plywood to put atop the stomage drawers that currently house my Son’s Lego blocks… Maybe THIS will keep them from under my FEET!!! 😉

    • Jen says

      Absolutely. My toddler doesn’t play with Legos yet, but I can only imagine how painful they can be underfoot! Good luck!

  5. Gail says

    I love this idea!!! All my kids and grandkids love playing with Legos…this is sooooo cool!!! Thank you!!

  6. Jess says

    What a clever idea!! Maybe I won’t have legos in my living room anymore huh…. well one can hope right? I’ll be featuring this on tomorrow linky party at Just Simply Christmas, please jump in on the fun and link up your homemade gift ideas for children or any other weeks! We’d love to have you!

  7. Kat says

    I bought all ofthe items needed so I can get started on Christmas……even the thing to drill the pocket holes…..but I cannot figure how to use it. Had you used the tool before this project? Any tips?

    • NicoLe says

      If you look on YouTube or on Keegan jig’s site there are a ton of video tutorials. You will be so happy with this purchase!

  8. melissa says

    Wish I had your talents! I was lost at the board measurements b/c I’m just not a good DIY’er. Any chance you would sell these? Could definitely order some for birthday presents!

  9. terri Baker says

    WOW! Love this! My son, Elijah, who we call Lie, peeked over my shoulder and said he wants this bad!!!

  10. Sandi says

    Oh, how I wish I could make this! I’m NOT a wood worker and I’m afraid I’d never get those screw holes right. Maybe I can find a friend to help. Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Andi says

      I feel you Sandi! I was so nervous about this project that I watched 5 youtube videos on pocket holes before I picked up a hammer. I just finished this project and am filled with a crazy rush!! I nixed the pocket holes and just used the finishing nails to attach the sides to the base and it worked beautifully. The dowel and wood putty hid all of my nails and the personalized paint job made this first time EVER wood project make me look like an old pro! If I can do this , you can do this!!!

      • Sandi says

        Well, maybe I’ll give it a try some time. My daughter just got her first Legos, so we may need one!

  11. says

    I made this for my nephew’s 7th birthday last year and he loves it! It is perfect for clean up time and they can quickly move the toys away from the dogs before they are all eaten!!
    My brother-in-law asked if I would make my other nephew (who is turning 2) his own board for the duplo legos. Just got the 15 x 15 duplo board in the mail and can’t wait to make this one too!!

  12. Tiffany says

    Thank you so much for this tuturial!! I can’t wait to make some Lego Trays for the lego lovers in my family! I have included this in my weekly roundup of useful sites at Thanks again!!

  13. Jan says

    Did you use a pocket hole jig on the plywood? What kind do I need, if you did use one? I see a wide variety at Lowe’s, Menards, Home Depot, etc. can the sides be screwed into the plywood from the outside instead and the screw holes be filled with wood putty? I tried my hand at drilling “pocket holes” with an electric drill and wasn’t impressed with my skills! HELP! Birthday is fast approaching and I want so badly to accomplish this clever Lego tray.


    • Jan says

      BEWARE! When my Lego building trays arrived, they were 1/16″ bigger all around than 15″x15″! I had already cut my plywood to 15″!!!!!

      • Kristin says

        Yikes! Wish I would have listened to the dimension issue Jan brought up! I just finished one tray and the Lego base plate does NOT fit! The actual Lego base is 15 1/16″ x 15 1/16″. Dang, now I have to figure out a redo (cut Lego base plate down?) vs start from scratch.

  14. Linda Jones says

    I bought some base plates at yard sales, thrift stores. I save so much on those I can afford to go to the lego store at the mall

  15. Lynn Dodson says


  16. Jackie Di Ceco says

    My husband made one of these many year ago, but it was large enough to cover our coffee table. Then when the boys had to clean up, we just put it in the toy room. Then, the next time they wanted it, they could pick up where they left off!