From here on out I really want to start making something for my children for Christmas. I decided to make a train board after I saw the one Sherry and John from Young House Love made last year. It was a pretty easy process and since I decided to do this in early 2013 I was able to get a good deal on this train track. I want to say that I got it for $70 and with prime it was free shipping. Not a bad deal. So if a railroad set is on your list, keep an eye out. I bought it back in August so it was really nice to have the big gift out-of-the-way before Christmas came around.
Other than the track I purchased a 2 x 4 birch panel from Home Depot, a sample pot of Japanese Fern [the light green], Shamrock [the dark green], and Peacock Feather [the blue], and Martha Stewart’s glitter specialty finish in gold dust and a can of water-based polyurethane. The only other thing I used was some E-6000 glue. The top picture is the first set up I came up with but I made the mistake of not tracing the railroad so I had to do another set up and came up with the second one, which I ended up going with for the final set up. After setting up the track, I took a bunch of pictures so it’d be easier to put it back together. I also traced the track so that I knew where to paint.
I thought it’d be cool to have a mixture of land and water. These days Sophie is obsessed with the beach so I had to include lots of beach space for her toys to relax on. Plus what’s cooler then a glittery beach? Though if I were to do this project again I would probably paint the beach white or tan and then go over it with glitter. It took a lot of coats to get the covering I did and it’s still pretty spotty.
As far as going with a solid panel as opposed to three boards attached together is that the board is skinner and smaller than Sherry and John’s board but I didn’t have to do any sanding because it was already sanded and it saved me an extra step of having to attach the boards. It was also about the same price as three boards attached together. When you are working in your backyard with limited space then sometimes the best option is the one with the least amount of steps. The only downside for me is that my track hangs over the sides a bit.This project was really hard to do without a garage. Not to mention the cold temperatures. This is the set up in the backyard to hide the track from the kids while also letting it dry. This is also the reason I decided to glue down my tracks as opposed to nailing or screwing them down. I think now that the kids have seen the track I may go back and screw things down. The glue is pretty secure and I don’t see the kids being able to pull them off but we are moving soon and that’s when the track is probably going to see some abuse. There has also been a few incidents of people thinking they should stand on the tracks. Not that screws can support their weight but the tracks would be more secure with them.
I decided to secure the tracks for the same reason’s Sherry and John decided to. Plus, Joel is a bit of a terror at times and I didn’t want fights to start because he decided to knock over the tracks while Sophie played. This way they can both play together and I don’t have to put the train tracks back together 50 billion times.
All in all the kids are enjoying the train set. I like that there is something for both ages to be able to do. Joel likes sending trains down the steep hill to crash while Sophie is more into the pretending aspect of it all. Have you made anything similar? What projects have you been working on lately? Next year I hope we have more room in the house so I can build them a play kitchen.
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