DIY Kid’s Activity Table Redo- 1st Birthday Gift DIY

Our little nephew Bryden, who we introduced you to here, turned one last weekend, and to celebrate, his parents through a pool party shindig!  Honestly, we can’t believe he’s already a year old.  Time really flies… and it makes me scared that when we have kids, the time will fly by even faster!  Yikes!


Anywho… his momma, Sarah, saw the charity activity table on the blog a few months ago and told me how much she loved it and wanted to get something similar for Bryden!  I decided that I definitely needed to make him his very own! 

Wanting to keep it simple and make sure that it coordinated with his room, I chose red and blue for the colors and then went with a cow-print for the seat.  Since red and “true” blue are not colors I have in our home, I made a quick trip to the store and picked up two samples of a red and blue that we felt would be perfect for this job!  I also snagged a bottle of spray lacquer.  Last time I used poly-urethane, and it worked great, but I wanted to try out lacquer for this little guy.  I also switched up and tried chalkboard spray paint instead of the brush on kind, which worked great and was much quicker and easier to use!

Kids Table and Supplies

With colors, lacquer, and chalkboard paint in hand, we got home and got to work!  I managed to coax Eric into helping me with all of the red and blue painting.

Kids Table

The table top surface got two coats of chalkboard spray paint, thirty minutes apart.  Worked like a charm!

Kids Table 1

While all of that paint dried, I snagged the two chair seats and began plotting out my design.  Initially, I thought I would find a “cow print” image and then trace it onto the seats, but after a quick “googling,” I decided to go ahead and free-hand the design.  It was actually a ton of fun to do!  I simply used one of my craft paint brushes and chocolate brown acrylic paint. 

Kids Table 3

After one coat of the brown, some of the white was still showing through.  So, I allowed the first coat to dry for about two hours, and then applied a second “thick” coat.  It literally turned out perfectly!

Kids Table 4_1

Kids Table 5

After everything was painted, I allowed it to set for two days.  Once I was certain that everything was dry, I installed the seats into the chairs, and without the chalkboard top in place, spray-lacquered the entire thing, twice.  Chairs, seats, and all.  Two coats of lacquer gave it a bit of sheen and a solid layer of protection.  If you really want a high gloss effect, I would’ve lightly sanded the lacquer after the second coat, and applied a third coat.  TIP: keep in mind, that with spray-lacquer, you have to apply it in thin, even layers, or you will get tons of drips.

Kids Table Chairs 2

Kids Table 6

After drying overnight, I installed the chalkboard table top, and wrote a little birthday message using our chalk pensLOVE this little guy- I mean Bryden!

Kids Activity Table Final

Kids Activity Table Final 2


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  1. Looks super cute! I love the seats on the chairs. You guys did a great job!

  2. I love to DIY gifts! You probably saw the fabric bouquet I made for my friend’s wedding. I also DIY a baby shower gift last year: a name banner (in the room colors) and a canvas painting with a button monogram. I am currently working on a similar baby shower gift. This one is 3 small canvases painted brown and each canvas will have one big letter made out of pink buttons to spell “MIA.” With such a short baby name I thought the whole name would be nice :)

    • ya, that fabric bouquet is GORGEOUS!!!! I’ve really been picking my brain trying to think of “why” exactly I need one of your banners, because I really want one! I bet the “Mia” art is going to turn out super cute!

  3. LOVE this DIY project! Perfect birthday gift for any kid!

  4. My husband and I saw something like this on Etsy last night and thought it would make a perfect christmas gift for our kiddo’s. Which did you think was better..the spray chalkboard paint..or the paint on? Also, this may sound silly, but did you have to prime the table top before using the chalkboard paint, or do you not have to worry about that??

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