The Original DIY Inexpensive Ikea Light Table

At Moonbeams and Applesauce we like to learn, be creative and have fun. That's why when we saw how much fun light table play could be but how not fun the price tags were, we set off on a mission to build an inexpensive light table for all! Of the many light table tutorials now on the web, ours is the original and only light table that illuminates like a professional table, distributing light evenly without blinding kids! As a bonus our table also features a custom fit sand and water tray, fashioned from the tables unused parts. We are so happy to offer this free and simple tutorial. We hope it provides hours of fun play for you!


  • Ikea Latt Table
  • White paint
  • Wood screws
  • Picture frame nails
  • Clear caulk
  • Sandpaper
  • 2 - sheets of plexi glass (the same size as the piece of particle board that comes with the table)
  • 2 - small under cabinet floresant lights 
  • 1- sheet of plywood (large enough to fit under your table top)


Assemble your Latt chairs together as instructed.

Drill an 1 1/2" hole in 1 side beam of the Latt Table.

Paint all the Latt table pieces and your plywood white. Allow to dry.

Use the table's top particle board as a template to cut 1-piece of your plexiglass. We found a saw cut the plexiglass best.

Sand the plexiglass well in all directions until it is frosted and no longer see through.

Now put the Latt table together as instructed. On step 3 insert plexiglass instead of particle board. Omit step 4. Do not insert the wood support beams.

Cut the plywood corners so that they fit inside the table legs and underneath the table top. An easy trick we found was to set our table on top our particle board and trace around the legs, then cut those corners out.

Attach your lights to the white plywood base. Space the lights evenly apart. Once the lights are attached, thread the light cords through the 1 1/2" hole you drilled in the side beam and attach the plywood to the base of the table with screws. The plywood base should be flush with the bottom of the side beams.

You just made a light table! 


To make a custom tray, for work on top of your light table, get out those reserved cross support beams that came with your Latt table.

Cut them just slightly so that they fit inside your table top.

Now shape them into a square frame and secure with picture frame nails on the sides.

Once you have created this frame, cut the second sheet of plexi-glass to fit just underneath of your frame. The wood frame sits on top of your plexiglass. Use shower caulk to secure the plexi-glass to the frame.

Caulk around the corners, edges and seams to make the tray water and sand proof.

Disclaimer: use the light table with discretion and supervision. The plexiglass is great for play but not for climbing on and can break if too much weight is put on it. 

Here is my earlier post on ways we will be adapting the light table to use in our classroom. And please see HobbyMommy's post on the Ikea Light Table with colored lights!



twolittleseeds said…
Thanks for this, it's just what I need! xx
jo said…
thanks so much for this tutorial. i have been thinking about making a light table for a while now and this is the best idea i have seen. likewise the cost of purchasing a light table is too unrealistic for us. i am now on the lookout for one of these ikea tables. hopefully they have the same in australia. thanks again.

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