Wednesday, June 25, 2014

$12 DIY, No Sew, No Tool Water Table Cover


If you're like me, you probably thought a water table would be loads of fun for your kids. It's easy! They play with water, they can't drown, it's perfect for sensory awareness and it's right in your big or small yard!

They'll just play happily while you make dinner!

Right.

Except, if you're also like me, after its first use, you have no clue what to do with the bulky table that gets all sludgy and filled with rainwater. If you leave it inside, it hogs up all the space in your garage. If it's outside, it will become dirty and you'll have to clean it before every use, thus negating the whole "what a great idea and it will be so easy!" excitement you first had.
Dirty, in the cleaning process. I used vinegar and water because a certain 2yo likes to drink the water. Barf.
The Velcro is how I "fixed" the problem of that tower thing falling down every single time we used it. Works okay. I would use tools if I really wanted the job done right. Or maybe they should just make it so the darn thing doesn't fall on kids.
I needed to cover ours, otherwise I might as well send it off to the thrift store.

I had some main requirements:
1. Water and dirt cannot get in and become annoying to clean and a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
2. It had to be inexpensive because the table itself was like $30.
3. I didn't want to have to sew anything. I don't do such things. Plus, what a timesuck.
4. No toolbelts required.
5. Cannot be an ugly eyesore.

That left me with one option: buy one. Except, they don't sell them. I saw two online DIY ideas. One was made by the lady with a *shudder* sewing machine and probably some expensive fabric she had to research and buy at the fabric store along with heavy-duty needles and whatever. I'm getting a headache just thinking about it. The second option I saw was drilling into the water table and putting this waterproof material over it and just sort of clipping it to the side. It didn't look very sturdy and wasn't very pretty either. And then, ugh, more work!

I turned to Amazon. Obviously. Water table cover? Didn't exist. But you know what did? Patio table covers. I searched those and then got an even better idea... what about a FIREPIT COVER? They are for outside use, to protect from elements, and they are just the right size for my approximately 32 inch water table diameter.

BINGO.
I bought this one for less than $15 shipped with super reviews as a firepit cover-- so it must be good for covering something plastic, right? They are currently going for $14.99, but I bought one from the Amazon Warehouse deals that was basically cheaper because it didn't come in a fancy box.

I cleaned up all the sludgy pieces that were sitting outside making my backyard look like a trailer park. I dried them off (because of course it was raining outside when it was naptime and the sun was of no help). I put the pieces all inside the table and covered it. The elastic band is super snug. If there was a concern otherwise, a small bungy cord underneath would handle that... but really, it's snug.

It's classy, waterproof and a time saver. $12 well spent.
Snug as a bug in a rug. Take that Midwest thunderstorms!

16 comments:

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

You are brilliant. I must copy you. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

I want to hug you for this. Thank you!!!!

Laura Jane said... [Reply to comment]

I've totally been eyeballing my sludge-filled water table thinking it's disgusting. ha. Mine's a little odd shaped, but I think I can make this work. Will check out Target for clearance things ;)

Brie said... [Reply to comment]

You're a genius! I'm logging this in my memory bank for when we have a yard and water table again!

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Brilliant ! I wish I got Finn a water table last year. I may still as I think he would enjoy it this summer and Mary will next summer.

Natasha said... [Reply to comment]

Ummm super smart lady. I'm totally copying as well!

Veronica said... [Reply to comment]

You know...I haven't bought one yet. But Daniels parents have a sand/water table and it's diiiiisgusting. It's out all summer and discoloured and gross...and that trailer park comment...totally their backyard. (And they have a really nice backyard orherwise). This idea is genius. I'm going to find a cover and make sure i can snag that before the table purchase.

U iz so smat

Sneaker Teacher said... [Reply to comment]

What a great idea! I've been wanting to get a water table or bigger pool for Grace but of course it rains ALL the time in Oregon so I would definitely need a cover.

Molly said... [Reply to comment]

I've contemplated this for years and actual searched for a grill cover using the same concept years ago... But min is shaped like an 8, so maybe a table cover will work for me. I'm sick if it too! Gah

Nicole said... [Reply to comment]

So smart! I get sick of cleaning that thing every single time the girls want to play with it. And Abigail is a water drinker too. Gag.

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

i will be buying one ASAP

Monica Flock said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my goodness! What a brilliant idea! I have been looking for something all summer and was finally going to "alter" a patio table cover when I stumbled on your blog. I just ordered the same cover you bought! Thanks so much!!!

Dena Gandhi said... [Reply to comment]

This is EVERY moms dreams come true!

Thanks for the advice!!

JC said... [Reply to comment]

You are a genius! THANK YOU!!! We have lots of trees which produce lots of debris, this will work perfectly!

B. Wilson @ Windy {City} Wilsons said... [Reply to comment]

@JC

You're so welcome!

HeyJude12 said... [Reply to comment]

This works so well! I found it just googling water table cover and I'm so glad I did! Even holds up well in our crazy Midwestern summer storms!

We have the new Dory version of this same table and it's a perfect fit! Thank you so much!