Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Easy DIY Kid-Sized Picnic Table!

My husband built this while I was grocery shopping one Saturday morning not too long ago.  We eat most meals on our deck now anytime it's not raining...it's awesome!  This table is perfect for up to 6 kids ages 3 to 10.  Here is before and after the paint job...

The plans came from Ana White's website right here: 

I realize this post is for woodworkers, but if you are not afraid of wielding a power saw, this project is a cinch.  According to my handy husband, this is...

What You Need:

Lumber- We used pressure treated pine, which is the least expensive wood but also heavy.  Cedar would be a great choice at about twice the cost.

2 -2x6 boards, 8 feet long. 
2- 2x4 boards, 8 feet long.  If you have scraps of 2x4 on hand check the cut list first.  Several pieces are quite short.

You’ll need one 1-lb box of 2 ½ inch deck screws.  Get square head or star drive screws with a matching bit.  If you have never used them before they are infinitely easier to work with than traditional Phillips head!

Use whatever left-over stain, deck stain, or paint you have on hand.  Pressure treated wood will naturally grey as it ages, which some people like.  If you intend on finishing new pressure-treated wood, wait a month or so until it dries out.  The greenish hue will fade.  

Power drill or cordless drill
Tape measure
Miter saw (a hand saw or circular saw would work if you feel comfortable cutting a 30 degree angle with accuracy).
A strong C-clamp that opens 4 inches is helpful, but not absolutely required, for holding the legs in place and level while you fasten them.

Cut List
Table Top:
4 2x6 at 48 inches .  Note: if your 8 foot boards are actually 8 feet 1.5 inches, just cut them exactly in half. 

Table top supports:
2- 2x4 at 22 inches.  Note: 22 inches is the longest dimension.  Cut 30 degree angles off each end.  See photo.

Bench Seats:
4 2x4 at 48 inches. 

Table Legs:
4- 2x4 at 26 inches.   Note: The table legs are technically parrellograms.  Each end needs a 30 degree angle.  See photo. 

Bench Seat Supports:
2- 2x4 at 41 inches.  Note: 41 inches is the longest dimension. A 30 degree angle should be trimmed off each end. See photo.

Lateral Support:
1- 2x4 at around 37 inches.  Note:

What to Do:

  1. Begin this this project upside down on a very flat surface.  (A slanted driveway could give your table top a slant to it!)
  2. Assemble from table top up to bench, upside down. Ana White also provides excellent detailed assembly instructions (see link above).
  3. Serve up breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the table.  
  4. Hose down the stickies.  
  5. Party on.


  1. 2 2x4x8's are not even close , more like 5 or 6.

  2. Good looking table but your cut list and supply list don't match up!!

  3. Yes, the supply list is short on 2x4x8'. The plans that are linked to at ana-white.com specify 6 2x4x8' boards though.

    Other than that, this looks like an excellent, easy project.

  4. i wanted to know how high up does the bench seat go up on the legs

  5. Made three today.

  6. Nice job! Really This picnic table build very beautiful and no doubt you have done hard work.

  7. Based on the dimensions given in Ana White's original plan, I set the miter saw at 49 degrees for the ends of the table supports.

  8. Table support lengths are different between these directions and the one on Ana Whites page. If you go by these ones then 30 degree cuts on them should be decent enough. If you follow the measurements in the pictures from Ana Whites then the angle you should cut at(which isn't listed) is 49 degrees as David said. Just a smidge under if you want to get closer to exact.

  9. In her new residential condominium, Kris had chosen bright colors of red, pink and purple for her color motif, all done in good taste, elegant and stylish. Sewing Machine Judge