Guys, my husband did it. He created his greatest woodworking project yet! One day I was like, “Wanna make the kids a little picnic table?” And a few days later he was like BAM I DID IT. This thing is beautiful, modern, and totally functional. In fact, you can fit 6 kiddos at it. We’re loving it and have used it so many times in our backyard already. Now, I will admit: this is definitely a woodworking project that will test your skills. But we’ve got an extremely detailed tutorial right down below, including every measurement you never knew you needed. Here’s how to make a modern kids’ picnic table.
How to Make a Modern Kids’ Picnic Table
- 4 1×4’s 8ft
- 4 2×4’s 8ft
- 1 2×2 8ft
- 12 bolts, nuts, washers
- 6 2-inch screws
- 48 1 1/2-inch screws
- 27 1 1/4-inch screws
- miter saw
- 5/8 drill bit
- 3/8 drill bit
- stain, sealer
Step 1: Start by cutting your materials. Carefully read over our cut list and be sure that it corresponds to the wood that you have before making any cuts. For each piece, the measurement provided is the long edge.
3 – 1×4, longest edge cut to 1 foot, edges angled at 60 degrees to form a triangle.
3 – 1×4, longest edge cut to 2 foot, edges angled at 60 degrees.
3 – 1×4, longest edge cut to 3 foot, edges angled at 60 degrees.
3 – 1×4, longest edge cut to 3 foot, edges angled at 30 degrees.
3 – 1×4, cut to form a picket with 2 30 degree cuts, 17 inches in length.
3 – 1×4, cut to form a picket with 2 30 degree cuts, 9.5 inches in length.
3 – 2×4, longest edge cut to 10 inches, edges angled on the tall side at 30 degrees to form the outer edge of the table on three sides.
3 – 1×4, longest edge cut to 29 inches, edges angled at 30 degrees.
3 – 1×4, longest edge cut to 25 inches, edges angled at 30 degrees.
3 – 2×2, longest edge cut to 23 inches, edges angled at 30 degrees.
Lower Frame and Legs
6 – 2×4, 18 inches, longest measurement, ends cut at a 15 degree angle to form the legs.
3 – 2×4, longest edge cut to 32 inches, edges angled on the tall side at 30 degrees to form the outer bench border.
3 – 2×4, longest edge cut to 19.5 inches, edges angled on the tall side at 30 degrees to form the outer bench border.
3 – 2×4, 9 inches long.
Step 2: Once all of your pieces are cut, start by putting together the table top, facedown on the ground. Once your table top is laid out using the triangle and trapezoid pieces, line up the pieces you cut into pickets to form the supports on the underside. Screw them in place.
Step 3: Next take the 2×4 pieces for the top edges, and flip the tabletop over and prop them up on those 3 pieces, and screw down from the top of the tabletop into the 2×4’s.
Step 4: Flip the tabletop back over (upside down), and the next step is to attach the legs. Start by clamping the legs in place against the 2×4 border piece of the top, and then drill a hole and fasten using your nuts, bolts, and washers. We drilled a larger hole on the exterior side so that the bolts could be inset into the wood.
Step 5: Once all your legs are attached, flip the table back over (right side up), and mark the halfway point between the tabletop and the ground on the legs. Center your long lower frame piece against the legs and attach there with bolts as well. As you are attaching these outer frame pieces, make sure they are level and at the same height all around.
Step 6: Once the three long edge pieces are bolted to the legs, you can screw on your bench seat pieces.
Step 7: Once those are screwed into place, flip the table over again, and attach the shorter frame pieces screwing them in from the inside, and also attach the 2×2 bench supports under the bench pieces, also screwing in from the inside.
Step 8: From there, sand until all edges are smooth, and then stain and seal!
*Note that if 60 degree angles are too difficult to cut on a mitre saw, you can construct the top in a different pattern using 30 degree cuts instead.
Would you look at these little stinkers loving this thing?! I just can’t get over how sturdy it is and how perfectly it fits them. Maggie can climb in and out of it so easily, and there’s still plenty of room for even Henry to grow into it. It’s just the right size, and it’s got that modern look that we were trying for. I know the woodworking aspect of this one is kind of heavy, but if you’re looking for a weekend project that will add some serious value to your backyard, this is it! xoxo