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Preschool Picnic Table

March 23, 2010 |
posted by Ana White
PDF versionPDF version

Our preschool picnic table is one of the most popular plans available online. Due to the simple design, easy building instructions, and perfect sizing for preschoolers, hundreds if not thousands of these tables have been built. Try a bright bold color for added flair. Special thanks to Allie for sharing her photos.

Preschool Picnic Table

Additional Photos

Handmade from this plan >>

Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

About Project

Author Notes: 

One of my first project ever was a simple kid's picnic table.  It must have been years ago, because here is Grace blowing out two candles  Notice the red console table in the background?  That's another of my early pieces.

And here she is making lunch at our cabin

Yes, I'm the health nut who eats Ezeckiel Bread, Yum!  And see the dirt?  My husband and I hand dug the front of our cabin level, as in with a shovel.  It took us about 3 weekends.  Don't have to work out!

Dimensions

Dimensions: 
Preschool Picnic Table
Dimensions: 
Overall Dimensions and Composition are shown above.

Materials and Tools

Shopping List: 

1 – 1×6, 8′ Long (About $5.00 Each) 

4- 1×3, 8′ Long (About $1.50 Each) 
2″ Screws 
1 1/4″ Screws 
Glue 
Wood Filler 
Sandpaper 
Finishing Supplies
1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws
primer
wood conditioner
paint
paint brush
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
hammer
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
circular saw
sander

Cut List

Cut List: 

3 – 1×6 @ 31″ (Tabletop Pieces) 

2 – 1×3 @ 17 1/2″ (Longest Measurement, Ends cut at an angle back to 15 1/4″) 
2 – 1×3 @ 25 1/2″ (Center Supports) 
4 – 1×3 @ 22 7/16″ (Longest Measurement, Legs, ends cut at an angle) 
2 – 1×3 @ 33″ (Longest Measurement, Ends cut back at an angle to 30 1/2″) 
4 – 1×3 @ 31″ (Seat Boards)

General Instructions

General Instructions. Work on a clean level surface and use proper safety precautions. Check for square after each step. Predrill and countersink all screws.

Step 1

Preschool Picnic Table

Tabletop and Supports. Begin by cutting the support board ends off at an angle as shown above. Then fasten the top boards to the supports using 2″ screws and glue.

Step 2

Preschool Picnic Table

Top Support. Attach the top support, centered on the end supports and the center tabletop board, as shown above. Use 2″ screws and glue. It is very important that you have checked for square before fastening.

Step 3

Preschool Picnic Table

Legs. Cut your legs from 1×3 boards with a starting overall length of 22 7/16″. Use the above diagram to guide you.

Step 4

Preschool Picnic Table

Legs to the Top. Fasten the legs to the top of the table, as shown above. Notice how the tip of the leg comes even with the outer tabletop boards? And the side of the leg meets up with the end of the support? Use 1 1/4″ Screws and glue to fasten in place. Notice the marks on the legs with a measurement of 12 3/4″? Make these marks on the legs, this is where the tops of the step 5 boards will be placed.

Step 5

Preschool Picnic Table

Seat Supports. Using the marks from step 4 and 1 1/4″ screws and glue, fasten the seat supports to the legs. Use a level to make sure the seat boards are fastened level to the tabletop. Just rest the level on the top of the board, in the diagram where you see the measurement 30 1/2″. The overhang from the legs on the tops of the seat supports should be close to 6 1/4″.

Step 6

Preschool Picnic Table

Bottom Support. As you did in step 2, fasten the remaining support board in place, using 2″ screws and glue. It is a good idea at this step to square up your project by taking a square of the bottoms of the legs.

Step 7

Preschool Picnic Table

Seat Boards. Mark the seat boards 2″ from the ends. Position the outer seat board flush with the ends of the seat supports and fasten in place with 2″ screws and glue. Leave a 1/2″ gap and fasten the next seat board in place in the same manner.

Step 8

Finishing. Fill screw holes with wood filler, sand and finish as desired.

Finishing Instructions

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Oh I am so excited to see

Oh I am so excited to see this! My littles are probably nearing the top end of the age range for this, but I can't wait to build it anyways!!!

posted by lulublu (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 03:30

What a cute and nice table!

What a cute and nice table!

posted by Amber (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 03:41

thank you so much for posting

thank you so much for posting this! i can't wait to make this!

posted by Devon! (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 04:13

Yay! I am so excited! We are

Yay! I am so excited! We are in an apartment right now, but will soon move to a place with more room and a.....garage! This will defintely be one of my first projects, although I am a little intimidated by the diagonal cuts! Think I can talk the guys at HD to help me cut, or do they only do straight cuts???

posted by The Bailey's (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 04:44

This is adorable! I have so

This is adorable! I have so many things from your site i want to build I don't know where to start! Thanks for posting this. I can't wait to see it in a full size version.Thanks again!

posted by Curried Cupcakes (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 04:49

YES! This came at the

YES! This came at the perfect time! I was just looking for table plans yesterday! This will do quite nicely. Thanks again, Ana!

posted by Melody (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 05:05

Adorabel! I definitely want

Adorabel! I definitely want to try this :) Thanks!

posted by Mary (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 05:08

I'm so excited that you

I'm so excited that you branched out into outdoor furniture! Though I have to admit, I already have plans for a kids picnic table in a woodworking book.

posted by Brittany@Superwoman (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 05:28

Yay for Ezekiel Bread!!!

Yay for Ezekiel Bread!!! Great warmed up with natural hazelnut butter. Mmmm. I'm making this picnic table for my little girls for sure!! Bring on summer!

By the way, I'm new here. I'm really inspired by the site and am in the process of working (around the hours I have my daughters and the other hours I work) on my first project. Exciting!

posted by LK (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 05:44

Haven't been able to decide

Haven't been able to decide what project to start on first and then I saw today's post. Just came from the lumber yard and can't wait to spend the day on this!

posted by Jen @ Sunshine4Teachers (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 06:39

Ana - you are AMAZING! I

Ana - you are AMAZING! I can't wait to start some of these projects today! I'm headed to Home Depot... Pics coming soon!

posted by Cammi (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 06:44

Bring on the outdoor fun!

Bring on the outdoor fun! Can't wait to make this. Thank you.

posted by Bobette (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 06:51

Another to add to the "To Do"

Another to add to the "To Do" list!

posted by Suze (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 07:12

This is GREAT!! You

This is GREAT!! You constantly amaze me.

Request: A larger size, appropriate for elementary school-aged kids, but smaller than the adult-sized ones. My boys, especially my 10yo, would knock their knees on this.

posted by aimeewrites (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 08:34

Very cute! I just sent this

Very cute!
I just sent this link to my husband to see if he's up for a little companionship type weekend project with me.

posted by Twiddle Thumbs (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 08:44

Yup, adding this one to the

Yup, adding this one to the list! Thanks!

posted by P&J(or one or the other) (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 08:49

Fabulous! I hope this is

Fabulous! I hope this is just the start of many other outdoor projects. . .spring is in the air, and I could really use some outdoor/patio furniture! Ooh, and maybe some planter boxes for the front porch too? :)

posted by Holly (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 09:18

Yay!! I have so many projects

Yay!! I have so many projects I want to do and this is going on top of the list! Thanks so much.

posted by Celia Marie (W.) B. (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 09:46

I can't wait to try this! I

I can't wait to try this! I was waiting for a project that seemed easy and fast, and that I could paint a funky color. I think I might make this be our date night this week. Thanks!

posted by Lesli (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 09:50

I love it!!! I am going to

I love it!!! I am going to use my leftover paint from Audrey's bed for my picnic table! It will be great for our campground!

posted by Mary (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 10:03

I'm your 4000th follower!!

I'm your 4000th follower!! Yeah!! I love love love your blog! Can't wait to get started on some projects!

posted by Meagan (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 10:37

YAY!! This looks like the

YAY!! This looks like the perfect weekend project. The weather is getting warmer and the kids would love to be able to eat on the porch.

posted by Jamie (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 10:40

I was just telling DH we

I was just telling DH we needed a kids picnic table this is too cute :)

posted by Roxanna (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 10:48

Wahoooo I think I have enough

Wahoooo I think I have enough wood from an old futon frame....laying around I could build this...

posted by Michelle (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 10:56

That is a lovely picnic

That is a lovely picnic table. It's spring time, the perfect time for picnics. Thanks for sharing this and I'm sure a lot will benefit from this post.

posted by wicker picnic baskets (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 11:01

This looks like something I

This looks like something I can handle! My sister and I are going to tackle it together, but I want to "amp it up" a bit since my kids are on the tall side. I'm going to use 1x8s instead of 1x6s, and I'd like to make it a touch taller...aside from longer supports holding the top together, can I just add length to the legs and call it good? LOVE your site!

posted by Tracy (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 12:14

This is one thing I might be

This is one thing I might be able to make during nap times! I have been looking for plans... thanks.

posted by Melanie (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-23 14:45

I am going to make this my

I am going to make this my first project! I have been wanting something like this for my kids. Thanks so much for the plans. I love your blog and all of your plans!!

posted by Ben and Katie Singley (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-24 06:16

Would it be possible to add a

Would it be possible to add a back to the bench? Would you suggest doing this? Might be good for the younger kids. Your blog is so awesome-thank you!!!

posted by Mrs. Smartie (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-24 08:32

I love this! I was just

I love this! I was just looking at the Little Tykes table at Walmart last week - $70!!! This plan is much cuter!!!

posted by Heather (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-24 11:51

Would it be difficult to make

Would it be difficult to make this in an adult size? What changes would need to be made? Thanks for your help!

posted by Amy (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-24 13:00

I am so excited about this

I am so excited about this project that I showed it to my 5yr old daughter and told her, "mommy is going to build you your own picnic table", and she told me "you don't know how to do that"! So thanks to your easy plans to follow I am pretty confident I can do it and eager to prove myself to my daughter! :) wish me luck!

posted by waline family (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-24 15:25

Love it! Finished it! Here:

Love it! Finished it! Here: http://cierraperaphotography.com/blog/?p=487

posted by Cierra Pera (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-03-24 16:58

I am so excited to build this

I am so excited to build this picnic table for my children. If it goes smoothly, I might build one for my niece's birthday next month!! My list of projects that I want to build is getting longer!

posted by mamasweetk (not verified) | on Fri, 2010-03-26 01:37

I am so excited about this!

I am so excited about this! I built it this week and have posted it on my blog. It is still unfinished, but I couldn't NOT post about it! Thank you so much for coming up with the plans!

http://domesticallydevon.blogspot.com/2010/03/first-wood-project-picnic-...

posted by Devon! (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-03-30 12:05

What a fantastic photograph!

What a fantastic photograph! I want to have lunch with her!

posted by mamaseemamado (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-04-01 17:34

Oh my goodness! I absolutely

Oh my goodness! I absolutely LOVE it! We are moving to an apartment on a lake and this will be perfect for my little guy and new friends!

posted by Sapphire Sweetheart (not verified) | on Fri, 2010-04-16 08:21

Thanks for this plan, it

Thanks for this plan, it inspired me to build a table of my own for my boys. I'm a metal worker by trade so woodworking is slightly new to me. I think it came out good, even better being it only set me back seven bucks and an afternoon. The pictures are in my blog at http://chippedhammer.blogspot.com/2010/04/first-project-is-tabled.html

posted by Metalbonder (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-04-17 10:25

I made this picnic table this

I made this picnic table this week for my little girl. It was my first attempt at using power tools. This plan was very easy to follow and I LOVED building this table. It turned out so cute. Thanks for the plans and for the inspiration!

posted by Jodi Pilling (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-04-24 09:36

Wish I could have done it for

Wish I could have done it for $15 but the plans worked out great. I'll have to wait a few days until the humidity drops here to get it finished but it's built and my little girl things it's wonderful.

posted by Wes Kerr (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-05-01 08:47

I just built mine this past

I just built mine this past week. My 4 year old daughter was helping me. I didn't tell her what we were making but after laying out the top she knew exactly what it was. I knew then that I could finish and she'd be happy! I am so very excited with the end result and LOVE IT!!! (my neighbor came home while we were painting and though that we had bought it as is... then he thought that it was a kit I bought. NO, NO, NO!!)
THANK YOU

posted by Marty (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-05-01 12:44

My husband just made this

My husband just made this yesterday...and we all love it! Thank you so much!

posted by Lisa (not verified) | on Fri, 2010-05-28 16:00

We could SO not find decent

We could SO not find decent wood that cheap at Home Depot. The only wood near that price had huge nasty chunks out of every piece. I was so sad! I'm calling the next closest place 'cause it's at least 30 min away.

posted by Kate (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-06-21 11:01

Yippppeeee! A perfect plan

Yippppeeee! A perfect plan for my dollhouse picnic table! Thank you SO much!!!!!

posted by Kathi (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-06-22 17:02

blogged herewonderful plans!

blogged here

wonderful plans! my first planned-out project. thank you so much! i will be back

*my store didn't have 1x3s so I used 1x4s and only had to refigure the seat support pieces. not a big deal.

posted by alliehoopes (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-06-24 15:31

Just made this out of old

Just made this out of old pallet wood. Only had to change a little to make it work. I can't wait to paint it!! =) It's gonna be bright and happy! =)

posted by Kate (not verified) | on Sun, 2010-07-04 22:12

OMG. I just found your site

OMG. I just found your site and have fallen. in. love. My husband is getting his Master's in woodworking and I am so excited to build some of these thing with him. THANK YOU for all the great photos and plans - can't wait to put something together!!

posted by SAP (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-07-13 19:51

Just built this today with a

Just built this today with a girlfriend for her 1 year old! It turned out perfect and the plans made it simple! Thank you so much for making these free! Love it!

posted by JessiHarri (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-08-10 15:13

this picnic table its next on

this picnic table its next on my list. my husband and i are super excited to build this for our son.
thanks Ana.

posted by Alicia (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-11-16 13:57

My husband and I are going to

My husband and I are going to make this picnic table this weekend for our niece for her Christmas Present! I love it!

posted by Desi (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-11-17 11:23

My husband surprised me with

My husband surprised me with a miter saw today (great black friday deals!). This is my first project that I am working on this weekend. Thanks so much for all the awesome plans! I love your site

posted by Katie S. (not verified) | on Fri, 2010-11-26 19:54

Thank you! Built a modified

Thank you! Built a modified one for my kids for Christmas. Turned out great. Less than 3 hours to build on a Saturday night, the painting is another story...
http://i52.tinypic.com/2ufamx1.jpg

posted by Brad (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-12-20 14:37

Absolutely fantastic posting!

Absolutely fantastic posting! Lots of useful information and inspiration, both of which we all need!Relay appreciate your work.
garcinia cambogia

posted by roger1122 | on Tue, 2013-04-23 10:33

I was curious as to which

I was curious as to which type of paint you use for the picnic table. My thoughts were to use an oil base since its so durable. The downside is the clean up. Your thoughts?

posted by josh.ruppert | on Thu, 2013-07-04 10:26
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SoybeanDad's picture

Time Flew

A few nights back, I had plans in hand for a DIY water blob, which involved melting painter's plastic sheeting between parchment paper with a hot iron and promised only 30 minutes of work. After multiple hours, multiple beers, all of X-Men, half of Gladiator, and several iron burns, I completed a water blob that held most of the water inside it. Needless to say, I and was somewhat leery of this plan because of how simple it appeared to be on its face.

That said, I can't stress enough how simple this one was. I started it after the kid went to bed (8ish) and was finished before 10. It would have been done a bit earlier if I'd had an extra pair of hands, but a set of small Vise-Grip clamps more than compensated. Excellent for a free timeslot of only a few hours. I'll still need to sand and stain it, but I was very, very pleased with the simplicity of the project. The one major tweak I made was to use 1x4s instead of 1x3s, only because they were easier to get at Home Depot. This enabled me to make a table that was more vertical and can hold a little more weight. The tradeoff was that the benches don't have the half-inch gap they're supposed to, so they don't match the tabletop exactly. Not a big deal for me, but the way to compensate using 1x4s would be to make the bench supports about 3 to 4 inches longer.

Again, awesome project. I'll DEFINITELY be doing more from Ana.

Thanks,

Patrick

posted by SoybeanDad | on Tue, 2014-05-27 21:55
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Hokulani1's picture

pocket hole screws

Hi! I see the plans say 1 1/4" pocket hole screws but it doesn't show where to put the holes like many of your other plans. Did you use pocket holes or just counter sink? Also, are the 2" screws done from the top of the table with a counter sink bit? Thank you!

Heather

posted by Hokulani1 | on Thu, 2014-06-12 09:52

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