Build a Bigger Kid's Picnic Table

Primary tabs

Build a Bigger Kid's Picnic Table

Designed to fit bigger kids, this super sturdy picnic table is big enough to sit a small adult too! Super easy to build design has been built hundreds of times already! Special thanks to Jeff for sharing his photos with us.

HANDMADE FROM THIS PLAN >>

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

Pages

Author Notes: 

This table is a little taller than the toddler picnic table and made a little tougher – out of 2x boards instead of 1x boards. It's super easy and fun to make.

And like all plans that I design, careful consideration was made on ease of building AND conservation of materials. For example, the top is exactly two 2×6 boards. Less waste = less supplies = less money! Gotta save you money wherever we can!

Shopping List: 

2 – 2×6 Boards, 8′ Long
6 – 2×4 Boards, 8′ Long
2 1/2″ Screws or Bolts (bolts will need to be at least 3″ long and you will need washers and nuts)

2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws
wood filler
120 grit sandpaper
primer
wood conditioner
paint
paint brush
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
hammer
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
sander
General Instructions: 

Work on a clean level surface. Take a square of your project after each step. Predrill and countersink your screw holes. Use proper safety precautions and equipment.

Dimensions: 
Dimensions are shown above
Cut List: 

4 – 2×6 @ 48″ (Tabletop)
2 – 2×4 @ 23 1/2″ (Tabletop Supports)
4 – 2×4 @ 26″ (Legs, DO NOT CUT UNTIL REVIEWING THE ANGLES)
2 – 2×4 @ 40 1/2″ (Seat Supports)
1 – 2×4 @ 37″ (Bottom Support)
4 – 2×4 @ 48″ (Seat Boards)

Step 1: 

Tabletop. Begin by cutting your tabletop supports (shown above in blue) as shown above. You can either fasten through the tabletop with screws or you can predrill through the underside of the supports into the underside of the tabletop boards. Leave a 1/2″ gap between the tabletop boards. Use glue and 2 1/2″ screws when fastening through the top.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Legs. Cut your legs as shown above, with a 30 degree angle off square on both ends. Then use 2 1/2″ screws to fasten the legs to the tabletop supports. You could also use bolts for a stronger table.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Seat Supports. Cut the ends of your seat supports as shown above. The angle is 45 degrees. Then fasten the seat supports to the legs as shown above. Use a level on the seat supports to make sure you are fastening the seat supports level to the tabletop. Use 2 1/2″ screws and glue. If you fasten from the inside, you can hide your screw holes.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Bottom Support. Take a square of your table by measuring from the opposite tips of the legs. If the diagonals do not match, from the longer diagonal, push the opposite ends together until the diagonals match. Fasten your support in place as shown above. Use 2 1/2″ screws.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Seat Boards. Fasten the seat boards to the seat supports as shown here. The ends will overhang 4″. You may need to use shorter screws on the ends

Step 6 Instructions: 

Finishing. Fill your screw holes and sand and finish as desired.

Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 
Style: 

Comments

I haven't commented before, but I just wanted to say that you should blog enough to keep you and your readers happy, but not so much that your family is cranky! It's totally awesome you have so much material, but everyone loves your blog so much, they won't mind if you only blog a few times a week! We'll have to learn to be patient:) On a side note, I do believe I've printed out at least half of your plans and our basement is awash in wood!

I totally agree with thesimplepoppy -- one post per day is more than enough. I'd be stoked with four a week, one of which being a shout out post from all the pics you get. You don't have to post every completed project (though of course folks like that), Just my two cents. I think everyone would agree that we'd rather see you cut back & find your balance than burn out and stop completely.

What you could do is set aside some time one day and write up a weeks worth of posts, and schedule them to go up every day. This way technically you ARE blogging every day, but you aren't giving up time with your family every day. :)

Ana, how about posting only on weekdays? A lot of the bloggers I read do not post on weekends.

Also, from one mom to another: Your daughter's comments may have some basis in reality, but she is also getting to the age where she would be saying things like that no matter what. When one of my kiddos was younger, he hurt my feelings quite often like that. Once he packed his stuff and declared that he was moving to an orphanage. He's 8 now and knows he has the best mama. :)

xo

I just found your blog and have already been inspired, but can understand that family has to come first...Love the plans so far and look forward to seeing more in the future ;)

I've never commented before either, but just wanted to say "thanks" for your awesome site. I can't wait to get started, on my farmhouse table and benches, but have to wait until later in April. That being said...family is #1, and we can certainly survive on 1 post a day. I've heard comments from my kids like that before, and decided then, that during naptime or after their bedtime is better for those activities. THANKS for setting the right example for us!

Love your thoughts on blogging & very much relate. I took a break from my blog, then posted randomly and and am rethinking the whole thing again. I enjoy writing but don't want it to take from my life. Thank you for sharing your plans with us and thank your family for sharing you with us. I/we haven't built anything yet but I have several items I want to make for our home.

Thank you so much Ana, for posting about my Finishing School! I hope I can be of service to your readers for finishing techniques. As you know from my emails, I fee exactly like you do and know that sometimes family stuff can suffer when we choose to do something for ourselves. I know there is a balance but it is awfully hard to find it when you are a person who commits to something 100%. You will find a proper balance that works for you and your little girl, I am sure of it! Xx Rayan

You must have been reading my mind with the big kid's picnic table...I was worried my boys would quickly outgrow the toddler one, thanks!
In all our roles of life I think it's a constant challenge of finding the balance...good luck to us all with that one and thank you for sharing your time and encouragement with us.

I think you are doing a fabulous job! I work out of the home and away from my babies and I know that I wish I had more time in the world to be with them. We all can wait for the plans.. you spend time with your little girl and enjoy her childhood! I always say that theres gonna come a time when my little girl wont want to be with me, so I better soak it all in now! Great job with juggling work and being a mom... youre truly superwoman!

-KristenA (friends with you on FB!)

Ana,

Thank you so much for posting about my Women in Woodworking Series. I hope that I can help anyone who has an interest in woodworking. Thanks again..

Don't you love it when kids make comments that put you in your place. I know mine son has done that several times.

Honestly, you post more than any other blog I read. You could easily get away with just a few times a week. I'm just as excited to see Bragging Board photos as I am new plans, btw.
Find a balance that works for you!
We'll all still be here. :)
Love the guest bloggers and finishing school!

Good for you! There are so many mommy bloggers and we all need to be reminded what comes first. You have an awesome blog and it will probably be even better if you post less. Congrats on everything!

Good for you - margin and boundaries are good things and no one will fault you for focusing on your family. One post a day is plenty and I would also suggest that you just post on weekdays. You wouldn't be letting anyone down - you give us so much already! Thank you!

Good for you for your motherly insight! I sometimes worry I don't post often enough on my sewing blog...but then I remember why. It doesn't do much good to spend my whole life writing about what I make if I never take the time to go places and meet people where I can acutally show the stuff off. And fifty years from now will your daughter brag about all the plans you shared with the blogosphere...or will she brag about the things you built WITH her and the things you taught her? That's the key thing to keep in mind. Your post was a great reminder for us all about what's really important!

Awesome Ana! The plans and you! I'm ready to make one a little bigger, so this is just perfect. Need to post my completed "little" one. One a day is perfect. The blogs I love to read have one a day at a predictable time and are real people.

Your daughter's comment stung and probably was only 50% truth (just like "The spider was as big as a bus, Mommy!") but if it got you to stop and take care of you, then good job Grace. :)

Want to chime in here and agree with the other comments that YES, once a day is definitely enough!

Thanks again for all you do :)

Thanks for this, Ana! I want to make this nest for the summer :)

And about what you said … that really hit home with me. I keep wondering why it is that I want to blog. And you hit the nail on the head (ha - kind of funny saying considering this blog) … that is what I am searching for. Wow. You're totally right … I need to spend 90% of my life living it! Thank you so much for your honestly … you are adored!!!!

Your thoughts on being a mom touched home. It's so hard being the mom we want to be somedays. I enjoyed you sharing your thoughts. I just want to extend a hug to you and let you know I understand.

{{hugs}}
Rhonda from Minnesota

Thanks for inspiring me to only blog-stalk once a day. I'm getting off now to go play cars. :) Love the plans but love your realistic sense for life too. Thanks.

My comment didn't go through the first time, but I just wanted to say that I agree with what everyone has said. But I also wanted to add that to help you balance your life more, take advantage of your readers! Between the bragging board, guest bloggers and the wonderful community over on the Facebook Fan page that are more than willing to share building tips, I'm sure we can help minimize the hours you have to spend blogging.

And I don't know about others, but honestly, I find the plan-a-day a bit overwhelming. It just sends me all in a tizzy when I keep finding new plans that I need to add to my growing 'to do' list! I can't keep up! I'd be happy with even just 2 plans a week and the rest focusing on a guest blog, reader tips and the bragging board.

Whatever you decide to do, you've got our support!

I will miss you, as I am obsessive and check your blog several times a day for something new! ;)
But, of course, it only makes sense to make our children our first priority. Otherwise, what's it all for?
Now, maybe I will actually focus more on my third child's last year home before starting school...and actually get some of your great plans completed! :)
Have fun with your daughter and enjoy your time with her, as she'll soon be off to school and you'll wonder what happened to all the years!

By the way, THANX so much for posting plans for a larger table..I was trying to figure out if I could convert your smaller one to something bigger.

When you say bigger kids table....do you mean older than kindergarteners..... or perhaps you are refering to us adults as big kids!

If not, please could we have another set of plans for the same table for four standard adults?

Pretty please?

Honestly, I have just been ruthless with my Google reader for the same reason. My kids always look for me at the computer first! So, here's to balance and, believe me, we will all love your blog whether you post two plans a day or a week.

Yay!! Thank you so much for these plans. Was trying to figure out how to scale it up on my own. You did so much better than I could ever do. Thank you! Thank you! And, just so you know you're not alone...one recent day, my mother-in-law asked my then 4 year old what kind of things "mommy" does with her during the day and she replied "nothing, momma is on the computer all day!" I about died, that is not true, of course, but they seem to think that at their age. It's just the way it is. Have a good one!

I love, love, love your blog, and I will be here reading... once a day or 3 times a week. however much you end up posting. :) I'm not a mom, and I can't imagine what a balancing act life must be when you have other people to look after... kudos to you for listening to your heart. :)

Hi Ana,
Thanks for posting this. I'm planning to build it soon. I do have a question though. On the shopping list, it calls for 4-2x6 boards, but in the post above, you said you designed the top to use only 2 2x6 boards. Will I just need to buy two?

Also, I know exactly what you mean about kids feeling left out over time spent in front of the computer. I used to review books on my blog, but I found that creating the posts used up so much time that my kids were unhappy with the time I spent on my blog, and I also realized all the time I spent making posts could be better used actually reading new books, rather than reviewing. Please don't stop making plans ( I love your site!), but definitely feel free to take a few giant steps back if you need to. Even if you only posted 2-3 times a week, I'd still be really happy. Enjoy your family ... we will all wait patiently for your amazing plans!

Ana, first of all thank you for all your hard work with this blog and your devotion with your readers. I wanted to share with you a quote that was on my Love Dare Devotional for today: "Life is a marathon, not a sprint. This means you must balance, prioritize and pace yourself." This was the quote for today that I so needed to hear as I myself was feeling overwhelmed. Hope this brings you some peace.

I was hoping for a bigger kid picnic table. Thank you!! Its hard to find that balance between our family, ourselves and what each of us needs. I think you are on the way to finding more of a balance. Downshift as much as you need to. We'll understand and all still be here.

Oh, the balance of Mama/Wife and blogger! I won't hate you if you only blog once a week. :) If you keep up the pace that you have now you are going to crash and burn. You can't please everyone all the time - but your family comes first. Thanks for all you do! :)

Just wanted to agree with everyone else....you must be approaching burn out right now. Just do what you can to balance you life and we will be so happy with whatever you give us. Love your blog (no matter how much you post).

Ana,
I built a couple of picnic tables about 10 years ago now. I didn't want the tops to be "normal" so I used 2x6's and 2x2's in a pattern of 2x6, 2x2, 2x2, 2x6 and so on. I started with the middle, making sure it was a 2x6 because I then drilled a hole into it to accept an umbrella. On one I also built a receiver slot for the umbrella on a board that runs the length of the table between the lower side supports. On the other I use one of those store bought umbrella holders. I prefer the table with the receiver I made.
Anyway, just a fun way to mix up the look of our picnic tables.
Sheri

Awww, Ana, I know that had to be a blow to your mama's heart.

I think it's completely fair for you to sit back and enjoy your family for awhile. As much as I loveloveLOVE your blog and check it waaay too much to dream over the new plans, your family comes FIRST, and as someone who put the brakes on a blog to spend more time living life, I completely understand.

And applaud. =)

Enjoy relaxing a little, and know that your readers adore you and will look forward to your posts, no matter how often they come along.

You're an inspiration! =)

Rachel B.

Good for you Ana. And good for your daughter. I hope you find a balance with your writing that feels like it is giving more than it is taking. Selfishly, your fans, (me!), hope that you continue writing and helping others with furniture plans for many years. This is a long journey, not a short sprint. You have a book to work on, and many other goals. This blog is wonderful service - and there are YEARS worth of building plans here.
Please always put yourself and your family first, and then you will have the energy and spirit to give to your work goals.
xo Michaela

I think you are a great mom! Plans every day was more than most bloggers post, including the really big ones. What if you posted 3x a week - MWT - with one post being plans, one post a guest post, one post bragging board... You'd have content 3x week, on regularly scheduled days, and more time to build and be with family and work on your other projects?

I know what you mean about the recognition, though. I used to be a very high end professional Chef (I worked for the holding company that owned Pinehurst, so I was Executive Chef of two of their properties in other parts of the country). Now my biggest fan tells me, "Momma, you are a good cooker!" - but it's when I make macaroni and cheese from the box!

Dear Mama First,
So often it is like a trapeze artist...timing, balance, form,
but seeing where you are and
how your family see you is soooo
important.
I do not know you personally of course, but I sense a genuine-ness
about you that is very special.
Mothering is so close to my heart, and I often am brought up short realizing I am not all I should be to these kiddos. We only have them a little while, but these are the years that will make all the difference in the end.
That said, I need to tell you how absolutely crazy I am to get started on building. I never dreamed something like this would be possible for me! My husband is a craftsman, but he does not have time to do things like this, as he is busy making a living for us. So we both are thankful to have found you.
love,
Still finding my way on the Mama journey
in
NE

Don't want to give you so much more to read. But just wanted to say how much I respect you for your talent and honesty. Takes a good mother and woman to be honest with yourself and choose the better part. They're only young once as I always have to remind myself.
You're amazing! I love love love your blog! Thanks for doing what you do!

I agree with everything that everyone has said. Gosh, I'd be happy with one plan a week! Your little girl will grow up so fast. Enjoy time with her now and know that you are loved and appreciated by all of your fans.

Like a moose jumping in front of the car, huh? You can tell you're Alaskan girl. Most of us would compare it to a cat, dog, or other small mobile creature jumping out in front of our car. Haven't seen many moose around here.

It's hard to find a balance between doing a hobby you love and spending time with the children you love (I have 3 kids 4 and under). I always try to make sure that I don't go to bed with too many regrets. It doesn't always work, but I hate the guilt that creeps in when you're lying in bed thinking of all the things you SHOULD have done with your kids. Never cool. Know that we appreciate any and all that you so generously share with us, but we're more understanding if we're neglected :)

i tried to comment yesterday, but couldn't load your page...

take it from a woman whose big kids are 22 and 21: the time flies by and we never get it back. if you have to post just once per week to make the most of your time with your daughter, then do it.

as a "customer," i want to see ten new projects a day, but not at the cost of your family. you gave me the confidence, and the ability, to make my 5yo (surprise baby! LOL) a bed and i can never thank you enough for that, but i would hate that bed if i knew this blog harmed the quality of your family.

I am so happy you've come to that conclusion with your daughter! You will see all the great things you've done with her (and others will too) in a few years. You're great! Balancing life with kids is so hard but the greatest thing we can do on earth is to nurture and love and care for our children! And this is coming from a mom with a 2yr old, 1yr old and a baby (crazy I know). It's a thankless job sometimes but so important :)

Thank you, Ana, for all you do. You are an inspiration to all of us moms at home with little ones. I love your blog, but i admire your commitment to family. Your husband and daughter are blessed to have you. We love your posts, but will take what we can get. I think if I start right now, I can finish everything I want to build by 2016;)

Just adding a big "thank you" to all the others that have been given!!

A pretty famous quote from a leader of my church says, "No other success can compensate for failure in the home." And as moms, we know it's true. So take all the time you need. None of us out here are building a new piece every single day (right?!)...so I'm going to guess we can all do with a little less of you so your family can have you some more!

Thank you for all you do...I'll be sharing my farmhouse table as soon as I do the sanding and finishing. I can't believe I built it myself, but your step-by-step plans made it so easy! My husband now refers to the garage as "my wife's workshop"! I love it!!

I MADE IT MYSELF!!! WAHOO!!! Thank you so much for posting these plans - it's the perfect size for my 4 yo and 8 year old!! I made some small mods to the plan - I changed the length of the seat supports to 43" instead of 40 1/2, just to give myself some wiggle room when getting up from the benches. I also cut the ends of the lumber at about 47" wide to even the ends off (sometimes they're not totally square). I hid most of the screws with pocket holes and fastened everything from underneath. It turned out fabulously - I can even sit with the kids, and the younger teens in the neighborhood have a place to plunk themselves. Thanks for reminding me that I am perfectly capable of doing things myself!!!

I absolutely love this! I am so inspired by everything you post! I need some more tools now! I'm going to end up spending a lot of time at my inlaws! My hubby built me 2 of the simple bookshelves and I'm excited to finish them and get them in our playroom. Next on my list is the play kitchen =) I'm running to home depot today to get the wood for this and I just watched your video about countersinking screws! I'm all ready to go!!!=)

Ana! I have to agree with everyone above that we will keep coming back even if you only posted once a week! By all means though...one post a day will be GREAT!!!! Plus, it might give me a bit of downtime too. With all the great plans you post, my inspiration is in overdrive and I've never been to Home Depot so much in MY LIFE! LOL! In fact, my parents laugh at me that the one place I used to loathe going to is now one of those places on the list of "places you could max out your credit card". =)

AND....yay for this plan! I'm thinking this is the PERFECT picnic table for my nephew's upcoming birthday!!!! He's turning 4 and I think this would be PERFECT!!!!

finished this plan. was very easy and the plans were all spot on.
We under mounted the table supports so that you wouldn't see the screws on the top. worked well but was a little extra time involved.

This was my second project and it was so easy and the plans worked perfectly. On this project I learned how to use my husband's chop saw and I am in love. I broke my counter sink bit, so I now know I should buy those in multiples.
I bought the wood, cut it and assembled it while my kids were at school for the day and in between running my preschooler to school, feeding him lunch, etc.
One of my friends stopped by to pick up my daughter for carpool and asked me where I bought it! I told her I made it that day. Her response, 'oh, did you buy a kit'. Nope, I said, I bought 2x4's! :)
Thanks so much Ana!!! I am so pleased with my table (and myself)!

I stumbled upon your site on Monday while searching for picnic table plans and build this big kid table on Tuesday! My very first project and I think I'm hooked!! Thanks so much for your awesome website and for giving me the courage to try.

I made this table this past weekend. The plans were spot on and so easy. I just wanted to let you know that if you plan carefully you really only need 5-2x4's instead of 6. Cut 2-2x4's in half for the seats. Cut 2 legs and one seat support from the third 2x4. Repeat for the fourth 2x4 and finally cut the bottom suppport and the 2 table supports from the 5th 2x4. Just plan carefully.

My Husband just made this over this past weekend. Can i just say I am THRILLED!!! I have been wanting one of these for soo long and the price kept putting me off. My husband built this with all supplies from home depot for $35!!
THANK YOU!!

Hi! I just love all of your plans. This is my first project and I have a question- I don't see where you cut the 45 degree angle on step one. Are you using a mitre saw on that cut?

I have a totally beginners question... Should this be built with treated lumber? Or can you use untreated if you are going to paint it with exterior paint? I'm thinking about trying this as a first project from this site. Notable difference in cost between treated and untreated so I thought I'd ask. Not expecting it to last forever, but I don't want it to rot away in a season either ;o)

I'm new here and not sure where you post questions.... Sorry if this is not the right route.

I would not use pressure treated wood. Pressure treated wood contains arsenic. I definitely would not use it for something my children will be touching as they eat. Maybe consider a water based exterior stain?

My wife forwarded this post to me today because she wants me to build a kids picnic table. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this I'd a blog. Your opening statements on this post made me chuckle. My (almost) 5-year old son recently expressed his annoyance that I get up early every day to blog. I do this so that I can write undistracted while the rest of the house sleeps and also to not take away from family time. My sons solution is that I get up early only every other day! I considered his advice, but ultimately ignored it. Now he is urging me to wake him up at 5:30am so that he can have more time to play! Lol. Like father like son.

I wanted to show off my results, so I included a brief description of how the project went for me along with several pictures on a recent blog post. I modified the plans slightly, as I wanted to be able to drill a hole in the middle of a center board on the table top to insert an umbrella...

check it out @ http://money.ramblingfever.com/2012/03/rambling-road-kids-picnic-table-p...

After these pictures were taken, one of the tables was stained with a dark cherry color... turned out awesome!

I love your plans for the table. I picked up plans at home depot. I am making four table for my grandkids. They range from 2 months to 11 yrs. I think this was great plans. One thing I did was used peassure treated wood for the legs. I made my screw hole and I am sanding and painting the pieces before puting together. I can;t wait to start another project but need to finish this one first. Two table I am painting red and black for the boys and pastels for the girls.It take less time to make more than one at a time.

the carriage bolts added to the appeal. the table was still a little to tight between seat and top, but a friends daughters birthday was today. he reimbersed my expense and the girl has a great table. already have the material for v2. just going to add a few inches to the legs and it will be perfect for my crew and me. thank!

Thank you very much for these plans.
I used all your dimensions, but modified the assembly a bit:
- under mounted all the screws with a drill press 3/4" counter sink. This way the table will last outside for years. ( if you used cedar! )
- mainly used 3" screws as a result.
- extended the leg attachments to only 2" on the outside to give an extra 4" seating room ( can fit 6 kids at the table)
- used 3-1/2" lag bolts rather than screws to attach legs.

As a result of using lag bolts - there was no need for the middle support. It was solid without it, and if it ever does loosen - you can just tighten the lag bolts!
I remember as a kid always smacking my shins on the center support, so doing away with it was great!

Thank you.

Jules

Do you think it would work to use this pattern, but then use plywood or some solid sheet of wood for the top? I like the attached benches, but would like to make a more smooth top for my kids for their "project" table. Let me know if you think it would still work?
Thanks!

Do you think it would work to follow this pattern for the frame and the attached benches, but use a flat top like the kids trestle table? I LOVE the attached benches, but want to make a flat top table for my kids to color and do projects on. Let me know if you think it would work? Thanks!

Hi,

First off all i love the design, in fact everything on this site :D
I'm from Belgium, so i would like to ask if its possible to get the entire plan in metric version with centimeters instead of inches :D

Thanks!!