How to Build a Wooden Picnic Table

Create useful, long-lasting outdoor seating with this easy DIY project.

| April 2016

In Garden Projects: 25 Easy-to-Build Wood Structures and Ornaments (The Countryman Press, 2015), Roger Marshall provides step-by-step instructions on how to create a variety of simple DIY additions to any outdoor space. Use these project ideas to add a practical, aesthetic element to your backyard or to improve your garden production. Marshall has years of construction experience, and has developed projects that can easily be completed using materials from any local hardware store.

You can buy this book from the Capper's Farmer store: Garden Projects.

How to Build a Wooden Picnic Table 

Picnic tables are easy to make and, for the cost of the wood, give you a useful outdoor table that will last for years. The only thing I would caution with these tables is that you should not sit four or five people on one side without a similar group to balance them on the other side! I recommend using pressure-treated wood for the legs, which are in direct contact with the ground. The rest of the table can be made of regular, untreated wood. 


• 4 to 5 hours


• Screwdriver or hammer
• Rotary or hand saw
• Large hole saw or hand keyhole saw
• Measuring tape
• Optional tools
• Table saw
• Router or dado saw


• Nine 2 x 6-inch x 8-foot boards for tabletop and seats (Round off the outermost table top corners with a 3-inch radius saw.)
• Two 2 x 4 x 27-inch cross braces to secure the tabletop
• Four 2 x 6 x 36-inch boards for legs (You will need to cut angles at top and bottom.)
• Two 2 x 6 x 60-inch boards for seat supports (Round off the bottom outer corners with a 3-inch radius saw.)
• Two 2 x 4 x 24-inch boards for longitudinal braces
• Four 3-1/2 x 3/8-inch bolts with washers and nuts to bolt seat supports to table legs
• 2-1/2-inch #10 or #8 galvanized or ceramic-coated screws to assemble the table

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