How to Build an Easy Picnic Table

When the weather is nice, spending as much time outside as possible, playing, doing yard work and eating, becomes a priority.

Picnic tables are relatively easy to construct.Picnic tables are relatively easy to construct.
Picnic tables are ideal for setting out a spread of food and sitting down to enjoy a meal. Pre-made picnic tables can be expensive and difficult to take home from the store. You can make your own in a few hours with some lumber and supplies.

Saw four 30-inch long legs from 2-by-8 boards. Saw both ends of each leg at a 22-degree angle, so the legs will lean toward each other.

Saw two 26-inch crosspieces from 2-by-4 boards and two 60-inch crosspieces from 2-by-8 boards.

Attach the longer crosspiece horizontally across a pair of legs at the center point, with the legs leaning toward each other. Ten inches of crossboard should stick out past the legs on either side (measure at the top of the board, which is longer). This length will support the benches. Using a drill and wrench, secure the crossboard to the legs with two carriage bolts on either side. Repeat this process for the other pair of legs.

Attach the smaller crosspiece horizontally across the top of a pair of legs. Secure both sides with two deck screws. This crosspiece will support the tabletop. Repeat this process for the other pair of legs. The correctly assembled legs and crosspieces should look like the letter "A."

Saw nine 72-inch long pieces of 2-by-6 boards. These boards will make the tabletop and benches.

Stand up your legs and crossbows opposite each other, 68 inches apart.

Lay five of the 72-inch boards across the top crossbows, so they hang 2 inches over each edge. Secure the tabletop to the crossbow by screwing two deck screws into both ends of each board.

Measure the length of a 45-degree diagonal running from the larger crossbow to the underside of the table top. Cut two braces out of 2-by-4 wood planks, and cut the ends of the wood at 45-degree angles. Secure a brace on both large crossbows with deck screws.

Lay two of the 72-inch boards across both ends of the larger crosspieces to make the benches. Allow the boards to hang 2 inches over each end, and secure two deck screws into both ends of each board.

Paint or stain your table to protect it from moisture and the elements.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Hand saw
  • Pressure-treated 2-by-8 wood boards
  • Pressure-treated 2-by-6 wood boards
  • Pressure-treated 2-by-4 wood boards
  • Four 1/2-inch exterior-grade carriage bolts
  • Drill
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Two 1/2-inch deck screws
  • Waterproof paint or stain

About the Author

Christina Sloane has been writing since 1992. Her work has appeared in several national literary magazines.