In order to build a proper picnic table, you will need some materials before you can get started, and the first part of the puzzle is material. What do you want your picnic table to be made out of? Wood is traditional, but metal, plastic, fiberglass and even PVC piping are interesting alternatives to the traditional. The key to picking the right material is visualizing the end result. If you decide on wood, make sure to pick a pressure-treated or hard wood, and realize you will need to maintain the waterproofing on the picnic table at least once a year (twice in wet climates.)
After you have decided on your material, make sure you have a hand saw for cutting the materials down (pick the saw and blade according to your material) machine screws with rubber caps, a drill and a 3 foot level (a smaller level will not give you the detailed reading necessary for the large table.)
Other materials may be necessary if building a picnic table from unpressurized wood or if you are planning on painting your picnic table.
The homemade picnic table can look as good as any store-bought variety, or it can look even better. The key to remember is this picnic table is built by you and for you. This means it can wrap around your favorite tree, fold down into the side of your house, be cut at an odd angle, be made colorful for your kids or even be painted black and yellow to mirror the stars. The possibilities end only at the boundaries of your imagination. There are some key points to remember when building a picnic table.
If you have small children who play outside, it is a good idea to round off the edges of the tabletop and the seats. Also, consider plastics instead of metals or woods, since they are more durable and easier to clean.
A great way to get ideas on unique homemade picnic tables is to look online. A large selection of blueprints for picnic tables is available on DIYnetwork.com and TexasBarbecues.com. These blueprints are already tried and tested and many come with instructional videos to make construction a breeze.