14 Picnic Table Plans You Can Build for the Perfect Backyard Barbecue
With a few tools and modest DIY skills, build your own beautiful and functional picnic table for the backyard.
A nice picnic table is a desirable piece of furniture for many backyards and gardens. It isn’t just a great place to share meals; it can be an outdoor desk, a hobby center for the kids, a potting table, and much more.
Store-bought models are fine, but there’s something satisfying and special about building your own picnic table. Even better, it’s often possible to modify DIY picnic table plans to complement a particular outdoor space or style.
Luckily, there are a range of plans for wooden picnic tables to suit many different needs. Most of the picnic table plans below demand little more than average DIY skills, require readily available materials, and are very affordable.
1. Modern Wood Picnic Table
Some of the most attractive contemporary picnic table designs are also the easiest to build. These Simple Picnic Table Plans use standard store-bought 2×4 and 1×4 lumber, which is bolted together for straightforward assembly.
The finished items have a sleek and modern look, and extra visual interest can be added by staining or painting alternate pieces. Along with plans for matching benches, detailed drawings and a material list are included.
2. Traditional Picnic Table
This is a classic design that has been used everywhere from private gardens to national parks. Its popularity owes much to the sturdy construction, ease of build, and convenience of a one-piece table with attached picnic benches.
The Traditional Picnic Table Plans include a material list, clear instructions, and a suggested tools list. They also offer some expert tips to help speed up assembly. Although the plans are for an 80-inch table, DIYers can change the length to suit their needs.
3. Folding Picnic Table/Bench Combo
A clever piece of garden furniture ideal for smaller yards or spots where space is at a premium is the Folding Picnic Table Bench. In just moments, this project can convert from a compact and stylish three-seater bench to a six-seater picnic table.
While its construction is more involved than some, the plans have comprehensive step-by-step instructions. With average DIY skills, the build can be completed in a weekend. The plans provide both imperial and metric dimensions.
4. Modern Industrial Picnic Table
The Modern Industrial Picnic Table is an ideal project for DIY welders. While experienced welders should be able to achieve quick results, it may also be an interesting job for beginners who have recently bought a welding machine.
Both the steel and lumber are common sizes and readily available. The Modern Industrial Picnic Table plans include tool and hardware lists. The frame can be painted to fit any garden, and the finished construction should offer high durability.
5. Octagon Picnic Table
An octagonal picnic table provides both visual interest and a large friendly dining area. With standard rectangular tables, long bench seats can make it difficult for everyone to talk to each other. This design overcomes that problem.
The construction is not particularly challenging, though the instructions for this Octagon Picnic Table are less detailed than some. These plans would best suit someone who already has a reasonable level of woodworking skill.
6. Cross-Legged Picnic Table
Cross-legged picnic tables are another classic design combining simple lines with sturdiness. These Cross-Legged Picnic Table plans produce an 80-inch table, as well as one wide bench to provide a comfortable seating area.
Only two sizes of off-the-shelf lumber are required to build this project. Treated lumber is suggested, which does not require finishing. However, the end grains could benefit from sealing, and the entire table could easily be stained or painted to match other backyard or garden features.
7. Kids’ Picnic Table
Here’s a robust, traditional design with built-in seating that has been specially sized for kids. With the Kids’ Picnic Table, the smaller members of a family can eat and play games with friends at a backyard sitting area built just for them.
Standard store-bought lumber is used throughout, along with common screws and bolts. The instructions for the miniature picnic table are very clear and concise, having been devised by a woodworking instructor.
8. Outdoor Farmhouse Table
Those who frequently barbecue for large groups of family and friends may want to check out these Outdoor Farmhouse Table plans. The finished piece can comfortably seat up to 12 people, though plans for stools or benches are not included.
In spite of its impressive size, materials for the Outdoor Farmhouse Table are not difficult to source, and construction is relatively quick and easy. The project designer used a table saw to cut the legs to size, but it’s entirely feasible to use a different cutting method.
9. Trestle Picnic Table
The plans for this Trestle Picnic Table enable anyone to build a very strong, stylish piece of garden furniture. Friends and neighbors might even be surprised to learn it’s a DIY project.
Despite its impressive appearance, building it is straightforward. The trestle base picnic table uses 2×4 and 2×6 store-bought lumber, common fasteners, and basic tools that you may already own. It’s easy to adapt the project to different lengths, and plans for benches are included.
10. 4×3 Picnic Table
These 4×3 Picnic Table plans may appeal to those looking for something a little different from traditional designs. Described as rustic, the clean lines result in a stylishly modest piece of garden furniture—one which could even work well indoors.
Readily available 4×2 and 6×2 lumber are the only materials required. Constructing this picnic table does require cutting several joints rather than simply bolting or screwing them together. However, the result is still a strong and durable construction. Bench plans are not included.
11. Kids’ Folding Picnic Table
Benches that can transform into picnic tables are already interesting DIY woodworking projects, and this one is intended specifically for children. The hybrid design not only saves space, but it’s also compact and easy to move or store.
This Kids’ Folding Picnic Table is intended for children roughly between the ages of three and six years old. The table plans use ¾-inch lumber throughout. Construction is easier than it might appear, but a table saw or circular saw is needed to cut the various widths required.
12. Traditional Octagon Picnic Table
Round picnic table plans aren’t common, possibly because they are more complex to design and build. Octagonal designs are a popular alternative, and (like the other octagonal table mentioned above) the Traditional Octagon Picnic Table can comfortably accommodate a group of people.
This octagonal picnic table has interesting touches that put it a cut above. Its divided seating makes sitting and standing easier. Rounded edges—while not strictly necessary—add style and character. Building this picnic table may take a little longer than some of the other options, but you may find it well worth the effort.
13. Folding Picnic Table With 2 Benches
As established above, folding picnic tables offer unique versatility. However, large all-in-one models can be quite heavy. One solution is to build a pair of separate benches that join together, like this 8-foot Folding Picnic Table Bench.
Although construction may look complicated at first glance, this folding picnic table uses only 2×4 lumber, screws, and hinges. The simplicity of this design is effective, and it’s relatively easy to make shorter versions if desired.
14. 4-Foot Traditional Picnic Table
This 4-Foot Picnic Table is a variation on the popular traditional style, and it offers the same level of strength without complicating the clear-cut construction.
These plans also use store-bought lumber, but those materials are used to build a picnic table 4 feet in length rather than 8 feet. The instructions are enhanced with a video that covers assembly, as well as how to modify the table’s smaller length to better fit DIYers’ goals.
The prices listed here are accurate as of publication on 1/31/22.