Pirate Picnic Table

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A picnic table that looks like a pirate ship!  Add an umbrella and every day dining is literally a breeze.

Dimensions shown above.


Shopping List

10 - 1x3 Boards, 8 feet long

2 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long
Common Materials
1 1/4 inch screws
2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

6 - 1x3 @ 18" (Porthole sides)

2 - 1x3 @ 39" (Longest Point, both ends cut at 15 degrees off square, not parallel)
2 - 1x3 @ 37 7/16" (Longest Point, both ends cut at 15 degrees off square, not parallel)
2 - 1x3 @ 35 15/16" (Longest Point, both ends cut at 15 degrees off square, not parallel)
2 - 1x3 @ 34 3/8" (Longest Point, both ends cut at 15 degrees off square, not parallel)
2 - 1x2 @ 18" (Top Cleat)
4 - 1x2 @ 17" (Side Cleats)
4 - 1x2 @ 7 9/16" (Seat Cleats)
4 - 1x2 @ 9 9/16" (Seat Angled Cleats - both ends at 15 degrees off square)
4 - 1x2 @ 6 1/2" (Porthole Cleats)
2 - 1x3 @ 19" (Top Breadboard Ends)
4 - 1x3 @ 8" (Seat Breadboard Ends)
2- 1x3 @ 25 1/2" (Base Supports)
13 - 1x3 @ 25 1/2" (Seat/Tabletop Boards)
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Miter Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

The most difficult part of this project is going to be getting those boards cut just right - namely this circle. Cut your six boards straight, as shown above, 18" long. Lay out with 1/4" spacing between the boards and draw a 5" circle on the boards. Then cut the circle parts out of each board with a jigsaw. You will need to do this on both sides.

Step 2

Now space the remaining side boards out, 1/4" appart as shown above. Notch the bottom out 1/2" up as shown above with a jigsaw so that the table will sit flat, despite uneven surfaces. You will need to do this on both sides.

Step 3

To the top board, add the top cleat as shown above.

Step 4

Now it's time to assemble the sides. Start at the top and work your way down, keeping a 1/4" gap between all of the boards as shown above.

Step 5

Step 6

Now we need something to keep the ends in place. Add the angled cleats as shown above, and the cleats around the portholes. Again, 1 1/4" fasteners and glue.

Step 7

If you have a Kreg Jig™, consider building the top and seats first, and the adding to the top. But if you don't, here's how you can still get those breadboard ends. Screw (predrilled holes) and glue the breadboard ends to the top as shown above. The top will overhang 1/2" on both ends. Seats will sit flush.

Step 8

Now join the two sides together using the base support boards as shown above. Screw to the cleats and also to the sides.

Step 9

And finally, attach all of the top boards as shown above. Carefully predrill holes and use 2" screws and glue. Adjust for square.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Guest (not verified)

Fri, 04/08/2011 - 11:52

My husband saw this in the Pottery Barn Book and loved it, but we have a girl and I think she needs a more girly one...  but I thought it was cool that you made the plans for it..  We were just talking about about a week ago.

Guest (not verified)

Fri, 04/08/2011 - 12:18

Very cute... You should go on design star on hgtv.. When they cast for the next season...


Fri, 04/08/2011 - 15:50

If I can get through my massive list of Ana to dos already I am going to make this for my son.  You always amaze me.

Farm Marm (not verified)

Fri, 04/08/2011 - 21:14

I have two little boys and this will be perfect for the summer! It will go great next to the kiddie pool! Thanks Ana! U ROCK!

I Pay Outside … (not verified)

Sat, 04/09/2011 - 09:22

This is just too stinkin' cute.  Does your mind ever sleep?  You are an amazing woman!!

mommy can make that

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 17:10

This is such a cute project! I want to make it even though I think my boys are a bit too big for it. I was looking over the plans and was thinking that it might be easier to cut the hole if you go ahead and lay out the sides, attach the top cleat and the center supports for the sides then trace your bowl and cut it out with your jigsaw. Just a thought since that does seem like the most difficult part. I can't wait to try this one! Thank you so much for these wonderful plans!


Sat, 06/14/2014 - 16:14

Could someone PLEASE help me...I have a question about the measurements. Thanks!