Big Kids Picnic Table Plans

kids picnic table plans
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Our favorite kids picnic table! Designed to fit bigger kids, this super sturdy picnic table is big enough to sit a small adult too! Super easy to build design has been built hundreds of times already!

Build your own kids picnic table with the best plans - Step by step diagrams, shopping and cut lists with video tutorial from

Build photo submitted by Fethiye

Our most loved kids picnic table, this one is suitable for exterior use, and can be used by big kids (and even small adults).  The 2x construction makes it durable and heavy - so it won't blow away in the wind.

We have many other free picnic table plans:


How to Build It - Ana White Picnic Table Video Tutorial

Watch this super quick video tutorial to help you visualize how to build this picnic table.


Big Kids Picnic Table Plans

Here's Some Tips to Build Better Outdoor Furniture

tips for better outdoor furniture builds

Want to build better outdoor furniture?  Over the twenty years I've been building, maintaining, and enjoying my own outdoor furniture, I've learned a few tips that can help build longer lasting furniture.  

 5 QUICK Tips for Better Outdoor Furniture



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Big Kids Picnic Table Plans

kids picnic table dimensions
Dimensions are shown for kids picnic table plans


Shopping List
  • 2 – 2×6 Boards, 8′ Long
  • 6 – 2×4 Boards, 8′ Long
  • 60 - 2 1/2″ self tapping star bit screws, exterior rated (can also be up to 2-3/4" in length)
Cut List
  • 4 – 2×6 @ 48″ (tabletop)*
  • 2 – 2×4 @ 22 3/4″ (tabletop supports)**
  • 1 – 2×4 @ 38″ (center tabletop support)
  • 4 – 2×4 @ 26″ both ends cut at 30 degrees off square, long point to short point measurement, ends ARE parallel (legs)
  • 2 – 2×4 @ 41″ (seat supports)**
  • 4 – 2×4 @ 48″ (seat boards)*
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 18-3/8" long point to short point measurements, ends ARE parallel (cross supports)***

*If your lumber measures exactly 96" long, simply cut in half - the cuts may end up 47-7/8" or similar, it won't matter in the project

**Soften the ends at 45 degrees as shown in the plans

***Additional cut is needed to fit inside the cross support

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Circular Saw
Power Sander
General Instructions

Work on a clean level surface. Take a square of your project after each step. Predrill and countersink your screw holes. Use proper safety precautions and equipment.


Step 1

Cut the ends of the shorter tabletop support boards off at 45 degrees from the center of the end to soften sharp corners.

Then attach to the center tabletop support.  Notice this board is off center - this is intentional to allow water to drain between tabletop boards.

Make sure the frame is "square" by taking opposite diagonals and adjusting until the opposite diagonal measurements match.  This is to avoid the frame being a parallelogram instead of a rectangle.

Step 2

Attach the outer tabletop boards to the support frame with 2-1/2" screws through the top.  Use a scrap 2x4 piece as a guide.

Step 3

Fill in the center tabletop boards, and space the gaps evenly.  Screw down.

Step 4

Attach the legs to the tabletop support frame with screws.

Step 5

Flip the project over on a flat, level surface.  Make sure the table doesn't wobble - if it does, adjust a "short" leg by unscrewing and rotating to make it longer, and reattaching with screws.

Cut the corners off of the seat stringers at a 45 degree angle.

Set up on 9" tall wood scrap blocks, and adjust for an even overextension on both ends - about 9".

Attach with wood screws to the legs.

Step 6

Attach the seat boards to the seat stringers, with even overhangs on both ends.

Step 7

Ensure the picnic table is on a flat, level surface and there is no wobble.  

Cut the cross supports and attach to the inside of the tabletop with screws.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all screw holes with an exterior appropriate wood filler. Let dry.
Sand well in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper.
Remove residue with a vacuum and damp, lint free cloth.
Finish Used
For exterior use, use any finish suitable for a deck, avoid film formers (paint or polyurethane) that will crack and peel as wood expands and contracts with moisture.


thesimplepoppy (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 07:54

I haven't commented before, but I just wanted to say that you should blog enough to keep you and your readers happy, but not so much that your family is cranky! It's totally awesome you have so much material, but everyone loves your blog so much, they won't mind if you only blog a few times a week! We'll have to learn to be patient:) On a side note, I do believe I've printed out at least half of your plans and our basement is awash in wood!

Anonymous (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 08:01

I totally agree with thesimplepoppy -- one post per day is more than enough. I'd be stoked with four a week, one of which being a shout out post from all the pics you get. You don't have to post every completed project (though of course folks like that), Just my two cents. I think everyone would agree that we'd rather see you cut back & find your balance than burn out and stop completely.

Katy Frame (Ka… (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 08:08

What you could do is set aside some time one day and write up a weeks worth of posts, and schedule them to go up every day. This way technically you ARE blogging every day, but you aren't giving up time with your family every day. :)

SherryQ (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 08:14

{HUGS} to you, Momma - I am SURE that you are a super momma - you are SO incredibly creative and generous! :)

Cindy (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 08:14

Ana, how about posting only on weekdays? A lot of the bloggers I read do not post on weekends.

Also, from one mom to another: Your daughter's comments may have some basis in reality, but she is also getting to the age where she would be saying things like that no matter what. When one of my kiddos was younger, he hurt my feelings quite often like that. Once he packed his stuff and declared that he was moving to an orphanage. He's 8 now and knows he has the best mama. :)


Karch (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 08:15

I just found your blog and have already been inspired, but can understand that family has to come first...Love the plans so far and look forward to seeing more in the future ;)

Becbud (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 08:27

I've never commented before either, but just wanted to say "thanks" for your awesome site. I can't wait to get started, on my farmhouse table and benches, but have to wait until later in April. That being is #1, and we can certainly survive on 1 post a day. I've heard comments from my kids like that before, and decided then, that during naptime or after their bedtime is better for those activities. THANKS for setting the right example for us!

Rebecca (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 08:28

Love your thoughts on blogging & very much relate. I took a break from my blog, then posted randomly and and am rethinking the whole thing again. I enjoy writing but don't want it to take from my life. Thank you for sharing your plans with us and thank your family for sharing you with us. I/we haven't built anything yet but I have several items I want to make for our home.

The Frugal Designer (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 08:29

Thank you so much Ana, for posting about my Finishing School! I hope I can be of service to your readers for finishing techniques. As you know from my emails, I fee exactly like you do and know that sometimes family stuff can suffer when we choose to do something for ourselves. I know there is a balance but it is awfully hard to find it when you are a person who commits to something 100%. You will find a proper balance that works for you and your little girl, I am sure of it! Xx Rayan

gretchen (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 08:34

You must have been reading my mind with the big kid's picnic table...I was worried my boys would quickly outgrow the toddler one, thanks!
In all our roles of life I think it's a constant challenge of finding the balance...good luck to us all with that one and thank you for sharing your time and encouragement with us.

Melanie (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 08:46

I love your blog even more knowing you are a better mommy at the same time!

Thanks for wonderful inspiring plans!

KristenA (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 08:54

I think you are doing a fabulous job! I work out of the home and away from my babies and I know that I wish I had more time in the world to be with them. We all can wait for the plans.. you spend time with your little girl and enjoy her childhood! I always say that theres gonna come a time when my little girl wont want to be with me, so I better soak it all in now! Great job with juggling work and being a mom... youre truly superwoman!

-KristenA (friends with you on FB!)

Grover (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 09:05


Thank you so much for posting about my Women in Woodworking Series. I hope that I can help anyone who has an interest in woodworking. Thanks again..

Don't you love it when kids make comments that put you in your place. I know mine son has done that several times.

Shannon (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 09:21

Honestly, you post more than any other blog I read. You could easily get away with just a few times a week. I'm just as excited to see Bragging Board photos as I am new plans, btw.
Find a balance that works for you!
We'll all still be here. :)
Love the guest bloggers and finishing school!

Chrissy @ Home… (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 09:24

Good for you! There are so many mommy bloggers and we all need to be reminded what comes first. You have an awesome blog and it will probably be even better if you post less. Congrats on everything!

Arlee (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 09:29

Good for you - margin and boundaries are good things and no one will fault you for focusing on your family. One post a day is plenty and I would also suggest that you just post on weekdays. You wouldn't be letting anyone down - you give us so much already! Thank you!

Twill Jill (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 09:51

Good for you for your motherly insight! I sometimes worry I don't post often enough on my sewing blog...but then I remember why. It doesn't do much good to spend my whole life writing about what I make if I never take the time to go places and meet people where I can acutally show the stuff off. And fifty years from now will your daughter brag about all the plans you shared with the blogosphere...or will she brag about the things you built WITH her and the things you taught her? That's the key thing to keep in mind. Your post was a great reminder for us all about what's really important!

Jen @ Sunshine… (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 09:57

Awesome Ana! The plans and you! I'm ready to make one a little bigger, so this is just perfect. Need to post my completed "little" one. One a day is perfect. The blogs I love to read have one a day at a predictable time and are real people.

Your daughter's comment stung and probably was only 50% truth (just like "The spider was as big as a bus, Mommy!") but if it got you to stop and take care of you, then good job Grace. :)

Emily (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 10:02

Want to chime in here and agree with the other comments that YES, once a day is definitely enough!

Thanks again for all you do :)

Heather (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 10:08

Thanks for this, Ana! I want to make this nest for the summer :)

And about what you said … that really hit home with me. I keep wondering why it is that I want to blog. And you hit the nail on the head (ha - kind of funny saying considering this blog) … that is what I am searching for. Wow. You're totally right … I need to spend 90% of my life living it! Thank you so much for your honestly … you are adored!!!!

Anonymous (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 10:20

Your thoughts on being a mom touched home. It's so hard being the mom we want to be somedays. I enjoyed you sharing your thoughts. I just want to extend a hug to you and let you know I understand.

Rhonda from Minnesota

Lori (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 10:29

Thanks for inspiring me to only blog-stalk once a day. I'm getting off now to go play cars. :) Love the plans but love your realistic sense for life too. Thanks.

Amanda (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 10:38

My comment didn't go through the first time, but I just wanted to say that I agree with what everyone has said. But I also wanted to add that to help you balance your life more, take advantage of your readers! Between the bragging board, guest bloggers and the wonderful community over on the Facebook Fan page that are more than willing to share building tips, I'm sure we can help minimize the hours you have to spend blogging.

And I don't know about others, but honestly, I find the plan-a-day a bit overwhelming. It just sends me all in a tizzy when I keep finding new plans that I need to add to my growing 'to do' list! I can't keep up! I'd be happy with even just 2 plans a week and the rest focusing on a guest blog, reader tips and the bragging board.

Whatever you decide to do, you've got our support!

Sherri (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 11:14

I will miss you, as I am obsessive and check your blog several times a day for something new! ;)
But, of course, it only makes sense to make our children our first priority. Otherwise, what's it all for?
Now, maybe I will actually focus more on my third child's last year home before starting school...and actually get some of your great plans completed! :)
Have fun with your daughter and enjoy your time with her, as she'll soon be off to school and you'll wonder what happened to all the years!

By the way, THANX so much for posting plans for a larger table..I was trying to figure out if I could convert your smaller one to something bigger.

craftypants (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 13:40

When you say bigger kids you mean older than kindergarteners..... or perhaps you are refering to us adults as big kids!

If not, please could we have another set of plans for the same table for four standard adults?

Pretty please?

Catherine Hans… (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 14:02

Honestly, I have just been ruthless with my Google reader for the same reason. My kids always look for me at the computer first! So, here's to balance and, believe me, we will all love your blog whether you post two plans a day or a week.

Heather (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 14:13

Yay!! Thank you so much for these plans. Was trying to figure out how to scale it up on my own. You did so much better than I could ever do. Thank you! Thank you! And, just so you know you're not recent day, my mother-in-law asked my then 4 year old what kind of things "mommy" does with her during the day and she replied "nothing, momma is on the computer all day!" I about died, that is not true, of course, but they seem to think that at their age. It's just the way it is. Have a good one!

The Mrs. (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 14:32

I love, love, love your blog, and I will be here reading... once a day or 3 times a week. however much you end up posting. :) I'm not a mom, and I can't imagine what a balancing act life must be when you have other people to look after... kudos to you for listening to your heart. :)

Michelle (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 14:48

Hi Ana,
Thanks for posting this. I'm planning to build it soon. I do have a question though. On the shopping list, it calls for 4-2x6 boards, but in the post above, you said you designed the top to use only 2 2x6 boards. Will I just need to buy two?

Also, I know exactly what you mean about kids feeling left out over time spent in front of the computer. I used to review books on my blog, but I found that creating the posts used up so much time that my kids were unhappy with the time I spent on my blog, and I also realized all the time I spent making posts could be better used actually reading new books, rather than reviewing. Please don't stop making plans ( I love your site!), but definitely feel free to take a few giant steps back if you need to. Even if you only posted 2-3 times a week, I'd still be really happy. Enjoy your family ... we will all wait patiently for your amazing plans!

Anonymous (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 14:54

Ana, first of all thank you for all your hard work with this blog and your devotion with your readers. I wanted to share with you a quote that was on my Love Dare Devotional for today: "Life is a marathon, not a sprint. This means you must balance, prioritize and pace yourself." This was the quote for today that I so needed to hear as I myself was feeling overwhelmed. Hope this brings you some peace.

INSANITY ENJOYED (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 16:23

I was hoping for a bigger kid picnic table. Thank you!! Its hard to find that balance between our family, ourselves and what each of us needs. I think you are on the way to finding more of a balance. Downshift as much as you need to. We'll understand and all still be here.

Valerie (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 16:49

Oh, the balance of Mama/Wife and blogger! I won't hate you if you only blog once a week. :) If you keep up the pace that you have now you are going to crash and burn. You can't please everyone all the time - but your family comes first. Thanks for all you do! :)

Jenny @ Anythi… (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 17:42

Just wanted to agree with everyone must be approaching burn out right now. Just do what you can to balance you life and we will be so happy with whatever you give us. Love your blog (no matter how much you post).

deneki (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 19:23

I built a couple of picnic tables about 10 years ago now. I didn't want the tops to be "normal" so I used 2x6's and 2x2's in a pattern of 2x6, 2x2, 2x2, 2x6 and so on. I started with the middle, making sure it was a 2x6 because I then drilled a hole into it to accept an umbrella. On one I also built a receiver slot for the umbrella on a board that runs the length of the table between the lower side supports. On the other I use one of those store bought umbrella holders. I prefer the table with the receiver I made.
Anyway, just a fun way to mix up the look of our picnic tables.

Anonymous (not verified)

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 20:19

Awww, Ana, I know that had to be a blow to your mama's heart.

I think it's completely fair for you to sit back and enjoy your family for awhile. As much as I loveloveLOVE your blog and check it waaay too much to dream over the new plans, your family comes FIRST, and as someone who put the brakes on a blog to spend more time living life, I completely understand.

And applaud. =)

Enjoy relaxing a little, and know that your readers adore you and will look forward to your posts, no matter how often they come along.

You're an inspiration! =)

Rachel B.

Michaela at Th… (not verified)

Fri, 04/02/2010 - 01:04

Good for you Ana. And good for your daughter. I hope you find a balance with your writing that feels like it is giving more than it is taking. Selfishly, your fans, (me!), hope that you continue writing and helping others with furniture plans for many years. This is a long journey, not a short sprint. You have a book to work on, and many other goals. This blog is wonderful service - and there are YEARS worth of building plans here.
Please always put yourself and your family first, and then you will have the energy and spirit to give to your work goals.
xo Michaela

Laurie (not verified)

Fri, 04/02/2010 - 03:32

I think you are a great mom! Plans every day was more than most bloggers post, including the really big ones. What if you posted 3x a week - MWT - with one post being plans, one post a guest post, one post bragging board... You'd have content 3x week, on regularly scheduled days, and more time to build and be with family and work on your other projects?

I know what you mean about the recognition, though. I used to be a very high end professional Chef (I worked for the holding company that owned Pinehurst, so I was Executive Chef of two of their properties in other parts of the country). Now my biggest fan tells me, "Momma, you are a good cooker!" - but it's when I make macaroni and cheese from the box!

gkey (not verified)

Fri, 04/02/2010 - 04:19

Dear Mama First,
So often it is like a trapeze artist...timing, balance, form,
but seeing where you are and
how your family see you is soooo
I do not know you personally of course, but I sense a genuine-ness
about you that is very special.
Mothering is so close to my heart, and I often am brought up short realizing I am not all I should be to these kiddos. We only have them a little while, but these are the years that will make all the difference in the end.
That said, I need to tell you how absolutely crazy I am to get started on building. I never dreamed something like this would be possible for me! My husband is a craftsman, but he does not have time to do things like this, as he is busy making a living for us. So we both are thankful to have found you.
Still finding my way on the Mama journey

The Trees (not verified)

Fri, 04/02/2010 - 04:44

Don't want to give you so much more to read. But just wanted to say how much I respect you for your talent and honesty. Takes a good mother and woman to be honest with yourself and choose the better part. They're only young once as I always have to remind myself.
You're amazing! I love love love your blog! Thanks for doing what you do!

Carol H. (not verified)

Fri, 04/02/2010 - 06:09

I agree with everything that everyone has said. Gosh, I'd be happy with one plan a week! Your little girl will grow up so fast. Enjoy time with her now and know that you are loved and appreciated by all of your fans.

Stephanie Saunders (not verified)

Fri, 04/02/2010 - 20:01

Like a moose jumping in front of the car, huh? You can tell you're Alaskan girl. Most of us would compare it to a cat, dog, or other small mobile creature jumping out in front of our car. Haven't seen many moose around here.

It's hard to find a balance between doing a hobby you love and spending time with the children you love (I have 3 kids 4 and under). I always try to make sure that I don't go to bed with too many regrets. It doesn't always work, but I hate the guilt that creeps in when you're lying in bed thinking of all the things you SHOULD have done with your kids. Never cool. Know that we appreciate any and all that you so generously share with us, but we're more understanding if we're neglected :)

merideth (not verified)

Sat, 04/03/2010 - 02:38

i tried to comment yesterday, but couldn't load your page...

take it from a woman whose big kids are 22 and 21: the time flies by and we never get it back. if you have to post just once per week to make the most of your time with your daughter, then do it.

as a "customer," i want to see ten new projects a day, but not at the cost of your family. you gave me the confidence, and the ability, to make my 5yo (surprise baby! LOL) a bed and i can never thank you enough for that, but i would hate that bed if i knew this blog harmed the quality of your family.

Ange (not verified)

Sun, 04/04/2010 - 05:09

I am so happy you've come to that conclusion with your daughter! You will see all the great things you've done with her (and others will too) in a few years. You're great! Balancing life with kids is so hard but the greatest thing we can do on earth is to nurture and love and care for our children! And this is coming from a mom with a 2yr old, 1yr old and a baby (crazy I know). It's a thankless job sometimes but so important :)

Juliet (not verified)

Sun, 04/04/2010 - 09:53

Thank you, Ana, for all you do. You are an inspiration to all of us moms at home with little ones. I love your blog, but i admire your commitment to family. Your husband and daughter are blessed to have you. We love your posts, but will take what we can get. I think if I start right now, I can finish everything I want to build by 2016;)

Kim N. (not verified)

Sun, 04/04/2010 - 17:14

Just adding a big "thank you" to all the others that have been given!!

A pretty famous quote from a leader of my church says, "No other success can compensate for failure in the home." And as moms, we know it's true. So take all the time you need. None of us out here are building a new piece every single day (right?!) I'm going to guess we can all do with a little less of you so your family can have you some more!

Thank you for all you do...I'll be sharing my farmhouse table as soon as I do the sanding and finishing. I can't believe I built it myself, but your step-by-step plans made it so easy! My husband now refers to the garage as "my wife's workshop"! I love it!!

Dee in NC (not verified)

Mon, 04/05/2010 - 08:40

I MADE IT MYSELF!!! WAHOO!!! Thank you so much for posting these plans - it's the perfect size for my 4 yo and 8 year old!! I made some small mods to the plan - I changed the length of the seat supports to 43" instead of 40 1/2, just to give myself some wiggle room when getting up from the benches. I also cut the ends of the lumber at about 47" wide to even the ends off (sometimes they're not totally square). I hid most of the screws with pocket holes and fastened everything from underneath. It turned out fabulously - I can even sit with the kids, and the younger teens in the neighborhood have a place to plunk themselves. Thanks for reminding me that I am perfectly capable of doing things myself!!!