Build A Modern Kid's Picnic Table, or X Benches

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 03/23/2010 - 21:45
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For children's spaces that have a slightly more moderm flair. This X table and benches are kid's height, perfect for an afternoon picnic or a tea party. Special thanks to our readers for sharing their photos.

Table: 34 1/2" x 19 1/2" x 16" Bench(2): 31" x 11 1/2" x 8"


Shopping List

4 – 2×4 Boards (about $2.00 Each)
1 – 2×2 Board (about $1.50 Each)
3 – 1×4 Boards (about $3 Each)
1 1/4″ Screws
2 1/2″ Screws
Wood Glue
Wood Filler

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

4 – 1×4 @ 21 1/2″ (DO NOT CUT until reviewing step 1, ends are mitered at 45 degrees)
8 – 1×4 @ 10 1/4″ (Cut to measurement, ends mitered down 45 degrees)
2 – 2×2 @ 19 1/2″ (Ends of Tabletop)
5 – 2×4 @ 31 1/2″ (Tabletop Boards)

Cut List for TWO Benches

8 – 1×4 @ 9 1/4″ (Both ends mitered at 45 degrees, review step 4 before cutting)
16 – 1×4 @ 4 5/8″ (CUT TO MEASUREMENT One end mitered back at 45 degrees)
4 – 2×2 @ 11 1/2″ (Ends of Tabletop)
6 – 2×4 @ 28″ (Seat Boards)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Miter Saw
Power Sander
General Instructions

Work on a clean level surface. Use your square to check to make sure the angles between the legs are a correct 90 degrees. Use proper safety precautions and equipment. Predrill and countersink your screw holes.


Step 1

Legs. Cut your legs so that the ends are mitered at 45 degrees, and the short point to long point measurements are 20 1/2″ as shown above. Then mark all four of the legs as shown on the blue leg above. Use the marks to guide you as you fasten with glue and 1 1/4″ screws the two legs together. To hide your screw holes, fasten from the insides of the legs.

Step 2

Fill in the Legs. Measure and cut the remaining leg pieces, shown in blue above, to fit the missing pieces on the legs. Use glue and 1 1/4″ screws to fasten together. Hide your screw holes on the inside.

Step 3

Top. Begin by fastening with glue and 2 1/2″ screws the ends (shown in blue above) to the tabletop boards. Leave a 1/2″ gap between the boards. Then attach the ends to the legs using 2 1/2″ screws. You will notice in this table’s design there is good water drainage and no pockets for water to remain and cause damage.

Step 4

Bench Legs. Build your bench legs as you built your table legs in step 1. Use 1 1/4″ screws and glue on this step.

Step 5

Step 6

Bench Seats. As you built the tabletop, do the same for the bench seats.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill nail holes with wood filler and sand and finish as desired. To get the two tone finish, you may wish to finish the tops and the X bases before assembling.


Emily (not verified)

Tue, 03/23/2010 - 23:43

Thanks for putting up the link to Young House Love! What a great blog! And it's right up my alley lately too, with being pregnant and trying to plan our own nursery.

Sorry to hear that you're not planning to do a crib plan, I guess I'll have to suck it up and try (again) to find one I like enough to buy (within my budget). Oh well :) at least I can make the Changing wall...really looking forward to that!


Fri, 06/20/2014 - 22:51

Hi, I was searching for a crib plan too but could not find one... Have you? Thanks

Chrissy @ Home… (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 02:48

Love it too! I second the adult size modifications. Can't let my little ones have all the fun!

Nebeker Family (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 03:36

Love these kids picnic tables!!!
Can you show us how to build an adult size, pretty please?!!!

Anonymous (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 04:26

Ditto on the adult size picnic table.

I also saw this on some diy tv program the other day. The stacked benches make a great shelving unit in tight spaces, and then when you have company over take the top bench down and you have more seating for your guests!

Momma Mig (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 05:50

OH! MY! GOSH! i just got linked to your site and i am in LOVE!!! thank you for this blog!! you are so talented! and sharing your plans!?!? holy! honestly... i'm in big trouble now!!!!!

mar (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 06:41

Hey Anna! I would love to see this in an adult size as well. Even if you can just suggest a ratio, doubling everything for example or increasing everything 2.5 times would be super helpful, I'd love to build this for my deck.
Thank you!

Life in Rehab (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 07:16

Ana, the only thing I don't like about your blog is that I can't get started on any of these amazing projects until my house is repaired! I'm actually noting the names of the things I want to try in my ideas book so I won't forget them all. Keep it up, you're just awesome.

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