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.
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Melody (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 07:44

YES! THIS is the picnic table I wanted!! Thanks for posting THIS one! I am making the normal size of this set, and this will go perfectly with it!

And how AWESOME are the benches as shelves?!?! What a great idea.

phins_jazy (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 07:53

Love this little table!!! And I'm with everyone else on the adult size one as well. I like this one because the benches can move and aren't attached to the table. Great job!

Francey (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 07:55

Hey! I just discovered your site and want to say THANKS! Thanks for sharing your work with us and wanting to help us all out - it is so sweet and self-sacrificial of you!! I'm in love with your page and can't WAIT to get started... :)

edeenut (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 09:53

You NEVER need to worry about a disappointed blog following! Seriously, everything you have posted plans for I want, I'm pretty sure everyone else will agree too.

Michelle (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 11:00

hi, anna! you are AMAZING. the table is so cute! i am a HUGE (can't emphasize it enough) fan of your blog and have told everyone i know about it, and would be really interested to see an adult sized version of this!! thanks so much!

picnic backpacks, (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 19:04

Once again thanks for sharing these lovely picnic tables. If it's not too much to ask, can you just provide the dimensions to make it into a adult picnic table? You don't know how many people you are helping with your blog.

mrsc1345 (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 20:52

Love it! LOVE IT! Now to throw in a request, how about plans for a small wooden playhouse for kids? I want to get my kids all set up for summer with your help! Forget those plastic toy houses at +200 a pop!

Sherry @ Young… (not verified)

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 04:10

Thanks so much for the shout out! We're blushing over here. And that picnic table is amazing. We're itching to build something for the beanette and it could be just the thing...

s (& j)

Jody (not verified)

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 19:14

Thank you for these plans Ana, I went and bought the wood today!!! My kids are going to love it and I agree, we may need an adult size too:)

Ms. A (not verified)

Wed, 03/31/2010 - 15:05

This is exactly what I was looking for. Will be perfect as a picnic table or as extra seating around the bonfire. Like everyone else I am intrested in making an adult size one (we don't have any kids yet, and the fiance would really begin to wonder if I started making kids furniture, lol.) I can figure out the math to make it bigger (i'll just have to make my brain work a little hard, lol) but my concern is by making it bigger (adult size) will I need to add any extra structural support?? By the way, your blog is amazing.