Collapsible Potting Table

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Build a collapsible potting table or BBQ area to provide an extra outdoor surface that can be stored away in the off season.

Hello Everyone! Gina here from! Today I get to share with you plans for a potting table that I built for my oldest. The table can also be used for a beverage/snack station when hosting get togethers, or for storage of pool supplies. The best part? It's collapses into it's 5 1/2" wide top to be stored away in the off season. Following are the plans, but make sure you check my blog post here for more information, and make sure to read through the comments for any changes/updates.

38" W x 23 1/4" D x 28" H


Shopping List

1 - 1 x 6 @ 8' 1 - 1 x 6 @ 4' 4 - 1 x 4 @ 8' 6 - 1x2 @ 8' 3 sets 1 1/2" butt hinges *Optional* 1 extra 1x2 @ 8', mentioned in step 7

Common Materials
1 1/4 inch screws
Cut List

8 - 1x2 @ 27 1/4" 8 - 1x2 @ 17 3/4" 4 - 1x2 @ 14 1/2" 2 - 1x2 @ 12 1/2", ends cut at 45*, not parallel 2 - 1x2 @ 21 3/4" 4 - 1x4 @ 37 1/8" 6 - 1x4 @ 21 3/4" 2 - 1x4 @ 13 1/8" 2 - 1x6 @ 37 1/8" 2 - 1x6 @ 23 1/4"

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Miter Saw
Power Sander
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

Build the side legs as shown above. Set your kreg jig for 3/4" stock and use 1 1/4" pocket hole screws. You need to build two of these.

Step 2

Build the back legs using the dimensions above. The angled piece is the 12 1/2" 1x2 with the 45 degree cuts. Use pocket holes set for 3/4" stock, using 1 1/4" pocket hole screws.

Step 3

*Important!* Measurement in diagram is incorrect - lengths should be 37 1/8" (cut to fit). To start the bottom shelf, inset your 1x2s 3/4" from the ends of the 1x4s as pictured. Attach using 1 1/4" screws and glue, using two screws per shelf, per side.

Step 4

Evenly space the remaining shelf boards, making sure to glue and screw into place. Still using 2 screws per board, per side.

Step 5

Step 6

You can pocket hole the top boards together, but I would recommend that you plank them on a scrap board, leaving a slight gap between boards for drainage and to allow the boards to move, as it will be outside. If you plank them, arrange them inside the 1x6s , top down, and place the scrap board on top of them, gluing and screwing into place.Then you can either screw the plank inside with pocket holes or with countersunk screws from the outside.

Step 7

Attach hinges as shown. I stood the sides that were to be hinged together next to each other and test-folded it with the hinge to make sure I was putting it on the correct way. Then I scribed where the screws would go.

Step 8

Assemble/disassemble as needed!

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.


mom of 4

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 08:20

Gina, that is so clever! I love how everything stores in the tabletop.

In reply to by mom of 4

Lady Goats

Sat, 05/11/2013 - 16:56

I wish I could take credit for the ingenuity, but I based my design off of the one I linked to on my blog. :-) I'm just a copy-cat!


Fri, 05/10/2013 - 11:41

There seems to be room inside the table-top to store legs made a little longer, for a taller person to use the table...would it be too top-heavy with longer legs? How short would one need to be to use this table comfortably, as pictured?

In reply to by Kathen

Lady Goats

Sat, 05/11/2013 - 16:54

Hi Kathen! I built this for my daughter who is 4' 6", and it's a tad taller for her than I think is comfortable. I tend to pull up a chair when I'm helping her, as it is a tad shorter than I'd like, but you're right. There is room for taller legs. It's stable as-is, so I'd say to try it with taller legs if you'd like. If it's wobbly, shorten them. You might also be able to get it stabilized with a couple of screws on the inside (that way you'd only need to remove two screws to put it away for the winter).


Sat, 05/11/2013 - 09:08

Just the other day my daughter asked for a collapsible table/desk, and today this! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your fabulous plan!


Sun, 05/12/2013 - 19:52

This could not have come at a more perfect time. I have needed a potting table, and this one is just adorable. I especially love the heart detail.


Fri, 07/15/2016 - 19:57

I wish I would've looked at the diagrams and cut list more carefully before I cut everything for this project. The length for the bottom shelf is off by five inches. FIVE INCHES. The slats for the top are 1/8" too short to fasten to the sides. Needless to say, I have to go buy all the 1" x 4" again and recut to the proper lengths.  

Lady Goats

Sat, 07/16/2016 - 22:53

Thanks for letting me know! Sometimes when trying to convert SketchUp's measurements to just inches (which seems easier to follow), I either do the math incorrectly, or mistype the measurements. The plans have been updated for the bottom shelf.

The slats on top aren't going to be updated as the plan accounts for typical actual measurements of boards, but those may differ from state-to-state (or store-to-store). As always, it's best to cut to fit.