Modern Kid's Picnic Table and Benches

Build A Modern Kid's Picnic Table, or X Benches
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A modern take on the classic picnic table, in a mini size.  Free step by step plans with diagrams and lots of reader submitted photos from

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

Build A Modern Kid's Picnic Table, or X Benches
Table: 34 1/2" x 19 1/2" x 16" Bench(2): 31" x 11 1/2" x 8"


Shopping List
  • 4 – 2×4 - 8 feet long
  • 1 – 2×2 - 8 feet long
  • 3 – 1×4 - 8 feet long
  • 1 1/4″ Screws
  • 2 1/2″ Screws
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
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
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.

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.

A.T.O. (not verified)

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 11:38

YES, I do love this picnic table and I do want to make it, but as the others have previously posted, I would rather make it adult-sized too, and any guidelines on that would be MUCH appreciated!!

Marian (not verified)

Tue, 01/25/2011 - 08:41

Any word on an adult size version? This is adorable, would love to put one on my porch for the family.

Ken (not verified)

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 17:37

Wow. Very inspirational. I'm looking to tackle some patio furniture and my wife and I LOVE the look of this table. Like others who have posted comments, do you have an adult size plan?

Thanks! A great site.


Mon, 08/01/2011 - 11:27

I am looking at building this table for my I home daycare and need it to be long enough for about 6 kids and was thinking about lengthening it to48inches. Would this be sturdyenough with the extra length between legs? Thanks!

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 09/22/2011 - 14:08

Like everyone else, I love the table and benches for kids, and would love to see plans for adult-size in same design. Any word yet on whether you'll be adding one? Thanks so much for sharing your talent!


Tue, 03/27/2012 - 04:00

Ana, would there be a simple way to decrease the gap between the table top boards from 1/2 to 1/4 inch? For instance, could I go with2X3s instead of 2X4s cutting six instead of 5? I'm just not sure about the math on that or if it would even work. What do you think?

Person (not verified)

Fri, 06/22/2012 - 04:24

What wood would you reccomend that is fairly cheap but storng enough to be used for the project?


Fri, 06/22/2012 - 05:47

Any of the pines would work, especially southern yellow pine. White pine would be a decent second choice. Douglas Fir would also work pretty well, but it can be hard to track down. I'd avoid the generic white wood or softwood.


Fri, 06/20/2014 - 22:49

As so often I cannot find where you mentioned what stain you used... Can you please let us know? Thanks, love your site.


Sat, 11/11/2017 - 15:43

Can anyone have a photo of how and where they fastened the legs? I see the instructions but Im lost on what they mean by Fasten from the inside