DIY picnic table: for your next trip to the great outdoors

Wooden picnic table with practical drinks holders
Glasses falling over is a thing of the past: this table will turn any picnic into an experience you can enjoy.

  • Difficulty
    medium
  • Cost
    85 £
  • Duration
    4-5 h

Introduction

The sun beaming through the window means only one thing – it’s high time to venture out into the great outdoors. How about spending a lovely Sunday enjoying a picnic in the park? The feast will be even more comfortable with a portable picnic table. The foldable tabletop has practical holders for glasses and bottles. And the best thing about it: our simple step-by-step guide will show you how to build your very own wooden picnic table in a few simple steps.

It should go without saying that your safety is paramount throughout every step of the project, so make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. You can find an overview of the correct protective clothing you need when using each type of tool here.

You need
Utilities
  • pencil
  • dining plate
  • compass
  • g-clamps
  • pocket rule
  • wrench
Materials
  • 1x wooden board, oak (20 x 480 x 480 mm)
  • 2x squared timbers (35 x 35 x 95 mm)
  • 1x squared timber (25 x 17 x 115 mm)
  • 1x squared timber (35 x 35 x 430 mm)
  • Round metal rod (8 x 315 mm)
  • Carriage bolt with nut (130 x 7 mm)
  • 5x Torx T-20 screws (3.5 x 40 mm)
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's go - step by step

Step 1 10

Mark the measurements on the tabletop

A slat is being used to help draw a straight line on a wooden board.
A measurement is being marked using a folding rule.
A plate is being used to help draw markings on a wooden board.
A compass is being used to mark a round section for the drinks holder.
Lines for later steps are being marked on the wooden board.

You need: pencil, dining plate, compass, 1x wooden board, oak (20 x 480 x 480 mm)

For the first step, you’ll need the board that will later become the tabletop of your picnic table. You can have this wooden board cut to the right size at your local DIY store.
Now, mark out all the measurements. Start with the middle – use a wooden slat to help (image 1). Mark out both a cross through the diagonals and other lines from the middle of the edge of the board (see image 5). Also mark where you’re going to drill on this line, approximately 30 mm away from the edge (image 2).

Then, mark out the rounded corners. It’s best to use a regular plate for this (image 3). Use a compass to mark the round gaps for the bottle (image 4).

You can get another overview of all the measurements in the last image (image 5).

Step 2 10

Saw the corners

The corner of a wooden board is being rounded off using a jigsaw.
Saw out the marked round pieces one after the other.

You need: Jigsaws, BIM jigsaw blade, T 308 BF, g-clamps

Next, saw out the round pieces marked in all four corners. Make sure to clamp the board down to your workbench securely. 

Step 3 10

Drill the holes

The Forstner drill bit is being used to drill the four small holes at the edge of the board.
Use a Forstner drill bit to drill four small holes into the edge of the wooden board.

You need: YOUseries Drill, Forstner drill bits 25mm, g-clamps

In the first step, you marked where you’re going to drill holes on four of the lines you drew. Now, drill four small holes at these points to create the gaps for glasses at the edge of the picnic table – preferably with a suitable Forstner drill bit. Place a piece of scrap wood under the board before you do this.

Step 4 10

Saw out the holes and sand the edges

An 8-mm wood drill bit is being used to drill a hole in a wooden board.
A circle is being sawn out of the middle of the board using a jigsaw.
A measurement is being marked on the edge of a wooden board.
All sawn edges are being rounded off.

You need: YOUseries Drill, YOUseries Bit and Drill Set, Jigsaws, Curve-cutting saw blade T 101A0, YOUseries Sander, YOUseries Sanding Paper G80, g-clamps, pencil, pocket rule

The next step will see you saw out the large hole in the middle of the board. To do this, you first need to pre-drill a hole inside the circle using an 8-mm wood drill bit (image 1).

Then, insert the jigsaw into the hole and guide it along the line marked on the board (image 2). Sawing out the circle requires precision, so make sure to use a fine jigsaw blade.

Saw out the gaps for all of the small holes as well. To create these, measure 6 mm to both the left and the right of the centre line (image 3).

Finally, sand all of the sawn edges (image 4).

Step 5 10

Measure the squared timbers and saw them to length

Squared timbers are being measured with a square.
The squared timbers are being sawn to length.

You need: Jigsaws, BIM jigsaw blade, T 308 BF, Set square, pencil, g-clamps, 2x squared timbers (35 x 35 x 95 mm), 1x squared timer (35 x 35 x 430 mm)

Now, take the 35 x 35 mm squared timbers and mark out the lengths specified above.

Then, cut the timbers to the appropriate length.

Step 6 10

Mark and pre-drill holes for the screws

Markings for drill holes are being made on three squared timbers.
Holes are being pre-drilled into the marked points.

You need: YOUseries Drill, YOUseries Bit and Drill Set, pencil, pocket rule, g-clamps, Sawn squared timbers from step 5

You’ll need the three sawn squared timbers again in this step. Mark the centre on the short edge on each timber. From there, measure 20 mm along the edge of the timber and mark this point with a pencil (image 1).

Then, drill the holes in the marked positions.

Step 7 10

Saw and join the base support for the corner

A corner of the base support is being sawn.
Three squared timbers are being joined together with a carriage bolt and tightened with a wrench.

You need: Jigsaws, BIM jigsaw blade, T 308 BF, g-clamps, wrench, Carriage bolt with nut (130 x 7 mm), Squared timbers from step 6

The base support of your picnic table should be foldable later. To do this, you need to saw out a corner on the longest squared timber (430 mm in length) (image 1). To get the correct angle, measure 20 mm on the top and 20 mm on the side of the timber.

Then, briefly sand the cut edge.

Now, join the three squared timbers using the carriage bolt and tighten it firmly with a wrench.

Step 8 10

Pre-drill the holes for the screws

Holes are being pre-drilled into two short squared timbers.
Clamp the base support so that short timbers protrude.

You need: YOUseries Drill, YOUseries Bit and Drill Set

Pre-drill another two holes into each of the short squared timbers. You’ll need these to screw the base to the tabletop.

Step 9 10

Drill a hole for the metal rod

The hole for the metal rod is being pre-drilled on the underside of the base support.
Make sure everything is firmly secured to your workbench and is stable in order to drill a hole in this way.

You need: YOUseries Drill, YOUseries Bit and Drill Set, g-clamps, pencil

Now, turn the entire base support upside down and pre-drill the hole for the metal rod on the underside of it (image 2).

Make sure that the base support is firmly attached to the tabletop.

Step 10 10

Attach the base support

A small squared timber is being used to mark the point on the base support.
A base support construction is being screwed to a tabletop.

You need: YOUseries Drill, YOUseries Bit and Drill Set, Tabletop, 1x squared timber (25 x 17 x 115 mm), Torx T-20 screws (3.5 x 40 mm), Round metal rod (8 x 315 mm)

You’re nearly done! But there’s still one small squared timber left. You’ll need this to be able to lock your base support as well. First, take the squared timber, place it on the base support and mark the position (image 1).

Once you’ve made the marking, attach the base support construction to the tabletop with four screws.

When you’ve done that, attach the small squared timber to act as a lock. Use another screw here so that the squared timber can move like a latch.

Finally, insert the metal rod and glue it into the pre-drilled hole. You can use this rod later to stick your new picnic table into the grass easily.

The only thing left to do now is decide which tasty treats you’re going to pack for your trip.