How to Make an Outdoor Table for Kids

Updated: Oct. 13, 2023

Do you have kids in your life who would love their own outdoor table? Build them one using this step-by-step guide and a few simple tools.

Next Project
Time

1 - 2 hours

Complexity

Beginner

Cost

Around $150

Introduction

After a long New England winter, my family spends as much time outdoors as possible during the precious summer months. Between cookouts, pool parties and outdoor movie nights, we spend a lot of time eating and entertaining outside.

Something that's been missing from our outdoor furniture is an exclusive kids' table. With school friends and neighborhood pals, not to mention when cousins come to visit, we have a lot of kids at our house throughout the summer. I set out to build an outdoor table for my sons and their guests that was just their size and built from weather-resistant wood to survive the elements.

I think I got it just right with this kid-sized table that measures 24 inches wide, 25 inches tall and 48 inches long. It's built from cedar, a naturally rot-resistant material. Follow these step-by-step instructions to learn how to make your own.

Tools Required

  • Clamps
  • Driver bit to match screw size
  • Dust mask
  • Eye protection
  • Measuring tape
  • Miter saw
  • Orbital sander or sanding block
  • Pencil
  • Power drill
  • Work table or level work space

Materials Required

  • 1 lb. box #8 2-1/2-in. exterior-grade screws
  • 4 2x4 x 8-ft. cedar boards
  • 5 5/4x6 x 4-ft. cedar deck boards
  • Sandpaper discs - 120 grit

Project step-by-step (7)

Step 1

This project was featured on At Home with Family Handyman: Best Builds. 

Cut boards to length

  • Mark your measurements onto the board.
  • Line up the miter saw blade.
  • Cut along the line.
  • Cut all boards to length during this step.
  • Set aside three 43-1/2-inch 2x4s; two 19-inch 2x4s; four 24-inch 2x4s; four 22-inch 2x4s; and five 48-inch 5/4-in. by 6-in. deck boards.

Step 1 Cut boards to lengthLaurie Nichols for Family Handyman

Cut boards to lengthLaurie Nichols for Family Handyman

Step 2

Sand edges and faces of all boards

Step 2a EditLaurie Nichols for Family Handyman

Step 3

Assemble the legs

  • Clamp one 22-inch board (cross board) to the 3/4-inch spacer board.
  • Measure and mark 3-3/4-in. from the bottom of a 24-inch board (table leg).
  • Line up the cross board above the mark on the table leg.
  • Use a power drill to attach with two 2-1/2-in. exterior-grade screws through the outside of the leg into the cross piece.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Attach a cross piece flush with the top of the leg.
  • Clamp the cross piece to the 3/4-inch spacer board.
  • Drive two screws through the outside of the table leg into the cross piece.
  • Repeat this process for the other leg.

Assemble the legsLaurie Nichols for Family Handyman

Assemble the legsLaurie Nichols for Family Handyman

Step 4

Add the long table supports

  • Position an assembled table leg with the flush side down on the work surface.
  • Lay a 43-1/2-inch 2×4 into the L-shaped space of the cross piece and leg.
  • Clamp the leg to the table and attach the leg to the long board with two screws.
  • Repeat this process for the other side of the leg assembly and the other side of the table.

Step 4 Add the long table supportsLaurie Nichols for Family Handyman

Step 5

Attach the bottom crossbar

  • Position the table with the legs pointing toward the ceiling.
  • Measure and mark the center point of the 22-inch cross piece not on the work surface.
  • Place the crossbar in the center of the mark.
  • Attach with two screws from the outside of the 22-inch cross piece.
  • Repeat this process on the other end of the crossbar.

Step 5a Attach the bottom crossbarLaurie Nichols for Family Handyman

Step 6

Add the table top support pieces

  • Keep the table with the legs pointing to the ceiling.
  • Measure and mark two equidistant points along the 43-1/2-inch board, creating three equal sections.
  • Line each 19-inch piece in the center of the two marks.
  • Measure and mark the other 43-1/2-inch board the same way.
  • Line up the other end of the 19-inch piece on the opposite mark.
  • Attach each board with two screws from the outside of the 43-1/2-inch board.
  • Repeat until both table top supports are secure.

Step 6c Add the table top support piecesLaurie Nichols for Family Handyman

Step 6 Add the table top support piecesLaurie Nichols for Family Handyman

Step 7

Attach the table top

  • Place the five table top boards on top of the table frame.
  • Space the width edges 1-1/4-in. from the outer 2x4s of the frame and the length flush.
  • Secure each board to the table frame with two screws at each contact point with the frame.

Step 7a Attach the table topLaurie Nichols for Family Handyman

Step 7 Attach the table topLAURIE NICHOLS FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

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