If you’ve been on Pinterest AT ALL, I can guarantee that you’ve pinned at least one of Ana White’s wood working projects. Maybe for yourself, maybe for your husband to make for you… but you’ve pinned at least one. How do I know this? Because my DIY Pinterest board looks like this:
A few months ago, I decided that the tiny little plastic toddler’s picnic table was now too small for our 3 and 5 year old. This just doesn’t do, because we eat out in our backyard about 5/7 nights in the summer, and our grown up picnic table is too tricky for the kiddos to eat properly at. Naturally, I decided that instead of buying a replacement kids’ picnic table, I’d build one myself. Because why not?
Leading up to the first warm-ish, sunny-ish weekend this spring, I headed over to Hamilton’s Tool Library [a super cool organization wherein you pay $50 for a yearly membership and can borrow from the thousands of tools - power or otherwise! - that are in the building!] to get a mitre saw.
Next, I headed to Lowe’s to pick up the amount of wood and screws as prescribed by Ana in the printable plans. Since we already had all of the tools,
Then, I went home and promptly got terribly sick. So much for building a picnic table on the sunny weekend. Boo.
Husband, however, couldn’t handle the saw and the uncut wood and the project plans just sitting there untouched, so he asked if I minded if he cut the wood for me.
“Sure,” I said, “have at it.”
But then the wood was sitting there, all cut to measure. It was begging to be built. And I was still sick in bed. So husband once again asked if I minded very much if he put it together.
“By all means!” I said.
Two hours later, I had a beautifully stained bigger kids picnic table sitting on my porch. Now THAT, my friends, is the easiest way to build your own picnic table! We spent roughly $55 on the wood and screws, $2 in late fees for the saw (whoops), and $20 on a can of sealant / stain (of which we still have 3/4 left).
In all seriousness, however, this really is a beginner project. For someone who has experience using a mitre saw and the power tools commonly used to build things, this is about a 4 hour project (with a few extra hours to allow for the stain to dry, if you’re staining). For someone like me, who is truly a beginner (my only experience being Grade 7 Tech class and building another Ana White project last fall), I was budgeting two days – or about 8 or 10 hours – for this project.
If you’re looking to make your own picnic table for your kids, this is the one. It’s easy to make, VERY sturdy, and is bigger than most child picnic tables out there, without being too big for a 3 year old.
You NEED to have (or have access to) a mitre saw for this project. If you’re like me and you’ve never touched one of these before, don’t be too scared. It’s big and noisy, but as long as you use it safely, it’s a piece of cake. Grab a spare piece of lumber and practice making some cuts so you know where exactly the blade comes down on your markings. Practice measuring, marking, and cutting angles, too, since those are pretty important for this picnic table. YOU CAN DO IT!
In the plans for the project, Ana gives you a full list of the tools and sundry that you should have for completing this Big Kid Picnic Table.
I think that my husband secretly had fun being a blogger for a day – he documented the whole process with photos without any prompting.
We used Thompson’s Water Seal Waterproofer Plus Tinted Wood Protector (Chestnut), which is pretty much the perfect colour for a picnic table, in our opinion! Unfortunately I can’t link you to the product because it seems to have disappeared from Canadian Tire’s website since April, and I can’t find it anywhere else!
Putting together the legs of the table was honestly the part of the project that intimidated me the most. I know that it would have taken me 5x longer than it took my husband, simply because those angles have to be perfect!
To be honest, I was looking forward to challenging myself with this project, because I know that I could make it, but I’m also not that unhappy that I got a new picnic table for the kids and I didn’t have to make it. ;)
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