The picnic table has been the centerpiece of summer memories for generations. It’s one of those things so integrated into cookouts, campsites, and bonfires that many don’t even give them a second thought until it’s not there. If you have stumbled across this article, odds are that’s the spot you’re in as well.
When it comes to summertime backyard cookouts or even rustic camp hangouts, a picnic table is not an accessory, it’s a necessity. Facilitating much more than a place to eat, it’s also a place to gather and enjoy your friends and family’s company during the long days under the warm summer sun.
Most of the plans on this list are simple enough to be put together by the beginner DIYer, and some are even easy enough to get the kids involved in the building process once the power tools are put away. Even for the beginning DIYer essential hand tools, many of the picnic tables on this list can be put together with less than five tools!
No matter your needs, you’re bound to find a picnic table to fit your situation and construction capabilities in this compilation of free picnic table plans.
Here’s the 10 DIY picnic table free plans we covered:
- Bob’s Classic 6’ Picnic Table
- My Carpentry’s Picnic Table Plan with Detached Benches
- Black and Decker’s DIY Kid’s Picnic Table
- Rogue Engineer’s Composite Decking Kid’s Picnic Table Plans
- Instructables 2×4 Picnic Table Plans
- Construct101’s Round Picnic Table Plans
- Bob’s Octagon Picnic Table Plans
- Ana White’s Picnic Table That Converts to Benches
- Her Tool Belt’s Convertible Picnic Table and Bench
- Jay’s 10’ Picnic Table
01. Bob’s Classic 6’ Picnic Table
Let’s start with the classic picnic table plan made famous by campgrounds and parks across the world. Odds are, when you picture a picnic table in your mind, this will be the one that comes up.
This design has been put through the wringer over the years and has remained the go-to design for picnic tables for its ease of construction. The only necessary tools being a saw (a circular saw would likely work best), drill, screwdriver, a couple of wrenches, and a few hours of your time to go together. This DIY table will last many summers over.
If you’re looking for a DIY picnic table with attached benches and a classic look that has withstood the test of time, or you just want to follow a simple 3-step process to get it built, this is the perfect plan for you.
Find the free plan here: Bob’s Plans
02. My Carpentry’s Picnic Table Plan with Detached Benches
A slight variation on a classic design, My Carpentry’s free DIY picnic table plan, makes the traditional picnic table more utilitarian by detaching the benches. Those benches can be set around a fire pit, or serve as a garden bench when the picnic table is not in use.
Following the simple design philosophy of Bob’s picnic table plans, which is building each leg and securing them to the tabletop, these plans provide a little more function while sacrificing only a little bit of that timeless look.
Find the free plan here: My Carpentry
03. Black and Decker’s DIY Kids Picnic Table
Sometimes, it doesn’t hurt kids to have their own space in the backyard, and this plan ensures they get it. Being a smaller version of the classic picnic table with a wider tabletop, this plan makes a smaller table while still allowing the kids to pile as much food on it as they want.
The ease of construction on this build allows this table to be put together the night before the cookout. It’s also the perfect opportunity to get your child in on their first DIY project. However, it might be a good idea to cut all the boards to length before getting your child involved.
Find the free plan here: Black and Decker
Related article: Free DIY Playhouse Plans For Kids To Spark Their Imagination
04. Rogue Engineer’s Composite Decking Kids Picnic Table Plans
Although this plan may seem very similar to the previous one at first glance, it offers a few things that the other design doesn’t.
First of all, this table is built to fit toddlers more than it is the bigger kids, so if your kids are big enough to help you put the picnic table together, odds are this table will be too small for them.
The exciting thing about this table is that it uses scrap composite decking for the tabletop, so it should last even longer than a traditional picnic table, and fair particularly well in rainy climates, since composite is not affected by water as much as typical lumber.
Even if you just have regular decking scraps laying around, you can still use this plan. Or if you want to build a full-size picnic table with decking as the tabletop, you can! This idea is not just good looking, but an easy way to make use of decking scraps.
Find the free plan here: Rogue Engineer
Related article: DIY Tree House Plans & Design Ideas for kids
05. Instructables 2×4 Picnic Table Plans
Moving away from the more traditional woodworking, this more modern design from Instructables was actually inspired by the lack of lumber in their workshop.
This free picnic table plan winds up looking a bit more modern and sleek than the park picnic table we all know and love while retaining all the rustic functionality a picnic table ought to have.
Being made exclusively of 2×4’s, with no ripping required, this is a fantastic picnic table for someone with an overage of 2×4’s, or someone interested in keeping their backyard looking modern.
You can get this picnic table put together in an afternoon, since it follows the 3-step process of putting the picnic table together. All you have to do is construction each leg, secure them to the tabletop boars, and flip the table right side up. Some varnish wouldn’t hurt either, but it’s absolutely not necessary.
Find the free plan here: Instructables.
06. Construct101’s Round Picnic Table Plans
Without having quite the amount of notoriety a classic picnic table might have, the round picnic table has been the cornerstone of summer evenings on the back deck for decades, since it’s the perfect size and shape to fit under a sun umbrella.
Well-known as the dining table for summer barbecues, or the spot to share drinks with family and friends. A back porch is not complete without a round picnic table. But it’s worth noting that putting this table together cleanly will require the use of a band saw, so if you don’t have one, the next plan may be a better fit for you.
Find the free plan here: Construct101
Similar projects you can try: Free DIY Coffee Table Plans
07. Bob’s Octagon DIY Picnic Table Plans
A more contemporary version of the round picnic table, Bob’s Octagon picnic table plans are a better fit for someone looking for a more modern backyard, or just like furniture with edges.
The octagon has many of the same benefits as the round picnic table, like fitting comfortably under a sun umbrella, with a little bit of a different look.
On top of that, this table goes together a little easier than the previous one. Omitting all the curved cuts, this straight edge octagon picnic table could be a good fit for someone wanting a round-table design but lacks the luxury of owning a band saw.
Find the free plan here: Bob’s Plans
08. Ana White’s Picnic Table That Converts to Benches
Maximizing the utility of backyard furniture, Ana White’s free DIY picnic table plan makes the most of a backyard with limited space. This plan could also work well for those that just don’t want to be looking at a picnic table in their backyard. With the sleek bench design, these integrate into any backyard layout with ease.
The most significant sacrifice you make in choosing this design is the ease of construction. While many of the previous plans will go together fairly quickly, even for the minimally experienced woodworker, this project would benefit from some previous know-how before beginning construction.
That said, having a piece of yard furniture that converts into another earns the builder some serious credit around the neighborhood backyard cookout circuit. And Ana’s step-by-step instructions are super easy to follow through the whole process.
Find the free plan here: Ana White
More backyard projects for beginners: Beginner’s DIY Backyard Woodworking Projects
09. Her Tool Belt’s Convertible Picnic Table and Bench
With a similar idea to Ana White’s convertible picnic table project, the DIY blog Her Tool Belt came up with a different design but is still kind of the same.
While each of these tables’ functions is similar, the final design of each one has an individual attitude and look. The utility behind having a table that converts into benches is too much to deny.
However, having the options to use this plan’s angle cut lumber and more relaxed backrest angle, gives this bench a more passive, garden bench looking design than Ana’s more rustic, right-angle design.
Find the free plan here: Her Tool Belt
10. Jay’s 10’ Picnic Table
For the most popular neighborhood backyard hangout spot, or just for the family with a lot of children, Jay’s 10’ picnic table plans take the classic picnic table design and almost doubles the tablespace.
With virtually the same skeleton as the traditional design, you can take this table apart and replace it with 6’ boards on top for when the party isn’t as big. Like the first design, the significant benefit here is that this plan goes together smoothly, even for those with minimal building experience.
The only difficult part of this plan is having to lug around the 10’ boards necessary for the tabletop. But it’s worth it when your whole family can gather around one table at a cookout.
Find the free plan here: Jay’s Custom Creations
Final Thoughts on Free DIY Picnic Table Plans
If you’re looking to add a picnic table to your backyard or camp, you can find one to suit your needs on this list. Ranging from simple and rustic to complex and multifunctional, there is a picnic table out there to fit your specific needs.
Whether you value space and utility in your small suburban backyard or are just looking for a spot where everyone can sit down and enjoy a grill out after a long summer day at the lake house, a picnic table is the best solution.
The same reason picnic tables are used now is the same reason they have been used for years: they’re simple, practical, and facilitate memories that last a lifetime.