Build Your Own Cedar Picnic Table: Part One: Table Top

Build A Cedar Picnic Table (103) part one

Today is part one of our “Build Your Own Cedar Picnic Table” series and we are excited to share it with you. Yesterday we showed you pictures of the finished picnic table and today we start building.

Build A Cedar Picnic Table (1) copy

Shopping List

  • (15) 2×4’s (8ft)
  • (3) 2×2’s (8ft)
  • (2)2×6’s (10ft)
  • (2) 4×4’s
  • 2 1/2” exterior screws
  • 4” exterior screws
  • Liquid Nails
  • Paint Brush
  • Choice of Stain
  • 120 Grit Sandpaper
  • Polyurethane


  • Power Drill/Impact Drill
  • Miter Box
  • Square
  • Measuring Tape

Cedar Picnic Table Cut List



  • (4) 2×4 @ 58 1/2” (mitered at 45)
  • (4) 2×4 @ 14” (mitered at 45)
  • (4) 2×6 @ 55 1/2”
  • (4) 2×6 @ 11”
  • (8) 4×4 @ 15”
  • (2) 2×4 @ 11”


As you cut your wood – trim the ends off of both sides with your miter box so your table top will be right and straight. Sometimes the mills cut them a bit crooked. For tips on using a miter box go here.

Cut and line up your 20 2×4’s cut at 39” in a row. Check both sides of the wood and lay the best side FACE DOWN and arrange them anyway you want. The underside of the table will be face up.

Build A Cedar Picnic Table (12) copy

Next, you will attach all the tabletop pieces together. To do this you will need your 2×2 pieces.

Build A Cedar Picnic Table (13) copy

Attach your shorter 2×2 pieces to each tabletop end piece.

To ensure it is even and straight, hold up a 2×4 next to the 2×2 and end piece.

Use an 1/8” drill bit and pilot drill each hole. You do this for two reasons. First: So the pieces of wood stay tight together. Without the pilot hole the screw would push the bottom piece of wood away. Second: So the pieces of wood stay aligned and do not shift. Use your 2 1/2” screws and screw it together. Do this on both end pieces.


Next, attach every tabletop piece together by using your long 2×2 and running them lengthwise. Make sure they are even and straight by first placing the 2×2 next to the tabletop pieces and using a square.

Build A Cedar Picnic Table (22) copy

Then pilot drill and screw in every single one of the 20 tabletop pieces on both sides.

 Build A Cedar Picnic Table (28) copy

Aside from the table skirting which goes on after the legs are one, your table top is done and ready for the legs… which we will teach you tomorrow!

You can make this table in a day… unless you have cute little distractions like we do….

… who like to “help” every step of the way!

See you tomorrow!


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Hey there! We are Spencer and Amanda, a DIY husband and Wife team, sharing projects we build and create together for our home. Since buying our home in 2007 we have had the saying that Spencer builds it and makes it work and Amanda makes it look good. We hope you will stick around because we always have projects in the works!

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  1. Thank you for the plans and instructions. Table came out great. Think you might change the count of the bench legs to 8, not 4. I also think you have the wrong length listed for the long side table skirt. However, that aside it was a great project for my daughter and I. Thanks again

  2. I love this project, I can’t wait to make this! I had a question about the lumber you used. Are all the pieces cedar or are the some pine or pressure treated? My local store doesn’t carry all the lumber in cedar that’s why I ask. 2×2’s are pine/fir & 4×4 only found pressure treated. Thanks, I look forward to your reply! And btw congrats on your new addition! I just had my third little one this month 🙂

  3. Bob Sims says:

    Love the table. Think I found a mistake on the cut list. You have 4 4×4’s on the cut list for the bench. It should be 8….right?

  4. This is such a beautiful table. I just bought the wood to make one for myself! Question on the 8 ft 2x4s though… When I added it all up 15 doesn’t seem like it will be enough?

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