Quick & Dirty Outdoor Table

We got home from a week vacation in Vegas to find that our house hadn’t floated away in the Toronto Floods, and that our garden had doubled in size because of said rain. Win win. We also came home to a heat wave. You’d think I would be prepared for the heat after staying a week in the desert. No siree. Vegas heat = dry and wonderful, Toronto heat = humid and sweaty. Needless to say on our first day back we didn’t do much. We played and cuddled with Odin (who we missed desperately) and had a few cocktails on the deck.

Our deck layout is small (big surprise), and features a bench and two chairs with a small folding table. This works well for the person sitting beside the table, but everyone else must hold on to their drinks, snacks, hats etc. Fed up with holding onto my wine glass, (yes yes I know, first world problems) I sprang into action and built a quick and dirty (literally) outdoor side table.

Last time I was up at the cottage, I stole borrowed an old battered 2×12 that was sitting under the bunkie. My Dad had used it for the concrete forms for the cottage foundation, and the old board was just hanging out under the bunkie left for a life of firewood/scrap. I saw the beauty in its weathered aged goodness and brought the board home with me. It has since sat littering the garage floor (much to El Granto’s chagrin) waiting for a project.

In my fit of DIY, I did up a quick drawing, decided on a design & size, and made a few cuts of the weathered wood (see cut list below.)

Outdoor Side Table

(19″ tall, 17″ wide and 11 5/8″ deep )
Note: My sketch is in no way to scale, or in correct proportions, or even straight. That’s just how awesome I am at drawing…


I drilled a few pocket holes (four in one end of each of the side boards, and two on each end of the shelf), and screwed in a few outdoor Kreg screws, and 15 minutes later we had a weathered side table. Perfect for holding a glass of wine, sunglasses & a magazine. I made the shelf big enough to hold our Bose sound dock. Cause no deck time is complete without some Robin Thicke.

DIY Outdoor side table
DIY Outdoor side table
Side Table
No sanding, no staining, no finishing. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Side Table
Room to hold a few bevy’s, magazines and sunnies


Buy List:
1 – 2×12 @ 8′ (Under the Bunkie)
12 – 2 1/2″ outdoor pocket hole screws (Lee Valley)

Cut List:
1 – 2×12 @ 17″ (top)
1 – 2×12 @ 13 1/4″ (shelf)
2 – 2×12 @ 17 3/8″ (sides)

Tools Used:
Miter saw
Kreg Jig
Measuring Tape

Difficulty Level (on a scale of 1-5):

one out of five

Total Cost: $0 (booyakasha)

Author: Kristen

Kristen & her husband El Granto & their Vizsla Odin live in a converted Storefront in downtown Toronto.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *