Friday, May 30, 2014

Convertible Bench/Picnic Table you can make TOMORROW!

I was looking for used patio furniture on Kijiji, and saw a bench that converted to a picnic table.  I LOVED it, but the seller wanted $250.00 so I checked my favourite DIY queen Ana White and sure enough - she had a free plan for a convertible picnic table/bench.

Click here for her free plans

The materials, including screws and accessories cost me under $100.00 to make TWO benches.  Actually, the stain/sealer was free from my neighbour - so unless you have some lying around it will cost a bit extra.  I suggest hitting up your local Habitat for Humanity before building, they might have some of the lumber you need and they always have a good stock pile of paints, stains and sealers.

I love birds.  Like mega-super-duper-would-build-a-nest-in-my-hair-if-I-could love birds.  Since my Nanny passed away I have been finding blue birds and putting them around my house to remind me of her (they were her favourite).  I also add blue birds to custom items in my home (like my house number) so that it's a theme in the house.  Not a crazy theme, just a subtle one.  Subtly crazy.  Anyways, I googled images of blue bird stencils and drew one free hand on the bench (there's no way I'm paying for a stencil!)  I painted it with standard acrylic craft paint and when it was totally dry I stained it with the rest of the bench.  I was going to add something funky to the second bench, like old railroad-y font or something - but I'm really bad at lettering and talked myself out of it.  The point is, the possibilities are endless - personalize and spruce up your bench/picnic table and make it unique.

So, I bought the lumber on a Saturday afternoon and had these put together by dinner.  I sanded them the next day (about an hour each unit) and stained them the following day (another hour each bench). This could definitely be done in a day, or two - and can definitely be completed in a weekend.  This took me a while because, well, I have six kids, and there was a birthday so I needed to take breaks and bake a cake, etc.  
If you're itching for some new outdoor furniture and want to try your hand at building something, this project is great for beginners!

I can't wait to plant my rear end on this bench this weekend and get some serious ukelele practice in.  If you're a neighbour, I apologize - Matilda requested I learn the theme song from Dora the Explorer,  and Let it Go (from Frozen).  
Do-do-do-do-do-Dora! Do-do-do-do-do-Dora!  Dora Dora Dora the Explorer!
A great use of my "talents" if you ask me.

Happy Friday, I love you.


  1. I like them! Good job... also has some interesting projects

  2. you never cease to amaze us where did you get the plans for these

    1. The link for the plans is under the first picture. It's the same site I made Captain's day bed from - Ana White. If you want to give them a try and need a mitre saw, you know who to borrow one from :)

  3. These are AMAZING!!!!!! Make me one! Way to make them yourself and stick it to the guy selling them for $250 on the jij. :) Did you cut all the pieces, or when you "bought the lumber" did they cut the pieces for you? Either way, these are beautiful, and I would like to hear the ukulele version of the Dora theme song. :)

    1. I was at the local greenhouse yesterday and saw them for $399/each! I did the cutting, a lot of the pieces need to be cut at a 10degree angle and I'm not sure the cutting boys can manage stuff like that. I bought a mitre saw at a yard sale last year (in Tweed) and used that for all my cuts. PS - why is "bought the lumber" in quotations? Haha!!


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