Since 2009, the Iowa Grocery Industry Association’s Build with Bags program has encouraged U.S. consumers to reuse, recycle, and reduce by creating recycled plastic picnic tables from plastic bags and plastic waste. This program encourages consumers to recycle by showing how it can help beautify the community.
And while commercial picnic tables are a sturdy solution for park managers looking to provide table space for visitors, some communities looking to go green in their community may find that a recycled plastic picnic table is ideal.
However, for those who enjoy hosting backyard events, creating or purchasing a recycled plastic or commercial picnic table may not be possible. But if you have a carpenter in your family, a homemade recycled wood picnic table is a perfect alternative.
Here’s how you can try it for yourself today.
Materials You Will Need
- Old recovered wood from a sources such as a barn door*
- A circular saw[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”1579906001″ locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/519W9EEXXZL.jpg” width=”387″]
- Sandpaper (both medium and light grades)
- 4×4 posts made of plywood or similar material
- Metal braces (27-30 inches long)
- Paint, wood varnish, or other form of wood sealant
- Protective gloves
*Great places to find wood for your picnic table include salvage yards, landfills, and antique shops.
How to Make Your Wood Picnic Table
1. Use your saw to cut your recovered wood down to the size you’d ultimately like your new picnic table to be. If you like, you can make sure to save a bit of your wood in order to create a base for the table.
2. Wearing protective gloves use heavy grade sandpaper to thoroughly sand down both sides of the piece of wood you’ll be using. You can also use an electric sander. Once the wood is smoothed, finish it with lighter grades of sandpaper. Do the same with any wood you will be using for the base.
3. Cut the remaining section of your door or wood lengthwise. Make sure you allow 27 inches minimum for the base height of the table. If you don’t have leftover wood to thoroughly support the table, you can use the 4x4s instead.
4. Attach your metal braces to either end of the split wood or the 4×4 posts.
5. Lay the sanded tabletop portion of your picnic table face down and use screws to attach the metal braces.
6. Use your paint, stain, varnish, or other sealant to finish your table to your liking. Be creative! This is the step where you get to give your table some character and pizzazz.
When finished, test the picnic table for stability. Accent the table with a potted plant or candles. If you have an arbor or tree where you can place the table beneath, hang wind chimes, candles, or Christmas lights to create a warm environment for guests. You can also find place mats made for outdoor use to decorate your table. E
Jeff is an outdoor enthusiast, green living fanatic, and writer and editor. He has a strong interest in green community projects.