DIY outdoor table ideas - 10 inspiring projects that you can do yourself

Build the perfect piece of furniture for your garden or patio this summer

garden patio with pallet table and wood furniture
(Image credit: Future PLC)

When the summer hits it's time to enjoy being outside and what better way to start preparing than with some DIY outdoor table ideas for inspiration? 

Whether you have a large, lush garden, a neat courtyard or a more compact patio or balcony, getting the best garden furniture goes a long way to ensuring your outdoor space gets used. Now, we all know seating is important, but let's not forget the table… from small side or coffee designs that give you a handy place to rest drinks or nibbles to larger dining tables for family gatherings.

DIY outdoor table ideas

Of course, buying new furniture for the garden can be pricey, so why not look to make your own table? From small bistro and coffee designs to fold-down options and larger counters, we've found some great projects including pallet furniture ideas to get you started – and there are even a few ways to DIY your existing garden table, too. 

1. Create an outdoor bistro set

garden patio with wood bistro table and bar stools

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you love entertaining, then a spot for drinks is essential and the beauty of this bar table and stool set is that it's perfect for small garden ideas, as it's a slimline design. Made from lengths of wood, with a sturdy tabletop, it's the perfect perch for happy hour cocktails. You can use pre-cut planks from stores such as Homebase to help piece a similar table together. 

The seat pads are the perfect finishing touch to this DIY outdoor table idea, you can buy a similar style on Amazon for £22.99 for a set of four. Alternatively, you could try your hand at a spot of upholstery.

2. Make a table from pallets

garden patio with pallet table and wood furniture

(Image credit: Future)

Pallet furniture has taken the interior world by storm and you really can't go wrong with a few pallets stacked to create a coffee table. Not only are these type of tables nice and wide, but you can usually source pallets for free, so it's a cost-effective easy DIY project

Our advice? Pop your pallet table on castors so you can wheel it wherever you need. If you're a fan of this rustic look you can even consider other ways how to make pallet furniture to create a matching seat.

3. Paint an existing table

round garden table with a painted top in white and blue

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you already have a garden table but want to give it a fresh new look, why not change the colour? Whether you choose to paint it all one colour, or give it a pattern, like the stripes on this table, it's an affordable DIY outdoor table idea that can give you a new-looking table for less. 

Just remember to use suitable paint that's designed especially for exterior wood or metal. Frenchic outdoor paint is one of our favourites as it is easy to use and comes it a lovely array of colours.

4. Build a display table

low wood bench with vases of flowers displayed on top

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Tables come in all shapes and sizes, including long, narrow bench designs that are ideal for displaying flowers and plants in place of a planting table. We advise using a sturdy wood – it could be from a piece of furniture you repurpose or something you've found – and cut to the length you require, then add legs and voila! 

5. Opt for a low level design

garden patio with patterned floor tiles and built in sofa with low level coffee table

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Mounting a few wood planks on legs can give you a handy coffee or side table, and if you keep your design low level it means the table won't interfere with views of the garden or of each other when you're talking across from it.

Give your table a lick of paint to tie it in with your seating or garden fences and, if needed, some varnish to help seal it.

6. Shape a drum table

garden with round drum table and metal chairs

(Image credit: Future PLC / Sussie Bell)

This drum-shaped project will test your DIY skills, but the result is well worth it, with a shapely table made of wood that makes a difference from the usual style of garden seating ideas.

Make your table as big or small as you like and if you have existing chairs that you're pairing it with, ensure the height is right so that you're not sitting too low or too high.

7. Show off a fold-down table

outdoor fold-down table

(Image credit: Future PLC)

No room for large pieces of furniture? Then get creative and design a fold-down counter from pallet wood that you can mount on the wall instead. This is a clever budget garden bar idea, perfect for popping drinks and nibbles when you're outside. 

You can fold it up when not in use – and this one even has a mini shelf to put little pots and seasonings on.

8. Match it to your seating

built in garden seating with wood coffee table

(Image credit: Cuprinol)

If you have bench seating in your garden, then why not build a matching coffee table in the same material? You can keep it from looking too 'matchy-matchy' by painting the table or the seating in a different colour – this one has been painted in Cuprinol's Garden Shades, which not only colours the wood but also protects it, too.

9. Get creative with mosaic

black garden table and chairs set with mosaic table top

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Tabletops, especially on outdoor furniture, can take the brunt of wear and tear from everyday use and, of course, the elements, so if yours is looking less than attractive, why not transform it with a unique mosaic design? Learning how to make a mosaic table can take some patients but the results are worth it. 

Use broken tiles to create a design of your choice, and you could also pick out one of the tile colours and match it to paint for the lower half of your table.

10. Impress with a home bar counter

garden with pink DIY bar and swing

(Image credit: Future PLC / Darren Chung)

In a kitchen, we often gather around an island unit, so why not DIY an island for outside? Use it as a bar or food prep space, or somewhere to draw up a stool and enjoy a morning coffee or evening drink.

This design has been made from wood and painted a candy pink, and we love the faux flower garland for decoration. 

What can I use as an outdoor tabletop?

The world is your oyster when it comes to sourcing materials for outdoor tabletops, although you'll want to make sure it can withstand the elements. Timbers such as cedar will hold up well, while stainless steel is naturally anti-corrosive and woven resin is usually weatherproof.

'When searching for the perfect outdoor tabletop, consider materials that will withstand the harsh extremes of British weather,' says Chris Moorhouse, category director at Wickes. 'Metals such as stainless steel hold natural weather-resistant properties and the Wickes Metal Sheet Aluminium with Stainless Steel Effect Finish  offers the ideal solution. 

'This multi-purpose aluminium metal sheet is fitted with a stainless-steel effect finish, set to stop rust and withstand all weather conditions. Simply cut, drill, or bend to cater to your desired shape.'

What is the best surface for an outdoor table?

Something hardy and weatherproof is the best option for outdoor tabletops, and timber is a popular choice. 'For those looking to weather protect wooden tabletops, the Barretine Garden Furniture Oil feeds and oils wood, preventing cracking and splitting as well as repelling water to avoid rot and decay,' says Wickes' Chris Moorhouse. 

'For unpolished woods, Wickes Teak Oil will shield against water damage, by nourishing and sealing the tabletop, replenishing the natural sheen often lost during long periods in the sun.'

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at