Learn how to build a DIY outdoor side table for less than $16 in lumber!
Even with the higher cost of lumber these days, this outdoor side table only cost me $16 in lumber! It’s a super budget friendly project!
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I love how it matches our DIY outdoor furniture set perfectly!
Overall, this outdoor side table build is very similar to the DIY outdoor coffee table, but with a few modifications and less lumber. I will still break it down step by step below along with a full video tutorial AND printable build plans!
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How to Build a DIY Outdoor Side Table:
OR click here for the whole DIY outdoor furniture set plans BUNDLE DEAL! Note, the outdoor couch plans are available for FREE in our free printable library (check out that post for details)!
Outdoor Side Table Video Tutorial:
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1. Make the initial lumber cuts
Click here for the printable DIY outdoor side table plans which include the cut list and step by step building steps with easy to follow diagrams!
Use a miter saw and cut six 2x3s @ 14 1/2″ (for the table legs).
Then, cut four 2x3s with a 45 degree angle at 17 1/2″ from long point to long point for the table top frame.
2. Assemble the top frame of the side table
Use a Kreg Jig and add one pocket hole on each side of two of the 2x3s @ 17 1/2″ with 45 degree cuts.
Because these boards are cut with a 45 degree angle, they are only wide enough to fit one pocket hole that doesn’t show on the side of the board. So, when drilling the hole for each one, make sure to line the board up carefully with drill hole B on the Kreg Jig as shown here:
Next, add waterproof wood glue between one of the 2x3s @ 17 1/2″ with a pocket hole and one 2×3 @ 17 1/2″ without the holes. Then, clamp them down together to your work surface.
Use a brad nailer and 2″ brad nails and nail through the two boards together. Make sure to stay away from where the pocket hole screw will be going through.
After nailing, add a 2 1/2″ outdoor Kreg screw into the pocket hole. Add the screw in slowly since the hole is near the corner.
Note, you can see all of these steps in action in the DIY outdoor side table VIDEO tutorial here!
Repeat these steps on the other three sides to complete the square frame of the outdoor side table.
3. Add slat boards to the top frame
Measure the exact distance between the side frames and cut three 1x4s to this size. The measurements should be 12 1/2″ but since we’re working with framing lumber, they may be slightly different.
Make sure to adjust your Kreg Jig settings for 3/4″ thick wood and then add two pocket holes to each end of the 1×4 boards.
When attaching framing lumber to square edge lumber it helps to place a popsicle stick (or wood shim) under your slat boards when attaching them to the frame, otherwise they may stick up slightly above the 2×3 framing lumber frame once you flip the tabletop over.
The 1×4 slat boards should be attached with a 1/2″ gap between each of them and the side table frame.
Attach each board one at a time with 1 1/4″ outdoor Kreg screws. Also, I found it easiest to use our Kreg right angle clamp to help with this step.
4. Assemble DIY outdoor side table legs
Adjust the Kreg Jig setting for 1 1/2″ thick wood then add two pocket holes on both sides of two of the 2x3s @ 14 1/2″.
Make sure to add them on the side edges as shown in the photo below so that the holes will be hidden.
We had to use a large clamp to hold the boards in place on our Kreg Jig in order to drill them into the 2×3 side edges.
Next, mark 3 1/2″ up from the bottom of two of the 2×3 boards @ 14 1/2″ without pocket holes.
Attach the 14 1/2″ board with pocket holes at this mark perpendicular and flush with the edge using 2 1/2″ Kreg screws and wood glue. We found it easiest to clamp the boards down to our work surface for easy attaching.
Repeat this on the other side to form one of your DIY outdoor side table leg sides.
Repeat all of these steps again to create a second table leg.
5. Attach table legs to the tabletop
Attach one of the table legs to the table top with waterproof wood glue and a 2 1/2″ deck screw (these self tapping screws don’t require pre-drilling). We found it easiest to lay the table top on its side with a clamp and then clamp the table leg to it.
Make sure the screws are countersunk beneath the wood surface since you will fill them with wood filler later.
Also, make sure to avoid drilling through the area where the Kreg screw and brad nail went through on the table frame.
Repeat these steps on the other side of the side table to complete the build!
6. Fill holes, sand, and stain the side table
Fill the screw and nail holes with stainable wood filler. Then, sand the wood filler and any joints that don’t sit flush with each other.
Lastly, stain your outdoor side table! Just like the matching DIY outdoor chair, DIY outdoor couch, and DIY outdoor coffee table we used one coat of Valspar semi transparent exterior stain in Pine bark. To get between the slat boards we used a foam brush.
Our DIY outdoor side table is so cute and matches our outdoor furniture set perfectly!
Don’t forget to download the printable DIY outdoor side table plans or the whole DIY outdoor furniture set BUNDLE deal (which includes this side table and the matching outdoor chair and coffee table)! The outdoor couch plans are available for FREE in our free printable library (check out that post for details)!