Every time I need to photograph something, I take it out to our little plastic (very weathered & dirty) outdoor bench, put a place mat down and try to get just the right shot. I was tired of trying to do that all while trying to keep the dirty plastic bench out of the picture. So, I told my husband I had a project for him and explained what I thought I wanted – a large tray. That led to a conversation about what would work and how we could create something better than a tray. The idea for a fence table was born!
I am a hands-on person and I really need to see things in 3-D to understand how they will work, so going into this project, I wasn’t REALLY sure it would be what we’d talked about or what I wanted.
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The hubs knew what he needed so we headed to Home Depot and gathered supplies. Our fence table cost just shy of $30.
How to Make a DIY Fence Table –
NOTE: Your fence will need to have horizontal 2×4 supports as this is what you’ll be attaching the fence table to.
Supplies You’ll Need:
- Box of 1 1/4″ Deckmate Screws (lifetime, all purpose)
- 2 – 4″ heavy duty tee hinges
- 1 – 8 foot 2×2 board
- 4 – 6 foot 5×8 pine dog ear picket boards
Note: We used treated wood so it would last longer.
Tools You’ll Need:
1. Cut the fence boards to 48 inches from the bottom.
2. Lay the four boards down, side by side, spacing them with screws.
3. Trim the remainder of the fence boards to fit perpendicular across the spaced boards. (You can see this pictured below.)
4. Restack the wood so the table supports are evenly spaced on the bottom and the 48″ pieces are on top with gaps between them and screw together with 2 screws per cross piece per board. This can be visualized in the “DIY Fence Table Down” image below. (You can use the screws as you did in step 2 to create even gaps.)
6. Flip your table over and add a scrap of wood to each corner. These scraps go on the table supports away from the fence as they will hold the detachable legs in place. (See image below.)
7. Once you have one solid piece, you’ll screw it to the fence using the tee hinges. (See photo below for reference.) You are almost done at this point!
8. You’ll need an extra pair of hands for this step! Have someone hold your table level while you hold the 2×2 board where you want the legs and cut to create the custom fit detachable legs.
9. Once that’s done, sand it down and you have a fence table!! (Stain if desired.)
NOTE: Fence boards can warp significantly after they’ve been in the weather. If you find this is happening to your table, remove the single ‘bad’ board and replace with a new one.
The entire project took just over an hour it wasn’t exactly what I’d envisioned but it works perfectly. In addition to using it for photography, we use it to hold the makings for our s’mores parties, gardening supplies and more!