Creating an inviting and welcoming gathering area outdoors can be difficult without a sturdy and weatherproof dining set. If you are looking for some creative DIY outdoor tabletop ideas, you’ve come to the right place!
Outdoor patio sets can be expensive, timely to build or set up, and many tables are unoriginal. Wanting a unique and creative tabletop is something that everyone should strive for! DIY is all the rage, and creating a table for your own specific patio and style is well worth it.
But how should one go about making an outdoor table, and what materials are best for DIY construction as well as overall outdoor durability? Let’s answer some of your important questions now!
What Materials Can You Use for an Outdoor Tabletop?
Choosing a reliable and durable material for an outdoor tabletop is important. Some materials are better than others, and knowing how to best seal, care for, and utilize the material you are considering is also important.
Here are some of the best materials to use when making your own outdoor tabletop:
- Sealed wood. Either pre-sealed or sealed for water after purchase, choosing durable and water-resistant wood can make a beautiful outdoor tabletop.
- Teak wood. Teak is a beautiful wood to use in an outdoor setting, as it is already resistant to mildew and pests. You can learn more about teak wood on our website here.
- Glass. While glass can be fragile in certain settings, using glass outdoors can be extremely useful in that it is weatherproof, easy to clean, and easier to maintain.
- Plastic. While most plastic furniture doesn’t last very long if left out in the sun season after season, you may be surprised what you can do with a plastic tabletop!
- Stone. Long-lasting, durable, and weatherproof, stone can make a striking and innovative outdoor tabletop. Just don’t expect it to be very lightweight!
- Concrete. Much like stone, concrete isn’t going to be a very lightweight or portable option for a table. However, you can get very creative with concrete, and it can be affordable.
There are many other possible materials that can be used for an outdoor tabletop. However, if you don’t plan on having the table under cover during the harsher winter months, it can be a smart idea to err on the side of durability when selecting a DIY tabletop material.
How Do I Make an Outdoor Table?
Making an outdoor table is all about durability and stability. Not only will this table be used for BBQs, parties, and various other outdoor gatherings, it will also encounter the elements daily, including strong winds and rain. Having something that can outlast harsh weather is a good idea!
The most important thing to consider when making your own outdoor table is what your legs or table base will be made of. Perhaps you already have an existing table that you are just changing the tabletop of. Or maybe you have something in mind that will make a perfect base for your top.
I recommend finding something with four sturdy legs, or use one central post or pillar as your base. This can include a barrel, stump, or metal post. There are many options out there, and you can even choose to have something professionally made, such as a nice metal frame.
You can create the most beautiful tabletop around, but there will be no use for it without a sturdy base. Even two sawhorses set up can become the beginnings of an outdoor table! Hopefully you already have something in mind, whether it be a traditional four-legged base, or something even more creative.
12 Creative DIY Outdoor Tabletop Ideas
While the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating a unique DIY tabletop, here are some of my favorite ideas and choices. These options are affordable, sturdy, and have a lot of potential. Get creative, and feel free to use any of these ideas as a jumping-off point!
1. Wooden Spool
Looking for a surefire base for your tabletop, or even a unique table that is ready to go outdoors once it has a waterproof sealer applied to it? Keep an eye out for old wooden spools, usually used to store cables or large ropes at hardware or supply stores.
These spools make perfect central bases, given that they are a nice weight and size. Some wooden spools have a lovely wood grain or texture to them, perfect for those of you looking for a more barnyard or rustic look in your backyard.
The spool will also have a center hole in it, which can be perfect for installing an umbrella or flagpole in the center of your table, should you desire to do that. These DIY dreams can be easily sanded down, stained, and sealed for outdoor use!
2. Tempered Glass
Many patios, both vintage and modern, use tempered glass tabletops for their dining sets. These pieces remain classy and comfortable year after year. Plus, if all you need is a single piece of glass, many homeowners and consumers sell these from their other furniture pieces for very little money.
You can order new tempered glass tabletops, but it can be expensive. Look up tempered glass on your local marketplace and you can find some fantastic deals! Glass is great for outdoor use, given that it is easy to clean and requires little maintenance. Consider it for your next project!
3. Pallet Wood
Is there anything a pallet can’t do? Pallets have been one of the most popular crafting and DIY supplies in the recent past, and there’s no reason why you can’t also use pallet wood for your outdoor tabletop design as well!
Pallet wood will need to be sealed with a waterproof and weather-resistant sealer before installing in an outdoor setting. It is also important to note that some pallets might be stronger than others- it all depends on the thickness of wood used to manufacture the pallet.
However, pallets can be a lot of fun to have on hand given their versatility and inexpensive nature. Often, pallets can be found and simply taken from outside of warehouses and stores that no longer have a use for them. You may end up with more pallets than you know what to do with!
4. Composite Decking
Using a few composite decking boards can make a long-lasting outdoor tabletop. This is perfect for those of you wrapping up an outdoor deck project or perhaps considering starting one. Most projects end up completed with a few composite decking pieces left over it’s a shame if they go to waste!
The main downside of composite decking material is that it can be expensive, especially if you don’t have a larger deck project planned. However, some homeowners may be selling their leftover composite deck pieces and you could find a deal if all you need are a few pieces!
5. Mixing Your Own Concrete
It is actually pretty easy to mix your own concrete and pour it into whatever shape you like. This can be extremely valuable if you are looking for a unique and sturdy table top- concrete can be stained many different shades, and you can insert various things into the top of your table permanently!
You can place mosaic tiles, shells, and more into your concrete tabletop while it is drying. You can even etch designs into it while it is still wet if you like! It should also be fairly easy to make a wooden frame for your tabletop so that you can pour the concrete with ease, but get help if you are unsure.
6. Fence Board
Do you have any old fence board pieces lying around from another project? This is another great building material to use for an outdoor tabletop, whether you get the supplies from your own home renovation project or someone else’s!
You won’t need very many fence boards to complete a table project, depending on the size. You will likely only need three to four boards and a saw. You can create something unique and pretty quickly- plus, fence board is more durable than other options and can be painted or stained however you like.
7. Use an Old Kitchen Countertop
Search local marketplaces for used countertops, or check out your local hardware donation center. You may be surprised by what you might find, including various options of countertops. These surfaces are sturdy and versatile, made for being used as a table!
You could find granite, marble, quartz, and more at low prices, given that you won’t be needing a very large piece. Get help with pick up and delivery, as these stone slabs can get heavy, very fast!
Another perfect opportunity to use up your DIY scraps: plywood can be a simple choice for your outdoor tabletop project. Whether you have some extra pieces laying around or if you find some for sale on a local marketplace, plywood is always useful.
You can even have plywood cut to your exact specifications at any local hardware store. It may be a bit more expensive this way, but nothing that breaks the bank! This can be especially useful if you don’t own any type of saw. Make sure to seal your plywood for outdoor use first.
9. DIY Wood Herringbone Outdoor Tabletop
Herringbone may be a bit of a trend right now, but for good reason. It is versatile, popular, and can be created using the smallest of lumber scraps. You can either buy the pieces you need from a hardware store for relatively cheap, or hunt for leftover materials from projects.
I recommend researching different herringbone patterns or designs for tables before you get started. You can accomplish this design using many different methods and materials, so take your time finding a look that’s perfect for you.
I’ve already mentioned using mosaic tiles in your concrete tabletop, but you can really use any type of tile to make your patio or deck come to life. You can choose to tile an existing piece of wood or stone or create a thin layered tabletop all on your own.
Tile can be perfect for an outdoor setting given their automatic resistance to water and mildew. You can even choose different shapes and styles of tile and blend them together to create a design that is just for you. Get creative, and feel free to purchase new tile or tile from a local seller.
11. Use an Old Door
Have you ever considered what you can do with an old door, whether it be from your property or a local hardware shop? You can make a tabletop out of one, no problem. Metal, wood- whatever the material, old doors are awesome!
You can make an outdoor tabletop as unique as you if you find an old door and slap a new coat of paint on it. And you don’t even need to be limited to standard household doors. Barn doors, old gates, front house doors- any and all are possible for an outdoor table project.
12. Sealing an Old Tabletop from an Indoor Table
Sometimes things don’t have to be very complicated. There are no rules saying that you can’t make an indoor table suitable for outdoor use! Find an old table on Facebook Marketplace or local buy and sell groups. You can even find good buys at thrift stores or on the curb!
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.