My mom and husband made this DIY outdoor art table and mud kitchen when my husband and I ran a daycare in our home several years ago.
Yes, you read that right… my mom. At 70, she is still the handiest person I know. There is nothing she can’t figure out how to do on her own.
I had the idea to use a single slab countertop, but no idea how to make it work. Mom to the rescue!
At first this was only going to be used as a mud pie kitchen, but we have found that it works great for almost anything!
During the spring, summer, and fall we do everything on this table. We only work indoors during the winter months when it is too cold and wet to use our outdoor table.
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DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen
I was not blogging when we made this so I don’t have the step by step tutorial photos that I normally would. Instead, you can find directions to what we did to make it with a few old photos I managed to find, and how we have used it since that time.
DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen: Supplies
- Bathroom or kitchen counter top (we found ours at Restore–not affiliated)
- Tape measure
- Carpenters Square
- Skill Saw or Chop Saw
- Construction adhesive
- 8 foot 4’x4′
- 6-12 foot 2’x4′ depending on the size (perimeter) of counter or table top you will be using.
- Outdoor stain. Try this or or this. (optional)
- Drop cloth (optional)
- Paint brush (optional)
DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen: Directions
1. Select a bathroom or kitchen counter top at Restore or your local home improvement shop. We found ours used at Restore that was a single slab without seams.
2. Measure the dimensions of the countertop. Use a skill saw or a chop saw to cut your 2’x4’s the same size as the dimensions of your countertop. For example, if you’re countertop is 2’x 6′ you would cut two 20″ sections and two 6 ‘ sections, or two 2 foot sections and two 5’8″ sections to make your frame.
3. Assemble the frame. Use a carpenters square to make sure your corners are 90 degree angles. Before screwing it together make sure the countertop fits. Use screws to attach the 2’x4′ sections together to make the frame.
4. Measure how high you want your table and cut the 4’x4’ legs to that length. We cut ours 20″ long. Our table is 21″ high when the counter is on top. We wanted it to be a good standing size for toddlers and preschoolers.
5. Place frame upside down on the ground and attach the legs using a hammer and nails.
This is the only photo I have of the construction of this table. It doesn’t help much… but it’s better than nothing right?
6. Turn frame with legs upright and place the counter on top to make sure that you have sized it correctly. Again, you want to make sure that the countertop has contact with the frame so they can be glued together using the construction adhesive.
I don’t have any pictures of this step so I thought I’d share my 1-year-old daughter doing what kids do best–imitating the work that adults do around them. After watching us build the frame she picked up grandma’s hammer and showed us what she had learned. For more information check out How to Raise a Helper.
7. (optional) Place the frame on a drop cloth. Paint the frame with outdoor stain and allow to dry. We did not do this but I wish we did!
8. Apply construction adhesive in a thick bead along the edge of the frame.
9. Place countertop on the frame and allow the adhesive to dry per manufacturer’s directions.
We have considered hooking up a faucet and attaching a hose to it when we want running water but haven’t tried it yet. You could even attach it to real plumbing if you wanted to!
DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen: Projects
We have completed many projects on this table since we made it 3 years ago. A few can be found below. Click through to see all the fun pictures!
- Mud Pie Nature Art
- All Season Hand and Fingerprint Tree
- Shell Frames with Handprint Keepsake Gift
- Single Color Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Painting
- Two Color Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Painting
- Painting with Foam Blocks
- Shell Daisy Nature Craft
- Flower Arranging Montessori Practical Life Activity
- Citrus Printing Process Art
Having an outdoor art table and mud pie kitchen has been a blessing for my family. We use it for projects of all kinds including arts, crafts, mud pies, gardening, STEAM projects, nature study, sensory activities, and even flower arranging!
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