My husband and mother made this DIY outdoor art table and mud kitchen when I ran a home daycare several years ago.
Yes, you read that right… my mom.
At age 70, she is the handiest person I know. She’s even handier than my husband! There is nothing she can’t figure out how to do on her own.
I wanted to use a single slab countertop to make a mud kitchen but had no idea how to make it work. Mom to the rescue!
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DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen
I don’t have exact step by step tutorial photos that I normally would because this website did not exist when we made it.
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 countertop (we found ours gently used 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 the counter or table top you will be using.
- Outdoor stain. Try this or this. (optional)
- Drop cloth (optional)
- Paint brush (optional)
DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen: Tutorial
DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen: Build Frame
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 screws to attach the 2’x4′ sections together to make the frame. Use a carpenters square to make sure your corners are 90-degree angles. Before screwing it together make sure the countertop fits.
4. Decide 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.
6. (optional) Place the frame upright on a drop cloth. Paint the frame with outdoor stain and allow to dry. We did not do this but I wish we did!
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?
DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen: Attach Counter or Top
1. Place the counter on top of the frame to make sure that you have sized it correctly. 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.
2. Apply construction adhesive in a thick bead along the top edge of the frame.
3. Place countertop on the frame and allow the adhesive to dry per manufacturer’s directions.
Want running water? Hook up a faucet and attaching a hose or attach it to real plumbing if you can.
DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen: Projects
This is probably the most used piece of furnature that we own both inside and out of the house. My daughter and I have completed many projects on this table. A few can be found below. Click through to see pictures of it in use.
- 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
- 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. Make one for your backyard today!
Another great outside play space is a DIY Outdoor Chalkboard. Click the link to learn how to make your own.
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