Learn how to make a DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen. This simple DIY project is the perfect addition to any backyard. Your kids will enjoy using it for art, projects, STEAM activities, homeschool extension work, nature play, Montessori fun, and so much more!
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!
We use it for arts, crafts, mud pies, sensory activities, potting plants, STEAM challenges, nature study, and even flower arranging!
Related: DIY Outdoor Chalkboard
How to Make an Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen
I don’t have exact step by step tutorial photos that I normally would for this backyard DIY project because this website did not exist when we made this DIY outdoor art table and mud kitchen.
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.
Related: How to Make a Fairy Garden
DIY Outdoor 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
- 4-inch nails
- Construction adhesive
- 8 foot 4’x4′
- 6-12 foot 2’x4′ depending on the size (perimeter) of the counter or tabletop you will be using.
- Eco-friendly outdoor stain. (optional)
- Drop cloth (optional)
- Paintbrush (optional)
Related: Backyard Sandboxes Kids LOVE!
DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen Step by Step Tutorial
Step 1 – Build a Frame for DIY Outdoor Mud Kitchen Art Table
- Select a bathroom or kitchen countertop at Restore or your local home improvement shop for DIY Mud Kitchen. We found a single slab countertop without seams gently used at Restore.
- Measure the dimensions of the countertop and cut wood. Use a skill saw or a chop saw to cut your 2’x4’s the same size as the dimensions of your DIY mud kitchen countertop. For example, if you’re countertop is 2’x 6′ you would cut two 20 inch sections and two 6 foot sections, or two 2 foot sections and two 5’8 inch sections to make your frame.
- Assemble the frame. Use screws to attach the 2’x4′ sections together to make the frame for your DIY mud kitchen. Use a carpenters square to make sure your corners are 90-degree angles. Before screwing it together make sure the countertop fits.
- Determine the height of your DIY Outdoor art table and mud kitchen and cut 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.
- Place DIY mud kitchen frame upside down and attach the legs using a hammer and nails.
- Optional – Paint DIY mud kitchen frame with outdoor stain and allow to dry. We did not do this but I wish we did… Our table has warped quite a bit since we built it 5 years ago! Place the frame upright on a drop cloth and use an eco-friendly stain to protect the wood frame of your DIY outdoor art table and mud kitchen.
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? You can see my mom demonstrating her awesome Forman skills overseeing my worker bee husband and helping hold the frame down by standing on it as he hammered away. She is holding the carpenters square they used to make sure the corners of the DIY mud kitchen frame were attached at 90-degree angles.
Step 2 – Attach Counter or Top to DIY Mud Kitchen
- Place the counter on top of the DIY mud kitchen frame to make sure that you have sized it correctly. Make sure that the countertop has contact with the outdoor art table frame so they can be glued together using the construction adhesive. Take the mud kitchen counter off the DIY art table before moving on to the next step.
- Apply construction adhesive in a thick bead along the top edge of the DIY Mud Kitchen frame.
- Place the countertop on the DIY outdoor mud kitchen frame and allow the adhesive to dry according to the manufacturer’s directions.
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.
We store all of our supplies in baskets and tubs underneath our DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen. We also have a sink plug that fits in the sink to hold water for projects like making mud pies or painting.
Want running water? Hook up a bathroom faucet and attach it to your plumbing!
The photo above was taken after my daughter painted a few Three Color Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Paintings. You can see our fairy garden in the foreground.
DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen Projects
Our DIY Outdoor Mud Kitchen is probably the most used piece of furniture that we own both inside and outside of our home. My daughter and I have completed many projects on this DIY art table. A few can be found below. Click through each link 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
More Outdoor Play Areas for Kids
Every backyard should have at least one outdoor play space for kids. More great options to buy or DIY can be found below!
- Sand and Water Tables Kids Love!
- DIY Outdoor Chalkboard
- Best Sandboxes for Kids
- How to Make a Fairy Garden
- How to Grow a Sunflower Fort
DIY Outdoor Art Table and Mud Kitchen for Backyards and Patios
Our DIY outdoor art table and mud kitchen is a blessing for our family. We’d be lost without it!
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 an outdoor mud kitchen for your backyard today!
We hope you enjoy spending time with the kids getting creative in the backyard as much as we do!
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
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