Weekend Project: Our New Water Table

Since Paul is working 12 hour shifts now, I wanted to “be prepared” for LONG days with Xander–especially since I’m nearing the end of this pregnancy and it’s hot and HUMID here!

You might remember this beauty:


If not, it’s the water table I made while Paul was deployed.  I absolutely LOVED it, and a lot of work went into it. But, it didn’t match our patio furniture and there were a few things we didn’t like about it so we decided we would sell it in San Diego and make another one once we got to Key West.

Well, we’ve put it off and put it off.  Actually Paul made a picnic table for me–because I’m spoiled, I know! And there have been other small projects that have jumped the line, but on Friday I kindly asked that we make the water table over the weekend so Xander and I could have something to keep us “busy” and more importantly cool while Paul was working his 12 hour days!


So after about two-three hours of hard labor–haha!–Paul had built a new water table, with three bins instead of two for our little man.  We fixed the things we didn’t like about the old table (the lids didn’t go on the bins well, there was no storage for toys, etc.) and we also bought a Kreg Jig in order to make it look nicer. :) Here’s the tutorial:

DIY Water Table:


Shopping List:
1- 1×2 boards (8 feet long)
2- 1×3 boards (8 feet long)
1- 2×2 board (8 feet long)
3- 15 qt Sterlite storage bins with white/green lids

Tools Needed:
Tape Measure
Saw (Or have Home Depot or Lowe’s cut your wood for you!)
Kreg Jig
Wood Glue

Cut List:
2-1×3 @ 38 3/4” (long sides of top frame)
2 1×2 @ 14 7/8” (middle braces of top frame)
2-1×3 @ 14 7/8” (short sides of top frame)
4-2×2 @ 18” (legs)
2-1×3 @ 34 3/4” (long side of table skirt)
2-1×3 @ 13 7/8 (short side of table skirt)

(The table ends up being 18 3/4” tall which we have found to be perfect for Xander as well as our 6 year old neighbor who came over and tried it out immediately after it was finished.)


Step One: Top Frame

Untitled drawing

Drill two pocket holes in each end of the vertical boards. (There should be two holes at each of the blue arrows) Glue and attach with Kreg screws.

Step Two: Two legs and Short Skirt Sides

Untitled drawing-1

Drill two pocket holes in the end of one of the short skirt sides.  Glue and attach it to a leg with Kreg screws.  The side with the pocket holes should be 1/2” from the corner of the leg, as I’ve shown above (Don’t judge my Google Art skills–I know that they’re lacking!).  This side will face the inside of the table.

Step Three: All Four Legs With Short Skirt Sides

Untitled drawing-2

On the other end of the same short skirt board, drill two pocket holes on the side that will face the inside of table.  Glue and attach it to table leg.  (Again there should be a 1/2” from the corner of the leg, as I’ve tried to show in the drawing)  Repeat steps two and three with the remaining legs and short skirt side.


Step Four: Long Side of Table Skirt

Untitled drawing-4

Use the Kreg Jig to drill two pocket holes in one end of the long side of the table skirt (one of the 1×3’s measuring 34 3/4”).  Glue and attach it to one of the legs, 1/2” from the inside corner of the leg.  Just like the short sides, the pocket holes will face the inside of the table.


Step Five: Finishing the Table Skirt/Legs


On the other end of the same board, use the Kreg Jig to drill two more pocket holes on the inside of the skirt.  Glue and attach to the opposite leg with Kreg screws–again make sure there is a 1/2” space between the board and the corner of the leg.  Repeat steps four and five with the remaining table skirt board until you have the legs and skirt fully adjoined like pictured above.


Step Six: Joining Table Legs/Skirt to the Top Frame

Each green arrow represents where a pocket hole should go.  (Note that the inside of the skirt should be flush with the inside of the top frame on all sides.)

Each green arrow represents where a pocket hole should go. (Note that the inside of the skirt should be flush with the inside of the top frame on all sides.)

Place the “pretty side” of the Top Frame down on a flat surface (basically so that all the holes are where you can see them!) Place the table skirt/legs upside down on top of the frame.  Mark where the pocket holes are going to go.  Drill the pocket holes, then place back on top of frame, glue and attach using Kreg screws.


Check out his cool Home Depot apron from the kid’s project he got to do earlier that day!!

At this point the table itself is finished, so we had our big helper carry the bins over and then we filled them with water and toys and let him go to town.  We DO plan on finishing it, we just haven’t decided how yet.  Since there is SO much contact with water it’s important for there to be a high quality sealant, otherwise it will warp and get nasty fast–especially with the humidity here!  Since Dad had to go back to work though, I’m okay with waiting a weekend or two before we paint/seal it.


He thinks he’s so cool in his little shades! :)


One thought on “Weekend Project: Our New Water Table

  1. Davod

    It appears that your shopping list is inaccurate. The cut list for the 1×3 boards ends up with more than 16 feet of wood, whereas the 1×2 could very easily fit on a board that is less than 8 feet long.


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