Thursday, August 11, 2011

Picnic Table

I've just massacred the summer dress I'm making for Jenna (my serger slashed holes in it) so I thought I'd give up for now and instead share a project other people made.

Grandpa and Grandma made us a picnic table!

It all began when, after replacing our old deck railings with Dave, Grandpa and Grandma decided to make something out of the old deck railing boards. No one in our family can, with a clear conscience, throw away scraps of any craft material, so plans for a repurposed picnic table soon got underway. Not far into the project, they decided that the old boards were too splintery and decrepit to be worth sanding and filing down, so everyone went wood-shopping.

There was planning, measuring, 





filing, sanding and staining,

and enjoying.

What a beauty she is.

Grandpa designed her to be kid-sized, but with room for growth. See those double beams under the seats? When the kids get older, the top beam can be removed to lower the seats.

There she sits, dreaming of art and craft projects, storybook reading, lemonade-sipping, dolly-playing, birthday-partying, journal-writing, and family-get-togethering. And picnicking, of course.

Speaking of which, we had lunch on our new picnic table today! She bore the weight of three grownups and three fidgety little kids

who loved being able to eat outdoors and take breaks to play on the rope-swing between sandwich-bites. 

Emily said it was just like having our own park in our backyard, because we have our own picnic table.

I must remember to make her a fitted coverall out of tarps, so she'll stay warm and safe through the winter. For now though, she'll have the company of three very happy little girls who think their grandpa and grandma can make anything. Emily dragged Grandpa through the aisles of Michaels and pointed out a little wooden easel. "Can you make this for me?" 

Grandpa is half-way done. I'll share here when he is!


  1. Wow! What fantastic parents!!!!!!

  2. Oh Lier! What fabulous parents you've got there! Wow! Just wow! I can see where you get your talents from.

    Anne xx

  3. Just awesome! You have a beautiful and talented family! Loved your post.

  4. Wow... that is really special.

  5. It sounds to me as if Grandma and Grandpa really CAN make anything!!! What a beautiful table, and I LOVE that it is designed to grow with your kids!

    Such beautiful children you have, too!

  6. I can see where you get your creative spirit! That table is wonderful.

  7. Wow, what a nice table! Extra special because of who made it. Your parents are wonderful! :-D

  8. I love how crafty your parents are, those pics of them planning out the table and working on it are so lovely!

  9. What an ingenious Father you have! What a lovely gift for your lovely girls. How nice it is to be able to have a park in your very own backyard. Enjoy! And don't let the serger get you down :)

  10. Your parents are so awesome! How I love that they, like you, are capable of using so many types of materials to create what they envision. I also love the simple-but-smart design of the extra beam for height adjustment later. Clearly some very cool grandparents!

  11. Go grandma and grandpa! My grandparents weren't ever crafty, but I remember my grandad spending hours playing lets pretend with me when I was little, grandparents are the bestest :oD

  12. What a joy to enjoy life across the generations. Special memories for all and a wonderful bench to boot! And, I know this is kind of weird but grandma and grandpa's lunch look yummy as well! :)

  13. Well Grandpa and Grandma just rock! Can they adopt me, lol. I love the comment about having your own park too, that was sweet.

  14. Oh, that's wonderful. Obviously you come by the crafty thing honestly :) and one of my great hopes for my children is that they grow up knowing that they can make anything! Because, of course, they will have observed their parents and grandparents making things, with great pleasure. Doesn't matter whether it's with wood, fabric, cardboard...or bits and bobs of wire, pipe fittings, bent paperclips, spit and hope. ;)

    I am so jealous of your home. Of course, I'd want it to be in MY neighborhood, which is impossible, but first there's the sewing room (! where you don't have to pack up everything you're working on just to have a family dinner!) and then, that garage/workshop space! Mine is so ridiculously small, cramped and full of not only tools and bikes but also the mounds of broken junk my husband refuses to throw out (I like to make things, but not so much to FIX things!) that I can't even walk into it, let alone build anything in it. I'd say I'd give an arm and a leg to have a good workshop, might be difficult to use a workbench and power tools with only one arm and one leg. ;)

  15. Your parents are precious ...

  16. @hollyml
    Oh Holly, we wish we had a permanent workshop, too! We back our cars out just to use the garage, and that only in the warm months of the year. So for half a year we can't use the garage. And before I set up my sewing room, I dragged my machine out and put that away too, using the rickety fold-up card table that has become the girls' table tent now. Eventually the husband decided my sewing stash was so ridiculous that I was allocated my own sewing corner and closets so I wouldn't leave the rest of the house looking like a bomb went off in a yard sale. Slowly but surely, you'll be able to carve out a space for yourself to sew in, and it will become more and more permanent, and I am excited for you for that day to come soon!

  17. See, the idea of parking a CAR in a garage is pretty foreign to this Californian. Few people have room to park their cars in their garage...if they even have a garage at all. :) Of course one of the reasons I said I'd need your house to be in MY neighborhood is that the weather here does not really require covered parking, at any time of year.

    There are a great many things I love deeply about living in the kind of town where the homes are small and close together. But I grew up in a sprawling suburban tract house and I do long sometimes for the sheer square footage of my childhood home! My family's little bungalow is wonderful...and it is bursting at the seams. :)

  18. Oh, that just made me smile all the way to my toes!

  19. You're parents are adorable!

  20. The picture of your mom using the power tool is so inspiring... we don't let our mom near that stuff, that's dads territory... dad does the heavy lifting stuff and mom does the decorating (mostly because dad's color blind, not that he doesnt have great taste!)
    I think I should get my dad to teach me to use the power tools, every girl should learn how right?


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