Two outdoor chairs surrounding a black and white striped side table made out of a tray and a large milk jug.

6 DIY Outdoor Side Tables

Originally contributed by • last updated 9/24/2021

DIY Show Off
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DIY Show Off

Though you could probably host an outdoor dinner party with side tables, you’ll still probably want to have a few around. A side table is the exact accent you’d need to pull a space together. Whether that space is indoors or out, they're a staple for a reason.

Unlike other DIY outdoor furniture projects, a side table can be a really quick, easy thing to put together. They’re a lot smaller than a dining table or a coffee table, so it would be feasible to make more than one, too.

If you’re in search of the perfect option for your outdoor living space, then stay with us. We have a whole bunch of really fun DIY outdoor side table ideas right here.

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Small Wooden Outdoor Side Table DIY

This table right here is the definition of a side table. It’s so small and compact, and yet it still gets the job done. There’s enough room to rest a few things on there. A drink, or a book, even a plant can fit on there.

The slight distressed look that this table has is really rustic and charming. And that’s further accentuated by the light teal color that the wood has been painted. But it’s not overly rustic or anything; you could still put a table like this in any outdoor space.

And because it’s so small, it doesn’t use up that much material. You could make two, or three, or five of these. You could paint them in different colors, or stain them. You could really do so much with these tiny tables. That’s what makes them such a fun DIY idea.

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DIY Outdoor Side Table With Storage And Printed Design

This tiny outdoor side table is absolutely adorable. It’s really going for those rustic vibes with the distressed material and the decal painted on the tabletop. It’s a really good-sized table too; you could fit quite a bit of stuff on there.

Tables like these aren’t just functional. This one is super decorative; we can’t take our eyes off of it. It also has a bit of storage space in it, so it’s kind of like a triple threat in that regard.

It’s a bit more complex than other tables on this list, but it still isn’t likely to take you weeks to finish. And it’s basically the perfect size to fit in between chairs, or next to a sofa, or anywhere really. 

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Small DIY Side Table With Concrete Tabletop

We really need to talk about concrete more often. It’s basically the perfect material to craft outdoor furniture with. It’s so durable and versatile; you could use concrete with a variety of design schemes. With a good wooden frame, it’s gonna look really good.

This is another DIY project that would be fairly easy to do. If you’re planning to revitalize your outdoor living space, then you really can’t go wrong with something like this. Concrete is going to last outdoors in any condition. Why else would we use it for construction and landscaping?

You wouldn’t even have to pour concrete to make a side table like this. As long as you can find an appropriately-sized concrete slab you’re basically good to go. And we really love simple DIY projects like these, especially when they also look really nice.

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DIY Outdoor Side Table Made From An Old Milk Jug

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If you want a really cool DIY side table that’s also really unique, then this DIY project is going to be right up your alley. Made using a vintage milk jug of all things, this table brings modern and rustic together, and does it in style. Considering it just takes putting a tabletop on a milk jug, it isn’t going to take long at all to put together.

There are ways you can take it a step further, of course. This particular side table has been painted with black and white stripes. This in itself is still fairly easy to do. You just need to get some painter’s tape and paint stripes on the jug. That’s it, really.

Even if this is a really simple DIY idea, it’s still a super great piece of furniture to have in your outdoor space. It’s just really cool and versatile. It’s also a pretty good conversation piece. How many people do you know who have milk jug side tables in their yards?

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DIY Small Outdoor Side Tables Made With Tomato Cages

There are so many different materials you can use to make outdoor furniture. It’s really easy to get creative and try new things. Like tomato cages. You know, those wire things you use to keep you tomato plants from toppling over? Apparently, they make good side tables too.

You would definitely need some kind of top, be it wood, or metal, or concrete. The idea is to just put the tabletop on the cage, and then you have a table (there are probably more steps than that, but still). It shouldn’t be a difficult process.

This is another DIY project that you can easily do within a few hours. The results won’t look as cheap as the materials probably were. You’ll definitely get a nice, rustic look out of tomato cage side tables. This is definitely going to be a showstopper in any outdoor space.

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DIY Outdoor Side Table Made From Recycled Objects

Like we said before, you can repurpose pretty much anything into pretty much anything else. Even old junk that you have around your home can be turned into functional furniture.

Though it doesn’t really look like it, this outdoor side table was made using an old bucket and some tubing. The tubing was glued and painted onto the bucket to make the base. Then, a wooden block was placed on top, and voila. You have yourself a nice little side table that didn’t cost you much of anything.

And even if you don’t have the exact materials used in this DIY, you could probably make something really great out of the junk you do have. They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but as it turns out, your own trash can be treasure, too. So make sure you check out the stuff you have on hand. You never know what you could make.