Table tennis can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. If you want to play for fun with friends or to practice between games played on a real table, then a DIY setup might just serve your needs and provide hours of fun at home.
In addition to being kind of pricey for a supposedly non-essential item, full-sized ping pong tables take up a lot of room and can be hard to store compactly. For a space-efficient and inexpensive alternative, a homemade table tennis table is loads of fun, without the hassle.
You don’t have to be particularly handy to be able to make your own ping pong table and it won’t take long either. It could be a family project for a weekend with the kids, or you might spend a few evenings getting it all together.
Either way, building it will be half the fun and then you’ll always have a table on which to play and practice that you can proudly say you made yourself.
What are you waiting for? Grab your tape measure and let’s look at some neat ideas for how to make your own fun at home.
What You’ll Need
There are a number of ways to go about creating your own ping pong table, but you’ll almost definitely still need
Wood lengths to make the tabletop are a must, but you don’t need to break the bank. A level piece of solid woodchip or spare pieces of wood will work just fine as long as they can be cut or fixed into the right sizes.
A Tape Measure
If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing right, so you’ll need an accurate measuring tape. As a rule, standard-sized ping pong tables are 9 feet long and 5 feet wide, but a small one could be about 6 feet long and 3 feet wide if you are short on space.
You don’t need a full wood-crafting workshop at your fingertips but the minimum you’ll need is a saw, a drill, and some nuts, bolts, and screws for fixings.
Not yours specifically, but you’ll need to have a plan for how to support your ping pong table.
Whether you plan on laying the game board over an existing table or whether you’re able to make some permanent ones with old chair legs or a disused picnic table, you need to have a plan for your table to stand up. Whatever you do end up using, make sure it’s sturdy enough to cope with jostling from the players.
There’s no need to go nuts with painting your ping pong table, but you might like to use the opportunity to make it look more like a professional ping pong table or add your own creative flair. Most ping pong table beds are dark blue or dark green colors but yours can be any color that you choose.
Bear in mind that most ping pong balls are white, so the lighter the color, the harder it will be to see the ball. You may also choose to edge the table and draw quarters with white, or not. It’s your table.
If you do decide to paint your table, try to get a paint specifically for wood that is hard-wearing and won’t mark easily or your ping pong balls won’t take long to sign your table with signs of wear and tear.
A Can-Do Attitude
Even if woodwork isn’t usually your forte, you can still make a success of making your own ping pong table with some enthusiasm and a little trial and error.
It doesn’t need to look homemade or cheap, either. Start by believing that you can make a professional-looking table that is fun to use and will be the envy of all your friends.
Best DIY Ping Pong Table For Flat Storage
This ping pong table design makes for an ultra-compact storage solution when the table is not in use. It’s a little bit of effort to put together each time and could use a second pair of hands to do so.
This ping pong table is ideal for occasional use in the garden, or in multi-use space. When it’s not being used for games, it can be stored very flat.
- Made from scratch yet professional looking
- Inexpensive $
- Space-saving while in storage
- The tabletop splits into two pieces for easy assembly and disassembly
- Non-standard size. This table measures 8 feet by 4 feet so it is slightly smaller than regulation tables, but this should mean it will fit in more places
Best Folding DIY Ping Pong Table
This ping pong table is slightly smaller than is customary for regulation tables, but it does fold up neatly, a bit like the ones you might buy at a store for home use. This table measures in at around 8 feet 11” by 5 feet, or thereabouts and stands on wooden trestle table legs.
The result is a very professional-looking table with boundless limits of fun.
Top tip for if you decide to make this one, make sure the hinges you get are heavy-duty enough to support the strain of the MDF sheet.
If it’s a choice between sturdy-looking ones for a dollar or two extra than flimsier ones, go for the heavy-duty ones. They use an electric saw but there’s no reason you couldn’t use a handsaw. All the costings are in Euros but we think the materials come in at around ninety dollars for like-for-like products.
- Homemade but professional looking
- Folds in half for easy transport and storage
- Inexpensive $
- Budget-friendly wooden leg solution with A-frame work stands that always come in handy when the ping pong table isn’t in use
- Non-standard size. This table measures 8 feet and 11 inches by 4 feet so it is slightly smaller than regulation tables. You can adapt the dimensions as you see fit
Best All-Weather Outdoor Ping Pong Table
This YouTuber has used weatherproof boat varnish to make a functional outdoor ping pong table that can stay out in her yard year-round.
She supports the large plywood tabletop with someone by six lengths of wood to give it some longevity and stability. She does a great job of doing some expert sunken screws to keep the table together.
This table looks to be a little bigger than the other two we have seen and to make that happen she has attached more lengths of plywood to every side of the main tabletop. That’s a good option if you desperately want a regulation-sized table.
This may be a little more high-tech than some of the other options, but she is very encouraging to beginners to try their hand at it, and see what they can achieve.
The result she builds is really solid-looking and sturdy on a homemade base, but feel free to just lay it over the top of a barely used garden table for quick play.
You’ll definitely need some help to move this around from place to place, as it is solid and that means one thing to us: it’s heavy too.
- Homemade but quality
- The solid design stays rigid and should not warp
- Inexpensive $$ we assume the materials for this project will be a little more expensive than the first two on our list, but still much cheaper than buying a new ping pong table
- A weatherproof finish with boat varnish makes it suitable for outdoor use
- Great projects for the more experienced DIYer
The Ultimate Fold Away Ping Pong Table
If you do have access to a lot of power tools and have some serious time to put into this project, this is the ping pong table for you. Just like a folding table from a sports or leisure store, the two halves smoothly fold upwards and rest inside a wheeled unit for compact storage.
This means that you can move it and set it up by yourself and also potentially play alone with one side up if your competitive streak gets on all your friends, family, and neighbors’ nerves. This truly is a professional table tennis table for those who are serious about playing for the long term.
This design was based on a homemade ping pong table made by the man’s grandfather and he has certainly managed to make a great copy with a couple of his own innovations which his own children can fondly remember when they grow up. What a legacy.
It’s a lot of work though, so don’t start this project unless you’re serious about it. It’s more than just four legs and a length of plywood.
This design is carpentry and art in one beautifully sanded package. Similar to the last table, this fellow has attached edging wood around every side of the table for a really great finish, so it’s really worth doing the fiddly bits like that to make it look one hundred percent better.
- Homemade but professional quality
- Quality craftsmanship is required and a lot more tools than we’ve put on our requirement list.
- Expensive $$$ we can only imagine how much he’s spent on tiny bits of wood, hinges, and wheels, but it is certainly still possible that the grand total still added up to less than a store-bought item.
- Folding design with wheels means this table is easy to move, set out and collapse all on your own.
Hopefully, one of these design plans or instruction videos has sparked your interest and ignited your imagination.
While there is a wide range of abilities required for making the options we have selected, we hope you’ll agree that with a little patience and perseverance, there should be one that fits your skillset as a craftsman (or craftswoman), even if your skills with wood are minimal.
We like to think we’ve found an option for every ability level that still can create a functional and fun activity for all your friends and family to enjoy. Pretty soon you’ll struggle to get everyone off your new ping pong table so you can have a go yourself.
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