DIY Folding Table: How To Make an Inexpensive DIY Game & Poker Table

How to build a large folding table

Are you looking for extra space for people to play, eat, or have fun? Here is a simple & cheap DIY folding table idea that we created. Now we can have collapsable tables that we could use indoors and outdoors.

Every year my husband has a poker party in our basement. And every year it is a little bit of a struggle to set-up for 20 plus guys and now their families. While I am getting pretty good at throwing cheap DIY parties, we still needed the physical tables for people to play poker on.

Therefore my husband decided that this would be the year that we would make two 8 foot long DIY folding tables that could be used as poker tables.

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Cheap DIY folding table with picture of DIY folding table

Purposes for DIY Folding Table: Cheap Poker Tables and Game Tables

My husband’s plan for these DIY folding tables is to use them as DIY poker tables (hence the green paint job) and then also as a recreational table for when my children want to do puzzles or other activities!

I also plan on using these on our deck, in addition to our DIY composite decking tables when we host large parties! These DIY folding tables have many purposes. I’m sure over the next year we will find many reasons to use these cheap DIY tables.

Supplies needed to make DIY Folding Table

Don’t let this long list of supplies overwhelm you. My guess is that if you are thinking of making your own DIY folding tables, then you probably have a lot of these tools and supplies on hand.

Tools needed:

Circular saw


Wooden Yardstick

Tape measure

Cordless drill

Cordless screw gun

Paint roller


Straight edge / level

Drywall sander


Electric sander or sandpaper and block

Drywall trowel

Supplies needed:

1 ¼ inch screws

Painter’s tape (the best type that we have used in painted accent walls and other home DIY projects)

Drywall joint compound

Drywall sandpaper

CDX plywood 8 foot x 4 foot x ¾ inch

Folding table legs

If you are interested in making your own folding table legs, I found this post from However, we just found it was easiest to buy our metal legs (not to mention they were probably physically lighter than homemade ones).

How to Make a DIY Folding Table

Step 1: Choose the grade of plywood

No matter what grade of plywood the size would be 4’ x 8’ x ¾”

Lowest costing no sanding option would be “birch”  plywood. However, CDX plywood is the cheapest option.

Step 2: Cut plywood to the desired length and size of the DIY tabletop with a circular saw

We measured the width of their kitchen table etc. for reference of how wide we wanted our folding table to be. Plywood in our pictures was cut down to 8’ long x 36” wide.

Use a tape measure and a straight edge to draw a line to cut down or set up a guide board with an offset.

Jigsaw used to cut plywood table top

This runs the outside “housing” of the circular saw down a known straight line (clamped down 2×4, plywood, or level). As long as the outside housing the saw runs along the guideboard then the line you are cutting will be straighter then if you do it by hand.

Step 3: Determine if you want to have a circular end to your DIY poker table.

Plywood with yardstick to measure for Large DIY folding table

If a radius end (circular end) is desired then determine the arc of radius, draw, and then cut with a jigsaw. *****

Jigsaw used to cute round DIY tabletop

Step 4: Use an electric sander to smooth out cut edges and top of the plywood.

Determine which side of the plywood is the nicest side to be used for your DIY tabletop. This is the side you will use an electric hand sander with sandpaper.

Sanding the edge of a cheap DIY table

Step 5: Flip DIY tabletop over and add folding legs.

Attaching folding table legs to cheap DIY table

We added a ¾” “pad out” of plywood where the legs attach and meet in the middle, with scrap plywood that we had cut off previously. We did not think the screws that came with the table legs were “beefy” enough so we added .75” to .75” so I could use a 1.25” screw to attach the legs.

DIY folding table bottom with folding legs

Step 6: Flip table with attached folding table legs over and look for imperfections in the tabletop.

Here is where we feel that this is a unique way to create these DIY folding tables cheaply. Instead of buying more expensive plywood or wood, we thought we could get a smooth surface using joint compound and sanding.

This made these DIY folding tables a true budget-friendly DIY project.

Mud supplies to smooth out plywood

Step 7: Use Joint Drywall Compound to create a smooth DIY tabletop

Yes, using cheap plywood has its one advantage…

it is cheap.

However, we knew we could make it work for DIY folding tables. With the nice side now facing up fill in any knot holes and/or imperfections with drywall joint compound

Step 8: Sand Drywall Compound on the DIY plywood table

Sand, reapply & sand until the finish gets to your desired level of “perfection”.

For our folding table, we ending up doing two rounds of joint compound and sanding before we were happy with the smooth surface that could be used for a DIY poker table and game table.

Drywall mud used to smooth our plywood  DIY table top

Here you can see the finished smooth surface of the tabletop made out plywood!

Curved plywood cut for table top

Now that your DIY folding table is constructed, you are going to have to decide on the design you want to paint it. Because these tables were going to be used for a poker party at our house, my husband wanted to get that poker table feel…

so he went with a white and green color scheme.

How to paint your DIY folding table to be a DIY poker table or game table

Step 1: Choose base or primary color

Once you know what color you want, paint with a roller or a brush. All paint stores will recommend using a primer coat of paint per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

However, we just did three coats of white paint.

Step 2: Wait 48 hours and put the design on the plywood tabletop.

Here you can see using a yardstick to create perfectly straight lines that the painter’s tape could go against.

Marking out painting on DIY table top

Step 3: Tape out the design on the smoothed out plywood tabletop.

Tape out design on DIY folding poker table

Step 4: Use roller or brush to paint poker table designs (or any designs of your choice)

We ended up only needing two coats of paint for our designed portion of the tables.

Step 5: Take off Painter’s Tape

Then go ahead take off the painter’s tape. We just love seeing the clean and crisp lines from this brand of painter’s tape.

Green and white paint used to create DIY poker table

We have used it in so many projects from our small bathroom makeover, hexagon accent wall and when painting molding in our basement.

DIY folding green poker table with white stripe

Enjoy your awesome and large DIY folding tables that were a true budget-friendly DIY project!

White and green DIY folding table

And since my husband knew he was having a large party, he made two DIY folding poker tables! The men sure did enjoy using these tables…

and the DIY folding poker tables seem to still be in great shape the next morning!

DIY Poker folding table

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  1. Ayesha Jordon says:

    Thanks for sharing such a nice blog. This will really help me to make a DIY folding table. I will definitely try this.

  2. THIS…THIS is EXACTLY what I have been looking for to increase seating capacity at Thanksgiving and Christmas… I only need to seat 20 people twice a year, but it was problematic enough that I needed to be able to do it without a bunch of those CHEAP and ugly folding tables that aren’t the same size as my dining room table…with these DIY tables I can now butt them up against the dining room table and have 1 loooong table
    THANK YOU for sharing your genius !!!

    1. Hi Laura. I am glad you can make your own DIY folding table to fit your needs. Really you can customize this table any way you want (using more expensive wood, shape, etc.) I hope you have a great family dinner this year.