An outdoor cooler can be the perfect addition to your backyard for the summer. But you don’t have to drill a hole in your pocket to buy one. You only need a few simple tools to create an outdoor cooler for less than $80. No need to buy special equipment. Your usual home improvement and DIY construction tools are enough to build this cooler. Follow these simple steps carefully and go nuts with the decoration.
- Bottle opener
- Bottle cap catcher
- Coupling PVC
- Hose Bibb (3/4”)
- Drill bits (1 ¼”) diameter)
- Square hinges (3 ½”)
- T-nuts (4 – 5/16”)
- Elevator bolt (4 – 5/16” x 2”)
- Wood glue
- Exterior wood screws
- Pry bar
- Screwdriver, flat head
- Measuring tape
- Impact drill
- Cooler (50 quart)
- Ultra saw
- Pallets (5 – 8)
Step by Step Instructions
- Scrub or Wash the Pallets
Landscape companies offer these pallets for free, but scrub or power-wash them to improve appearance before you use them. Usually, these free pallets come with attached slats which you have to remove.
- Remove Slats
Use the power saw to take the ends off. The saw is also helpful for removing screws and nails embedded in the pallets.
- Check the Fitting with the Cooler
A 50 quart cooler is perfect for this project. Dry fitting your slats against this cooler will give you an accurate size estimate.
- Remove Hardware from Cooler
Use a drill to remove all hardware, such as latches, hinges, wheels, handles, tabs, etc.
- Build the Legs of the Cooler
Cut 8 slats to 33” and attach 2 together at right angles with screws and glue. Pre drilling is recommended to prevent splintering of wood.
- Measure Side Slats
Use the cooler’s height, adding 4 – 5”, to figure out how many slats will be needed for the side.
- Gluing and Screwing Slats
Place the side slats between the legs and use screws in the pre-drilled holes.
- Measure Back and Front Slats
Use a flat surface to place your cooler upside down, and use slats for marking and measuring. For accuracy, dry fit the slats between the sides of the cooler.
- Attach Back and Front Slats
Cut your slats and attach them to the back and front using glue. Again, make sure these are pre-drilled to attach the screws.
- Measure Front Shelf
The front legs can be used for this measurement. As a tip, use the outer edges of the legs.
- Screw down the Back and Front Shelves
Place the slats on the top and screw the down so they are tightly attached.
- Framing the Lid
Simply place the lid of the cooler on top and build the frame around it using your saw.
- Final Touches
Finish it off by either distressing, painting, or staining the wood, and attaching your bottle opener, cap catcher, and a handle.