Pallet Cooler Stand

4 Materials
3 Hours
Hey guys! Rob here! I know pallet wood is still one of the latest crazes with DIY projects and this cooler stand involves just that. Really, JUST THAT. Aside from a double pack of hinges and a handle, I had everything else on hand for this project. It was a bit time consuming but I think it's really cool that no one would know an old, dingy cooler was sitting in this pallet cooler stand.
For only spending $5 and putting in a few hours of sweat, I think this pallet cooler stand came out pretty cool!
-old 26 qt. cooler
-30 planks of pallet wood (will vary depending on the size of your cooler)
-1 1/2" oil rubbed bronze finish narrow utility hinges
-oil rubbed bronze finish utility handle
STEP 1: Make the Legs
Using eight pieces of pallet wood, glue and nail two boards along the long edge to form a leg. Repeat four times, then cut all four legs to the same length; the length is dependent on how tall you want your cooler to stand--I recommend about stomach level. I made my cooler stand 32" tall.
STEP 2: Measure cooler
Next, measure the length, width and height of the cooler--you'll need these measurements to determine how big to make the body of the stand in order for the cooler to fit nicely inside.
STEP 3: Cut wood for sides of cooler
Cut six pallet boards to match the length of the cooler and cut six boards to match the width, plus the thickness of two boards.
STEP 4: Measure wood for body of cooler stand
Now, mark the legs to show where the base of the cooler and the bottom shelf will be located. For the base of my cooler, I measured the height of the cooler plus ½” to allow for the thickness of the board the cooler will sit on.
STEP 5: Framing
To begin assembling the frame, start by gluing and nailing the boards cut to the cooler dimension onto the legs as shown in the pictures.
Once the frame is built, you can glue and nail boards to the bottom shelf. Be sure to measure and cut the boards to the inside of the frame...
...then attach two boards for the cooler to sit on.
Measure the distance from the top of the frame to the bottom of the cooler shelf and cut boards to form the sides. Glue and nail the boards around all four sides of the frame. If needed, use a table saw to make smaller pieces to fill in small gaps.
>>>Side note: I used an old cooler with a busted lid for this project (the lid was usable but it no longer held into the notches of the cooler) so I decided to ditch the lid altogether for this simple design.
STEP 6: Make lid
Measure the inside of the opening at the top of the cooler and cut two pieces to hold the cover together (these will be on the underside of the finished cooler stand top when the top is closed). Then cut the necessary number of pieces to make the cover. Glue and nail the cover together.
STEP 7: Install hardware
Now that the cover is made, attach hinges and a handle. Once the hinges and handle are attached, use a file to knock down any sharp or dangerous edges.
Note: I highly recommend adding 1-2 chains on either side of the lid to hold it open. Because the pallet wood I used was pretty thin, when the lid was opened all the way back and unsupported, the hinges cracked the wood which caused the lid to come off.
All-in-all, aside from all of the cutting and assembling, this was a pretty fun project. Courtney usually does most of the finishing work for our projects and for this, she liked the unfinished look of the pallet wood so she decided to leave it alone once I was done. As I'm sure she's mentioned many times before, we love to have friends and family over so this is another way we can store our cold drinks, condiments and other fridge items outdoors long enough to have a backyard dinner.

Suggested materials:

  • Pallet wood   (on hand)
  • Hinges   (Home Depot)
  • Handle   (Home Depot)
See all materials

Questions on this post

Have a question about this project?

Your question...


Join the conversation

2 of 11 comments
  • Jeannie Carle Jeannie Carle on Sep 22, 2016
    all around win! Looks cool, multiple uses - sturdy! :-)
  • Joanie Joanie on May 29, 2018

    Not to worry about keepin' the cold items cold !!!! A good useful project......thanks for sharin' and Happy Father's Day!!

Your comment...