Outdoor BBQ Storage Bin

4 Materials
1 Day

Here’s a robust storage solution for your tongs, charcoal and other random grilling stuff. Plus a great gift idea for Father’s Day!

Exhibit A

South Africans are braai (BBQ) obsessed! We often braai weekly throughout the year - Christmas, New Year, you name it. We may have grilling skills but not necessarily grilling style. Exhibit A above shows my husband’s grilling paraphernalia pile, replete with old curtain rods and rusty junk. We needed a storage bin that could stand outside in the elements all year long.

We also try to grow pot-plants - some less successfully than others as you can see from the pot above. But since we’d much rather braai than garden there is no guessing what this pot was going to be repurposed for...

The basic necessities for this project are:

  • large concrete pot, mine stands mid-thigh high
  • dustbin lid to fit over the pot, you could make one from wood, mine is plastic which I scrubbed cleaner
  • plastic tray or steel tray that fits into the dustbin lid and preferably also inside of the pot rim. This is for the table and is only needed if using a lid with an uneven inside surface.
  • exterior paint and accessories, I used PVA house paint
  • robust glue, I used Sikaflex
  • varnish, matte, non-yellowing and suitable for external use
  • steel hooks

Once the pot was cleaned out and received a fresh coat of white PVA house paint, I could decorate it. Note that white is not the most practical colour for charcoal storage but I happened to have some around. I did paint the inside and high touch areas with charcoal grey though.

You needn’t go through the hassle of decorating the pot. In fact, you could save yourself a lot of time and tears by just painting it a sensible colour, maybe add a Sharpie line or two. But where’s the challenge in that?!

No, not foolhardy me: without a vinyl cutter, proper vinyl or even a nice stencil, I set about making my own letters by designing them on computer, then printing them on paper (my vinyl wrinkled) , then tracing them to vinyl and finally cutting them out by hand. It can be done...with effort. If you have any other way to do this, use it!

In my very first post on Hometalk I admitted that I am too slapdash for stencils. Nothing has changed. I am not going into the details here but believe me when I say that you can get better stenciling advice elsewhere. But hey, I was adamant I wanted words on my pot... Finally satisfied with the painting and numerous touch-ups, I finished the pot off with with a coat of non-yellowing matte varnish.

Next, everything that needed to be stuck had to be stuck. This includes the tray to the inside of the lid and the hooks to the inside of the pot. I spread Sikaflex on the raised parts of the underside of the lid and stuck the underside of the tray to it. The idea is that the lid can be flipped over and used as a table. Give some consideration to how the tray is going to fit into the lid and onto the pot when the lid is on, you may need to get a tray with a smaller circumference. Mine is a bit slippery.

I then stuck the metal hooks to the inside of the pot with the Sikaflex. Note that it dries white so you need to wipe any squelches clean otherwise you are going to have to touch up with paint.

Don’t leave the smudges like this

And then pot was ready to use. I hung tongs and a lighter on the hooks and stacked the bigger items such as charcoal loosely inside.

The bin lid makes everything waterproof.

And when reversed there is a handy little table.

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Ilene
    on Mar 7, 2020

    Love this! I live in a small apartment with a small deck. While I don't have a BBQ I will use this idea to store this & that I don't have space for inside. How small is my space? I use a suitecase to store cookie sheets, baking pans, etc. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

  • G-ma V
    on Mar 7, 2020

    What is a “dustbin” lid?

  • Nancy Brown
    on Mar 8, 2020

    If the bottom holes are open don’t you get bugs, spiders or scorpions into the container?

    • Sandra M
      on Mar 9, 2020

      You could use some mesh/screening material to cut small patches for covering the holes, with a bit of glue or caulking around the edges to hold them in place. That would keep the bugs out but allow for air flow and drainage. An inexpensive sieve bought at the dollar store could provide the required mesh if you don't already have some on hand.

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