Rustic Cooler

Alicia W
by Alicia W
9 Materials
1 Day
Serving drinks outside? Using one of those ugly plastic coolers? Here's a way to turn that ugly cooler into something cool-er :)
I used one pallet and "dog eared" fence posts (dog eared refers to the top of the post, the way they are cut looks like a dog's ear)for this project along with a plastic cooler.
Remove the handles, the lid and the drain plug.
The legs are made using 2 fence post per leg. Measure how high you want the cooler to stand and make your cuts..
Screw the legs together making an "L" shape. You should have 4 "L" shaped legs
Lay the plastic cooler in between the legs to determine the size of the sides.
Lay the plastic cooler between the wooden legs to determine the size of each side.
Cut your pallet wood to fit inside the legs. Apply wood glue and then screw the pallets onto the legs.
Lay the plastic cooler in between the legs again to determine the size of the front and the back.
Cut the pallet wood to fit, apply glue and screw the pallet wood onto the front and back pieces.
With the plastic cooler in place, add a piece of fence post to the bottom of the plastic cooler for support.
Screw this piece to the edges of the sides.
Add a wooden ledge around the top by measuring around the outside edges. Cut each piece of wood to fit
Screw the pieces of wood to the edges of the wooden cooler.
The wooden top is a box. Make a frame by measuring around the lid of the plastic cooler. Rip the fence posts in half and screw the pieces together to form a box.
Lay the box on top of the pallet wood and measure how long the pallet wood should be cut.
Cut the pallet wood to fit the top of the box.
Screw the pallet wood onto the top of the wooden box
Set the wooden lid upside down.
Place the plastic cooler lid inside the wooden lid
Screw the plastic cooler lid to the wooden lid.
For drainage, you'll need a faucet, plumbing coupling and a piece of PVC pipe.

Cut a hole in the side of the wooden cooler where there drain plug is located on the plastic cooler.
Place a faucet into the hole made in the wooden cooler.
Place a coupling between the plastic cooler and the wooden cooler and screw the faucet into the coupling.
Place a piece of PVC piping into the hole of the plastic cooler and then into the coupling.

Attach hinges to the back of the lid
Attach a handle to the front of the lid.
Attach a bottle opener to the front on one of the legs.
Fill with ice and drinks. Happy summer everyone, cheers!!
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 12 questions
  • Lenita daugherty Lenita daugherty on Sep 11, 2018

    Will this cooler be ok out in the weather thru winter?

  • Joyce grasso Joyce grasso on Mar 13, 2019

    How can I retrieve my saved projects?

  • Steve Steve on Jul 20, 2019

    How do you seal the pvc into the drain hole to keep it from leaking?

Join the conversation
3 of 91 comments
  • Greg Greg on Oct 15, 2018

    Yes will try it. Probably stain it. 😃

  • Richard Richard on Jan 19, 2019

    I'll probably try it but in order to be able to leave it out in the weather I'll put a couple coats of flat urethane on it. That should seal the wood and the flat won't give it that shine of finished wood.