Turn an End Table Into a Drink Station

11 Materials
3 Hours
Anytime I can turn something drab into fab, I'm in! I'm constantly trying to find new, unique ways to add to my list of entertaining guests so when I came across the idea of making a mini drink station, I jumped at the challenge and gave it my own twist in the process. I don't have much room for one of those fancy shmancy drink carts (though I do long for the day I have space for one!) so for now, this project will have to do. This end table drink station fits perfectly in my kitchen and will be amazing when we have friends over for a nice meal.
I'm not a huge fan of yellow but I loved how the yellow chalk paint turned out on this piece!

-end table (Drawer is optional. I grabbed this from my local thrift store for $8...yes, you read that correctly--EIGHT DOLLARS!!! I couldn't pass it up!)

-acrylic paint and brush

-10 qt. galvanized bucket

-fine grit sandpaper

-7" metal circular cut off (or some other guide to create the hole for your bucket)

-measuring tape


-rotozip (or jigsaw)

-caulking (not pictured)

-insulating sealant foam (not pictured)

*NOTE: With regard to the metal circular cut-off, you will want to get a different size if your bucket is a different size. My bucket was 10" and the 7" cut-off was perfect for where my bucket would sit.
STEP 1: Measure table top

First, you will want to measure your table top and find the center--mark the center with a small 'x'.
STEP 2: Secure guide

Next, place your metal circular cut off on your mark--you can see my 'x' in the center circle of the cut-off. Screw the cut-off onto your table top.
STEP 3: Saw circle

After my cut-off was secure, I cut my circle with a rotozip. This tool isn't cheap (approx. $60) so you can use a regular jigsaw instead if it is a tool you have or are looking to purchase, however, you'll want to use a larger cut-off (larger than the 7"...try a 9"), because the rotozip has about a 2" clearance of the cut-off (see the black guard at the bottom of the rotozip). If you do use a rotozip, start your cut close to the cut-off and let the rotozip guide you outward until the black guard is flush with the cut-off. If you're using a jigsaw, I'd recommend just tracing a circle around your cut-off, then removing the cut-off and following the trace with your jigsaw.
STEP 4: Sand and paint table

Next, rough up your table using fine grit sandpaper, then paint your table the color of your choice. I chose an acrylic matte chalk paint from JoAnn's (sorry, I don't have a photo of me painting).

(The next 5 steps are optional. I chose to insulate my table since there was room to do so given that it has a drawer. If you have a plain end table with no drawer, you won't be able to do these next steps. As such, once you're finish sanding and painting, you can simply place your bucket into the hole in your table top. Fill your bucket with ice and drinks the next time you have guests over and give a "CHEERS!" to fun DIY projects. )
STEP 5: Seal cracks

After I finished sanding and painting my table, I used water resistant caulking to seal any cracks inside my drawer.
STEP 6: Secure drawer

Then, I screwed the drawer shut from the back of the table so the insulation foam wouldn't expand and cause the drawer to open.
STEP 7:Wrap bucket in plastic wrap

Next, I used plastic wrap to protect the bottom of my bucket. I wanted to be able to remove the bucket to throw out melted ice, as well as clean the bucket, so I protected it so that the foam wouldn't lock it in place.
STEP 8: Fill table with insulation foam

I chose to use painters tape to protect the top of my table in the event it expanded so much that it went out of the hole (I ended up not having this problem but it's better to be safe than sorry!), then, I carefully filled the hole with insulation foam.
STEP 9: Add bucket and let dry

Next, I placed my bucket into the top of the table...you want it to be nice and straight. Once your bucket is positioned to your liking, place something heavy on top (I used a cinderblock I had laying around) and let it sit overnight.

*Note: When I checked the insulation foam the next day, it was still pretty soft so I flipped the table upside down (with the bucket still inside) and let it sit for another day. Then, I checked it the next day and it was good-to-go. Take your plastic wrap off of your bucket and place it back in the hole.
Ain't it cute?! I can't wait for my friends to see this little drink station!
Suggested materials:
  • End table   (thrift store)
  • Galvanized bucket (or pail, depending on where you're from :))   (Home Depot)
  • Acrylic chalk paint   (JoAnn's)
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Sue Sanders Sue Sanders on Jul 08, 2016
    Does condensation absorb into the foam insulation.? Or if not, do you have to mop up the condensation that the foam holds on its surface.?

  • Sue Sanders Sue Sanders on Jul 08, 2016
    Does condensation soak into the foam? If not, does condensation hold on top of the foam so you can soak up with paper towels?

  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Jul 08, 2016
    Love it but have a question. What was the purpose of putting the foam insulation inside?

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  • Lynn Ellis Lynn Ellis on Aug 12, 2016
    Very welcome ! I love looking at all the things on Hometalk. I had never heard of it until this past week. Lol. I'm saving everything that I love in two places so if I lose one I still have it. This site is awesome.

  • Christy Roppel Christy Roppel on Aug 14, 2016
    It is really nice. However, my one "concern" is that is doesn't seem to hold many beverages.

    • That's understandable...when the Hometalk crew came to my house for our live Facebook segment, I was able to fit about 5-6 20 oz. drinks and ice so I was pretty pleased with that.