There were no plans in the near future to build an outdoor cooler. And when I say "in the near future" I actually mean I didn't have ANY plans to build one. At all. But months ago when we were out shopping for things for Emily's room, we found a cute piece of wood with a bottle opener on top and a box attached on the bottom to catch the bottle tops. While it was certainly "cute"- it wasn't worth the ridiculous price Michael's was charging for it, nor was it made with any sort of quality wood. It was definitely something that we could have knocked out in about 10 mins with scrap wood in the garage. If only....
What we did walk away from Michael's with, however, was just the bottle opener that was also sold separately. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, when Hot Toddy got it in his head to build an outdoor cooler. We scoured the Internet for ideas, to see what we liked or didn't like. Then we watched a How-To video on YouTube and we were off to Lowes.
We picked up a few more pressure treated 2X4's for the legs and cut them to size.
Oh and can we just talk about our drill game we've got going on? Does one REALLY need three drills? The answer is yes, yes you do. One for the drill bit, one for the counter sink bit, and one for the screw bit. It makes life so much easier and eliminates a lot of wasted time changing drill bits.
Once the legs were done, we needed to make the frame and base that would hold the cooler. We purchased an Igloo 52 quart cooler from Target for around $20. The cooler needs to sit flush with the top of the frame around it, so we worked upside down for most of this part.
Once we had the frame done, we attached the legs.
Now we put the cooler back into the frame to make sure that it still fit.
Since the cooler isn't being held by anything in the above pic, next up was the base that the cooler would sit on.
Again, done upside down so that we made sure the top of the cooler remained flush with the frame. All of these steps were done with 2X4's. But everything else that follows we either used 2X2's or 1X4's.
Now that we had the base done, we added a shelf on the bottom for support and function.
Now came time to "hide" the cooler.
Next came adding the cover. This part was tricky because you want to make sure that the Igloo cooler top shuts to the bottom of it. It will defeat the point of the "cooler" if it doesn't seal and keep everything inside cool. So the plastic top had to remain on/in the bottom and we built around it with the wood. Then we added the hinges to the back, all while marking sure the plastic top was still sealed on/in the cooler and screwed the frame into the plastic top.
We then added the top pieces to now cover the white plastic part of the cooler.
We added a handle to the front of the top. We so fancy.
We brought it outside and filled it up with water to see if there were any leaks or if what we did actually worked. Thankfully, there was no leaking! Yay us!
We added the bottle opener and went and purchased a magnetic galvanized bucket to "catch" the bottle caps.
And if you did see the video, you saw that the cap bounced right out of the bucket. So we'll need to figure out that piece. Also, we lowered the shelf to about 3 inches above the ground. It was originally way too high to be functional. Now it's the perfect height for extra twelve packs. HAH!
Oh and of course I wasn't going to leave the galvanized bucket that color. It totally looked out of place with the dark hinges, handle and bottle opener. So back into the garage it went and got a fresh coat of paint. Now it matches much better!
Here's the back of the bucket that shows the magnets and leg showing how we added washers to make the magnetic area larger in hopes it stays where it's supposed to. If it doesn't, I'm taking a drill to it and permanently attaching it.
Now it's time to fill her up with ice and beer and enjoy sitting outside!!!!!!
PS- Eventually this and the two outdoor couches will get stained but we need to let them dry out completely- about a year- before we can do that. But stay tuned for the Adirondack chairs new stain color that we did last weekend! They are beautiful!