How To Make Your Own Awesome Patio Cooler For The First Time

Whether it’s summertime, or you and your friends just want to have ice cold beers by your porch, no one can deny that it can sometimes be quite a hassle to have to go in and out of the house just to get an ice cold beverage.

Why settle for an unappealing, and expensive cooler, when you can make your own awesome patio cooler which you can easily customize to your liking? If you want to serve it up in style and you are one of those handy, independent individuals who like to take on a challenge, then keep reading, because we have quite a treat for you and your beer buddies.

How to Make Your Own Patio Cooler

Chances are, you have never made a customized patio cooler in your life, and that’s okay! We are going to show you how to make your own awesome patio cooler for the first time, for your happy drinking needs.

All you’ll need is a few materials from your local hardware store, this comprehensive guide on how to make a cooler, and just by yourself! How easy!

What You’ll Need


Any sturdy wooden material is good for use, and your choice of wood will depend on the desired finish you want for your cooler. The most common types of wood used are Cedar Wood and Pine Wood.

If you don’t have a drill, you can opt to choose a framing hammer to assemble your pieces.


Step 1: Preparing for the Customization of Patio Cooler

Store-bought coolers typically come with two layers: an outer hard shell, and the cooler itself. In order to build a cooler, you need to prepare the store-bought cooler. First separate the outer hard shell and the cooler. Most coolers should separate easily without any issues.

Using a saw, cut up the pieces of wood into 2ft x 4 ft pieces.

Step 2: Creating the Wooden Box

Put the legs of the wooden box of the patio cooler together by drilling four holes on each leg, then connecting the legs by drilling the 2.5 inch kreg screws into them. To ensure sturdiness, use wood glue in order to stick the sides of the wooden legs together.

Step 3: Creating the Frame of the Patio Cooler

Create a rectangular frame for the wooden patio cooler by connecting each of the 2 x 4 wooden pieces together using the 2.5 inch kreg screws or with hammer and nails.

Before screwing everything together using the Kreg screws, try and fit the cooler in the frame first. Try to leave an allowance in the frame in order to make sure that it will be easy to place and remove the cooler from the wooden box.

Create an overhang above the frame by using the wood glue to create another layer of the frame created in Step 4. Try to keep the width of the board to 3.5 to 4 inches.

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Afterwards, measure the width of the inside of the frame, and cut up two smaller boards which would fit within the inner rectangular figure of the frame.

Step 4: Creating the Base of the Patio Cooler

Using the wood glue, stick the two smaller boards in the rectangular frame which would need to be parallel to one another.

Flip over the frame with legs, and place the cooler in the center of the frame. Place the base on top of the base of the cooler.

Use wood glue on the sides of the base that are adjacent to the legs, then, using the Kreg jig, drill the 2.5 inch screws into the sides of the legs that are adjacent to the base of the wooden patio cooler.

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Make sure to assess the sturdiness of your frame. Keep in mind that the cooler is not the only thing your patio cooler is going to support. The patio cooler should also have enough strength for the bottles and cans you’re going to put in it.

Step 5: Creating the Lid of the Patio Cooler

Repeat Step 4, and create another frame. This time, measure only the lid against the frame. The lid should be tightly fit into the frame.

Once adjusted, using the Kreg jig, drill the lid of the store-bought cooler to the frame using the 2.5 inch screws. Cut up four pieces of boards, around an inch thick each. Make sure to fit this to the size of the lid of the patio cooler.

Using the wood glue, glue the wooden boards on top of the lid. Drill the sides that are adjacent to the lid in order to keep the boards in place.

Step 6: Attaching the Lid to the Patio Cooler

Attach the outdoor hinges using the screws that came with the hinges, as these are custom made for the chosen hinges, and will make sure that the hinges on your cooler stay put.

Step 7: Applying Gloss to the Wood of the Patio Cooler (Optional)

If you are not happy with the natural finish of the wood that you chose to make a cooler, you can always get some wood gloss from the hardware in order to create the beautiful glossy, but rustic finish that many wooden furniture come with. Liberally paint over the wood with the wood gloss.

Step 8: Attaching the Handles of the Patio Cooler

Use the Kreg Jig in order to drill and attach any handles that you may want to put on your patio cooler, in order to make it easier for you to open, or to make it easier for you to carry the patio cooler.

The ideal places to drill a handle onto are the sides of the patio cooler, and of course, the lid.


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There’s our finished product! No longer do you have to settle for boring store-bought coolers that absolutely drag down the sense of style within the room. You now know how to make a cooler, and a stylish one at that!

It is not only easy to make, and extremely cost effective, but it also allows you to customize it whatever way you want to. In less than two days, you can create a beautiful, classy patio cooler that even your guests will admire.

For those of you who are sports fans, you can even custom make a cooler to suit yours and your buddies’ favorite sports team, and make every game a victory party! You can even add wheels to it if you want to make it easier to move around. Give your home a rustic twist by creating this extremely awesome wooden patio cooler or displaying a burned American flag in wood.

Did you try creating your own wooden patio cooler? Share your experiences and tips with us and your co-readers! Remember, the job will be much easier with the proper tools and materials, such as a great framing hammer.

Also, don’t forget to share this with your family and friends who may love this awesome patio cooler, and will want to make their own cooler!

Video: How to Make a Patio Cooler


  • Emma Clark

    Hi there! My name is Emma Clark, a part-time interior designer, house flipper, and full-time mom. This blog is the fruit of my extensive experiences as an interior designer and home improvement enthusiast. More so, I'm here to share with you a lot of great ideas on what you can do to make your home into a masterpiece: all cost-effective and amazingly creative.