Build your own garden barbecue from an old washing drum

A barbecue made from an old washing drum with wheels stands in a garden. A fire burns within the barbecue.
Your new garden accessory won’t just be portable, but also a real eye-catcher.

  • Difficulty
  • Cost
    8-15 £
  • Duration
    1-3 h

Who doesn’t love barbecuing outdoors in the summer? Whether you prefer steaks or courgettes sizzling on the grill, barbecuing is a whole lot of fun – because what’s better than sitting outside with your friends and family to chow down on delicious food? That’s why we’ve decided to show you how you can build your own barbecue very easily from an old washing drum.

It should go without saying that your safety is paramount throughout every step of the project, so make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. You can find an overview of the correct protective clothing you need when using each type of tool here:


You need
  • spanner
  • g-clamps
  • Round barbecue grate
  • Wheels
  • 3 M8 screws and nuts
  • Washing drum
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's go - step by step

Step 1 4

Examine the drum and the holes in it

An old washing drum has been placed on a work surface. Nuts lie beside it.
Old washing drums usually end up on building yards – so you should be able to simply get one there.

You need: an old washing drum

You’ll first need a washing drum if you want to undertake this project. You will be able to easily remove one from a disused washing machine.
However, before you use it as a barbecue, you will have to closely inspect the drum. Check if it still contains old plastic parts, and make sure to remove these. The drum should also have lots of holes in it to make it usable for this project.

Step 2 4

Insert the screws

Screws are inserted into the washing drum.
Insert the right size screws into the washing drum.

You need: 3 M8 screws, including nuts and washers

Most washing drums have predrilled holes on the bottom that are perfect for attaching the wheels.

Get the right size screws and nuts that fit into the holes.
Then, insert the screws into the holes and affix them using two nuts each.

Step 3 4

Attach the wheels

A wheel is attached to a screw.
You can now attach the wheels to the barbecue.
The nuts are tightened to the wheel using a spanner.
Tighten the wheels securely so that the barbecue is stable when placed upright.

You need: spanner, 3 small wheels, 3 nuts

You can now attach three small wheels to the screws to make your barbecue portable. Old wheels from a cart or shopping trolley will fit in with your upcycling theme.
Affix each wheel with another nut and tighten them securely using a spanner.

Step 4 4

Adjust the barbecue grate

A woman points to a bar on the barbecue grate to be removed.
Bars are cut out from the grate using a metal saw.
A barbecue grate is placed on the washing drum.

You need: Cordless multifunction tool, Multifunction tool

To transform the washing drum into a barbecue, you will need a barbecue grate that fits. Depending on the size of the barbecue grate, you may have to adjust it to the opening of the drum.
For our project, we removed two bars of the barbecue grate so that it lies better on the drum.

Now you can fill your new barbecue with charcoal or wood, light it and get cracking with your barbecue. We hope that you enjoy the barbecue season and dig in to lots of tasty treats!