Perfect for warm summer nights in the garden: a garden bar made from pallets

A white DIY garden bar filled with drinks is stood on a balcony.
With this DIY garden bar, you'll always have the option of enjoying a cold drink!

  • Difficulty
    easy
  • Cost
    50-100 £
  • Duration
    1-3 h

Introduction

Our DIY garden bar is perfect for summer parties and BBQ's at home in your garden or on your balcony. It's the perfect excuse to invite your friends and family over to enjoy the warm summer nights together. Just grab some pallets to get started!

You need
Utilities
  • work gloves
  • a stirrer to mix the paint
  • face mask
  • safety glasses
  • floor protector or cover sheets
  • carpet/utility knife
  • tape measure
  • Set square
  • screw clamps
  • cartridge gun
  • pencil
Materials
  • 1 pallet: 120 x 80 x 14.4 cm (L x W x H)
  • 1 laminated wood panel: 120 x 40 (L x W), approx. 20 mm thick
  • 2 laminated wood panels: 120 x 25 (L x W), approx. 20 mm thick
  • 1 square timber: 200 x8 x 8 cm (L x W x H)
  • 2 wooden planks: 200 x 10 x 2.5 cm (L x W x H)
  • 46 countersunk screws: 4 x 50 mm (D x L) for side panels and tabletop
  • 8 brackets plus 4 screws each 4 x 40 mm (D x L)
  • 1 doorknob or furniture handle plus matching screws
  • corrugated foam padding for bitumen roof panels: enough for approx. 2 x 40 cm
  • assembly adhesive
  • coolbox (ideally one with a removable lid)
  • 2 cans of 2-in-1 paint – for exterior use: 750 ml each
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's go - step by step

Step 1 9

Measure the wooden panels and planks for the garden bar

Build your own DIY garden bar: measurements are marked on a wooden plank with a tape measure.
To build your own garden bar, you first have to get your measurements right

You need: tape measure, pencil, 3 wood panels, 2 wooden planks, 1 square timber, laminated wood panels

To create your own garden bar, start by measuring the wood panels and planks to fit your pallet. One wood panel will be screwed to the pallet to create a kind of tabletop. It should be as wide as the pallet (120 cm) or a little wider and around 40 cm deep. Sometimes it's possible to buy planks already cut to size. Alternatively, you can have them cut for you at your local DIY store.

Use slightly narrower panels (W: 25 cm) as shelves in the bar. One is for the lower section of the bar and should extend the entire length of the pallet. Depending on the size of your coolbox, you'll need to split the other to create a storage space for the coolbox and a small wine rack.

To build the side panels of your garden bar, you'll effectively need to lengthen the pallet planks or extend them around the corner. Square timbers will be used to mount the side panels and tabletop. They should be the same height as the pallet: 80 cm.

Mark the measurements you need on the panels, planks and square timber using a tape measure and pencil.

Step 2 9

Saw the wood to the right size

To build the DIY garden bar, you need to saw the wood along your pencil markings using a NanoBlade saw.
Saw the wooden panels along the markings measured in the last step

You need: NanoBlade saw, safety glasses, face mask, work gloves, screw clamps

Now it's time to begin sawing. Secure each of the planks with the screw clamps so they don't move during sawing. Then start to saw the wood in the spots you marked earlier. Once again, don't forget to wear protective gear – for the advanced cut, you'll need work gloves, safety goggles and ear defenders.

Step 3 9

Mark up the opening for the garden bar coolbox and cut it out

An opening is outlined on the wooden plank using a tape measure and pencil.
You can work out the dimensions of the opening based on your coolbox, which will form part of your DIY garden bar
An opening is sawn into the wood using a NanoBlade saw
Saw a coolbox opening into the wooden panel that will be used for the top of the bar
Pencil markings are made on a wooden pallet.
If your coolbox is taller than the distance between the pallet feet, you will have to saw an opening

You need: NanoBlade saw, tape measure, pencil, 1 pallet

Secure the wooden panel with screw clamps before you begin to saw. As you won't be sawing from the edge, make a plunge cut, then saw the lid along the marked line.

To countersink the coolbox into your garden bar, you will of course need a suitable opening. Depending on how big the box is, it may be enough to secure a panel of wood to the middle pallet foot. If it's too big for this, you will have to saw an opening. In the end, the coolbox lid should sit flush with the top of your bar – so make sure you take into account the thickness of the wood, the opening and the lid in your measurements. In either case, you'll have to saw the upper pallet foot off.

Step 4 9

Sand down the sawn edges and the pallet

A wooden plank is secured with screw clamps and sanded using a multi-sander with a rectangular grinding plate.
Sand down the wooden board and sawn edges with a multi-sander
A multi-sander is used to sand down the opening cut into the wood.
You should also sand down the sawn edges of the opening
A pallet is sanded down using a Bosch multi-sander.
Sand down the pallet you're using to build the garden bar to help prevent splinters

You need: Multi-sander, Sanding sheet for multi-sander G120, G 80 grit sandpaper for the multi-sander, safety glasses, work gloves, screw clamps, ear protectors

Once you've sawed the wooden planks to the correct size, you'll need to sand down the sawn edges again. This will help to prevent splinters and leave the surface nice and smooth. It's best to sand the entire pallet twice – once with 80-grit sandpaper and once with 120-grit. For the wooden panels, you can use a rectangular or delta sanding plate. For the pallet, you should use a delta sanding plate, as it will be easier to get into the corners.

Step 5 9

Paint the wood

A pallet for the garden bar is painted white using a paint spray system.
Use the paint spray system to cover the pallet and wooden planks in an even coat of paint

You need: paint spray system, floor protector or cover sheets, a stirrer to mix the paint, work gloves, safety glasses, 2-in-1 paint

Now it's time to decide what colour you want to paint your pallet garden bar. For a cool, clean look, we recommend white. If you'd prefer to give your garden a burst of colour, choose a brighter colour.

Before you get started with the paint spray system, you should lay down a protective sheet and put on protective clothing, including work gloves, a face mask and safety goggles. Then spray an even coat of paint onto the wood. To make sure the wood is fully covered, you can apply a second coat of paint as soon as the first one is dry. You will find the relevant drying times on the label of your spray paint can.

Step 6 9

Attach the garden bar shelves using brackets

Metal brackets are fixed to a pallet for the garden bar using a cordless combi drill.
For the garden bar shelves, attach brackets to the lower and middle pallet feet

You need: Cordless combi drill, safety glasses, 8 brackets plus 4 screws for each bracket (4 x 40 mm (D x L), coolbox (to calculate the right height), shelving planks

Your DIY garden bar won't be complete without storage space for wine bottles and glasses! To create this, use the two narrower planks, which you'll mount to the bar with the brackets. The upper shelving plank consists of two shorter planks side by side, leaving enough space for the coolbox. The lower plank should be mounted to the lower pallet foot. Using a cordless combi drill and matching screws, first attach the bracket to the plank, and then to the pallet. You may find this easier by tipping the pallet on its end and securing the boards with screw clamps before you screw them together.

Step 7 9

Set up the pallet for the garden bar and screw on the side panels and tabletop

For the garden bar's side panels, a narrow wooden plank is secured to the bar with screw clamps and screwed on.
If you secure the boards to the pallet with screw clamps, you will find it a breeze to screw them together
A cordless combi drill is used to screw a wooden plank to a white square timber.
It's now time to build the side panels for your garden bar
Secure the top of the garden bar with screws.
Finally, attach the large wooden panel with an opening for the coolbox

You need: Cordless combi drill, safety glasses, screws, 2 square timbers, 10 wooden planks (40 x 10 x 2.5 cm), wood panels (120 x 40 x 2.5 cm)

Screw the smaller wooden panels (40 x 10 cm) to the upright pallet as side panels. We recommend fixing the planks to the pallet using screw clamps and pre-drilling them using the cordless combi drill. This will make it easier for you to screw the screws into the wood. Then screw the planks securely to the pallet.

Next, position the square timber as needed and fix the side panels to it using screw clamps. This will help you make short work of screwing the planks to the timber.

All that's left now is to attach the tabletop for your garden bar. Place the large wooden panel with the sawn-out opening onto the pallet and screw it down from the top using a cordless combi drill.

Step 8 9

Glue on the coolbox lid

An adhesive is applied to the wooden panel and the top of the coolbox lid.
Apply adhesive to the wood and the top of the coolbox lid and glue the two pieces together
A silver door handle is fixed to the wood panel using a cordless combi drill and a matching pair of screws.
Finally, fix the handle to the wood panel so you can open the coolbox easily

You need: Cordless combi drill, sawn-out piece of wood for the opening, 1 door handle plus matching screws

It's now time to use the sawn-out piece of wood as a lid for your coolbox. Take the integrated coolbox lid and apply adhesive to the top. Then do the same for the wooden panel and stick the two pieces together. For a better hold, you can also use screw clamps to fix them together for a short time.

Once everything is dry, screw on the door handle and the lid for your coolbox will be finished.

Tip
COOLBOXES WITH HINGED LIDS
Does your coolbox have an integrated hinged lid? In that case, you should separate the lid from the box for this step. Using a carpet knife or saw, cut through the hinges of the lid. Be careful to ensure that the lid will still close once the coolbox is placed into the bar. Our tip: if you're planning to buy a new coolbox for this DIY project, buy a box with a completely removable lid, so you don't need to worry about removing the hinges.
Step 9 9

Cut and secure the padding for the wine bottles

White adhesive is applied to the white foam.
Be careful not to use too much glue – or it will spill over when you press down on the foam
Corrugated foam is pressed onto the wood of the DIY garden bar.
Press the foam down firmly onto your garden bar shelf until it is secure

You need: carpet/utility knife, assembly adhesive, foam for bitumen roof panels

To secure wine bottles or glasses, place foam on the wine rack shelf. This corrugated foam is actually used to lay bitumen roof panels, but we've repurposed it for this project.

Start by measuring how much foam you need for each plank and cut the foam to size using a utility knife. Then apply some adhesive to the underside of the foam and press it against the wood.

Now for the final touch: stocking your pallet garden bar! Fill the bar with drinks and then invite friends and family over.