Then, one day, the stars aligned and I found a sweet cooler deal online at Walmart.com. Twenty dollars for this 48 quart Coleman cooler set, a day-long sesh with Google Sketchup, and a pile of lumber later, and I had the makings of the coolest Father’s Day gift on record.
Months ago, I requested my husband start saving bottle caps so that I could do something crafty with them. He took this task seriously and began buying every fancy beer he could find so he could “Give me a nice variety of caps” (his words, not mine). I wasn’t sure his liver could take it, but he isn’t one to back down from a challenge. Everybody has to contribute something around here. Thanks, hon.
This cooler stand is made out of basic lumber, has an attached drain, and optional wheels if you need it to be mobile. I chose a blue colorwash for a vibrant look and an inset panel with grouted bottle caps to make it fun. I would keep this out of the weather as the printing on the caps will fade over time if it is left in direct sunlight. I am giving specific measurements for this particular cooler. Of course, you will have to custom fit your cooler stand if you use a different size and your materials list may vary.
Easy peasy. Unscrew the hinges and turn to pop them out. Anybody else notice that this hinge looks like it is in pain?
Nooo-ho-ho; they take a month with the kiddos on deck.
So while we are working, he is trying to guess what I am making:
He guessed a planter box. Really?
Next came time to fill in the side panels. The side panel is made from (2) 1×6 pieces and a 1×3 in the center. I measured out my openings, cut them to fit, and pieced them in there one at a time. I sanded the edges to accentuate the planks. If you butt them up tightly together unsanded, they will just look like one board when you are done. I used wood glue and a brad nailer to hold everything in place. I nailed the boards in at an angle from the interior, so the outside is nice and clean. The boards are flush with the inside frame edges. I also glued up all the seams on the inside.
First, I measured a scrap of ¾” plywood to fit the space, pre-drilled pocket holes on to the back for 1 ½” pocket screws and came inside for a cool drink and some quiet time. I gathered all of the bottle caps my husband has so painstakingly amassed, and began to place them on the board. I used staggered rows of caps, and when I got to the far edge, I had to break out the hammer to smash one side of the caps so they would fit within the board space. There are all kinds of glue out there. I happened to have a hot glue gun handy. It was quick, but probably not the best application. I had to keep regluing caps when I finally mounted the board into the stand.
I showed my husband my handiwork and I swear he almost teared up. He started pointing to caps, saying “I remember when I drank this beer” “…and this one.” Geez.
Good question. The plastic lid itself will not rest flush with the bottom edge of the wooden lid. It needs to be bumped out a little so that when it closes it will fit tight to the cooler bottom. You can glue shims to the inside of the wooden case to make the plastic lid bump out and sit flush with the edge of the lid cover OR you can run your 1×3 and 1×2 frame pieces through a table saw and shave off a quarter inch BEFORE building the lid and it will be PERFECT. You choose.
I found a nice sturdy handle that is large enough for a man’s hand. A clean look to finish things out. It’s coming along nicely. Now we need a shelf, a pull handle, and wheels.
What better drink for the World’s Greatest Dad than one with his name on it?
Linking up and partying here: