The Owner-Builder Network

Convenient Table with Built-in Coolers: Handy 7-Step Guide

Last Updated on May 31, 2024 by teamobn

DIY Patio Table with Built-in Beer/Wine Coolers

DIY patio table with built-in cooler is a great addition t your outdoor space. Whether you’re entertaining a crowd or just having a last-minute get-together with close friends, the right supplies and tools can make ensure that everybody has a good time.

People love to drink, eat, and party together. Why shouldn’t we? The laughter and camaraderie flow freely and the stories are always entertaining. Who would want to be at a party and have to search out the drink cooler?

DIY Patio Table with Built-in Beer/Wine Coolers

Who would like to have to get up in the middle of a fun meal with friends and family just to get cold drinks? Well, here are really clever coolers for those of you who love to entertain!

The beer drinkers out there will see the immediate benefits of these tables with coolers. And the entertainers will see how useful this idea would be for keeping salads, seafood and dessert cool on a hot summer day.

Building a Table With Built-In Cooler


  • Wood (We used Spruce; see cut list)
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Wood Screws (1-1/4″)
  • Wood Screws (2-1/2″)
  • Sandpaper (110 grit)
  • 2 Plastic Planter Boxes (denoted PB throughout the instructions)
  • Benite Wood Conditioner (1 quart)
  • Wood Stain (1 pint, Dalys’ 45 cherry)
  • SeaFin Teak Oil (1 gallon)
  • 3M Final Stripping Pads
  • 110 grit Sand Paper
  • Rags/ Old T-shirts
  • Disposable Cup (red solo cup)


  • Electric Sander
  • Kreg Jig
  • Square
  • Clamps
  • Sponge Brushes
  • Electric Screwdriver
  • 1/8” Counter Bore Drill Bit
  • 1-1/2″ Hole Saw Bit
  • T-Square (could also use a ruler or measuring tape)
  • Pencil

Cutting List

  • 2 – 6X2 @ 5′ 9-1/4″ (top longboard)
  • 3 – 8X2 @ 1′ 9″ (top side and middle board)
  • 12 – 2X4 @ 1′ 11-3/4″ (top center board)
  • 4 – 2X4 @ 2′ 5-1/4″ (legs)
  • 2 – 1X4 @ 5′ 2-1/4″ (outer long skirt)
  • 2 – 1X4 @ 5′ 6-1/4″ (inside long skirt)
  • 2 – 1X4 @ 2′ 5″ (short skirt)
  • 4 – 1X4 @ 2′ 3-1/2″ (cross beam)
  • 4 – 1X4 @ 2′ 1-1/4″ (box supports)
  • 4 – 1X6 @ 1′ 11-3/4″ (long box side)
  • 4 – 1X6 @ 8-3/4″ (short box side)
  • 10 – 1X2 @ 7-1/4″ (bottom box)


  1. Prepare the Wood:
    • Cut all pieces according to the cutting list using a saw. Ensure cuts are straight and clean.
    • Sand all cut pieces using the electric sander and 110 grit sandpaper to remove any rough edges and splinters.
  2. Assemble the Table Frame:
    • Lay out the legs and attach the top longboard to the legs using the 2-1/2″ wood screws and wood glue.
    • Secure the top side and middle boards in place using the wood screws and glue, ensuring everything is square.
  3. Install the Top Center Boards:
    • Position the 12 center boards evenly across the top, leaving space for the planter boxes. Use the 1-1/4″ wood screws to secure them in place.
  4. Build the Cooler Box:
    • Assemble the long and short box sides into rectangular frames to fit the plastic planter boxes. Secure these with wood screws and glue.
    • Attach the bottom box pieces to the frames, ensuring they are well-supported and secure.
  5. Attach the Cooler Box to the Table:
    • Place the cooler box frames into the spaces left on the table top. Secure them using wood screws from underneath the top center boards.
    • Apply wood filler to any visible screws or imperfections and allow to dry. Sand smooth once dry.
  6. Finishing Touches:
    • Apply the Benite wood conditioner following the manufacturer’s instructions to prepare the wood for staining.
    • Stain the table using Daly’s cherry wood stain and sponge brushes for an even coat. Let dry.
    • Apply SeaFin teak oil for a weather-resistant finish. Allow ample drying time.
  7. Final Assembly and Cleaning:
    • Place the plastic planter boxes into the built frames. These will act as the coolers.
    • Clean the entire table with rags and a mild detergent, if necessary, to remove any residue.

You can get more step by step instructions here

Advantages of Table With Built-in Coolers

Introducing a table with built-in coolers to your deck or living space really steps up your hosting game. It’s not just about the looks; it’s the handiness that makes these tables a game-changer for any social butterfly. Let me break down why getting a table with built-in coolers is a smart move.

Grab Drinks Without Missing a Beat

Think about it: no more missing out on juicy gossip or the punchline of a joke because you had to run to the fridge. With a table with built-in coolers, your drinks are right where the action is. It’s super convenient, keeping the vibe alive without the annoying interruptions.

Save Precious Space

Everyone’s been to a party where the bulky cooler eats up half the patio. A table with built-in coolers is a space saver. It blends the chill zone right into where you eat or chat. Especially in snug spaces, these tables are a no-brainer, keeping everything looking neat and tidy.

Style That Speaks

Who says practical can’t be pretty? A table with built-in coolers can look as chic as any piece of fine furniture. Whether your taste runs to sleek modern designs or cozy, rustic vibes, you can match the table to your decor. It’s a centerpiece that’s both useful and stylish.

Keep the Conversations Flowing

Here’s the social perk: a table with built-in coolers puts refreshments at the heart of your gathering. No one has to pause the conversation to make a drink run. It’s all about keeping everyone together, laughing and chatting without any pause.

More Than Just a Cooler

Versatility is the name of the game with a table with built-in coolers. When you’re not chilling drinks, those compartments are perfect for stashing party supplies or even doubling as extra seating. And if you need a regular table? Just cover up the coolers, and you’re good to go.

Adding a table with built-in coolers to your place is definitely a smart, stylish way to make sure everyone has a great time without any hassle. It’s all about making life easier and more fun, one chilled beverage at a time!

Accessorizing and Decor Ideas

When you bring a table with built-in coolers into your outdoor space, you’re not just adding a functional piece of furniture; you’re setting the stage for endless fun and style. Dressing up and accessorizing this table can enhance your gatherings, making each event uniquely memorable. Here are some creative ways to accessorize and decorate around your table with built-in coolers, turning functional into fabulous.

Lighting the Way

Ambient lighting can transform your outdoor space into a magical setting. String lights draped above your table with built-in coolers or lanterns placed around it create a warm, inviting glow. This not only adds to the mood but also highlights the table, making it the centerpiece of your decor.

Textiles and Textures

Adding cushions or throws to the seating around your table with built-in coolers can boost comfort and inject color and pattern into your outdoor decor. Choose weather-resistant fabrics that complement the colors of your table and surroundings. This little touch can make long evenings at your table with built-in coolers even more enjoyable.

Centerpieces That Charm

Even though your table with built-in coolers is already a standout piece, don’t shy away from adding a centerpiece when it’s not fully in cooler mode. A simple vase with fresh flowers, a candle arrangement, or a seasonal decor piece can add an extra layer of charm and draw everyone’s eyes to the center of the table.

Thematic Flair

Theme your decorations around the type of gathering you’re hosting. For a movie night, place vintage popcorn containers around your table with built-in coolers. For a cocktail party, opt for chic, minimalistic decor that complements sophisticated drink setups. Matching your theme to your table setup enhances the overall experience and makes for memorable photos!

Practical Add-Ons

Consider practical yet stylish accessories like a rollable cart or side table that coordinates with your table with built-in coolers. These can hold extra snacks or act as a secondary station for drink mixing. Tools like outdoor coasters, a bar tool set, and decorative napkins can also enhance both the functionality and aesthetics of your entertainment space.

Accessorizing your table with built-in coolers is all about blending functionality with your personal style to create a welcoming and festive atmosphere. With these tips, your table will not only be a place to chill drinks but also a focal point of beauty and creativity at your gatherings.

With the right tools, this could be a quick weekend project. We can’t wait to have this on our patio. How about you?

Click on any image to start the lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox. You can also view the images as a slideshow if you prefer  😎


Building a table with built-in coolers is a fantastic way to enhance your outdoor entertaining space. This DIY project not only provides convenience and style but also encourages social interaction among guests. Once completed, your new table will be the highlight of many enjoyable gatherings, offering both functionality and a touch of elegance.

If you liked this, you will also like viewing these furniture ideas…


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