How to: Make a DIY Outdoor Table with a Built-In Cooler

Last summer, I shared this cool photo from Sonoma winery Medlock Ames, which featured an old picnic table, into which a recess had been cut to accept a cooler to keep drinks cold. A great idea, but know what’s even cooler? 

Building the table from scratch without a bunch of fancy woodworking tools, and incorporating the built-in cooler from the beginning.    Sarah and Alex were inspired by the same photo, and figured out a cool way to build a custom table from easy-to-find dimensional lumber from the home center, and nothing but a drill, a palm sander, and some specialty bits.

Total cost was around $200, which is less than a pre-made table most places – certainly one this big. I really like the farmhouse/breadboard style and choice of spruce, and appreciate the ability to cover the coolers when not necessary without losing much integrity to the table top.

See the full build process and learn how to make your own at Domesticated Engineer: DIY Patio Table with Built-In Beer/Wine Coolers