The Hubs and I do a lot of DIY work, but I wouldn’t say most of our projects are mutually exciting. Often times the project we are working on is a bigger priority for one of us more so than the other. So when a project comes along that is truly a collaborative effort it is a special treat! One night recently as we watched TV, the Hubs said, “I want to get an old sink and make an outdoor cooler with it.” I think most people would probably put the brakes on an idea like that but since we ride the crazy train together I immediately got on the computer to show him a idea that had been idling in the back of my head. I had pinned this potting bench months ago. At the time I wasn’t entirely sure why (because let’s be honest, I don’t do enough potting to actually have a potting bench) except I liked it. But when I heard “old sink” I knew that this potting bench could easily be converted to an outdoor drink station. And luckily when the hubs saw my inspiration he loved the idea too! So we decided to make a potting bench/drink bar/outdoor cooler. Have I mentioned we like multi-functional pieces?!
After studying the original bloggers step-by-step instructions (which are actually pretty simple) we decided to make a few modifications for our project. Working with a specific space in mind we measured twice to get a perfect fit (our completed drink station measures 48 inches wide, 28 inches deep and about 5 feet tall). We also added additional 2×4’s to the countertop frame to ensure that the sink was well supported – we didn’t want the 1×4 countertop to bow over time, and we added casters as the original blogger mentioned how HEAVY her potting bench is.
Additional supports added for the sink and the bottom shelf, and the back board added
Adding locking casters makes our drink station moveable when needed
To take it from potting bench to drink bar we simply cut a hole in the top and dropped in the sink (we didn’t bother to clip or even caulk it in place – the counter is made from outdoor grade materials so water shouldn’t be a big deal). Our sink was a $15.00 find from our local ReStore. Then a trip to our local Home Depot yielded some PVC plumbing pipe, drain and strainer kits so we could hook everything up. We picture using the sink mostly as a cooler filled with ice, and so we wanted to be able to drain it easily. The PVC is attached to some flexible hosing so we can just drain melting ice directly into the yard. Three cheers for going green!
We added a narrow upper shelf to hold glasses
Lastly we added the “jewelry” – three nickel hooks on one side of the counter for hanging ice tongs and a dish towel, and a bottle opener to the front. And behold:
The entire project took about 6 hours, and that includes two trips to the hardware store. The hubs constructed the frame one evening and did the rest of the construction the following afternoon. Then all that was left was to test it out. I can report that it DOES keep beverages icy cold, but I guess we were enjoying them too much to take pictures!
We are considering adding a faucet that could be hooked up to the garden hose to add even more function to our little project. It would be a nice place for outdoor hand washing or giving garden vegetables a “once-over” before bringing them inside. We have also considered adding a small outdoor fridge to the bottom shelf.
For a couple of DIY dorks like us, this project was really a hat trick – it is an attention getter (our friends and family are begging for invites to hang in our backyard now!), it was easy, and it was CHEAP. The entire project cost under $150. Here is the budget breakdown:
Lumber: $60.00 (2×4’s, 1×4’s, and a 6 foot fence panel)
Plumbing Supplies: $20.00
Bottle Opener: $7.00
Total Cost: $135.00
So we definitely feel like we got a lot of bang for our buck. The backyard has been our new favorite hang-out, especially because the drink station is sitting on our new patio/deck combo!!!! But more on that to come…