How to Build a Home Bar on a Budget
Want to add a functional DIY portable bar to your outdoor area? Learn how to build a home bar from scratch with this cheap bar DIY! We built this bar because we wanted a DIY bar cabinet with a fridge outside next to our pool. This outdoor rustic bar is easy to build and it’s a simple, portable outdoor bar that can be used for an outdoor wedding bar and more! Keep reading to learn How to Build a Quick DIY Outdoor Bar!
Our desire to add a bar to our backyard began when we took a trip to Mexico a few years ago and visited a beach that had a tiki bar with swings. My kids loved the idea of a bar with swings and so did I!
I always had that bar with swings idea in my head but we don’t really have space in our backyard to fit a swing set. So I settled for a Quick DIY Bar that has the ability to add swings later if we want 😉
This bar can be used in many different ways and the fact that it’s lightweight and portable and even better! I could see using this bar for any event (indoor or outdoor!). It would be perfect for a rustic wedding and I created some fun signs for our bar so you can change the theme!
Add a chalkboard sign to your bar to make a themed-bar (Taco Bar, Bacon Bar, Donut Bar, Pool Bar, Tiki Bar, Wine Bar, Lemonade Stand)… I could go on but I’m sure you are coming up with ideas too 🙂
I stained our bar with my favorite Wood Stain color: Briarsmoke.
I also used a couple of coats of polyurethane to protect it from harsh outdoor weather and sunlight.
Our bar sits right outside the kitchen door so it’s easy to access to grab more beverages if needed. Here is the view of our pool when you are standing behind the bar…
The size of the bar is perfect to seat at least 6-8 people on stools or standing around the bar and at least 3-4 people can fit inside the bar.
This bar is quick to DIY and it only took about 3 hours to build it then another 2 hours to stain and paint it. It’s a fun weekend project that you can enjoy for years to come!
We also have a mini outdoor fridge that fits perfectly with our bar. This NewAir fridge is perfect for outdoors and is perfect to store beverages and food! It’s small enough to fit inside the bar too 🙂
I’m sure you are dying to know how to make the bar, but first, here’s a quick disclaimer…
In this tutorial, I share How to Build a Quick Outdoor Bar using wood and basic woodworking skills.
In this tutorial, I share step-by-step instructions to build a quick outdoor bar out of wood. We are using machines with blades and are experienced with these machines.
I suggest you are familiar with using circular saws, etc and have read the safety precautions on these machines/equipment before use.
You always have the option of asking Home Depot to cut your wood for you if you don’t feel comfortable using table saws yourself. I’m including the exact measurements below to take to Home Depot if you’d like them to cut the wood for you 🙂
–>>Watch my video highlights on Instagram for a fast DIY cheap bar tutorial!
How To Build a Quick DIY Outdoor Bar
Learn how to build a DIY portable bar and see how we built this DIY bar cabinet with a fridge for our outdoor space!
Let’s get started with the supplies needed to build a quick DIY bar…
- (3) 2′ x 4′ x 8′ pieces of wood
- (7) 1′ x 3′ x 8′ pieces of wood
- 4′ x 8′ x .25″ plywood or your choice of thick pine (for the top)
- Circular Saw (or take the measurements to Home Depot and have them cut it)
- Miter Saw for smaller cuts (or take the measurements to Home Depot and have them cut it)
- Power Drill
- Deckmate Screws
- Multipurpose Exterior Deck Screws
- Wood Clamp
- Sanding Machine or sanding blocks
- Paint or Stain (ours is stained with Briarsmoke stain)
- Polyurethane (ours is water-based with a matte finish to protect from outdoor elements)
- Paint Brushes or Sponge Brush
- Gather Supplies. Please watch the videos in my Instagram Highlights with more detail and pictures!
- Start by cutting (5) 2′ x 4′ x 40″ pieces (which will be used for the legs).
- Then cut (4) 2′ x 4′ x 20″ pieces (which are als0 used for the legs).
- Build the frame for the legs attaching the 40″ pieces as the “legs” and the 20-inch pieces as the supporting/connecting piece with a 2-inch gap on the bottom. Use the 2 and 1/2 screws to attach the legs.
- Once the legs are built, lay them on their side and use (2) 1′ x 3′ x 60″ on the top to attach the legs together. You will see the bar frame coming together now 🙂 Use the 1 and 5/8 screws to attach.
- Cut 6 additional 1′ x 3′ x 60″ slats for the front.
- Attach to the legs using the 1 and 5/8 screws.
- Cut 16 side pieces at 1′ x 3′ x 23.75.”
- Attach to the sides of the bar using the 1 and 5/8 screws.
- Cut the top front piece at 15″ x 64 and 1/2″ (it should overhang 8″ on the front).
- Attach to the top front piece using the 1 and 5/8 screws and the clamp to hold it in place.
- Cut 2 side top pieces 5 and 14/16″ x 17 and 1/16.”
- Attach the top side pieces the 1 and 5/8 screws and make the inside flush (so there’s no overhang on the inside, but there is a slight overhang on the outside).
- Sand the top and the sides of the top to remove any pieces that could cause splinters.
- Paint or stain the bar as desired. I stained our DIY outdoor bar with Varathane Briarsmoke Wood Stain.
- Use polyurethane to seal the bar. I used a water-based polyurethane on top of the stain to protect it from elements. I used a matte finish but you can use a glossy finish for the top if you want the bar top glossy.
- Place the bar in your desired space and enjoy it! Find the tutorial to make the Dollar Tree DIY sign here!
Wood Measurements (if you are having a home improvement store cut the wood for you):
- 5 pieces cut 2′ x 4′ x 40″
- 4 pieces cut 2′ x 4′ x 20″
- 16 pieces cut 1′ x 3′ x 23 & 3/4″
- 8 pieces cut 1′ x 3′ 60″
- 1 piece cut 15″ x 64 & 1/2″
- 2 pieces cut 5 & 14/16″ x 17 & 1/16″
–>>Watch how I made this DIY Dollar Tree BAR Sign in this video!
Conclusion to How to Build a Portable Bar
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial sharing How to Build a Home Bar from scratch. This Quick DIY bar is a fun weekend project that only takes a few hours to assemble. A rustic bar like this homemade bar can be used for many events and social gatherings while also looks beautiful in your backyard decor. Have fun decorating and using your new bar and make sure you send me a picture of your creations!
Did you build a bar or a similar version? I would love to see it! Send me a picture on Facebook, Instagram, or email and I’ll share with my followers 🙂
Here are More Home Improvement Tips You Might Like…
How to pick the right paint colors
Have you ever had trouble picking the right paint colors for your home? Choosing the right paint colors for your home can be overwhelming. There are so many different “whites” and “grays” these days, how can anyone know they are making the right paint color choice?
That’s why I put together the best tips on How to Choose Interior Paint Colors in this post.
Every home is different… the entryway in our first home was much different than the entryway in our second home, and both of those were very different from the entryway in our third home! So I chose a different paint color for each entryway in all three of our homes. Not to mention, from the time that we bought our first home, to the time that we bought our third home, home paint color trends changed drastically. The colors that I used back then are no longer a trendy color and well, I just didn’t like the brown-ish tan that was in our first home, haha.
So if you need help choosing paint colors for the rest of your home, head on over to this post to see my paint-picking tips and what has worked for me in all three of our homes 🙂 My post with how to choose paint colors for your home is one of my most popular posts and readers have benefited from reading it before heading to the store to buy paint that ends up not working out.
I also have some ideas for choosing paint color combinations for bedrooms (with themes!)
Paint Versus Peel & Stick Wallpaper
Peel and stick wallpaper has become very popular recently since not everyone has access to tools to build their own Shiplap walls (thanks Chip and Joanna) or wants to tile an entire wall with subway tile. I love tiling but if I could slap up some wallpaper and call it a day, that would make me, the hubby, and my wallet happy!
You can find peel and stick wallpaper online at Target, Amazon, Home Depot, and more! I’ve linked my favorite peel and stick wallpaper and the ones I’ve used personally below.
How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding
If you love white farmhouse kitchens and want to paint your kitchen white, then you will love this post teaching you How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets White Without Sanding! I’ll show you how to paint old kitchen cabinets and answer how much does it cost to paint kitchen cabinets (it’s much cheaper than you think!). I also have lots of pictures of painting kitchen cabinets before and after!
You don’t have to worry about how to paint kitchen cabinets without brush strokes because I have a secret in this post that reveals a step-by-step DIY tutorial with how to paint kitchen cabinets like a pro.
–>> Learn how to Paint Kitchen Cabinets without Sanding here!
Cheap Home Hacks that’ll Increase Value
Renovating a home can come with a high price tag if you’re not budgeting and deciding which updates bring the best return on investment. After selling our updated first home in just 4 years, we bought an even bigger house that needed a lot of updating. We sold our second home after 4 years while doing the much-needed work to produce a profit by following the same strategies we did in our first home.
If you enjoy updating your home, want to increase your home value or just want your home to look better, you should check out thee 10 Cheap Home Hacks That’ll Make Your House Look So Much Better.
Tour Our Homes
Take a Tour of our Second Home here
Get inspired by nature to create your own amazing bedroom color combos! For more tips on how to choose interior home paint colors for your home, check out this post!
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