House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

12 Wooden DIY Ice Chest Cooler Plans You Can Build Today (With Pictures)

Heineken bottles

Heineken bottles

Summer is approaching, and that means hanging out sipping cool drinks on the back porch! But do you hate having to leave the conversation and head back indoors to grab another drink? Then a wooden ice chest cooler for your patio might be just the ticket.

Cooler carts can be expensive, especially if they’re attractive and weatherproof. However, if you have some basic woodworking skills & tools you could save yourself a bundle by making your own.

Learning how to build a wooden cooler cart is easier than you might imagine! And in this article we’ve collected 12 DIY wooden ice chest cooler plans you can make today of varying skill levels to help you along.

divider 5

The 12 Wooden DIY Ice Chest Cooler Plans

1. Cedar DIY Wooden Ice Chest Cooler Plans from DIY Pete

DIY Pete knows what he’s doing with these cedar ice chest plans. It has it all: bottle opener, drain spigot, wheels, and a little storage spot underneath. And the form is just as impeccable as the function – you get a beautiful piece of furniture and a great cooler all in one.

The plans are easy to read, includes instructive video and photo, and breaks down what prices you should be getting on materials. However, due to the complexity of this project we recommend intermediate and above.

2. Grill Cart DIY Wooden Ice Chest Cooler Plans from Fix This Build That

Looking for a double duty cooler? Check out this awesome grill cart ice chest combination from Fix This Build That. Built from cedar for weather resistance and sleek style, this cooler will compliment any porch party.

You’re probably looking at an intermediate-advanced skill level here with techniques and tools, but the diagrams and cut lists make it possible for a beginner as well.

3. Bathtub DIY Ice Chest Cooler Plans from the Knot

All right, we admit, this one isn’t a wooden cooler… but it’s the easiest DIY around if you’ve got an old clawfoot tub and some strong friends to help lift it! The clever wink at prohibition, built in drain for melted ice to flow out of – it’s just too ingenious to leave out.

Materials Needed Tools Needed
Bathtub At least 2 strong adults


4. Country DIY Wooden Ice Chest Cooler Plans from Shanty 2 Chic

This country cooler from Shanty 2 Chic is simple and classy. It has a little old school, rugged flair and won’t smash your budget to bits.

Access to a woodshop is a must, but even a beginner can follow these plans. Shanty 2 Chic has step by step instructions, diagrams, photos, and detailed explanations to guide you along.

5. Picnic Table DIY Wooden Ice Chest Cooler from Home Depot

If you’d prefer to have your cold beverages within reach at all times, Home Depot has the perfect picnic table cooler plans for you. Simple idea in a sturdy and pleasing package. And as a bonus, you can get everything you need for the project all in one spot!

These plans are pretty advanced, however, and we do not recommend them to novices.

6. Pallet DIY Wooden Ice Chest Cooler Plans from Fox Hollow Cottage

If you enjoy affordable projects that recycle old materials this pallet cooler from Fox Hollow Cottage may be the perfect fit. If you have a cooler already you can use this guide to disassemble two pallets and build a great looking ice chest around it.

Access to a woodshop is advisable, but Fox Hollow Cottage makes following their design easy peasy.

Materials Needed Tools Needed
Cooler Paintbrush
Stain and paint Drill
3M™ sanding blocks Table saw
2 lid hinges and lid hinge arm (to hold it open)
Hose bib
8” of ½” flexible tube
Bottle Opener

7. Patio DIY Wooden Ice Chest Cooler Plans from Dunn Lumber

These patio cooler stand plans from Dunn Lumber will set you up with a simple and elegant little ice chest for your backyard. It’s also another great example of a one stop DIY and materials shop to make your project go even smoother.

Though they are not beginner-friendly, these plans are exceptionally straightforward and easy to follow.

8. Funky Little DIY Wooden Ice Chest Cooler Plans from Instructables

These wooden cooler plans from Instructables will show you exactly how to build your own uniquely decorated ice chest. Great look, well organized plans, and a sweet finished project.

Due to the complexity of materials we suggest this project for intermediate and above.

9. Coffee Table DIY Wooden Ice Chest Cooler Plans from Build Something

Here’s a stylish little coffee table and cooler in one from Build Something. It’s a bit simpler of a build than some of the other options, and less expensive too.

Though complex, beginner should feel comfortable enough with these plans if they have access to a woodshop. The cut lists and diagrams will keep you on track!

10. Rugged Pallet DIY Wooden Ice Chest Cooler Plans from Easy Pallet Ideas

Looking for a great looking budget build for your cooler? Check out these Rugged pallet cooler stand plans from Easy Pallet Ideas.

The steps are photo documented, but lack cut lists and diagrams for less experienced builders to keep on track with. Intermediate skill and above is recommended.

11. Industrial DIY Wooden Ice Chest Cooler Plans by Crafted Workshop

Those interested in a more industrial look may enjoy these patio cooler plans from Crafted Workshop. Built using super durable decking material for the outside, this cooler will be able to withstand any weather.

The advanced nature of techniques used and design (without accompanying diagrams) means we do not recommend this build for beginners. It’s also a little pricier than some of the others because of the Trex.

12. Vintage Chair DIY Wooden Ice Chest Cooler Plans from Oh My Creative

For the low tool option, we love this vintage chair turned into a drink cooler from Oh My Creative. Unique, classy, and easy to build!

If you’ve got a cool old chair and a saw, you’re most of the way there – beginner welcome for this project.

Materials Needed Tools Needed
Chair Saw
Old English Lemon Oil

divider 5

Final Thoughts

Celebrate the return of warm weather with some outdoor projects and ice-cold drinks. What better way to do both than learning how to build a wooden cooler cart of your very own?

We hope that this list of awesome DIY wooden ice chest coolers has given you the knowledge and confidence to get out there and build – whatever our skill level.

Happy building!

Featured Image Credit: Skitterphoto, Pixabay

Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools