Picture of PVC Tiki Bar
So being stuck in cold Michigan winters and needing a project, I got inspired by the "faux bamboo" instructable and decided a great use for this awesome instructable to construct a Margarita Blender holder (aka PVC Tiki Bar).   Now I love to go camping in the warm summer months, so I thought this was the perfect medium to create a "semi-mobile" bar to take with me camping and tailgating!   The project is actually really easy, hardest part is actually making PVC look like bamboo and cutting it into sections to construct the bar.  

For starters, you'll need to get familiar with these two instructables first, as they are at the core of this project:

How to make faux bamboo:
PVC 101:

The cost of this project really depends on how extravagant you want to go with your accessories but plan about $200-$350 for the bar, mine set me back about $325.00 + bar stools.

As the instructions below are mainly in imperial units, I tried to provide metric conversions for the cuts: 
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Step 1: Tools / Materials

Picture of Tools / Materials

So, what does it take to assemble your own bar you ask? The list below contains the recommended tools and parts. Take note that the base of the tiki bar is made up of 1-1/2" PVC pipe and fittings, while the canopy is made from 1" PVC Pipe and fittings, I attempted to use 3/4" PVC but it was not rigid enough, so I recommend the 1". Most of the PVC can be found at your local hardware store with the exception of the 1" 22.5 degree elbows and 1-1/2" Side Elbows These are the 3-way elbows used for the 4 corners of the bar, I found them reasonably priced at or you can order many of the other PVC parts from them as well. I got everything schedule 40, and the bar is sturdy enough for me to sit on.


  • PVC Cutting Device (I elected for the miter saw, but hacksaw or pipe cutter works as well)
  • Torch (to make it look like bamboo)
  • Stanley Knife
  • Hacksaw
  • Jigsaw (to cut corners and grooves for countertop and shelf)
  • Circular Saw (to cut wood for countertop and shelf)
  • Drill + 2-3/4" Hole Saw (jig saw can be used instead, to cut holes for for canopy support posts)
  • 2" Foam Brushes (I went through about a dozen after varnishing the countertops)
  • Sandpaper (always a requirement when staining and varnishing)
  • Compass (for rounding corners and cutting holes)


I listed the suppliers I used for the project, but these are relatively easily found anywhere.

Quantity Item Supplier 8 1-1/2 PVC Side Elbows 14 1-1/2 PVC Tee Lowes 6 1-1/2 PVC Pipe x 10 ft Lowes 1 1-1/2 PVC Cross Lowes 1 24"x60" Ash Panel Lowes 1 18"x60" Ash Panel Lowes 4 1" PVC Pipe x 10 ft Lowes 8 1" 22.5 Deg. Elbow Lowes 8 1" PVC Tee Lowes 2 1" PVC Cross Lowes 4 1" 90 PVC Elbow Lowes 2 Tiki Masks 1 4'x8' x ¾” Bamboo Fence Wayside Fence 2 7'x30" Thatch eBay 1 8oz Kona Stain Lowes 1 1qt Amber Shelac Lowes 1 1qt Spar Polyurethane Lowes 1 PVC Glue Lowes 1 PVC Primer Lowes 1 Pkg of Velcro Cable Ties Lowes 1 Can of Acetone Lowes
Admiral_Ash made it!6 months ago

Used the basics of your design to create a simpler bar to bring on camping trips. This collapses down into a 4 foot long, 2 foot wide, 9 inch tall carrying case. It takes up about a quarter of the trunk space in my Baja. I'm going to use canvas w/ velcro to line the outside and I stained and clear coated the plywood top. Thanks for the inspiration!

candydance9 months ago

I am having trouble finding the 1'22.5 degree elbows. do have any other places I can look

Thank you Candy

keepintouch9 months ago

great work , i like it

owenbrau2 years ago
I'm in the middle of construction, this is my first PVC furniture project. Right off the bat, I'm surprised how sturdy and stable the frame alone is, even with nothing glued. I'm not going to bother, except to glue each fitting to a tube to keep them all together.

I'm going to use plastic primer paint, then the shellac, to get a better stick to the finish. All of the main frame is hidden, just glimpsed through the bamboo fencing, so it's just colored, not bamboozled. I will bamboozle the canopy frame.

I was worried I had missed something, because after I had cut all base parts, I still had 4 10 foot pieces of 1 1/2" PVC left, plus about 4 1/2', with just the canopy supports left to do. You only need 6 of them, not 9 as listed.
bpowers32 years ago
Where can I buy the roof thatching and bamboo fencing?
rmaheu3 years ago
I was thinking of doing this project using 1" PVC pipe for the base as well to save a little money and make it a little lighter for tailgating. think this would be ok?
ekbruster (author)  rmaheu3 years ago
You could probably get away with 1", the reason I went 1 1/2" was because I wanted the shelf to be sturdy enough to hold a 5 gallon water cooler jug (full of jungle juice). Full at 5 gallons is almost 40lbs, and I wouldn't trust 1" to that. If your looking to just hold some cold beverages though, I think it would be the way to go for "portability".
gpgyo3 years ago
Awesome Instructable! There will be one of these in my backyard this summer. Please update the materials list. 8 of the 1-1/2 PVC Side Elbows are required, not 4. Wouldn't be so bad if these were available at the local hardware store but since they have to be ordered, if you came short you would be swearing until the other 4 got delivered and then some more that you had to eat shipping again!
ekbruster (author)  gpgyo3 years ago
Great catch, sorry about that!
locamp3 years ago
One word: AWESOME...
Many words: Excellent job on the instructions. Well done. Can't wait to show this to my friends and family. We've got PLENTY of PVC piping. I mean how cool would this be to break out during a taligate party? Or camping at the river? So many uses. Thanks!
+1 wonderfull
inkfzz3 years ago
very nice! but i would paint the tubing that is visible inside the roof. the plastic seems to clash with the tiki vibe:-)
ekbruster (author)  inkfzz3 years ago
Yeah, I was looking to shellac all of those as well, just haven't got quite the far yet, as it will require a lot of sanding.
bgepp13 years ago
sooooo sweet! nice work. Did you see my USB Tiki light?

long live the Tikis!
sharugi3 years ago
i hope you all read this Article beacause its very important ..

That article is long outdated. It was written in 2007 and since then PVC has been proven quite safe.
ekbruster (author)  sharugi3 years ago
Yes, PVC is a plastic and appropriate caution should be used when cutting, burning or sanding any plastics, one should always wear the appropriate safety masks to prevent enhaling any chemicals.
swilus3 years ago
Good job!!! I have TONS of scrap PVC at my disposal. I will have to give this a shot! Thanks for sharing!