Introduction: Tiki Bar

This instructable shows how I (age 18 from Canada) made my backyard tiki bar.

This build was extremely spontaneous and unplanned, and I did not decide on turning it in to an intsructable until about half way through the process.

I made a lot of mistakes so hopefully you don't make the same.

I attempted to do it for as cheap as possible and it ended up being around $500 CAD.

Feel free to leave questions and suggestions.

I have had to receive surgery on very short notice, so unfortunately I will not be able to finish the bar for some time. The bar isn't 100% done yet, however I feel it is close enough to post an instructable.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


For this project I used a mitre saw, a drill, a tape measure, a pencil, a level, and a hand/hack saw.

Some other useful (but not mandatory) tools include a ladder, a bandsaw, and clamps.


Almost all of the materials used were purchased from Home Depot.

Lots of screws ranging from 1/2 inch to 2&1/2 inches in length

14 2x4x8's

1 2x2x8

4 4x4x8's

8 1x6x8's

4 1x2x8's

1 1x6x10

scrap 2/4's for angular supports (approx 10 ft in length)

lots of 90degree brackets for securing 2x4's

Stain and Clear Gloss finish

3/4x4x8 sheet of finished plywood


I purchased the bamboo fencing and the thatch for the roof from a bamboo specialty store

Step 2: Making the Frame

I hadn't planned on making an instructable when I first started this project, so there are few photos of this step, however it is fairly straight forward.

I wanted my bar to be an 8foot x 8foot square from end to end.

I stared by building each of the 4 sides flat on the ground. Each of the 4x4's are connected at the top by a single 2x4 (of length 7 feet 5 inches to account for each 4x4) and at the bottom by 2 2x4's on top of each other (as shown in the picture).

On the two sides where I planned to have the bar I screwed in a 2x4 at 45 inches high.

I also attached the supports I made for the roof at this point, so that I wouldn't have to do it while it was high up. I used the 2x2's to create a triangle shape and screwed it into the top of the 4x4's as shown. I did this for the 2 sides where i planned to have the bar.

I then got my brother and father to help me hold up the frame while I drilled it all together

Step 3: Angled Supports

*here is a mistake I made*

I did this step after I assembled the square upright. I strongly recommend doing this step BEFORE you assemble the square as it provides much more support and will make your job much easier.

For this step, the mitre saw was used to cut 45 degree angles on 2x4's of various lengths in order to provide lateral support for the frame and for the counters. The pictures do a fairly good visual explanation.

Step 4: The Roof

This step can be done at any point in the build, however this is when I chose to do it.

I purchased a 20 foot roll of thatch for $100 from a specialty bamboo store that was a 30 minute drive from my house. Do not cut corners with the roof as it can make or break the appearance of the bar.

I draped the thatch around the triangles I had cut for it to rest on and hung it in place with screws along the 2x4's. It sagged too much so I had to purchase 4 1x2x8's and attach them to the triangles for support as shown.

I plan to put a large piece of awning canvas over top of the square to completely enclose it.

Step 5: Bamboo

I made many mistakes when it came to the bamboo I wanted to line the outside of the bar with.

In the photos, it shows the deck in place before the bamboo was put in place. DO NOT DO THIS.

I originally purchased a ton of individual sticks of bamboo and tried to insert them in between two pieces of wood to create a wall. This looked terrible. I ended up going to a specialty bamboo fencing store and buying an 8 foot by 8 foot bamboo fence that was made of thick bamboo and already strung together by wires. They were able to cut it in half for me to make two separate 4 foot by 8 foot pieces, perfect for either side of the bar. This was by far the most expensive part, costing me $200, but it was worth it.

I used a 1x2x8 across the top, to hold the bamboo in place.

Step 6: Deck

The deck is simply 1x6x8's and 1x6x12's but to size on top of vertical 2x4's cut to fit underneath. The front of the deck was covered with a 1x2x8's, and it was secured in place on the sides using brackets.

The deck holds the bottom of the bamboo in place.

The deck can be stained, however I decided to leave it and just cover it with one coat of the waterproofing lacquer used for the counter.

Step 7: The Counter Part 1

For the counter I use a piece of 3/4 inch plywood with a "finished" surface. The piece was cut in to two 2x8 feet pieces for each side of the bar. I used a hand saw to make cutouts for the 4x4's so I could slip it in to place.

The counter hangs 8 inches over the edge which was taken into account when making the cutouts.

One of the pieces was cut down to 90 inches to accommodate for the other piece as shown in the pictures.

The counter was then screwed in place with a few screws and then supported underneath with brackets and angled 2x4's as shown.

Step 8: The Counter Part 2

Doing the counter this way left some un-pretty seams and cuts. The seams were filled using wood epoxy which dried and not only filled the seam but ended up not looking too bad.

The counter was then lightly sanded, wiped down, and stained with a regular indoor stain. After the stain had dried, multiple coats of a protective, clear, glossy coat were applied to make it feel and look morel like a counter, as well as weather proof it.

Smaller pieces of bamboo were drilled onto the edges of the table to create a "trim" and rope was wrapped around the 4x4's to hide the cutouts.

Step 9: Inner Counter

The bar tender needs somewhere to put their supplies and make the drinks so I had to make a counter inside the bar. I did this by creating a frame out of 2x4's and then screwing a cut-to-size piece of regular plywood on top. I then sanded it and lacquered it to water proof it

Step 10: Shelves

To cover up the gap left by the shortened counter top, a 1x6x10 was stained, lacquered, and inserted in to place at the same height as the counter along one of the back sides. This was supported on the other side by a recycled piece of angled 2x4 and in the middle using the same.

3 more 1x6x8's were stained and lacquered and inserted below the same way for more shelves.

I plan to stain and lacquer 4 more 1x6x8's and attach them in behind to provide a back for the shelves.

Step 11: Conclusion

All thats left to do is decorate with christmas lights, flags, signs, and tiki torches and make it look dope.

Remember, it's still a work in progress and there are a few things that still need to be done.

Depending on how far I extend my budget, I may even add a fridge and some cupboards below the bar.

This was a lot of fun to build and is a huge crowd pleaser. I hope I inspire/help at least one other person with this post, and feel free to ask any questions.


Summer Fun Contest 2016

Third Prize in the
Summer Fun Contest 2016

Outdoor Cooking Challenge 2016

Participated in the
Outdoor Cooking Challenge 2016

Outside Contest 2016

Participated in the
Outside Contest 2016

Trash to Treasure Challenge

Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Challenge