Introduction: Concrete Beverage Cooler!
In this Instructable, I'm going to show you how to create a concrete beverage cooler, perfect for outdoor parties! I have always wanted to make my cooler, especially since I love hosting outdoor parties... I decided to take the lockdown as a perfect opportunity to create my cooler!
Step 1: Supplies
- 1 bag of Concrete
- Rigid Foam rectangles
- Small Plastic box
- Construction glue
- Spigot and pipe
- Iron net
- Heavy duty duct tape
- Stick to mix concrete
- Bucket to pour concrete
- Exacto knife
Step 2: Creating the Foam Mold
The first thing that you will have to do is to create a mold where you are going to pour the concrete in. In order to do this, you need to cut 5 pieces of foam into the measurements mentioned below. Once you have your 5 pieces, you will glue them together with construction glue in order to create a box (without a lid). Then, place toothpicks where the pieces of foam meet. Let your mold rest overnight so that the glue can dry. In the morning, seal any hole with tape.
- 2 Sides- 10x16 in
- 2 Sides- 10x23 in
- Base- 16x23 in
Step 3: Securing the Foam Mold
This is the most important step! Make sure to wrap your rectangular mold with heavy-duty duct tape so that the weight of the concrete doesn't break it. You can even tie some strings around the perimeter of your mold to make it more secure.
Step 4: Add the Net
The next step is to place your iron net inside your foam mold. I used the net so that the concrete wouldn't break because it prevents air bubbles from forming. To do this, I cut a piece of iron net to fit the inside of the rectangular mold. Make sure to use scissors that are suitable for metal cutting.
*the size of the iron net does not matter, as long as it fits inside your mold.
Step 5: Drilling a Hole for Spigot
Once your net is placed, you will need to drill a hole so that you can place your spigot once your cooler has dried. To do this, I measured the circumference of the pipe and drilled a hole in the mold of that same circumference. Then, I repeated this step but this time I drilled the hole in the plastic box and iron net. Make sure that your three holes are in the same linear distance so that they align.
It is really important to cover your hole with tape so that the concrete does not go into it!
Step 6: Mix and Pour Concrete
In the concrete mix, make sure to follow the 1-2-3 ratio, being 1 part cement, 2 parts sand, 3 parts gravel, and 0.5 part water. Once your concrete mix has reached a smoothie-like consistency, you can start pouring it into the mold. Pour in the concrete until it reaches about 2 inches (or your desired base thickness). This step is only to create the base of your cooler.
Let the base cool overnight or for 12 hours.
Step 7: Place Plastic Box Inside Foam Mold
Once your concrete base is semi-dried, you can place your plastic box inside the mold. Make sure to center your box since it's where your drinks are going to be placed. I also added some weighted sandbags in the plastic box so it would not float once the rest of the concrete was poured.
Step 8: Pour Remaining Concrete
Once the plastic box is securely placed in the middle of the mold, you can continue to pour the concrete around the plastic box. Make sure that it doesn't go into the plastic box, it should go around it. To facilitate this step, I used a stick. In the end, smooth everything out with a small trowel to have clean edges.
Let the concrete cool for about 32-48 hours.
Step 9: Take Cooler Out of Foam Mold
Once you are sure that the concrete has completely dried, you can finally take the cooler out of the mold. Since the concrete was really heavy I gently broke away at the foam with the use of an Exacto knife and stick.
Step 10: Install the Spigot
Lastly, screw the spigot on and seal it with silicone or latex caulk. You can also glue it on with Liquid Nails Construction Adhesive. The spigot goes inside of the hole that you pre-measured!
Step 11: Enjoy Your Creation!
Get your favorite drinks, pour some ice in, and enjoy your creation! I hope that you recreate it and have as much fun as I did throughout the process!
Second Prize in the
Stone, Concrete, Cement Challenge