Introduction: Tailgate Cooler Bucket

Have you ever wanted to make the perfect tailgate companion. This is a great way to recycle chlorine buckets and have extra seating for your next tailgate party or parade. It is portable, and you can personalize it however you like.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Start with your basic chlorine or paint bucket. You can find these in various sizes. I like the taller 8 gallon ones with the locking lids, but you can use the 5 or 3 gallon ones too. I also got some 3 inch batting , and a minnow bucket from the fishing department of the local big box store. You will need to cut a piece of plywood the inside diameter of the lid. Use the base of the bucket for your template.

Step 2: Preping and Priming

To make for a smoother top edge cut off the tabs just under the top area of the lid. A utility knife works great for this. Now you can either sand and primer or just primer your bucket. If you sand I recommend using a drill with a wire brush to make it go faster. The danger of just priming is you increase your chance of the paint pealing in the future, or the print showing through if you want your bucket to be a light color. Use a thick spray paint (like Karolyn 2X or Bulls eye double coverage) You can then paint it in the color of your choice and leave it to dry.

Step 3: Cushy for Your Tushy

To make your bucket a nice portable seat you should add an upholstered seat. If you haven't already done so, use the base of the bucket as a template to cut out a piece of plywood. Then add your padding (I used either 3 inch batting or I found some foam I recycled from a package I received.) Just cover your padding and wood with a piece of fabric and staple in place. Once you have stapled all around the edge attach it to the lid using 3 or 4 screws.

Step 4: Decorate to Your Hearts Content

I used acrylics and sharpie markers to decorate the outside. Once I was happy I covered with a layer of clear spray paint to protect the whole thing. You can then put the Styrofoam minnow bucket inside and you are ready for the tailgate. We also found round organizer trays in the tool box area of the hardware store for additional storage. If you use the larger buckets you can also fit a one gallon bucket on top too.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

You can add ribbons and bows to really personalize it. This one was made with a bucket that had a wider edge to the lid so we covered it with striped ribbon attached with E-6000.