Introduction: Treasure Chest Cooler Box

About: G'day everyone. I'm make random things

Ahoy mateys! Fancy a cold drink from my treasure chest?

In this Instructable I will show you my process of making a cool treasure chest cooler box (or Eski) from an old Styrofoam box and a pallet.



  • One or two old pallets
  • A styrofoam box or old cooler box
  • hot glue sticks
  • nails
  • wood stain or varnish
  • hinges
  • side handles


  • Saws - I used a drop say, table saw, band saw and scroll saw. With a little more effort i'm sure it can all be done with some hand saws.
  • Hot glue gun
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Paint brush or roller

Step 1: Dismantle the Pallet

Time to get rough and break apart your old pallet. This can be done in a number of ways. I found the easiest method is using a jigsaw to cut the central pieces from the side pieces then lever them off the middle piece. You could also use a crow bar and hammer to pry them apart. Careful not to break the pieces though.

Step 2: Measure and Cut the Wood Pieces

Based on the dimensions of your styrofoam box you will need to measure and cut your wood pieces to size.

As each styrofoam box or old eski would be difference, i can't really give you exact measurements. It will require a little thinking on your part but i'm sure you'll be fine.

As for the lid of the chest, I have attached an image to assist in cutting the pieces on the right angle. My lid was half a tetradecagon shape.

Step 3: Assemble the Lid

I first used some hot glue to hold the lid pieces together as they were cut on angles and too hard to clamp.

Then using a pencil trace the shape of the lid curve and transfer that onto another piece of wood. This will form the sides of the lid. I then used a band saw to cut out that shape.

Using some small nails I hammered these side pieces to the main part of the lid (as seen in the last picture above). This made the whole lid more rigid and strong.

Step 4: Assemble the Main Chest Piece

Using some glue and nails I attached the main side pieces to some smaller support pieces as seen in the pictures above. This made the 4 sides of my chest.

I then used nails to fix these four sides at the edges giving me a rough box shape.

Now is a good time to test if your foam box will fit inside.

Also attach some triangular support pieces to the base to support the foam box and prevent it from slipping out the bottom (last pic).

Step 5: Glue on the Lid Details

Using some smaller lengths of wood, cut 28 smaller pieces to the same width as the lid panels. These smaller detail pieces will also need to be cut at 77 degree angles, or 13 degrees depending on how your table saw is set up (refer to the pic above).

These pieces are not structural so they can just be hot glued in place.

Step 6: Stain

Using some nice dark coloured stain, brush or roll it over your entire chest.

For added detail you can lightly brush on some dark green paint near the base of the chest for an aged mossy effect.

Step 7: Make the Lock Detail

Using a scrap piece of wood and the scroll saw, cut out a rough padlock shape. This can be painted black and hot glued onto the front of the chest lid.

This step is optional and just for fun.

Alternatively, you could attach a real padlock.

Step 8: Add the Hinges, Handles and Lid Chain

Screw in some hinges to the rear of the lid and the back of the chest. Congratulations now your lid is hinges. To prevent it from falling all the way back when opened, screw in a little piece of chain or rope to the inside corner as seen in picture 3 above.

Screw in some nice handles to the sides of your chest. I just purchased these handles from the kitchen section in my local hardware store.

Step 9: Insert and Attach the Foam Box

It's time to insert the foam box into your wooden chest.

With the wooden lid open, attach the foam lid to the foam box then apply hot glue around the top edges. Then close the wooden lid and wait.

Re-open the wooden lid and the foam lid should be glued onto it in the correct position.

You may also need to cut some little grooves into the foam for the lid chain to rest when closed.

Step 10: Fill It With Ice and Drinks. Enjoy

It's time to fill the chest with some ice and drinks of your choice.

If you wanted to add a cool effect, put some battery powered fairy lights in the bottom before putting in your ice. Put glue the battery box to the outside rear part of the chest.

Thanks for reading through my Instructable and i hope you enjoyed this project.