Flat-pack Playa Bar




About: For more about my costumes, crafts and general craziness, check out my blog: http://modmischief.blogspot.com/

Headed to Burning Man? Don't forget to pack your camp bar!

Inspired by Playatech Furniture, my partner and I designed and built this plywood bar which comes apart for easy storage and transport. We have used it for several events, including our wedding.

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Step 1: Design

We wanted to make a bar with decent work surface for mixing drinks and minimal wastage when cutting the plywood.

We designed a 3D model of the bar in SketchUp and then produced the flat cutting plans with AutoCAD.

The bar features a serving area, lower work surface and a shelf for storage. The shelf also provides structural support.

The plans are attached to this step so you can modify them to suit your needs.

Step 2: Cut & Sand

Cut all the pieces out of ¾" plywood.

A CNC router would be a great tool for this job, but we didn't have one available to us when building this bar, so we cut all the pieces with a jigsaw and circular saw.

Sand all the rough edges smooth.

Step 3: Assemble

The bar is designed so the pieces all slot together for easy assembly without any fasteners.

Put together the pieces to make sure it all fits. If you have cut the parts by hand, you might need to make some adjustments to get everything to slot together nicely.

Step 4: Finishing

If your bar is wobbly because the openings are too loose, add some shims to tighten it up after assembly.

Decorate the bar as desired. We added stickers and drew on our bar with permanent markers.

Apply paint or varnish to protect the plywood from the elements or spills.

We used several coats of polyurethane on the serving area and work surface. Before bringing our bar to Burning Man, we will also cover all the edges and remaining surfaces with varnish.

Step 5: Optional Skirt

For a slightly more polished look, you can staple a disposable tablecloth to the front of the bar. Change the tablecloth to match the party theme or decor.

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Love tank girl. I have a friend who cosplay her. Okay so my question is what is a dwg file. I see sketch up, but, I usually am on my mobile.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Good catch! It is indeed Tank Girl on the side of the bar. There's another drawing of her on the bar top.