Monday, June 23, 2014

Porch Coffee Table with Built-in Cooler

My buddy, Dip and I made this coffee table with inspiration from Ana White's full sized version. The story behind the table started at Home Depot.  My husband, Dip, his wife Amber and I were looking at outdoor furniture.  We found a set we liked but I didn't like the coffee table.  I convinced my husband that Dip and I could make a way cooler coffee table.  Despite the eye roll, my husband agreed to let us make the table.

We got a lot of use out of my new miter saw on this project.  However, we had the hardware store cut the large boards used for the table top.  The length is 48" because we took an 8' long 8"x1" board and had it cut in half.

The beginning of the table top

This is the planter box we use in the cut out middle section. I have a couple of these planter boxes so I can switch between plants and a drink cooler. 

We used a bunch of steel tie plates to keep the table top together. They were cheap at $.58 a piece. I am not sure if I will use them again because the table top was flimsy until we secured the legs and skirt boards.

We crafted our own style of brace for the planter.  The construction of the brace was more my buddy Dip's creation. I just followed along. I couldn't tell you what cuts to make and where... his mind is a complicated beast.

We decided to add a skirt made out of two levels of 1"x 3"  to cover the planter brace and to provide better over all stability.

Time to add some table 2x2" legs!

This is Dip. He was working on the cover for the center cut out.  We added a drawer handle for easy removal.

All put together. Still needed a coat of paint to protect the table from the elements. 

I used BEHR premium plus ultra exterior paint in the color Spring Stream.  I have a green / turquoise color theme going on in the screened-in-porch.  I pushed the screws in further around the table legs and skirt.  Then I filled the screw head indents with spackle because I knew the paint would cover the white spackle.

Option 1: Closed top for the most surface area

Option 2: Planter Centerpiece

 Option 3: The drink cooler
My husbands personal favorite

To avoid a lot of excess water and moisture due to ice, I purchased these reusable ice cubes to use in the drink cooler.  I must give Amber (Dip's Wife) credit for this genius idea.

And a special shout out to my Grandma and Sister for helping make all the pretty pillows you see on the chairs. Thanks G & Ash!


  1. This was truly a joint effort with fabulous results! Sounds like you all had fun doing it too.
    Enjoy your results this summer!

  2. The table turned out great. . Three different ways to use it, all of them functional. Love the color scheme. Pillows did turn out good especially with Ashley's assistance. LOL Love working with you both. So much fun.

  3. Love this! "Brag Post of the Day" on our Facebook page!

    1. Thank you! So cool of you to feature our project!! Thanks!