How to:Table with Coolers|Simplified Version



how to make table with coolers

This is a great DIY project, but there is an easier way!

I've seen this tutorial all over the internet recently, and I was struck by the fact that each tutorial was incredibly complicated and depended on the builder of the table having various power tools. Many of us don't have table mounted saws, but still want a way to make this neat patio furniture. Here is my take on this project, stripped down and simplified to use tools most people have in their homes, and additionally, recycling a table  into something useful and fun!



  • Wood Table (***note, you will need a bench or parsons style table. a picnic style table won't work**)
  • Wood filler 
  • Wood screws (1-1/4″)
  • Wood screws (2-1/2″)
  • Sandpaper (110 grit)
  • Two plastic planter boxes (denoted pb throughout the instructions)
  • Galvenized Plumbers Tape (6 yards)

Tools Needed:

  • Electric Drill
  • Metal Snips
  • Drill Bits 1/8", and 1/4"
  • Electric Screwdriver
  • T-square (could also use a ruler or measuring tape)
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw (can use a handheld saw, but would be very difficult)



1. Flip the table upside down 
2. Measure your Plastic Planters (I recommend using planters which taper from top to bottom, like these)

3. Using a pencil and straight edge, mark 2 rectangles 1/4" larger on all sides than the planter box. This is where your coolers will go.

bottom of table  

4. Once you are Satisfied with the placement of the marks for the coolers, use the 1/4" drill bit to drill a hole at all four corners of each rectangle you have marked 
***make sure to elevate the table on stable supports before you drill or cut it***

5. Use the jigsaw (or handheld saw, yikes) to cut out the rectangles where your planters will go
6. Using 80-110 grit sand paper, smooth out the inside of the freshly cut space for the planter.

7. Take a length of your galvenized plumbers tape, and wrap it around the bottom of your planter extending about 2 inches on either side of the planter.This will be what holds the planters in place, and they must be a very snug fit, so make sure to bend the metal around the bottom of the planter tightly.

8. On either side of the planter, bend the excess plumbers tape into an "L" shape. You will be screwing the screws into these "tabs", and these will bare the weight of the cooler, so make sure to allow yourself at least 2 holes to put screws through

9. use some masking tape to attach the plumbrs tape to the planter (this is only temporary and will make it easier to align everything later)

10. Repeat 3 times for each planter box, for a total of 6 strips of plumbers tape per planter

11. With your table still upside down, gently place the planter inside the rectangle you cut out for it.  press the "L" shaped portion of the plumbers tape , and using a sharpie, mark 2-3 holes through the holes in the plumbers tape azs a guide
** This will be where you will be drilling to put your screws to attach the planter to the table**

12. Using a 1/8" drill bit drill pilot holes for your wood screws. I recomment using at least 2 screws per each tab on either side of the planter, so at minimum 12 holes per planter

13. Once your pilot holes are ready, place your planter back into the center of the cut out area, and align the holes in the tape to the holes in the table.Use a dab of wood glue in each hole, one at a time. Put a drop of wood glue into the pilot hole, then align it to the corresponding hole on the tapeuse your electric screwdriver to screw the tab of aluminum to the under side of the tabledo this all the way around  for each tab on the planter

**Optional, attach the table skirting to the legs of the table to hide the planters
14. Allow to dry over nightSand and finish to your taste.
If all goes well, your end result should look something like this:


I think this is a much less complicated way to accomplish this project, and still serves the same function!


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