You’ve recently purchased a new house with your partner and have almost finished making the last touches to this new place you call home.
Only, both of you can’t quite put your finger on what seems to be missing in your new home.
Then after having a few friends from college come over, one of them mentions that you have the perfect space on your backyard patio for an outdoor bar.
Then the wheels in your head begin to turn once those friends leave. You and your partner decide to bring the outdoor bar idea to fruition.
However, you have no idea how to make a DIY bar and start thinking of places to search.
Not to worry, we’ve got you covered here.
Striking a Balance Between Aesthetics and Space
When deciding on the kind of DIY bar you’d like to construct, it’s important to consider the amount of space you have in your home and the type of bar you’d like to have. If you live in an apartment, a bar on your balcony may not be feasible given the amount of space in your balcony.
That being said, you don’t need to ditch the idea of making a DIY bar even if you live in an apartment. You can build a smaller liquor cabinet and a high table with two chairs for guests while you serve your guests behind the table. Having less space to build your DIY bar just means you need to be more creative.
However, if you live in a house with a basement and backyard patio, you, of course, have many more options to be creative with your DIY bar.
For starters, you can build the DIY bar in the basement or backyard patio.
Depending on the amount of space in each location, you can build a larger one to entertain many guests at a time or smaller, cozy one to host a gathering of close friends and family.
Two things are certain.
First, the more customized your DIY bar, the longer it will take you.
Second, the more people you have working on this bar with you, the faster you will complete the project.
A DIY bar, then, could really take you three days to build or even up to six months.
Consider the following steps before constructing your DIY bar.
1. Choose Your Location for Your DIY Bar
Before purchasing any material or tools, think carefully about where you would like your DIY bar. Let’s think about the outdoor patio DIY bar as an example. You’ve decided on a resort-style Tiki bar.
The best venue for this bar would be the backyard patio.
However, let’s say you live in an apartment and would still like to have your own DIY bar. Repurposing old furniture may be the fastest, most convenient and most affordable route to go. You can use one of your vintage luggage, remove the inside and turn it into a rolling, vintage DIY bar cart.
Whether big or small, you need only decide on how to use the amount of space you have to suit your needs.
2. Collecting the Primary Data: The Measurements
As with any construction project, be sure to collect the pertinent data on the measurements of your projected DIY bar and the amount of space in your designated location.
Consider the Tiki bar. Here you would need to make sure that the length, width and height measurements of your projected DIY bar do not overcrowd the house’s infrastructure.
3. Gathering the Supplies: Tools, Equipment, and Materials
Once, you’ve made sure that the DIY bar will fit in your desired location, it’s time to purchase the supplies required to complete this job. It’s possible you’ll even be able to repurpose some of your old pieces of furniture for this project.
Starting with the Tiki bar, before hitting your local hardware store, sift through old furniture you have at home.
Do you have an old sofa bed you’ve been looking to toss in the garbage?
Well, you may be able to use its futon frame for the roof of your Tiki bar as brothers Kevin and Andrew on Brojects did with their Beach Side Tiki-bar.
Getting ready to throw out that hand-me-down headboard that your parents gave you? Well, don’t get rid of it just yet since you may be able to use it as the frame for your Tiki DIY bar.
These are the tools you’ll need for this project: Air nailers, tape measure, framing nailer, screw gun, finish nailer, and safety goggles.
You’ll need these materials for this bar: ¾ inch pressure-treated plywood sheets, 4×4 posts, bamboo sheets, polyurethane, L brackets, pine 2x4s, thatch and 1×2 poplar boards, plastic sheeting, and thatch.
4. Building the Frame of Your DIY Bar
Consider the example on the DIY network.
First, you’ll need to build a frame using varying lengths and widths of pressure-treated plywood. Start by building the top and bottom of the frame.
To build a bar with three walls, measure and cut six pieces of pressure-treated plywood at 30 inches long. For the shorter sides of the bar, measure and cut 12 pieces at 20 inches long.
Measure and cut two long pieces of pressure-treated plywood for each section. Cut two pieces at 90 inches long and four pieces at 28 inches long to create shorter sides of the bar.
Connect these pieces at the corner, starting with the two pieces at 90 inches and three pieces at 38 inches. Use a square to make sure the edges are at a 90-degree angle.
Continue connecting the pieces at 30 inches and 20 inches together at the corners.
Now you’ll need to repeat this process to create the other half of your frame.
Measure and cut four pieces at 38 inches long for each of the three sections of the bar. You should have a total of 12 pieces since you need two pieces for outer support and one for middle support.
You’ll need to connect your frames with these 12 pieces of pressure-treated plywood. Be sure to attach the bottom frames 3 inches above the ground to provide greater support.
5. Covering the Frame with Wood
Once you’ve connected your pieces, here’s where you can get a little creative your DIY Tiki bar. There are several materials you could use to build a frame for your bar.
If you have an old headboard, you can attach this to your frame with a nail gun. You may need to adjust it if it doesn’t fit the front of your bar. It may work better to split the headboard in half and use it to cover the shorter sides of your bar.
Another option is using cedar wood fence pickets at 1x6x8 inches to cover your bar. Measure and cut 38 inches in height for these pickets and use a framing nailer to attach these pickets to your frame.
Using plywood is another option to cover your bar.
Measure and cut another 2×4 at 90 inches and nail it to the underside of the front portion of the frame for extra support. Do this for both of the shorter sides of your bar.
If you went with plywood to cover your bar, add bamboo sheets on top of your plywood. Use finish nails to fasten the bamboo to your plywood.
6. Build the Counter Tops to Your DIY Bar
Once you’ve built your frame, you’ll need to build the countertops to your DIY Tiki bar.
First, measure and cut plywood for countertops. You should have two sheets of 28 inches by 20 inches and one sheet of 30 inches by 90 inches. Measure and cut four holes where you’ll be putting the four 4×4 posts through.
Next, measure and cut four 4×4 posts. Dry-fit the posts and countertops before nailing the 4x4s to the frame at the bottom. Spread glue around the post holes in the countertop before inserting the 4x4s.
Attach the countertops to the frame sections with glue and nail them in place from the bottom.
7. Constructing the Roof: A-Frames and Thatch
To finish your DIY bar, you’ll need to construct a roof.
Make two A-frames and attach these frames to the four posts. Fasten these frames to the posts using frame nails.
Once you’ve built the roof, cover the roof with plastic and attach thatching to the plastic with a heavy-duty staple gun. Trim any of the excess straw if need be.
8. Assembling the Roof Structure and Bar Structure
Finally, attach the roof structure to the bar structure and use lag bolts at all points of contact to secure the structures in place.
To finish off your DIY bar, decorate your posts with bamboo stalks and place 4 bamboo torches around the base of the structure.
Take Your Family and Friends to the Luau with your DIY Bar
Now, that you have an idea of how to put up your own DIY bar, an even more fun thing to do is choosing which among your favorite booze should fill those spaces.
After your hard work, enjoy a cold one at your new DIY Tiki bar from a cooler behind the bar.
Time to celebrate!