Hi, friends! I’m SO excited to be sharing today our June Home Depot Gift Challenge! If you’re new around here, the HDGC is a monthly challenge that several other bloggers and I take on (here are my project so far if you’d like a recap; copper pipe clock, felt banner for kids, pegboard flower box, and garden hose storage). A specific item is chosen from Home Depot, and we all come up with a DIY gift for a chosen person.
This month I got to choose the material we had to use, and I chose concrete. You may remember my little DIY concrete plant stand I posted a few weeks ago, and that totally got me excited to try more concrete projects. I just had to choose it for this month! The gift recipient is non other than good ol’ dad. It IS father’s day this weekend after all, so it was the perfect choice!
Don’t forget to check out the other amazing concrete projects from my bloggy friends at the end of this post, AND, in lieu of Father’s day this weekend, we are also giving away a $100 gift card to… you guessed it… HOME DEPOT! Seriously friends, your dad would looooove to win this. You can enter at the bottom of this post, too!
When I chose concrete, I had a few ideas in mind, but nothing that really stood out to me enough to try. So, I thought and thought. I felt a little like Winnie the Pooh for awhile, tapping my head and saying “think think think.” I scoured the internet for ideas and inspirations. And of course, like I always do, I waited until nearly the last minute to decide upon and start my project. #professionalprocrastinator. 😉
I really liked using the 5 gallon bucket in my plant stand project, so I tried to think of things we could make using another one. Between my hubby and I, we finally came up with this DIY concrete beverage cooler! Because we’d never attempted something like this before, we changed a some things throughout the project a few times. Hopefully I can explain how we made ours without totally confusing the heck out of you!
- 1 bag Quikrete 5000 concrete
- 5 gallon bucket (plus something else to mix the concrete in and with!)
- 8″ building form concrete tube (we got ours from Home Depot)
- 3/4″ thick piece of plywood to fit in bottom of the bucket
- 4 large heavy duty casters + screws
- 1/2″ Spigot (ours was actually a hose bib and worked perfect) + 1/2″ threaded coupling
- Round piece of foam (I used a 10″ crafting foam circle)
- Duct tape
- Silicone or caulk
- Thick sisal rope
First, cut your concrete form tube to about 15″ long. I didn’t get a picture of this, but it was pretty easy. I just measured and David used a thick Xacto knife to cut around the form.
I then used the concrete form tube to trace a circle on my foam circle so it’d fit snuggly inside the tube. I used the Xacto knife on that as well (sorry there’s no picture of that, either!)
Using duct tape, tape the foam inside the concrete form tube. I duct taped the entire top and all around the sides so no concrete could seep in (I may have gone just a little crazy with the duct taping…).
You’ll need a piece of about 3/4″ thick plywood to go in the bottom of the bucket that the concrete will dry to. This will allow you to add your casters after the concrete has dried. We don’t have any fancy saws or cutting tools, so David just cut the wood into an octagon shape that would fit perfectly inside the bucket. If you’re able, cutting your wood into a circle would work better. Make it about the diameter of the bottom of the bucket so there’s not much room for the concrete to seep underneath.
TIP: Before you pour your concrete, mark the bottom of your plywood with where you’d like your casters to go. We marked ours after, but we had to chisel some of the concrete away to measure where we wanted them. Marking them before will make it easier!
Mix your concrete. We didn’t have anything large enough to mix it all in, so we used a smaller 2 gallon bucket and did a few “batches” at a time. We found that pouring water in first and then the concrete made it easier to mix. We also didn’t measure anything, we just used a tin can to add the cement to the bucket and just added water until we felt it “looked” right! And yes, we used a big branch to mix it all up. Much easier to just throw away after! (Make sure you wear gloves AND a mask while working with concrete!!)
Ok, this is where it gets a little iffy. So, we had originally planned on using a nipple (basically a longer pipe that fit into the coupling on the inside) which you can see in the materials photo up above, but we realized not only would it be hard to drain any leftover water from under it, but also it would have reached too far into the cooler. It wasn’t as necessary as we had first thought, so we didn’t end up using it at all.
This part was also little tricky (and definitely a 2 person job!). David carefully placed the threaded coupling into the bucket, pushing it against the side completely. He push it into the concrete just a tad so it’d stay in place.
Our theory (since we had noooo idea how or if this would even turn out!) was that if we duct taped both open ends of the coupling, and then pushed it into the bucket and had the concrete form pushed up tightly against that too, then no cement would get into the holes of the coupling, making it easy for water to go through once finished. We would basically cut away the duct tape that was over the hole on both ends after the concrete dried. Phew! I hope that made sense!
Now carefully place your concrete form into the bucket, pushing it up against the coupling, and pushing it down just a little into the concrete. You’ll definitely need two people for this part, as I helped hold the concrete form in the middle so it wouldn’t shift while David mixed and poured more concrete.
TIP: In hindsight, we realize it would have been a lot easier if we had sprayed the outside of the concrete form and the inside of the bucket with Pam or some kind of oil spray to make getting out a little easier! We recommend doing it!
Make sure you push the concrete form into the coupling tightly, to keep it snug against the bucket and so the concrete falls around the coupling without much going between it and the form. Make sure the coupling is also close to the exact bottom of the concrete form, so the water will easily pour out. The sides of the beverage cooler won’t be totally even since the coupling pushes it out from the exact center a tad, but it’ll still work perfectly.
Continue to carefully pour concrete all around the concrete form, filling it up to almost the top of the bucket. We left about an inch or so on top.
We wanted to add handles to our beverage cooler to make it easier to move around the patio, so we used thick sisal ropes. However, we didn’t think to add handles until after the cement had already been sitting for 30 minutes and had begun to set. We cut two pieces of rope the same size (each about a foot long), and then used a stick to make holes in the cement, about 2 inches deep. We pushed both ends of the rope down into the holes to make a “loop” (and sadly, since this was an afterthought, I totally forgot to get pictures!). Because the cement had already started to set, it didn’t easily reform around the rope. We used a hammer to gently tap the cement to try and move it back into place and make it smooth on top. Learn from our mistake; if you want handles, add them directly after you pour all the concrete!
We let the concrete dry for about 36 hours. Since it was super hot the few days we did this, it dried a little faster. If it’s cooler where you are, let it dry for 48 hours just to be safe!
Aaaaaand because David is super lightening fast, he got the dried concrete beverage cooler out of the bucket before I could even get pictures of him actually doing it! At least we know it’s fairly easy to get out, right? 😉 This is the only one I got!
He just moved the concrete form around a bit to loosen it a tad and then just ripped it out. For the bucket, he very carefully tapped the bucket all around with a rubber mallet to loosen the concrete (he really wanted to save the bucket!), but it didn’t work too well so he ended up cutting the bucket up the side instead to take the concrete out.
So, because of all that tapping when we put the handles in last minute, our coupling shifted. David knew where it was, so he gently chiseled with a screw driver to open up the hole and cut through the duct tape on both ends. Twist on your spigot or hose bib. Use caulk or silicone and seal the spigot where it connects to the coupling on the outside. This will make sure water doesn’t leak through.
Then, carefully flip the concrete upside down, and drill holes and screw down the casters. We purchased one of our casters with a “stopper,” so it could be locked into place and not be rolling around too easily on a deck or porch.
Flip her over, and sand the outside edges a bit to smooth them out. You don’t want someone reaching in to grab a drink and cut their hand on the concrete! I also sanded inside a little too, as there was a little bit of the paper residue left from the concrete form.
Phew! You’re all done! I gotta say, I was so worried it wouldn’t work like I had imagined. I hated having to wait 36 hours to find out! In the end, we love how it looks. I haven’t decided if I want to paint the concrete or leave it natural. What do you think?
The spigot works perfectly too, draining the melted ice after all the drinks are gone. While the spigot is totally optional (and not having it would make this project soooo much easier to put together), it definitely is nice to empty the water without having to lift this super heavy thing to dump it out!
Wow, that got really long! So sorry about that! Now, onto some other fun things…
First, you’ve GOT to check out these other amazing concrete projects from some seriously talented bloggy friends of mine! Just click on the pictures below to see more!
AND, now for the giveaway…
We have up for grabs a $100 gift card to Home Depot!! Give your dad the best Father’s day gift yet, and he can spend it on aaaaaaanything his heart desires from Home Depot. Can we say major brownie points for you? 🙂 To enter, complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below! Giveaway ends one week from today on Monday June 22nd, at 5am CST!
Have a great week, friends!
(I link up at these fun parties!)