It Was Just A Broken Old Fridge, Until He Transformed It Into A Beautiful Cooler

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

Here at LittleThings, there’s nothing we love more than a clever DIY project.

In advance of the upcoming barbecue season, we’re particularly infatuated with an awesome cooler tutorial that turns an ordinary refrigerator into an extraordinary backyard cooler!

Like the adorable craft that turns an ordinary teacup into a sweet home decoration, this plan takes something that is still useful (but no longer up to date) and turns into something that is both aesthetically pleasing and easy to put together.

If you’ve been looking for a great way to convert your old fridge into something beautiful, this is your chance!

This creative idea comes to us via Instructables, where one clever home crafter totally transformed a broken old refrigerator, and used the insulated structure to turn it into a backyard cooler that looks great, and is super-convenient for your next summer barbecue.

Scroll through below to check out this thoughtful and creative idea in action!

First things first, you’ll need an old fridge to put your cooler together.

A fridge is ideal because of the insulated walls that help to keep conditions inside cool.

Essentially, you just need to remove the door and the shelving, and get rid of any extraneous wiring. You won’t need to plug this fridge in again!

The most important factor is to be very careful of the freon piping inside of the fridge. Make sure you remove it very carefully without breaking the pipes.

Freon is a controlled gas, and you may incur a fine for releasing it into the atmosphere.

As long as you remove it carefully, or have a professional remove it, you should avoid any trouble.

Next, to create the rustic look of the cooler, you’ll want to gather together boards that fit the shape and size of the fridge.

Trim them down to fit the size of the fridge, and then drill them carefully into the body of the appliance.

Eventually, you want to cover the entire structure with weathered boards to give it a slightly more distressed feel.

You may also want to paint the refrigerator to tone down the colors.

Since many fridges are white or silver, you may find that the original color of the appliance shines brightly through the wood paneling.

To avoid that unattractive contrast, paint the fridge a darker color to blend in more effectively with the wood.

Next, you will want to cover the door of the refrigerator with wood as well.

Once this step is complete, the overall look of the cooler will be more like a charming old-fashioned steamer chest than a modern appliance.

You can also add a few charming touches, like rope ‘handles’ to enhance the look of the cooler.

Once the entire structure is covered in wood and bedecked in charming details, you’re nearly done!

Place the cooler out in your backyard to make it convenient for barbecues and evening parties!

We love the detail of the chalkboard sign on the outside, perfect for advertising which drinks are on offer!

We love the overall look of this cooler! That’s especially true if the fridge unit you started out with also includes a freezer.

If you have the freezer/fridge style unit at your disposal, you can divide your cooler up into two adorable sections perfect for your next backyard shindig.

Do you love the look of this DIY cooler as much as we do? Be sure to SHARE this cute idea with friends and family!