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Concrete Party Bar with LED lights

  • May 24, 2016

DIY PETE
DIY PETE
DIY PETE
DIY PETE

This simple to build concrete outdoor bar with LED lights is constructed of 2x4 boards, fence pickets, and concrete. It's perfect for outdoor gatherings, barbecues, and parties. The first part of the project involves building the base for the concrete top. The second part involves building a mold for the concrete, creating knockouts, pouring concrete, and concrete finishing. LED lights shine through the clear acrylic coasters and bottom of the cooler to light up ice and drinks.

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View Project PDF

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  1. Project Steps

    1. Step: 1

      Large f223280b 04e1 499e bc53 98c05abe7e0a

      Make your cuts for the legs and other boards according to the plans. I used cedar because it does well in outdoor environments. Red wood is another good choice. To minimize the costs pine can be used, but do make sure to protect it with a good paint or sealer. Refer to the plans and detailed Youtube video tutorial for more information and details about this build.

    2. Step: 2

      Large f1c5e7bd 414b 44a1 8fdc a7f2a71a0e72

      Assemble the legs. I used pocket holes for this process to hide the screws. Use 2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws. If you do not have a pocket hole jig simply connect the legs with a butt joint using 2 1/2 inch wood screws.

    3. Step: 3

      Large 34b24705 dcdc 46d4 8e60 180c2ab39734

      Frame out the base by attaching the boards with either pocket holes and 2 1/2 inch pocket screws or using 2 1/2 inch wood screws. I did a combination of both. Always make sure to use wood glue.

    4. Step: 4

      Large 2f6094f9 5922 421f 9a8f 9cdff28f109f

      Connect the shelf.

    5. Step: 5

      Large 0d4138e6 dff6 4254 84e8 5806bdee5dff

      Nail on the pickets for the shelves. 1 1/2 inch nails will work well.

    6. Step: 6

      Large 524d37c8 6c48 47f6 8ff2 605c1edbd569

      Attach pickets around the outside of the bar. You will need to rip a few down in width to get them to fit perfectly.

    7. Step: 7

      Large de05651e b9d0 4743 af29 bc5c31247b7e

      Rip pickets down to 3 inches wide to use as trim. Attach using a nailer.

    8. Step: 8

      Large fa5be149 059e 48a6 852c 12b8182e6285

      Add a small block of a scrap 2x4 board for each corner. Pre-drill and attach wheels using 1/4 inch by 2 1/2 inch long bolts.

    9. Step: 9

      Large 7745f96f 1ecc 42bf 971c c913e2736812

      Sand the entire bar and then seal. I used an exterior spar urethane.

    10. Step: 10

      Large 7d34bfa4 e703 4837 8884 887b1fd54252

      Cut the melamine to create the mold for the concrete. Assemble using 1 5/8 inch screws.

    11. Step: 11

      Large e7dd641c 7b28 48c9 8c4a 872674d7fce0

      Cut clear acrylic panels on a miter saw as coasters that are 4 inches by 4 inches. Next, cut foam knockouts to go under each piece of acrylic that is 3 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. Cut a knockout for the center cooler using a jig saw. I found a metal bin, but you can use a plastic planter or whatever you'd like as a cooler. Wrap the foam knockouts with packaging tape to seal them. Use silicon to attach each piece of acrylic and each knockout to the melamine.

    12. Step: 12

      Large b8d8754f b196 4879 b5d0 f4e22d082c90

      Cut a hole in the bottom of the bucket using a jigsaw. Then attach acrylic to the base. This will allow the LED lights to shine through from the bottom. I applied the acrylic to both the underside and top side. Seal well with silicon.

    13. Step: 13

      Large a19b676e 1085 409d b521 813d6adb2c03

      Prepare the metal reinforcement. Square mesh works great for this process. Cut to size using a bolt cutter. Have about an inch of wiggle room between the metal and all knockouts or edges.

    14. Step: 14

      Large aa046cc8 5a81 494e 8dc4 71b80f97ee27

      Mix the concrete in a tub 1 bag at a time. It took just less then 2 bags of concrete for this project. Mix thoroughly until the concrete is about a pancake consistency.

    15. Step: 15

      Large 7a080d80 5593 4ba2 a22f aab7f82a7bed

      Fill the mold with concrete slightly more then halfway. Then add the reinforcement. Next, continue filling the mold. Remember to vibrate the concrete to minimize air bubbles. Once the mold is completely full, screed the concrete to level it and then use a trowel to smooth out the surface.

    16. Step: 16

      Large 4b3214bb 7c22 4fc9 9b3e b257e4e7a117

      Let the concrete cure according to the manufacturers recommendations. Typically 3 or 4 days.

    17. Step: 17

      Large 87f0431b 2908 4748 a8f4 0c015bab0732

      Remove the concrete from the mold. Take out the foam knockouts. Use 120 grit sandpaper to smooth rough edges. A razorblade helps in cleaning up the coaster areas.

    18. Step: 18

      Large c035401c 5228 48d2 84d3 4658feeb31d8

      Use 120 and 220 grit sandpaper over the entire surface. If you have voids they can be filled in with slurry which is a mixture of cement and water. The process can be seen in my concrete dining table project on my youtube channel.

    19. Step: 19

      Large 3b8c69e7 cba7 4e40 9363 707a6c3f7cfc

      Seal the concrete using an acrylic based sealer. I do 5 to 6 thin coats. Apply with a microfiber rag.

    20. Step: 20

      Large 04d0e85c 6fa1 4614 87ba 484319ab25be

      Add LED strip lights underneath the bar. Heavy duty velcro works great to keep the lights in place. String underneath each of the clear coasters and under the bucket or planter.

    21. Step: 21

      Large e6cb7d64 766f 458f b4a7 6777d7385a51

      Enjoy your new patio bar! Please check out the plans and Youtube video tutorial that goes along with this project for more information and details.

    22. Step: 22

Comments (8)


  • Super cool Pete! Those lights make it over the top awesome.

    By Her Tool Belt, on June 3, 2016
    • Thank you Amy!

      By DIY PETE, on June 10, 2016

  • Need directions on storage dog steps

    By Suziq, on June 6, 2016
    • Hi Suziq! I don't currently have a tutorial on dog steps but if I'm able to get to it at some point I will let you know. Thanks!

      By DIY PETE, on June 10, 2016

  • where do I find the plans

    By user_dunn_433045, on June 26, 2016
    • Toward the top of the page you will find a "View Project PDF" link. That will have all the details for ya. Cheers!

      By DIY PETE, on July 19, 2016

  • They are now available (all plans etc) in a PDF toward the top of this page. They can be printed off for your convenience. Cheers!

    By DIY PETE, on July 19, 2016

  • Awesome! Thank you so much, Pete!

    By RYOBI Nation, on July 19, 2016

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Concrete Party Bar with LED lights

by DIY PETE
May 24, 2016
Medium e2d60f27 b4df 4e84 a8d7 1cdb017aaa47

This simple to build concrete outdoor bar with LED lights is constructed of 2x4 boards, fence pickets, and concrete. It's perfect for outdoor gatherings, barbecues, and parties. The first part of the project involves building the base for the concrete top. The second part involves building a mold for the concrete, creating knockouts, pouring concrete, and concrete finishing. LED lights shine through the clear acrylic coasters and bottom of the cooler to light up ice and drinks.

Project Steps

  1. Step: 1
    Huge f223280b 04e1 499e bc53 98c05abe7e0a

    Make your cuts for the legs and other boards according to the plans. I used cedar because it does well in outdoor environments. Red wood is another good choice. To minimize the costs pine can be used, but do make sure to protect it with a good paint or sealer. Refer to the plans and detailed Youtube video tutorial for more information and details about this build.

  2. Step: 2
    Huge f1c5e7bd 414b 44a1 8fdc a7f2a71a0e72

    Assemble the legs. I used pocket holes for this process to hide the screws. Use 2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws. If you do not have a pocket hole jig simply connect the legs with a butt joint using 2 1/2 inch wood screws.

  3. Step: 3
    Huge 34b24705 dcdc 46d4 8e60 180c2ab39734

    Frame out the base by attaching the boards with either pocket holes and 2 1/2 inch pocket screws or using 2 1/2 inch wood screws. I did a combination of both. Always make sure to use wood glue.

  4. Step: 4
    Huge 2f6094f9 5922 421f 9a8f 9cdff28f109f

    Connect the shelf.

  5. Step: 5
    Huge 0d4138e6 dff6 4254 84e8 5806bdee5dff

    Nail on the pickets for the shelves. 1 1/2 inch nails will work well.

  6. Step: 6
    Huge 524d37c8 6c48 47f6 8ff2 605c1edbd569

    Attach pickets around the outside of the bar. You will need to rip a few down in width to get them to fit perfectly.

  7. Step: 7
    Huge de05651e b9d0 4743 af29 bc5c31247b7e

    Rip pickets down to 3 inches wide to use as trim. Attach using a nailer.

  8. Step: 8
    Huge fa5be149 059e 48a6 852c 12b8182e6285

    Add a small block of a scrap 2x4 board for each corner. Pre-drill and attach wheels using 1/4 inch by 2 1/2 inch long bolts.

  9. Step: 9
    Huge 7745f96f 1ecc 42bf 971c c913e2736812

    Sand the entire bar and then seal. I used an exterior spar urethane.

  10. Step: 10
    Huge 7d34bfa4 e703 4837 8884 887b1fd54252

    Cut the melamine to create the mold for the concrete. Assemble using 1 5/8 inch screws.

  11. Step: 11
    Huge e7dd641c 7b28 48c9 8c4a 872674d7fce0

    Cut clear acrylic panels on a miter saw as coasters that are 4 inches by 4 inches. Next, cut foam knockouts to go under each piece of acrylic that is 3 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. Cut a knockout for the center cooler using a jig saw. I found a metal bin, but you can use a plastic planter or whatever you'd like as a cooler. Wrap the foam knockouts with packaging tape to seal them. Use silicon to attach each piece of acrylic and each knockout to the melamine.

  12. Step: 12
    Huge b8d8754f b196 4879 b5d0 f4e22d082c90

    Cut a hole in the bottom of the bucket using a jigsaw. Then attach acrylic to the base. This will allow the LED lights to shine through from the bottom. I applied the acrylic to both the underside and top side. Seal well with silicon.

  13. Step: 13
    Huge a19b676e 1085 409d b521 813d6adb2c03

    Prepare the metal reinforcement. Square mesh works great for this process. Cut to size using a bolt cutter. Have about an inch of wiggle room between the metal and all knockouts or edges.

  14. Step: 14
    Huge aa046cc8 5a81 494e 8dc4 71b80f97ee27

    Mix the concrete in a tub 1 bag at a time. It took just less then 2 bags of concrete for this project. Mix thoroughly until the concrete is about a pancake consistency.

  15. Step: 15
    Huge 7a080d80 5593 4ba2 a22f aab7f82a7bed

    Fill the mold with concrete slightly more then halfway. Then add the reinforcement. Next, continue filling the mold. Remember to vibrate the concrete to minimize air bubbles. Once the mold is completely full, screed the concrete to level it and then use a trowel to smooth out the surface.

  16. Step: 16
    Huge 4b3214bb 7c22 4fc9 9b3e b257e4e7a117

    Let the concrete cure according to the manufacturers recommendations. Typically 3 or 4 days.

  17. Step: 17
    Huge 87f0431b 2908 4748 a8f4 0c015bab0732

    Remove the concrete from the mold. Take out the foam knockouts. Use 120 grit sandpaper to smooth rough edges. A razorblade helps in cleaning up the coaster areas.

  18. Step: 18
    Huge c035401c 5228 48d2 84d3 4658feeb31d8

    Use 120 and 220 grit sandpaper over the entire surface. If you have voids they can be filled in with slurry which is a mixture of cement and water. The process can be seen in my concrete dining table project on my youtube channel.

  19. Step: 19
    Huge 3b8c69e7 cba7 4e40 9363 707a6c3f7cfc

    Seal the concrete using an acrylic based sealer. I do 5 to 6 thin coats. Apply with a microfiber rag.

  20. Step: 20
    Huge 04d0e85c 6fa1 4614 87ba 484319ab25be

    Add LED strip lights underneath the bar. Heavy duty velcro works great to keep the lights in place. String underneath each of the clear coasters and under the bucket or planter.

  21. Step: 21
    Huge e6cb7d64 766f 458f b4a7 6777d7385a51

    Enjoy your new patio bar! Please check out the plans and Youtube video tutorial that goes along with this project for more information and details.

  22. Step: 22