How to Build an Outdoor Bar and Beverage Station

Update your outdoor entertaining area with a hutch-style cabinet that can be used as a bar or buffet table.

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Skill Level
Estimated Cost $300
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Tools and Materials

  • (2) 4x4 x 8'
  • (7) 1x6 x 8'
  • (3) 1x8 x 8'
  • (4) 2x4 x 8'
  • (1) 1x2 x 8'
  • drill
  • 1-1/2" exterior-grade screws
  • 1-1/4” exterior-grade screws
  • measuring tape
  • straight edge and a speed square
  • miter saw
  • jigsaw
  • (4) casters
  • pocket-hole jig
  • pocket-hole screws
  • 2” lag bolts
  • paint
  • paintbrush
  • (4) 90° elbow 1/2” to 1/2”
  • (2) 18”-long 1/2” pipe
  • (4) 1/2” flanges
  • (4) 1/2" nipple fitting
  • sanding block or orbital sander
  • nail gun
  • finish nails
  • ratchet for castor bolts
  • optional: hooks and a bottle opener

Step 1: Cut Table Legs

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Start with the base. Cut the 4x4s into four 32” pieces.

Step 2: Cut Apron Boards

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

The apron is made of 2x4s. Cut four to 41”, four to 15” and an additional four for center supports at 17”.

Step 3: Attach Apron Boards

The 2x4 apron pieces should be centered on the 4x4 legs. Use a pocket-hole jig to make the joints secure and hidden. Screw the four apron boards to the top of the legs, flush with the top of the 4x4. Then attach the four bottom apron boards 6” up from the bottom of the legs; these will hold up the lower shelf. Attach the center supports roughly 1/3 and 2/3 of the way across the span of the frame.

Step 4: Create Tabletop and Lower Shelves

Cut 1x6s for the tabletop and shelves. Both the tabletop and the bottom shelf will be made from four boards cut to 48” each. For the bottom shelf, the boards on the outer edges will need to be notched around the 4x4 posts. Use a circular saw or a jigsaw to cut out 3-3/4" notches on the ends of the boards. Screw the boards down and then the base is done.

Step 5: Add Casters

Add casters to the bottoms of the legs for easy mobility. Mark the placement of the casters and then predrill for the hardware. Add bolts or screws to hold them in place.

Step 6: Build Upper Shelves

Build a frame for an upper storage hutch from 1x8s. Cut the two sides to 30” and the top to 47”. Attach them with screws to create a U-shaped frame. Add a back to the shelf frame using 1x6s cut to 47”. Attach them to the frame with screws. Start from the bottom of the frame and work toward the top. The overhang of the 1x6 on the last board will create a shelf on the top of the frame.

Step 7: Add Inner Shelves

To keep the shelves in place, create blocking from 1x2s. Cut eight pieces to 7-1/2” and attach them to the underside of the 1x8 shelf pieces. Make sure to add a center support to the hutch for stability and then shelves can go on either side. Customize the layout of the shelves however you'd like.

Step 8: Attach Upper Shelves to Tabletop

Sandwich the center support of the shelving unit with 1x2s on the bottom. Also, add a 1x2 on the inside of the outer vertical pieces. These will be the points at which you will attach the shelving unit to the tabletop base. Set the hutch on the base, flush with the backside and use screws through the 1x2s to attach the two pieces together.

Step 9: Apply Finish

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Sand any rough edges smooth and then wipe away residue. Paint the beverage station with an exterior-rated paint-and-primer-all-in-one. It will help seal the boards and give a finished look.

Step 10: Add Hooks and a Towel Bar

Make a towel bar from galvanized flanges, pipes and elbows. Add other accessories like cup hooks and a bottle opener. Now you’re ready for a party.

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

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