Friday, April 25, 2014

DIY Palette Bar

Want to find out how we made this amazing home bar out of palettes? Then keep reading! 

Awhile back my husband mentioned that he would like to have a home bar in our new apartment. We used to have a cool Tiki Bar but we sold it before our big move from Georgia to Florida. I told him that I didn't care if he wanted one, but I didn't want to spend thousands of dollars on a bar. So, like most DIY'ers he suggested that we just build one ourselves. I will admit, my hubby is usually an amazing handy man. But when it comes to a huge piece of furniture that was going to sit in our open living room/dining room, I wasn't so sure that I wanted him to attempt it. But like any good wife, I decided to back him 100%. We originally started searching for ideas on google and then it hit me, "This is a job for PINTEREST!" 

When I told him that we should look on Pinterest, he actually laughed about it. You know, it's just not "manly" to be pinning. So I started looking on Pinterest myself for ideas. I stumbled across a very basic design, but then I thought, we could work with this though. Here is the original picture that inspired us. 

I know it's a little plain and rustic, but I knew that we could cover the sides with something. Just wasn't sure what that "Something" was yet. So first things first, we started looking for palettes. Now a lot of businesses have piles of them laying behind their buildings. But that doesn't mean their laying there waiting for you to take them. So we drove around town, and when we saw palettes somewhere, we just called and asked the store manager if they would sell us some. A few people I spoke to laughed at me, and a few actually thanked us for calling and said that most people just steal them. Well we're not thieves! We finally found some at an AC MOORE Craft and hobby store that said they would sell them for just $1 each! SCORE!!! But then we were tasked with the question, how many would we need? To be honest, we weren't sure. So we bought 4 of them, But realized later that we only needed 3! 

Imagine us dragging these, up 4 flights of stairs to our third story apartment! We were dedicated to this DIY project for sure! 

So now we have the palettes, but we had no idea what to do next! The pin that I found on Pinterest was just one of those you click on and it brings you to a picture but no blog or website for details. (Don't you HATE when that happens.) But luckily, the hubby kinda knew what to do next! He said that we needed a base to put the palettes on to stabilize them. We measured out how long we wanted our bar to be, and accounted for the "L" shape that we were going for, then headed off to Home Depot. We bought a 2x8 and had the Home Depot employee cut it to our specifications. Once we got it home we laid the 2 boards down on the floor in the "L " shape we wanted and then nailed them together in the corner where they seemed together at. Just so you know, I'm pretty sure that me trying to explain all this is going to turn into a big old mess. So I am also going to film a video explaining this process for my YouTube channel and I will put a link to the video somewhere below.

Okay back to the directions! We then sat the palettes on top of the 2x8's and nailed them all securely in place. Then just to help stabilize the 2 together, we used a metal L bracket for extra support. Here is what it looks like:

Then we used some 2x4's to frame out the outside of the bar. Once we had the framing done, we painted all of the wood a semi gloss Black, then let it dry.

Next up, attaching the bar top! We used a piece of particle board and had Home Depot cut this for us before we left the store. They will allow you to get 2 free cuts on any wood you purchase, but then charge you after 2 cuts. But we had to make so many different trips to the store because we had no idea what we doing when we built this. So luckily, we ended up getting all of our wood cut for free! So after we brought it home, we simply nailed it through the top, down thru the pallets. The average width for a bar to hang over is 12 inches so that is what we went with. 

I'm sorry that we didn't a lot of pictures as we built this. But we had no idea that so many people would want the details. We just sort of "winged" this whole project! Lol!!!! 

Next up, we built a basic box shelf to use behind the bar. This us where we sort of left it really rustic. You could definitely change it up and add nicer shelving but we were just happy to have this thing coming along! 

Here is what ours looks like:

You can see the slats of the palettes just behind this shelf. If you wanted too, you could cover all that. But we liked this rustic look. We bought some cheap drawer liner and placed it along the shelf to help grip our glasses. It's not the prettiest design ever, but it works! 

We talked about different types of tops for the bar for days. We thought about trying to tile it. But that seemed like a lot of work to do in an apartment. Plus you have to use and buy an expensive wet saw to properly cut tile and we were trying to build this bar as cheap as possible. So I ended up coming up with the idea to use a laminate flooring. My thought was that if you spilled sticky drinks on it, you could just easily wipe it off with a wet towel and it should work just fine. So I chose this self sticking laminate out at Home Depot. I believe this was around $1.40 per piece. We bought 15 pieces but I believe we ended up only using 12. So I kept the extras just in case any of them ever start "popping up." 

I am super impressed with how nice this looks! And we have gotten so many compliments on it. And it really does wipe  off easily. So I think using a laminate top was definitely a good idea. 

Then my husband wanted a nice trim to finish off the look of the top with. This was where we encountered a little bit of trouble. He wanted something with a "lip" so that if someone spelt a drink, it would stay in the bar, and not spill onto the floor. We went to Home Depot and Lowes several different times trying to find just the right trim and finally ended up finding one that would work for our needs. We painted this first with the same Black semi gloss paint we used on the frame. Then once it was completely dry, we made the specific cuts we needed with a small hand saw and miter box, then attached to the top with small nails. 

At this point all we had left to do was some finishing touches!

We were originally going to cover the front of the bar with house shutters. But even the cheapest set of shutters was around $50 and we would have needed 4 of them. And they were all to long. So we had to come up with something else to decorate the front with. My hubby came up with the idea to use this galvanized metal. This is sold by the sheet at Home Depot. They sell it in 2 different sizes but we needed the 8 foot sheets anyways. Now they won't cut sheet metal for you in store. But not to worry, a simple pair of $10 snippers did the trick! So once we got the metal home, we measured out our sections and traced our lines onto the metal using a sharpie marker. Then he just cut them with the snippers just like you would cut paper with a pair of scissors. Putting this on the bar was a little tricky so you would definitely need 2 people for this part. So I held the sheets in place while Allen screwed them into the palettes with metal roofing screws with rubber washers. Fancy huh!

Then since the whole bar kinda had that cool " industrial" look to it, we decided to add a metal pipe foot rest along the front made out of simple galvanized plumbing pipes and fittings. 

Then just to add that little "something extra" we put some cabinet lighting under the top. And Allen set this up with a summer switch so you can use just a little light or a lot. I love this part! 

And that's it! After all was said and done, we spent right under $200 to build this beauty. And believe it or not, I actually love it! I'm not a big drinker, but I love having it to eat dinner at or to sit and pay bills. And whenever we have company over it is definitely a lot of fun! So make sure you check out my YouTube video for more details! And tell your friends to check it out if their looking for a cool and afforable bar like this for their own home!

And if you would like to check out my YouTube video explaining how we built this baby, you can check it out here:

P.S. No judging about my hubby's Johnny Cash poster! He was one of the coolest dudes ever. Just saying....

Stay Beautiful & Blessed! 
AKA "The Salt Life Wife" 


  1. That looks amazing!! I love it. You guys did a great job, tell Allen to come build us one now to haha.

  2. Hubby and I love it! Good job :)

  3. THis looks amazing! Love the metal touches too.

  4. I LOVE the Cash poster! I've always been a fan but I've been really into his music lately for some reason. Adds a really nice touch on top of the bar! Looks great :)

    xx Lux

    1. We love that poster too! I was skeptical to let my hubby get it at first but now I'm glad I did! Going to check out your blog now! ;)

    2. Thanks for the inspiration. I built a bar similar to yours and my wife and I love it.

  5. What is the width of your bar top?

    1. It is 19.5 inches (NOT including the trim). :)

  6. I enjoyed reading your work. I'll come back for more

    Keep up the good work :) from TheStillery, a stuart bar in Florida