Beverage Station

Beverage Station

Turn an old dresser and cupboard into a beverage station by adding a submerged cooler in the top.

5 col

You’ll Need: Jigsaw with 3/8” clean cut wood blade

Difficulty: Hard

Repurposed dresser with one drawer and a cupboard
11” x 14” Open top plastic cooler
(3) 2” x 4” x 20” Lumber* size may vary based on your dresser (See Steps 8-10)
(2) 1” x 4” x 10¼” Lumber* size may vary based on your dresser (See Steps 8-10)
(2) 2” x 4” x 6½” Lumber
Drill with a 3/8” bit, pre-drill bit and Phillips head bit
(10) 2” Wood screws
(4) 1” Wood screws
(2) 12” Bar clamps
Heavy-duty construction adhesive with dispenser
Tape measure
Safety glasses
Framing square
(2) Sand sponge – one rough, one medium grit
Tin, lid or an object that matches the curve of the cooler’s corners
Wipe-on polyurethane furniture oil
Lint-free dry rag
Rubber gloves



1. Remove the drawer from the dresser and set to one side

2. Decide which side of the dresser you would like to place the cooler to best suit your needs. Using a framing square, measure 3” in from the outside edge of the dresser and 3” in from the front edge. Mark where the two points meet with a pencil. This will be the location of one corner of the cooler

3. Using the mark from Step 2 and the framing square, mark a 14” x 11” rectangle onto the top of the dresser (See image below)

4. Use a tin or any object you find that matches the curve of the coolers corners to mark the curves of each corner onto the dresser top (See image below)

5. Once the cooler dimensions are marked out on top of the dresser, it needs to be cut out using a drill and jigsaw. Put on safety glasses. Using a drill with a 3/8” pre-drill bit, drill four pilot holes into the marked out rectangle, about ¼” from each corner. These holes are so the jigsaw blade can fit in to cut out the piece

6. Place the jigsaw blade into one of the pilot holes and start the blade before pushing it into the wood. Drive the blade along one of the marked lines to the end. Pull out the blade and repeat in another corner with the next pilot hole along the next line. Keep going until all the edges are cut and the piece falls out (See image below)

7. Use the jigsaw to shape the corners, as needed once the main piece of wood is out. Smooth the edges of the new opening with a rough grit sand sponge followed by a medium grit sand sponge. The cooler will now be able to drop down into the opening but will need a platform built in the next steps so the lip of the cooler is flush with the dresser top (See image below)

Tip: If you smell burning wood when you’re using the jigsaw it means you’re pushing the blade through the wood a little too slowly. Go a little faster and the blade will cut the wood better


**The platform height will vary depending on the height of the shelf inside your dresser. Measure the gap between the shelf and the bottom of the cooler and adjust the height of your platform accordingly. For this project the gap is 3”


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8. Take the 1” x 4” x 10¼” lumber and drill a pilot hole into each corner about ½” from the edge using the pre-drill bit. Drill an additional pilot hole in the center for a total of five pilot holes. Repeat on the second piece of 1” x 4” x 10¼” lumber

9. Place the three pieces of 2” x 4” x 20” lumber side by side. Lay a piece of 1” x 4” x 10¼” lumber from Step 8 across the end of three pieces and anchor to the edge of your work surface with a bar clamp. Using a drill with a Phillips head bit, secure the pieces of wood together with 2” wood screws through the five pilot holes. Repeat on the opposite side with the second piece of 1” x 4” x 10¼” lumber (See image below)

10. Place the platform on the shelf inside the dresser, under the hole where the cooler will be placed


Once the cooler is placed inside the dresser, there will no longer be room for the dresser drawer to fit. The drawer front will be removed from the rest of the drawer and reattached to the dresser as a façade to preserve the look of the dresser

11. Use a framing square to measure 6” from the front of the drawer back along the side panel. At the 6” mark, draw a line straight down. Repeat on the opposite side of the drawer. This is where the drawer will be cut in the next step (See image below)

12. Put on your safety glasses and stand the drawer on one end. Using a jigsaw, cut along the line on the side of the drawer. Once cut, turn the drawer over and cut the line on the opposite side of the drawer (See image below)

13. After the cuts have been made on either side of the drawer, the back half of the drawer can be removed. Firmly hammer the back part of the drawer along the edges to loosen any old glue and pull it away from the front (See image below)

14. Hammer along the edge where the bottom drawer panel meets the front of the drawer, also to loosen any old glue. Once loose, slide the bottom of the drawer out and away from the front leaving the drawer front and 6” sides remaining (See image below)

15. Drill two pilot holes into each 6” side panel so the drawer front can be attached to the dresser in the next steps (See image below)


16. With the back of the drawer now gone, the drawer front will need supports to be secured back into the dresser. Take a 2” x 4” x 6½” lumber and apply construction adhesive over one side of it. Press it inside the drawer opening of the dresser, flush with the original drawer runner. Repeat on the opposite side of the drawer opening (See images below)

17. Slide the drawer back into the dresser so the front façade is flush with the opening. Using a drill with a Phillips head bit, reach inside the dresser through the cupboard underneath the drawer and screw 1” wood screws through the pilot holes from Step 15 into the supports from Step 16


18. To seal the surface of the dresser from liquids, apply wipe-on polyurethane furniture oil over the dresser with a dry lint-free rag. Allow to dry for 2 – 3 hours and then apply a second coat. Once the second coat is dry, place the cooler in the top of your new beverage station

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