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How to Build Your Own Cheap Tiki Bar

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    • 1). Locate an old kitchen base cabinet in the local freebie ads online or in the local newspaper. The main criteria are sturdiness and an appropriate size to fit your patio. Shelves and drawers are a plus.

    • 2). Cut 6 inches off two of the 4-by-4-inch posts. Attach the 8-foot 4-by-4-inch posts to the back side corners of the cabinet, using deck screws. The 7½-foot posts are attached to the front side corners of the cabinet. Screw from the inside of the cabinet out, into the posts, using two screws every 6 inches for stability. These are the supports for the sloped roof. You can also use small L-shaped brackets attached to the outside of the the base cabinet and posts to make the structure sturdier.

    • 3). Cut four 2-by-4s to the width and depth of the support posts and attach at the top, screwing securely. This is the base of the roof. Then cut the plywood 2 feet wider and deeper than the base cabinet.

    • 4). Sand, prime and paint everything, inside and out, with an exterior latex paint. Choose a neutral wood tone or a bright color like teal, orange, hot pink, lime green or bright purple. Paint both sides of the plywood, too. It is much easier to paint while it is flat on the ground. You can also cover the top of the plywood with tar paper to make it water-resistant.

    • 5). Lift the plywood to the top of the tiki bar, centering it, and screw to the 2-by-4s. Starting at the bottom of the sloped roof, use a staple gun to attach palm fronds in rows, allowing them to drape over the edge of the roofline. Overlap each row by about two-thirds for a lush look. On the top row, trim the bases of the palm fronds very short and reverse the direction, so they drape over the back side of the roof. Use ¾-inch screws. If the bases of the palm fronds are thick, use longer screws.

    • 6). Roll the reed fencing out flat and mark the height of the base cabinet. Attach duct tape along the edge of your cut line so the fencing does not separate. Carefully cut with a utility knife or jigsaw. Using construction glue, attach the reed fencing to the front and sides of the cabinet. Then attach the 1-by-2-inch boards around the top edge of the reeds, over the duct tape, screwing them securely to the base cabinet. Trim the sides as necessary to fit, cutting the wire with wire cutters.

    • 7). Measure and cut the countertop to fit the top of the tiki bar. Attach from underneath with construction glue and short screws. Either sand and paint the cut edges with a matching color or check the local hardware store for matching edging for laminate countertops.

    • 8). Stock the shelves with your favorite beverages and barware. Add strings of lights and other accessories to fit your personal taste.

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