Make your own DIY bar using old wooden pallets – for as little as £35!

There has never been a better time to build a bar at home

How to make your own DIY pallet bar – what you’ll need

With pubs and bars remaining closed for the foreseeable now is the perfect time to create your own DIY pallet bar – making our own gardens the new out out place to be.

With the help of ManoMano (opens in new tab), the DIY and home improvements marketplace, we have a step-by-step guide to upcycling wooden pallets into a chic wall-mounted home bar.

And best of all at estimated cost of just £35 – cheers to that price! It’s also a way to keep busy in the garden too, while in lockdown.

Bar idea indoors: Homeowner turns old cupboard into a brilliant DIY home bar

How to make your own DIY pallet bar – what you’ll need

pallet bar

(Image credit: Future PLC/ManoMano)

  • 3 wooden pallets
  • Hand saw
  • Wrecking bar
  • Hammer
  • Palm sander
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Holesaw kit
  • Stapler
  • Assorted sandpaper
  • 1.5m length of  steel chain (4mm x 32mm)
  • Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint
  • Rust-Oleum Metallic copper spray
  • Solar fairy lights
  • 2 x Coach bolts
  • Screws
  • Eye hooks
  • Carabiners

Step 1. Remove the pallet planks

pallet planks

(Image credit: ManoMano)

Using a wrecking bar carefully remove the individual planks, from all three wooden pallets.

'Attach three of the side supports together to create an L shape and screw together. Repeat with another three side supports. These will form the upright corners at the back of the bar.'

Step 2. Assemble the back

brick wall

(Image credit: ManoMano)

'Assemble the back of the bar using the new L-shape supports on the corners.' You only need to cover the bottom half of the bar  – because this will be visible from the inside.

'Position five planks closer together to remove gaps and screw them into the corner supports. Add one plank across the top for structural integrity and add a central support. Leaving the gap on the back gives you access to add the lights later.'

Step 3. Drill holes to spell out BAR

drill holes to spell out bar

(Image credit: ManoMano)

'Turn the back section of the bar over and attach 5 planks at the top of the bar. Again, position the planks close together.'

'Using a piece of cardboard or paper stapled to the top of the front, mark out the BAR letters'. Carefully, 'using a drill bit, slightly larger than fairy light bulbs, drill the holes through the cardboard and through the wood on the front of the bar.'

Step 4. Construct the different sides

the bar to the plank section at the top

(Image credit: ManoMano)

'Measure the distance from the base of the bar to the plank section at the top and cut down two side supports to fit this measurement.' These will act as the supports for the drop-down bar.

'Lay out the planks close together and add the side supports, positioning them set in from the ends of the planks. This will ensure that the drop-down panel will fit inside the corner supports of the bar.'

Step 5. Create drop-down bar top

drop-down bar top

(Image credit: ManoMano)

Firstly 'cut away an angle from the bottom of the corner supports at the front of the bar.' To act as a lever mechanism.

drop-down section in position on the front of the bar

(Image credit: ManoMano)

'Place the drop-down section in position on the front of the bar and drill from the side through the corner support and the drop-down support. Add a coach bolt through the hole to act as the hinge.' Repeat for the opposite side.

Step 6. Drill holes for serving glasses

tank cutter to cut holes along the back of the top

(Image credit: ManoMano)

'Use a tank cutter to cut holes along the back of the top layer, of the drop down section. The holes need to be the size of your beer glasses, bottles or wine glasses, to allow them to sit inside the holes when the bar is finished.'

When the drop-down section is closed, you’ll notice a gap on the underside. Attach an extra support piece to remedy this. In doing so you'll create a ‘shelf’ behind the drop-down section when it is open.

Step 7. Paint the pallet

paint the back planks

(Image credit: ManoMano)

Be sure to sand down any round patches before painting. 'Paint the back planks and the hole section on the drop-down with copper spray paint.'

'Use chalkboard paint (either brush-on or spray paint) to paint the top, front and sides. This will allow you to use chalk to add the words ‘birthday’, ‘cocktail’ or any phrase you like to the top of the BAR sign.'

Step 8. Add lights, chain and BAR sign

lights, chain and bar sign

(Image credit: ManoMano)

Add the last finishing touches. Once completely use an eye hook and carabiner to attach a chain to the inside edge of the corner support. 'Add another eye hook and carabiner to the front of the drop-down section and clip on the chain. To close the bar, add two eye hooks on each side and close with two carabiners.

'Working from the back poke the fairy lights through the pre-drilled holes. To finish use the metallic paint to spell out the word BAR – using the fairy light holes as a guide.

Dependant on DIY skills, this project shouldn’t take longer than five hours to complete.

Related: Mum makes impressive DIY window seat for £30 – using old wooden pallets

Once we can throw garden parties again, your garden will be ready to serve in style with this DIY home bar in place.

Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.