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DIY Outdoor End Table Planter or Cooler

This DIY outdoor end table does double duty! Keep drinks cool with the built in ice bucket, or switch it to a planter box for flowers.

DIY outdoor table planter or cooler

Our quest for the ultimate deck is slowly starting to come together! The outdoor sofa and loveseat set I built creates a cozy seating area in the corner, and outdoor rope lights around the perimeter give it just the right ambiance.

But what good is all that when there's nowhere to set your drink?!? This DIY outdoor end table provides the perfect solution to two problems in one compact space!

Looking for a different type of end table? Check out this list of 20 amazing DIY end table ideas and see what inspires you!

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Materials needed for DIY table cooler

How to make an outdoor planter table

Download the woodworking plans

Before you begin, download the woodworking plans for this DIY outdoor end table by clicking the box below. The plans include a cut list with all the dimensions, 3D models of each step and the instructions in a checklist format so you can keep track of your progress as you build!

download box for woodworking plans for DIY outdoor end table

Assemble the legs

Drill pocket holes in both ends of top tier frame pieces at the 1 ½” board thickness setting.

drilling pocket holes in 2x4 board

Then drill pocket holes along one length at the ¾” setting.

drilling pocket holes along length of board

Attach these to the legs with 2 ½” pocket hole screws. The holes along the long edge should be facing up and will be used to attach the top later.

DIY outdoor end table leg assembly

Repeat the process for drilling pocket holes for the bottom tier frame pieces. Attach them to the outside edge of the table legs with 2 ½” pocket hole screws.

cross supports for end table

Attach the other set of legs. It may be a little tricky to fit your drill inside the frame to attach this piece. I used a right angle drill attachment to get into this tight spot.

using a right angle attachment on a drill to access tight space between boards

The planter side of the table only needs one pair of legs. 

planter side of DIY end table legs

Assemble the table tops

The tops of the table are made out of 1 x 4's. Drill two pocket holes into both ends. Attach these to the side pieces with 1 ¼” pocket hole screws, leaving about  ¼” between each slat.

DIY end table top

Assemble the planter side the same way, but leave a space in the middle that is big enough for the lip of your planter box to rest on top securely. This one was custom fit to this plan.

download box for woodworking plans for DIY outdoor end table

You'll want to buy two planter boxes if you want to switch out flowers for the ice bucket, unless you like dirt in your ice!

end table top with space for planter box in center

Attach the table tops to the legs

Attach the table tops to their matching frames with 1 ¼” pocket hole screws. One long edge should be flush with the legs, and the other sides should overhang by ¾”.

end table top attached to leg assembly

Now is a good time to paint or stain. I used the same exterior stain as the outdoor sofa and loveseat I built, so the entire set matches perfectly!

Attach the two sides together

Stand both halves next to each other on a flat surface with the flush sides together. Check that the planter side is level, then attach it to the upper table with 1 ½” L angle brackets.

two sides of DIY outdoor end table attached with L brackets underneath top

download box for woodworking plans for DIY outdoor end table

Fill your planter box with flowers (or ice) and drop it in. The lip of the box should rest on the edges of the table top, and can easily be switched out. 

DIY outdoor end table with ice bucket

The planter box comfortably fits a six pack, so you always have your favorite beverage cold and close at hand.

outdoor end table with ice bucket next to outdoor sofa

Or switch out the box for beautiful flowers to enjoy while relaxing on your deck or patio.

DIY end table with planter box full of white, red and purple flowers


Friday 25th of May 2018

I love this! I like it as a planter too.


Thursday 24th of May 2018

I'd love a pair of these for our patio! So cool! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday; I'll be featuring your DIY end table at our upcoming party. Hope you'll join us again next week!


Wednesday 23rd of May 2018

What a fabulous summer project Vineta!! Thank you for sharing it at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I'm delighted to be featuring your end table with built-in ice bucket at tonight's party and pinning too!

Jann Olson

Sunday 20th of May 2018

This is really cute! Thanks for sharing with SYC. hugs Jann


Sunday 20th of May 2018

You are well on your way to the ultimate deck for outdoor living. Love it! What a cozy setting you have created. A great place for morning coffee or evening entertaining. This is a Featured post at Merry Monday this week! Sharing! Can't wait to see what your next project is!

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