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5.25.2020

build a backyard tiki bar in a sandbox!

beach style, boho style, coastal style, color, diy decorating, DIY, entertaining, junk makeover, makeover, outdoors, re-purposing, summer, style, tiki style, trash to treasure, weekend makeover
you guys, i discovered that my kids actually listen to me!
i mentioned to two of my daughters that i was sad that i couldn't go to the beach (thank you, Covid19).
and do you know what they did? they sent me a backyard sandbox for Mothers' Day!!!
"now you can get your toes in the sand, Mom!" 

little did my darlings know that they were kicking off my first project of the summer...
one that caused us to re-think EVERYthing about our backyard.
because.... if you can't go TO Hawai'i, then bring Hawai'i to YOU!

 i recently shared my salvaged wood potting bench in this posti built that last summer, 
then took it down and put all of the elements in other places.
well...... as the plan for the sandbox unfolded, i pulled all of it out again.
because you know me, i love to just keep making one thing into another....

continue reading to see how a sandbox and a potting bench became a TIKI BAR!


this is the sandbox the kids sent us.
i put it together in the location we decided on - next to our covered lanai/patio in the backyard,
without using the rounded corner seats. (you can BET i'll use them in something else!)
as you'll see in the photos below, the sand didn't go into the sandbox until after the tiki bar was built:
beach style, boho style, coastal style, color, diy decorating, DIY, entertaining, junk makeover, makeover, outdoors, re-purposing, summer, style, tiki style, trash to treasure, weekend makeover
on the left is the previous salvaged wood potting bench, which is a large plywood 'countertop'
sitting on top of two low-backed metal bar stools. wood planks sitting on lower rungs created a shelf. 

the center photo shows how the tiki bar is pretty much the same arrangement as the potting bench - 
with the addition of two white cabinet doors and two 4X4 blocks of wood on the bar stool seats.
i added those to give more stable support in the center of the bar top, so it wouldn't bow.
beneath the bar stools are two long planks of wood - sitting on TOP of the edge of the sandbox.
that added height so that the bar was at a comfortable level for serving.

the sandbox screwed together with eight bolts. 
the bar is held together - and to the sandbox - with ZIP TIES. 
i wanted this thing to hold up for the summer, then come apart easily.
it's not permanent... it's more like a great photo / display prop!
but it IS very stable and secure.

after the sand went in, i stapled some burlap fabric to the back side of the countertop
to cover the structure & storage under the bar.
beach style, boho style, coastal style, color, diy decorating, DIY, entertaining, junk makeover, makeover, outdoors, re-purposing, summer, style, tiki style, trash to treasure, weekend makeover
after the bar support structure was zip tied into place, i covered the front of it with bamboo -
i used a 3.5' tall X 8' wide bamboo fence, wired for support and comes in a roll.

to get it to fit over the sandbox, all i had to do was cut the lowest wire on the fence in the right place -
that allowed the bamboo to move to the side a bit, and i could slip it down over the sandbox sides.
i wrapped the fence around each side of the bar, and zip tied it to the bar stools in back.
the top edge of the fence sits under/behind the lip of the bartop, 
while a few zip ties hold the center of the fence to the front edges of the bar stools.

(btw, that blue sky/sun thing is a very thick fuzzy blanket, acting as 'insulation'...
it sits on the concrete under the clear plastic liner of the sandbox.
our concrete gets SO hot here - our air temps are 115 average in summer - 
that we didn't want to take the chance of the plastic melting to the concrete.)

after the bamboo fence was in place, i filled the sandbox with play sand. 
(12 fifty pound bags of sand. that's 600 pounds of sand, my friends. can you feel my pain?!)
the sand is @ 6 inches deep... i could have added two more bags, and i still might.
i have two yoga mats that i use at night to cover the sand...
we don't have cats, but we have seen a gray cat in our yard twice, so we're being careful.

we chose the bar placement - closer to the back of the sandbox than the front - 
so that not only can guests stand in the sand in FRONT of the bar,
the bartender (usually me!) can stand in the small area of sand behind the bar.
also, Mom & i can pull two patio chairs up to the front edge of the sandbox
and sit with our toes in the sand!
beach style, boho style, coastal style, color, diy decorating, DIY, entertaining, junk makeover, makeover, outdoors, re-purposing, summer, style, tiki style, trash to treasure, weekend makeover
 i sanded and varnished the bar top and added a coat of varnish to the bamboo, to protect it all.
then, the FUN part: decorating it!
a new orange umbrella and some tropical accessories
(that we used in our Happy HULAdays holiday decor last year)
finished off our new/old tiki bar, and it is the perfect way for us to kick off summer!

beach style, boho style, coastal style, color, diy decorating, DIY, entertaining, junk makeover, makeover, outdoors, re-purposing, summer, style, tiki style, trash to treasure, weekend makeover
my last blog post shared another recent backyard project: beach-y painted wood signs -
they sit back behind the tiki bar, as seen in this photo.
these are two of FIVE projects we've completed to bring tropical style to our yard,
creating our own little 'Hawai'i' so we can enjoy our summer 'Staycation'!

upcoming posts will share the other three projects - 
and every single one is something that i have REmade from an old project!
i hope these posts inspire you to remake, recreate, rethink, reimagine, and rework
what you have on hand already, creating your very own paradise.
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i wanna' make a point here: i'm not shopping in stores right now. i'm staying safe for Mom.
i ordered the bamboo fencing + sand from Lowes, the orange umbrella from Big Lots,
and i did curbside pickup at their stores.
the sandbox is from Kidcraft on Amazon (currently out of stock) and it was delivered to my door.
everything else was found in our house & garage. 'cuz that's my thing: use what you have.

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shared online:

funky junk interiors | diy salvaged junk projects #529

thank you for featuring my tiki bar, Miss Donna!


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