How to Build a Minibar

Written by lauren wise
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How to Build a Minibar
(Courtesy of Photobucket.)

The minibar has been a characteristic fixture in hotel rooms for years. You can set up your own at home to provide you or a guest with a full range of wine liquors, mixers, garnishes and snacks without taking up much room besides a small corner of your household. All it entails is constructing a bar table, tucking a mini refrigerator underneath it, and creating a creative display on top of the bar table with glasses and supplies to accompany your beverages and snacks.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Mini refrigerator
  • Corner space or shelf space
  • Two planks of wood, measuring 3.5 feet wide by 5 feet tall (to be the support sides of the bar)
  • One plank of wood, measuring 3.5 feet wide by 4 feet long (to be the table top of the bar)
  • Tube of wood glue
  • Gloves, if desired
  • Electric screwdriver with six large screws at least 1-inch long
  • Paint, varnish or stain if desired
  • Two mini bottles each of vodka, tequila, rum, gin, bourbon or whisky,
  • Two sports drinks, such as Gatorade
  • Large tray
  • A jigger
  • Martini shaker
  • Two wine glasses
  • Two martini glasses
  • Two water glasses
  • Two rocks glasses
  • Ice bucket
  • Ice tongs
  • Toothpicks and stirrers in a container
  • Bottle opener
  • Wine opener
  • Small bottle each of cranberry juice, orange juice and pineapple juice
  • Small bottle each of club soda, tonic water and sodas, such as Sprite, Coca Cola and Diet Coke
  • Half bottle of champagne, white wine and red wine
  • Assorted bottled water
  • Bottles or cherries, olives, cocktail onions and fruits slices for garnishes
  • Two cans of energy drink, such as Red Bull
  • Four to six bottles of beer in various types and brands
  • Basket to hold dry goods
  • Assorted snacks and candies
  • Napkins
  • Silverware, if necessary or desired
  • Small size bottles of moisturiser, Aloe vera gel, ibuprofen and other goods
  • Good quality candles
  • Trash can with trash bags

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    Constructing the Minibar

  1. 1

    Choose a corner of your house that is out of the way and is a proper place for a minibar, such as a basement relaxation area or a large living room. Make sure that you have a space of at least 6 feet by 6 feet to spread out.

  2. 2

    Take the wood plank that is 3.5 feet wide by 4 feet long. This is going to be the tabletop of the bar where your glasses and supplies will be set up. Lay it down in front of you lengthwise. Spread a thick line of wood glue down each side of the plank that is 3.5 feet wide. Spread it from the top edge to the bottom. Take one of the other planks that are 3.5 by 5 feet and place the smallest side.

  3. 3

    Turn one of the 3.5 by 5 foot wood planks so that the 3.5 edge matches up to the 3.5 edge of the tabletop plank. Make sure that the edges are even, and press the plank down firmly onto the line of wood glue. Hold it firmly in place for a full minute to two minutes to make sure that it is secure enough to let go.

  4. 4

    Repeat this procedure with the other 3.5 by 5 foot wood plank on the opposite side. Once completed, the three boards should resemble a fat square with the top side missing. Do this part quickly so the wood glue doesn't dry before you attach them together. Turn the square carefully onto its side, so the tabletop plank is facing you.

  5. 5

    Drill through the top edges of the tabletop into the side wood planks using the screwdriver. Use three screws for each side, evenly spaced apart, to ensure that the planks are all secured. When completed, set the table upright in the corner you want the minibar area to be in. Now it should resemble a regular countertop that is 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

    How to Build a Minibar
  6. 6

    Use paint, varnish or stain if desired to complete the bar. Black is a good colour for a minibar as it is elegant and matches all colours.

  7. 7

    Obtain a mini refrigerator. These usually range from 3 feet tall to 4 feet tall. Makes sure that it is cleaned and works properly. Insert it under the tabletop so it is between the two wood plank sides. You can tuck it into one side or just leave it right in the middle underneath. Plug it in and let it cool down before filling with drinks. Now your mini bar area is constructed and you just need to fill it and arrange the decorations.

    How to Build a Minibar

    Fill the Minibar with Beverages and Snacks

  1. 1

    Fill the mini refrigerator with your chosen beverages. It is best to supply at least two of each product. Stock the shelves with the non-alcoholic sports drinks, juices, sodas, beers, wine, champagne and water. Keep the same products grouped together to give an organised appearance.

  2. 2

    Stock the door shelves of the mini refrigerator with the mini bottles of spirits, the energy drinks and whatever other products couldn't fit on the refrigerator shelves. Keep the same products grouped together to give an organised appearance.

    How to Build a Minibar
  3. 3

    Organise the tabletop of the minibar. Place a large tray positioned on one side of the tabletop, and carefully place each pair of the glasses on it in a row. If there is room, place the martini shaker, jigger, bottle opener and wine opener on the tray as well. If there is not room, set up these items next to the ice bucket.

  4. 4

    Place the ice bucket close to the tray with the ice tongs inside or set up against the bucket. Arrange the stack of napkins on the tabletop where you desire. Place the container of toothpicks and stirrers next to the napkins.

  5. 5

    Set the bottles of garnishes up against the back of the tabletop. These can range from black olives, cocktail onions, cherries, green olives, stuffed olives, pate, or slices of fruit, such as pineapple, lemon and lime.

    How to Build a Minibar
  6. 6

    Place the basket to hold the dry goods on the other side of the tabletop, opposite the tray of glasses. Fill it with assorted snacks and treats, such as nuts, chocolate covered peanuts, gummy bears, gum, pretzels, crackers and cheese, fruit, chips, salsa, candy bars, assorted teas and other creative minibar snacks. Do this keeping in mind what types of products you or your guests prefer. Arrange them in a creative, attractive manner in the basket. Also add products, such as moisturising lotion, aloe vera gel, ibuprofen, candles and other products that correlate with the region you live in (add sunscreen or Aloe vera gel for hot weather, and a product, such as hot cocoa for cold weather).

    How to Build a Minibar
    Example of a hotel dry goods minibar area
  7. 7

    Place a trash can with trash bags next to the mini refrigerator under the bar tabletop for any trash you have while concocting drinks or eating snacks.

Tips and warnings

  • You can create your minibar as fancy or simple as you want. Try different designs, more expensive mini refrigerators (there are some with glass doors so they are see-through) and more edgy and rare dry good products.

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