Homemade Beer Cooler

Written by jeffrey brian airman
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Homemade Beer Cooler
Icing beers in a homemade cooler gets them colder than most refrigerators. (beer bottle image by JJAVA from Fotolia.com)

You can turn a cardboard box from a 12-pack of beer bottles into a homemade beer cooler in just a few minutes using basic household items. Cardboard boxes made to hold heavy liquid-filled glass beer bottles are reinforced with multiple layers and strong adhesives. Carefully opening the box protects this structural integrity so the container is capable of holding ice and beer. Save money on disposable coolers for tailgate parties or picnics by converting a 12-pack box into a homemade cooler.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Box cutter or razor blade
  • 12-pack box of glass beer bottles
  • 3 plastic wastebasket liners
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • Duct tape

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  1. 1

    Cut out the top section of a new 12-pack box, staying at least an inch from all the top edges and corners. Lift out all 12 beers and set them aside.

  2. 2

    Open two plastic wastebasket liners and inspect them to make sure there are no tears or holes. Double up their thickness by putting one inside of the other.

  3. 3

    Press the doubled bags down into the empty box evenly so the edges of the bags are at the same level protruding from the top of the box.

  4. 4

    Add crushed ice to the lined box until it is approximately 1/3 full and sprinkle the salt over the top surface of the ice.

  5. 5

    Open a third wastebasket bag and inspect it for holes before pressing its base down onto the crushed ice.

  6. 6

    Press eight of the beers down into the bag that is covering the salty crushed ice until less than an inch of the bottle is above the rim of the box. The four remaining beers can be added to the homemade cooler as cold beers are removed and consumed.

  7. 7

    Tape the edges of all three wastebasket liners down onto the outside of the box so they stay out of the way when beers are being added and retrieved.

  8. 8

    Pour crushed ice over the beer bottles in the homemade cooler until the labels are no longer visible. Room-temperature beer will take around 20 to 30 minutes to cool to around 1.67 degrees Celsius in the cooler.

  9. 9

    Sprinkle additional crushed ice over new beers when they are added to keep the level above the labels at all times.

Tips and warnings

  • This homemade beer cooler is a handy improvisation when a hotel has a broken refrigerator or none is provided at all. The small wastebasket liners in hotel rooms are perfectly sized for the purpose.
  • Drink beer responsibly. Make a plan for your evening before you have the first beer so you get home safely.

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