Old Fridge Into Patio Cooler

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old fridge into patio cooler

This has to be one of the best re-purpose projects I have ever seen for the patio. A large refrigerator has been stripped down to it’s base components and turned into a nice cooler for holding a large amount of drinks.

Many people have expressed concern over the safety of this project. This is NOT a functioning refrigerator. The mechanics of the fridge have been removed and it is simply a cooler. So, no worries about the freon “not working” on it’s side.

Also, there has been concern about children getting locked in… there are no locks on this. It’s simply trimmed out doors that open and shut normally with no locking or latching system.

I was able to find a DIY tutorial for you guys too! This tutorial is on how to trim out a small cooler so it’s a bit different but just in scale!

Here’s the link to the tutorial…

Killer B Designs – Rustic Cooler DIY

Image Credit: HomeTalk


  1. You may want to keep this locked at all times. Children are inquisitive little beggars and one could get trapped in it

  2. It would be safer to lock this cooler so children could not get into it because working or not the refrigerator is made to be very air tight. Need to drill holes in bottom for drainage of melting ice. then should possibly be safe— as long as drain holes remain clear.

  3. The fridge does not have a locking door handle. Children getting stuck in refrigerators is specific to refrigerators with locking door handles, and they haven’t been made in decades. Why this persists as a safety concern with refrigerators is beyond me.

  4. We all saw that Punky Brewster episode, calm down. There was cause for mass hysteria back when the fridges locked..none of them do anymore. So sick of obligatory non-useful knee jerk advise.

  5. For anyone who’s worried about suffocation of small children I would suggest DRILLING A HOLE in the base, cut a short piece of PVC pipe to insert in the hole, apply epoxy, then when it is dry you can put a stopper in it. This means when it’s not in use you can remove the stopper so IF a child should decide to crawl in they will not suffocate AND when it IS in use you can pull the stopper out to allow any melted ice water to drain. PROBLEM SOLVED!

  6. When you put the drainage hole in, add a hose with an in-line tap. Then you don’t have to plunge your hand into the ice cold water to remove the bung.

  7. Thank you for posting the Patio Cooler, I have an old fridge in my shed that I’ve been wanting to repurpose, we’ve just pulled up a bunch of hardwood planks during renovations and now I have the instructions – no excuses anymore! Been saving the fridge for over 10 years!

  8. You can’t lock yourself inside a refrigerator anymore. I don’t think you’ve been able to do that since 1950. Even if they do lock themselves in, then at least they won’t spoil.

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  14. On the smaller version I use a plastic sink mount after drilling the hole in the bottom. I then put a water faucet spigot. You can either drain into bucket or put water hose on the end. The sink mount piece I use from home Depot is already threaded at the end so the spigot goes right on. Make sure you get the one that does not have holes or any stopper mechanism. It has rubber seal on top and bottom so you do not even have to use silicone unless you just want too.

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