Everyone has stuff that’s just taking up space around the house. If we were going to clean out all that junk, we would need a massive dumpster. But instead of throwing things away, there are those whose creative abilities allow them to beautifully repurpose old stuff, turning it into amazing ‘new’ items through the magic of upcycling.

When Brooke Norsworthy found an old, beaten-up cooler in her garage, she could have thrown it away. But instead, she saw potential. And just wait until you see what she did with it!

Looking at the old cooler, it would be hard to resist just throwing it in the trash…

But that wasn’t the case for Brooke and her friends. They saw something all the rest of us are missing.

She wanted to prove that she could make this old cooler into something truly special for less than $50.

Using scrap wood, she cut and built a frame that would bring the cooler up to counter height, at 30”.

It’s important that the cooler fit snugly into the frame and didn’t have a lot of room to move around. You’ll see why soon!

Brooke and her friends used beautiful reclaimed wood panels to cover the exterior.

She made sure the panels were slightly longer than they needed to be in order to cover the frame.

When she got to the side slats, Brooke drilled a hole that lined up with the cooler’s built-in spigot. 

She used more of the reclaimed wood to create a stylish trim.

Details are everything!

There were only a few steps left. First, it was time to remove the cooler’s lid and replace it with a custom version…

Then, she used the remaining trim-wood to cover up the legs on the frame for a uniform look.

The new lid was affixed to the base using two simple hinges.

Both lids fit perfectly together.

The hole in the side provided a place for a stylish spigot fixture. Brooke even added a bottle opener.

Check out part of the finished product! See the next page for more…

It’s incredible that Brooke was able to do this for under $30. This is the exact kind of unique creation that anyone can use in their backyard for many summers to come. Interested in more inspiration? Check out the next page…

Brooke’s isn’t the only DIY rustic cooler design out there! There are all sorts of cooler styles, and you can really get creative with them.


Here’s another cooler, only this one incorporates scrap metal that takes that rustic look to a whole different level.


Using vintage signs could be another way to give your cooler that extra pizzazz!


This wooden cooler has a spigot on the side for drainage, and that little bucket for the bottle caps is such a nice aspect. People really are creative with this stuff, aren’t they? So cute!


Similar to some of the wooden ones before it, this cooler idea incorporates a sort of chest of drawers design into it. Having some storage space definitely makes it especially helpful.


This cooler takes a rustic approach, making use of an old barrel to really offer a unique appeal. Just fill it up with ice, and you’re ready to have a classy cookout!


This cooler is a little bit different from the others. Using some old wash tubs, lots of paint, and some adorable signs, this person was able to make a totally unique design! Not bad!


Sometimes, though, the best cooler takes a simple concept and just makes it look really great! For example, this one just uses a chalkboard, and some of the ideas we’ve seen previously, to really stand out!


It’s incredible to think that these people have made something so awesome for so little money. They are truly talented!