Coolers are a summer necessity. Whether you’re going on an afternoon picnic or looking to bring some refreshments to the beach, you need your cooler to keep all the essentials (sodas, juices, and beers, of course) ice cold. Because room temperature drinks on the scalding hot beach? Not so refreshing. But while coolers are really good at keeping our drinks cold, they’re also really good at ruining the food we’ve brought along as well

How many times have you packed sandwiches or snacks in your cooler to keep them fresh, only to find they’re soaking wet in the melted ice water a few minutes later? Well, with this handy little summer hack, you can build a shelf to keep your food cold AND dry in your cooler! Watch the video below to see how it’s done.

The soggy sandwiches end here, people.

This summertime hack is perfect; it doesn’t just make for a handy place to keep your sandwiches elevated and dry, but it also allows for some ventilation throughout the cooler. Thanks to the slots in the shelf, the cool air from the ice below can still rise up and keep your food cool!

To get started on this summer hack, here’s what you’ll need:


  • Cardboard
  • Plywood
  • Saw
  • Paint (optional)
  • Drill and screws
  • 2 metal hinges

Step 1: Start by cutting your cardboard template so it will fit comfortably inside of the cooler. Then, using a pen or pencil, trace out some slots in the cardboard. Step 2: Put the cardboard template over the plywood and trace the slots and circumference onto the wood. Use a saw to cut the wood to size and cut out the slots. Step 3: Paint wood if desired. Let dry before continuing to the final step. Step 4: Screw two hinges into the back of the shelf and into the back of the cooler so that it’s mounted.

Make sure to get a good sense of the layout of your cooler before you even begin this project. In this video, the cooler in question has two little grooves, one on each side, that the shelf can rest on. If your shelf doesn’t have anywhere to rest, you may need to purchase a different cooler to get the best results from this project.

All in all, this is such a simple and functional DIY! You can get this easily done in an hour or so and it’s a great summer life hack to have on hand.

What do you think of this DIY hack? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.