Holding onto that busted dorm fridge from your college days, but can’t get yourself to part with it for sentimental reasons? If so, then good news, because we have a mini-fridge repurposing hack for you today that is so smart, you’ll wish you had snagged your old roommate’s, too!

You may never have realized it before, but a broken fridge is actually a perfect dupe for a cooler—the inside is insulated and decked out just right to handle a bunch of ice and drinks. But because simply turning your old ice box on its side, filling it with beer, and calling it a day is not the most attractive of solutions, we found a hack for you that yields much better results.

Here’s how you can get started on making your very own:

  1. Gut that mini-fridge

    Remove the door and all of its compressor components before getting into the nitty-gritty.

  2. Give it height

    To make your new cooler more accessible, fashion a square platform with four legs out of wood. This will act as its official base.

  3. Add some support

    Tilt the fridge onto its back and slide it into the wood base. Once secure, add furring strips on all four sides—this will reinforce it.

  4. Pretty it up

    Add planks to each of the four sides of the base. The tutorial calls for redwood, but any sturdy material will work fine. Once all of the planks are in place, go ahead and re-attach the door of the fridge—this will act as the lid for your new cooler!

  5. Create a bar top

    Maybe we should have mentioned that this is no ordinary cooler— this one comes equipped with a bar top! To make your own, start by building a frame to border the lid of the cooler. The tutorial indicates that these pieces of wood should measure out to about 2inches-by-4-inches. Once complete, attach the auxiliary planks to complete the surface of the ‘bar’.

  6. Secure, secure, secure!

    Now’s the time when you can screw all pieces of wood and planks together. When all is secure, attach a decorative handle to the side of the bar top frame; this will allow you to open your new cooler with ease.

  7. Create some drainage

    Since this cool contraption is on the heavier side, it’s best to build in a drain so that you don’t have to lay it on its side when the ice melts. To do this, drill a hole in the plastic underside, and stuff in some PVC pipe. Seal any weak areas with caulk.

Just check out the completed version. We think this one-of-a-kind cooler would be a welcome addition to any summer patio party!

close-up of repurposed fridge coolerelliot r
To watch the entire step-by-step so you can complete it yourself, be sure to click on the video below.

What do you think of this dorm fridge upcycle? Have you completed a similar project before? Can you think of any other creative ways you could repurpose a dorm fridge? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!