DIY Tiki Bar

Build a basic tiki bar for your next backyard luau with these easy to follow instructions.

Somehow Oscar is turning one next week and we wanted to make sure to mark the occasion in a way that would fun for the adults and the kids. A backyard luau is something we have never done before so we went with it.  In addition to the grass skirts and flower leis, I wanted to build a basic tiki bar to add to the charm. I made this one small enough for our back deck but you could adjust to any size.

I wanted to make something quick (I made this during baby naps over 1 24 hour period), easy (no special tools required) and reasonably cheap.   This was my solution and I think it looks appropriately Gilligan's Island. I also plan on reusing it for this year's Halloween display so doubly useful for me.  If you wanted to create something that would withstand the elements for longer and/or looked less rustic, you could use cedar which withstands moisture and rot but I just used the cheapest lumber I could find.

Materials used: 13 1x4 cut into 35 inch lengths, 2 1x2 cut into 29 inch lengths, 6 1x2s cut into 13 inch lengths, 1 16x36 inch wood piece for the top, 2 29.5x13 wood pieces for the shelves, wood screws, stain or paint

Build the Tiki Bar

  • Line up 9 of the 35 inch pieces edge to edge. Screw together using 1x2s.  Place those pieces where you want your shelves to sit. I have them at 13 and 21 inches from the bottom. This will make the front of the tiki bar.
  • Line up 4 of the 35 inch pieces edge to edge, screw together using 1x2.  Repeat.  This will make the left and right side of the tiki bar.
  • Screw the left and right sides to the face by abutting the short edge to the back of the long edge.
  • Screw in the 1x2s to the underside of the top.  Screw in at right and left for extra hold.
  • Place the shelves on the 1x2s support
  • Stain or paint as desired. I used a mix of brown paint and MinWax Coastal Grey stain.
  • Optional: use scrap wood to create Tiki Bar sign hanging from the counter

The only tools you need are something to cut the wood with (or get your local hardware store to do it for you) and a drill.  It came together pretty easily and has a lot of rustic charm perfect for a luau display.


  1. How cute is this!? I think we all need a tiki bar in our lives.

    xo Michael

  2. Oh, well done!!!!!!! I am impressed that you made it so quickly, wow.

    Trying to wrap my head around Oscar being one already. Not working. It doesn't seem possible, maybe because we haven't seen many pictures of him? Yes, that was a hint. :o)

    1. Thanks! I almost abandoned the whole thing when I couldn't find the original wood I was planning to use but I'm glad I just pushed through because it was much faster to put together than I expected.

      Are you on instagram? I post a lot of Oscar photos on there.

    2. I'm glad you pushed thorough, too; you're a marvelous inspiration!

      I deleted my Instagram account because I have several nieces whose pictures I was too tempted to comment on in my very best Stern Aunt Voice. :o) Perhaps I'll start a new account and nobly ignore theirs!


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