For those of you who don't know, I also have a YouTube channel. Last year I built an outdoor bar for my patio. I love it.

It is, BY FAR, my most watched video. I have gotten lots of questions on the build and have tried to answer them as they came up. But what I really needed what a SketchUp step by step pattern of it. 

I have been using Adobe Illustrator forever, and could have don't it through there, but I wanted to use a 3D program that was pretty much designed for this exact thing. 

Currently California is under a state wide shelter in place order during the Covid-19 outbreak, and found it the perfect time to try SketchUp again. I found it frustraing before since it isn't like Illustrator, and since I have been using Illustrator for more than 20 years, I am a little stuck in my ways. I recently watched the best tutorial on Sketchup for woodworkers by one of my favorite YouTubers, April Wilkerson.

So, here is how I built my bar, with some extra comments now that I have lived with it for almost a year.


Kreg Pocket Hole Jig

Circular Saw



Tape Measure

Basic Hand Saw

Speed Square

I'm sure I used a clamp or two here and there as well


Cheap Wood if you are painting it.

2 - 4x4's @ 8' long

7 - 2x4's @ 8' long

Redwood, or other wood that is good for outdoor weather

6 - 2x6's @ 8' long

Fence Boards

You will need a bunch of these, but can really vary in size. Mine were 7.25" wide, so I needed about 14 of them 39.5" long, and 4 of them 63" long. (scrap pieces can be put together for the long pieces)

If I were to have bought all this wood at Home Depot. It would have cost around $225 to $250. But I probalby only spent about $100 since I went through my large scrap pile and was able to use a bunch. Craigslist, and sites like that, are a great place to get free wood. People are clearing out their garages and yards all the time. 

Cut list:


4 - 4x4's @40.5"

12 - 2x4's @20"

5 - 2x4's @60"


4 - 2x6 @ 63" (one will be cut down and notched to fit)

1 - 2x6 @ 80"

2 - 2x6 @30"

1 - 2x6 @ approx 69" (cut to fit)

2 - 2x6 @ approx 24.5" (cut to fit)

Step 1:

I built the side supports out of 4x4's and 2x4's. Everything is joined together with exterior 2.5" pocket hole screws. The wood I used here was scrap wood I had laying around. Proabaly mostly pine. I am going to paint these pieces black later, so I didn't think it really mattered.

Step 2: 

I joined the sides together with another 2x4. 

One weird thing I did was to raise the 2x4 that is closest to the bartender at the top. I did this to give the opening below the biggest possible opening so that it would fit the mini fridge that my sister was giving me. I looked up the dimensions on Amazon to make sure it fit. Yeah.... Amazon had the wrong dimensions listed. The fridge didn't fit... So, if you don't want that piece raised like mine, there is no real reason for it. But I left it in the SketchUp design so that it matches the video.

There is another support that will go around the top to support the bar, but I wanted to make sure that it didn't get in the way of installing the countertop, so I will add that later.

Step 3:

The supports for the counter top and the shelf go in.

Step 4:

I painted the previous step black and make the countertop. The countertop is made from redwood 2x6's. I laid them out on the bar starting from where the bartender would stand and only had to cut one board to fit. In my case, the furthest board needed to be trimmed down to 5", and I had to notch the corners to fit around the 4x4 post.

The bottom shelf I cut from scrap fence boards. They didn't need to be as sturdy, so I went with the cheaper option. But you could always add 2x6's here too if you wanted. 

Step 5:

I added the supports around the top out of 2x4's

Step 6:

I contructed the bar top on the ground. Glued and Pocket screwed it together. Then pocket screwed it from the underneath to attach it to the base.

Step 7:

The I covered the outside of the base on three side with more fence boards.

Step 8:

I add some supports for the bar top out of scrap 2x4's that I painted black. One end is approximately 30 degrees, and the other is 60. But you might have to fiddle with the numbers to get the right fit. The two numbers should add up to 90, and you should be good to go.

Lastly, time to open a beer and anjoy the new bar. 

I've got some plans to add onto the bar. A sink, some removable taps. Perhaps even an awning.

A few notes after living with it for a year. 

It is in NO way water tight. It has no cabinet doors, so I was expecting rain to get in. But everything I have kept on that shelf get even more wet than I would have thought. My solution to that is not to leave anything there that I would mind getting soaked. 

I never sealed it like I meant to, so the redwood naturally greyed out a bit. Not a bad look, but something to keep in mind. It's still super strong.

So, this was how I built the bar, but it was by no means the only way to make it. I'd love to see your variations and photos.

Happy Building!