How to Build a Temporary Bar

We don't have the extra funds to build a full bar and even if we did it would be a waste of space to keep it around most of the time. Fortunately, when it is time to party, we have everything we need to throw together a satisfactory bar in just a few minutes!

The University of Dayton provides us with precisely the furniture we need: Two end tables of the same height and a plain coffee table.

For our purposes we will arrange them like this:

Since the tables are stacked they are going to need some support. Nails, screws, and glue are not an option because we will need to have things back in their original condition after the party. The solution, obviously, is duct tape.
We had some elbow brackets sitting around from a previous project. Place them on the inner sides of the coffee table legs as shown below. Stabilize everything with duct tape. If you have any concern about how sturdy it will be, it cannot hurt to continue applying duct tape.

At a minimum you will need to brace two legs of opposite corners. Make sure the end tables are far enough apart that a bump will not slip a leg of the top table over the edge.
A skeleton of our bar:

Find a sheet of appropriate size and fold it over so the outer side touches the floor. We used this cover which matches our futon for classy coordination. Put the duct tape to use again.

Fold the corners over so it doesn't make a clump.

Duct tape!

Use long pieces of tape to cover the rest. This gives the bar a nice silver trim.

Tuck any extra sheet under the legs, in case anybody is watching.

Don't forget to stock the bar. Seriously, what a waste these efforts would be if somebody forgot this part.

There is plenty of space for storing bartending tools and extra beverages.

And you're good to go!

Rope light can be added for appearance enhancement. Make sure to do a better job than this first attempt of our bar last year.


This thing sets up in no time at all and is sturdy enough to withstand all but the wildest of parties. Don't forget to set out some peanuts and a tips jar. Good luck with your ghetto bar-building adventures!

Related house projects: Stripper pole

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