Let’s face it, mini refrigerators are ugly. Especially those from the college years that are covered in old stickers and permanent marker, which was the case with our little porch fridge. My husband actually won it at a house party in college, and it saved us later on when our big refrigerator went out when Charlie was a baby and I needed it for bottles! So of course now we’re going to keep it around as a just-in-case measure, and because it’s nice to not need to let the a/c out of the house when you’re hanging out on the porch and need to refresh your beverage.
Ahhhhh, so much better than the giant BENGI!!! and Lone Star stickers. Here’s how I made the cover:
• 1 – 2’x6′ sheet of corrugated tin (about $8)
• 4 – 1x3x8 cedar boards (about $14)
• 1 – 2 pack hinges ($1.50)
• 1 – 2 pack hook and eyes ($1.50)
• screws (1/4″ screws to attach the tin, 1 1/4″ to attach the frames)
First I measured the side of the refrigerator and made a frame of 1×3’s with pocket holes. My dimensions were 19 1/2″ for the long pieces and 16″ for the two shorter ones. I made it slightly larger than the side so it would have some room for the tin.
I traced the inside of the frame, adding about an inch all around so I had room to overlap it on the frame and drill the tin down. I used tin snips to cut the tin, but strong scissors will also work. Be careful not to cut yourself!
Once it was cut I laid it onto the frame and drilled pilot holes, then screwed the tin into the boards with 1/4″ long cabinet screws I had laying around.
Repeat the process for the other side, the top, and a door for a total of 4 panels. I left the back open for ventilation and the plug. I simply used a scrap board along to the bottom to help keep the sides as square as possible, as they wanted to bow out.
I built the box by using a countersink bit on the top panel and two screws onto each side panel, then added the scrap support along the lower back. The door is attached with two hinges on the left side, and two hook and eyes help hold it in place since I made my box a little too tight. You can see that the bottom of the box spreads out a bit wider than the top. Not a huge deal. I also had to use a scrap 1×2 for the door frame as I ran out of 1×3 lumber. Home Depot is the only place that carries 1×3 cedar around here, and the nearest one is still a 30+ minute drive away, so I opted for a 1×2 instead of making another trip. As the sides all vary in color, I think it still looks pretty nice.
We also moved our tractor seat stools to the porch, and raised the height on them from counter to bar height to fit at our railing bar. They work great, and look rustic, it’s just taking me a bit of time to get used to the new taller shape.
I think it looks pretty good over there! We’re thinking about finding a bunch of old license plates to add on each board above the little fridge. I think I’ll also find a good outdoor mat and paint it for a rug. It’s finally starting to come together, and the weather has been great in the evenings so we’ve been enjoying it quite a bit!