MAKE IT / 36

while we were brainstorming summer DIY projects, we were just throwing out words that made us think of the season. but we kept running into ideas that felt overdone or obvious…i said at one point, “i just need it to be cooler.” and that was it. a cooler! most of the time, coolers are generic colors & boring design. so we thought, why not fancy it up a little and make it into an accessory? the same as you would carry a cute beach bag or tote…your cooler can now be just as cool.

thanks for making this super awesome video for us, arian! watch to get a better idea of how to make your own at home… (cooler making is serious business as you can see above)

what you’ll need:

• white Coleman 28qt. cooler (available at target, here)
• parachute cords in various colors and lengths, about 12 total, available at craft stores and surplus supply stores
• raffia
• large wooden beads
• scissors

how to make it:

• we’ve used a simple square knot pattern to cover our cooler handle. its a basic knot found in macrame and lanyard making that you may have encountered in summer camp. if you need more help understanding how to make square knots don’t let it stop you. there are many tutorials available on the internet. everyone learns knotting techniques differently so you may want to explore the variety of ways people explain how to make square knots.

• loop a 3-6 yard piece of cord around the handle on one side of the cooler. take the left piece of cord across the front of the handle from left to right. take the right cord and lay it over the left cord so that they cross each other. continue to run the right cord under the left cord and around the back of the handle and feed the cord through the loop on the end that has been created on the left side of the handle.you will notice that the cords have now switched sides of the handle.

• now we’ll go in the other direction. take the cord on the right side and pull it across the from of the handle from right to left. take the cord on the left and pull it upwards  and over (the cord that you just pulled across the handle) and around the back of the handle. pull the cord from behind through the loop you have created on the right side and pull tight. you will continue these same moves to work your way around the entire handle. take time to pull your cords tight and keep them running straight. it takes a little practice, but once you’ve got the pattern down you can cover the handle in no time at all.

• once you have a knot or two completed, add some raffia to the cords to bring some real summer vibes as you go along. to add new colors start the same way and run the cord ends of the previous color under the new cords for about and inch and a half and trim. when you get to the end of the handle, tie a nice looped knot and leave the cords dangling to add beads and raffia. trim any straggling raffia so that the handle is easy and comfortable to grip.

• to make raffia flowers wrap several long pieces around your hand. slide off of your hand and tie in the middle, you can add a bead to the middle if you like. cut the end loops and crinkle into shape. tie raffia flowers to the handles in areas that you won’t grab when you pick up the cooler. make some cords in various lengths and add wooden beads and raffia flowers to both ends. tie them around your cooler and cooler handle at various lengths.

• the last step is to make some cords in various lengths and add wooden beads and raffia flowers to both ends. tie them around your cooler and cooler handle at various lengths.

we have been big fans of walking to the silver lake reservoir (some call it the “hipster beach”) around 6pm after work and bringing snacks and drinks. now we just look a little bit coooooooler. get it.

project by: natalie shriver for designlovefest
photos by: kimberly genevieve
video by: modshift

more DIY projects here

(This summer inspiration is brought to you by Target. Find more fun and surprises all season long on Target’s #SummerUp Pinterest board. purchase target cooler here & bracelets here.)



Add your own

  • 1. Cristina  |  June 14th, 2013 at 5:05 am

    I love the bright colors with the raffia.

  • 2. Jana @ 333 Days of Hand Lettering  |  June 14th, 2013 at 5:44 am

    Cute, Cute-I’ve never seen anyone decorate their cooler. And they are usually just so darn ugly :)

  • 3. Amy Jo  |  June 14th, 2013 at 5:46 am

    I love this post! Such a fun project for bringing creativity to summer festivals and picnics.

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  • 5. Brooke  |  June 14th, 2013 at 6:55 am

    This is so cute! I absolutely love it! Great idea.

    xo honestlyb.com

  • 6. KAIT  |  June 14th, 2013 at 7:10 am

    So clever! Great project for the 4th or birthdays or any holiday really – love it!

  • 7. Abby  |  June 14th, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Where did you get the mint hexagon tray? Very cute.

  • 8. ampa de O'mimi  |  June 14th, 2013 at 8:35 am

    so great idea! I’m going to costumize my own!! thank you for the inspiration

  • 9. Kayleigh  |  June 14th, 2013 at 9:00 am

    This is too cute of an idea! Such a fabulous summer inspired DIY!


  • 10. Jennifer L.  |  June 14th, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Do you happen to have a link to the bracelets?

  • 11. MFree  |  June 14th, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Ha! Very cute DIY and agree with the other commenter, I’ve never seen a cooler dressed up before. Great idea!

  • 12. August Every Month  |  June 14th, 2013 at 10:13 am

    LOVE this idea! Where is the picnic blanket/quilt from?

  • 13. Misred  |  June 14th, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Such a great idea! Classing up the cooler! Love it!

  • 14. Fabiola  |  June 14th, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Wow, I’ve never seen a cuter cooler! Your videos are always on point too! Have a great weekend Bri : )

  • 15. Kristen  |  June 14th, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Ahhh so cute it’s ridiculous. I need a cool cooler in my life asap.

  • 16. Sarah  |  June 14th, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Great idea! I love the bright colors.

  • 17. bethany baker  |  June 14th, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Oh this is gorgeous! I love it!

  • 18. Susan  |  June 14th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Great post Bri! Please where did Natalie get those gorgeous wedges she has on?! Pray tell…

  • 19. bri  |  June 14th, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    susan, thanks :) they are from splendid!

  • 20. Alyssa | techlovedesign  |  June 14th, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    FAAAABULOUS VIDEO!! Great job Arian! Power couple.

  • 21. Sandra Costa  |  June 16th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    omg, so cute, i love your works!
    maybe i’ll apply the knot to do a bracelet.

  • 22. Jen @ The Well Read Fish  |  June 16th, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    That is SO the cobra from my mad lanyard skills back in camp!
    What a fun way to re-incorporate!

  • 23. Jaimie  |  June 16th, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    i’m dying at how cute this is! :) and i die at how well you style these posts. gorgeous.

  • 24. Jen  |  June 17th, 2013 at 5:59 am

    I’m with August Every Month. Where did you get that darling blanket, it’s so perfect for summer picnics, especially with a pimped out cooler like that.

  • 25. The Symmetric  |  June 18th, 2013 at 8:47 am

    This is legitimately adorable.

  • 26. Alexandra Pettinato  |  June 18th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    This is so cute! I love it – what a great idea. I could have totally used a cooler on my last picnic in the park.

    Alex from http://www.polkadottedpixels.com

  • 27. charisse  |  June 19th, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Hi! Love this post! Where did you get the blanket? It’s perfect!!

  • 28. dior  |  June 21st, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Super cute & unique idea! I am loving that blue nail polish – what color/brand is it?

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  • 36. Cintia  |  August 25th, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    hehehe I love that quilt.

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