One of the ways to transform a ho-hum backyard into a fun and relaxing space is to add a tiki bar. It doesn’t have to be huge or fancy; even a small-sized bar with some seating would do. So if you’re wondering about the best tiki bar ideas, here are some of the best to get you started.
6 tiki bar ideas to update your backyard
1. Tiki bar with thatch roofing and panels
The most identifying part of a tiki bar is its airy, tropical thatch roof. But why just use thatch panels for the bar roof when you can also use this as side panels?
To make this kind of tiki bar, use pressure-treated plywood to build the bar table sides. You may want to leave the inner part of the bar open and construct a few shelves so you can keep your bar materials.
When the sides of the bar are ready, attach the thatch panels using a finishing hammer. Install two posts on each side to hold the roof. For a large tiki bar, two posts on each side (4 posts) should be installed to hold a larger, heavier thatched roof.
To make the roof, construct a frame that’s wider and longer than the tiki bar table. Attach the thatch panels to the frame with a finishing hammer. The thatch panels must be installed layer by layer to keep the roof leak-free. When this is done, attach the roof frame to posts. You now have a simple tiki bar with a thatch roof and sides.
2. Tiki bar thatch umbrella
Instead of just a thatch roof, build a thatch umbrella. You can make an umbrella-like frame using a few 2×2” or you may repurpose an old beach umbrella instead.
To do this, you need several thatch panels. Install this to your old umbrella using galvanized steel wires and a pair of pliers. Install the panels layer after layer until you have a hut-like appearance. When you’re done, install the umbrella on a tall bar table. Make sure to do this properly as a thatch umbrella can get very heavy.
Complete the tiki bar setup by installing thatch panels on each side of the bar just like on the first design. Now you have a tiki bar with a thatch umbrella in your backyard.
3. Pallet tiki bar
Pallet wood is readily available and is very cheap. You can make anything out of pallet wood even a small pallet tiki bar.
Get enough pallet wood to build the wall of a minibar. Use new wood to construct the frame of the bar and some shelves at the back. Sand and paint the pallet wood first before you attach it with a framing hammer. You can install the pallet wood closely (without gaps) or have about half an inch gaps in between the wood.
Use new 2 x2 – inch wood to make the four posts and additional wood to make the frame of the roof. You can use more pallet wood to make the roof or use thatch panels instead. Remember, pallet wood must be inspected closely before use; see to it that there are no rotting parts, loose areas, and mold or pests.
4. Surfboard table bar
Wonder what to do with an old, broken surfboard? Turn it to a bar table with some nails and fasteners. Make sure that the top is level, at least there must be no cracks, bumps, and holes on the surface. Scrape off old wax by heating the surface with a hairdryer and using a paint scraper. Remove most of the wax and paint the surface if you want.
For the tiki bar structure, you may repurpose old wood or old pallets. There’s no need to add a roof for this mini-bar but if you want one, attach two poles on each side of the table. Use more pallet wood to build a shade or use thatch panels as well. If you have two old surfboards, you can use two boards to build a larger table or use the other board as your mini bar roofing.
5. Tiki bar hut
Instead of just making a small tiki bar why not make a hut as an open bar? Use dried coconut leaves for the walls of the hut. The window should be large and open to accommodate a table and shelves. To make the walls of the hut, use leaf blades of the coconut tree and weave this in a crisscross pattern.
Use a framing hammer or large fasteners to keep the weaved coconut leaves in shape. Construct the hut wall frames and posts using 2 x 2-inch hardwood. When the frame is finished, attach the weaved coconut leaves using a framing hammer. The roof is made of thatch panels. Tie these to the roof frame to keep them from moving and being blown by the wind. And instead of using dried coconut leaves, you may use bamboo.
6. Tiki bar on wheels
If you want to move your tiki bar to different areas of your backyard or poolside, you may construct a tiki bar on wheels. The bar is like any bar design but it has to be made on top of a wooden frame. This frame will allow you to install four castor wheels with brakes so you can move the bar freely.
Some additional tips
- Consider adding some shelves on top of the bar, under the roof. You can keep liquor bottles, glasses, and other items you need to serve drinks.
- For a wooden bar table, add a polyurethane varnish on the surface. This will preserve the wood and keep it waterproof.
- No matter what bar design you want to use, make sure that the bar frame and posts are strong and secure.
- If you want to add lights to your design, use a safe power strip and place it away from your beverages and ice bucket.
There you have it, the top 6 tiki bar ideas to update your backyard. These designs will surely turn your boring yard into a cool party venue in no time.