Tuesday, May 12, 2015

DIY Wine Box Bar Front

The Headlines:

If you have a bar...

Do this!

Coolest thing EVER!

Here's an 8-Step-How-To:

I'm all about the decorating.  I just love to put things together and make things look... cool.  When we bought our house, BP (the husband) and I knew we had to re-do EVERYTHING.  I was excited about that... it was one of the reasons I started this blog!  The current project at hand:  our bar.   BP and I had been looking at its ugly self for years now and it was time. I wanted to do something that looked very masculine.  So HE came up with this...

Without hesitation, I was for it since I had seen something similar at our friend's house (on their fridge front) and it looked awesome!  

Now, in case you can't tell what you're looking at... those are all WOOD WINE BOXES, ripped apart, applied to the bar front like a jig-saw puzzle and stained. 

Here's a closer look:

This is what it looked like before:

It was just a boring, blonde bar front.  Like seriously snoozy.  Now... wanna know how to do it?  
8 Steps to a Wine Box Bar Front:

1.  The first job is finding all your key materials.  In this case we needed wine boxes, corbels and the color stain.  First, where do you find them?  I'd suggest your favorite wine/liquor store (where they know you), ask a grocery store/Costco (they may just want to get rind of them) or if you know someone in the biz that's always a good place to start!  BP suggests wine boxes that aren't too big and don't have import stickers on them.  Also, have some fun with the boxes you choose... if you LOOOVE Inglenook (Coppola's high end wine)... place it front and Center.  Joel Gott?  Get his wines boxes.  Cakebread Chard is what makes you smile...?  Add that.

Make sure, however, to get  30-40% more than you need because when you break them apart - some are bound to split.  Typically, Corbels are really expensive.... but I found iron shelf brackets at IKEA for $4 that worked just as well and gave me the look I wanted more than any other $300 corbel. Yay!

Finally, to find the right stain - use old fashion trial and error on wood you don't need.  

2. Next step, break those wine boxes apart.  Keep only the tops/bottoms and sides that have logos or winery names and have no split -nail holes.  Divots are okay as they add character.  

3. Now, make critical cuts.  First, determine the angles of the area you are re-decorating (in this case we had a 27.5 degree angle. So BP cut enough ends of boxes to be able to cover top to bottom and fit them together.   Also, use different height boxes to create a non-uniform look.  Different depth matters too... like this:

4. Attach the boxes with liquid nails and, for reinforcement, it's a good idea to nail each corner as well (especially when you begin).  BP recommends nailing and placing the boxes that have been cut to angle once you secure the box sides top to bottom.  Then, keep going (like a puzzle) remember to carefully place whichever boxes you'd like more prominent as you switch up the box height, width and depth - so much cooler looking that way!  Once you fit in all the good boxes - you may have some dead space.  

5. Time to fill that in.  BP cut some pieces out of the boxes left (box ends are good for this) and placed them as fillers.

6.  Once the bare wood is covered up - use wood conditioner.  This allows the stain to penetrate evenly and give it an even look - as each box is a different type and finish of wood.

7. After that drys - take your choice of stain and go for it!  Use Q-tips to get in the  nooks and crannies

8. Finally, you're done, so sit down and have a drink!  

I know some of you are looking at the last picture above and saying - why did she stain it?  That looks cool too - you can see all the wine boxes/labels that way.  We stained it for this reason:  I didn't want the boxes to be quite so "in your face...." I wanted it subtle.  My hope is that someone will look at the bar, then do a double take and say... "is that what I think it is?"  But that's just us... you can do it however you want! 

In case you're wondering.... no, we're not finished with the entire project!  We want to add shelves, change the counter-top, add a back splash (made out of winery coaster tiles) and a fridge/ice maker.  Yea, lots left to do... to be continued!   

Here's the LIVE - to tape - Persicope I did on this topic if you want to see the Bar in ACTION!  
Thanks for watching! 


  1. This looks so awesome! (and I learned what corbels are) I love how it looks stained, such a cool and creative idea!

    1. thank u thank u... it really does look awesome!

  2. LOVE this! SO creative and it looks beyond cool!!! Very impressive!!!

    1. kinda makes you want to pull up a seat and have a drink, huh?


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