Ok this might seem a little crazy but we were all excited to go to a big Memorial Day picnic yesterday with bounce houses and water slides and even a zipline for the kiddos. (Our Church always goes big on stuff like this).
Last year it was crazy hot for Memorial Day and this year I took the time to get all ready for the day. I was up late baking a blueberry fruit cake (so yummy!), making frozen lemonade, packing the cooler, getting the sunscreen and picnic blankets….
We got to our picnic and headed over to get the party started with the bounce houses and such… well by noon it was raining. I found it a bit comical really because here we are trying to make the best of things and watching a pie eating contest with all four of us crammed under the tiny pop up and eating all the watermelon and snacks I packed. In the pouring rain. So boo on that! While we were eating I could not stop thinking how boring our spiffy new ice chest is. Super boring!
Once we got home I set to work on jazzing it up. I googled around and discovered that painting an ice chest is quite the thing for tailgaters- it appears to be mostly college kids doing this but I thought it would be fun to try and do a little something to our chest.
You can actually paint an ice chest and I will link you to a nice tutorial on that at the bottom if you want to try that. I decided the easy road is a good place for me so I just popped out my Silhouette Cameo and set to work.
I decided to customize one side with a little monogram and cut that out in vinyl. I think a last name spelled out or team name would be great too! Our last name is Haugsven so I tend to go with just an H whenever possible 😉 .
The vinyl does ahere but I wanted to make it a little more durable so I just went over it with two coats of Mod Podge.
And that was it! Cute and now I can tell my blue Igloo cooler from the zillions of other ones this summer.
For the other side, I decided to do a fun little quote. I think a picture of something summer-y, a sports logo or anything else you like would also be fun.
This would be a genius gift for a Coach this year- our soccer team is the bumble bees so how fun would this be with soccer balls or Go Bumble Bees or little bees or Coach or whatever on the sides?
The great thing is that you can always pull the vinyl right off when you are ready for a change.
Originally I used yellow vinyl and I was planning to put this on the lid of the cooler but I had a really hard time getting the vinyl to stick. I think it might work if you use a really simple design and you can just get it to stay long enough to get the Mod Podge over the top. Apparently if you sand the cooler first the vinyl or paint will stick much better. You might try that step if you have any issues.
But it turned out really well and now we are going to be super fly at all the soccer games and day trips this summer!
If you don’t have a Silhouette craft machine not to worry. Here are some ideas for you.
You might check out the craft stores for stencils or you can make your own stencil super easy. Just select a thicker cardstock paper and use Word to design and print it out. Use an exact-o knife to cut out the inside of the stencil (a simple monogram or last name is the best option for this). Now you have a homemade stencil and you can tape it to the ice chest. (In the case above I would just type in a H and make the front the size I wanted. I would pick the style of font I liked and that is it. Just seconds to a homemade stencil.)
Use a pencil to trace the design and then remove the stencil. Now grab a can of paint and paint inside the lines you drew. Viola!
You could do polka dots, stripes, even a cute Chevron pattern.
Another option would be to get those little car decals for your favorite team or for Mickey Mouse or whatever you like from a mass retailer like Target or order them custom from Etsy for just a few dollars. I would still use Mod Podge to make sure your decal will stick really well to the chest.
And if you really want to go for it, here is a Custom Paint Tutorial for your Cooler from Jessi Makes Things. Something like this would be a heck of a Father’s Day gift!
Let me know if you decide to customize your ice chest this year- I’d love to see what you come up with!
And if you have little sports stars, did you know it just takes seconds to make your own gel ice packs? These are great to keep things cool in a lunchbox or for any minor injuries this summer.
Super cute idea! Love it!
Now if I could only learn to paint neatly within the lines…. Looks like it’ll be stick-on decals for me!
I know Annye. I tried a “simple technique for painting on wood” from pinterest once and it was a mess. I do think you could do stripes pretty easily though using painters tape and spray paint :). I wasn’t too excited about spray painting the cooler though since food goes inside. I guess if you tape it really really well it would be OK.
rachel @ little kitchen, big bites says
i love this idea!!!!! especially for tailgates…i feel like the coolers all get mixed up. def going to do this to ours!
Hi! I love this idea! I know it’s been awhile since you posted this so I’d like to know how it held up! Thanks!
I posted in 2013 and it held up for a few years. One side is still on and the other side started to peel and I pulled it off I think last year 🙂
What kind of vinyl did you use? I am working on one for a graduation gift and can’t seem to get the vinyl to stick.. I am using Oracal 651