How to Build a Tiki Bar for a Party

by Julie Keyes

The thought of sitting by a bamboo construct, sipping fruit-filled drinks and enjoying the breeze blowing off the ocean is hard to resist for many of us. Unfortunately, not everyone can jet off to a tropical island to live that life as often as we'd like. To that end, making your own Tiki bar is as close as you can get sometimes. So, take a few hours, spend a few dollars, and put one together. After that, invite over the friends and take a break at the beach.

Items you will need

  • Rectangular table
  • Power drill
  • 1-inch drill bit
  • 4 Bamboo poles
  • Hand saw
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • Chicken wire
  • Wire cutters
  • 1/8-inch wire
  • Pliers
  • 2 large bamboo mats
  • White Christmas lights
  • Utility knife
  • Staple gun
  • Decorative items
Step 1

Choose a location for the Tiki bar where it is on a flat level surface and out of direct wind. Set up a sturdy rectangular wooden or plastic formed table.

Step 2

Drill four 1-inch holes in the top of the table. Make the holes at each corner, and inset 2 inches across the surface. Cut two 1-inch diameter bamboo poles to a length of 5 feet with a handsaw, and two to a length of 4 feet.

Step 3

Drill 1/4-inch holes through the sides of the poles, and located approximately 1 inch from the end of each pole.

Step 4

Insert the two longer poles into the holes in the back of the table and the two shorter poles in the front. Ensure that the small holes in the poles are at the top and not through the table. The pole fit is tight, but wiggle them down through the holes so approximately 2 inches extend below the table surface.

Step 5

Lay out a sheet of chicken wire so it is the same dimensions as the tabletop. Cut the wire with wire cutters and position it over the top of the poles. String 1-inch diameter wire strips through the holes in the top of the poles and wrapped around the chicken wire to secure it to the poles by twisting the ends together with pliers.

Step 6

Cut a large bamboo mat to fit over the top of the chicken wire. Allow for 2 inches of overlap on all sides. Feed wire up through the bottom of the chicken wire and over the mat and tighten the wire to hold them together. Feed another piece of wire through each hole in the poles and through both the chicken wire and mat for added hold.

Step 7

String white Christmas light strands across the front of the bar canopy and run the electrical wire down and wrapped around one of the bamboo poles.

Step 8

Wrap a second large bamboo mat around the front of the bar. Cut it to fit with a utility knife if it stretches above the top of the table. Use a staple gun to attach it to a wooden table, Or drill holes in the edge of the plastic and feed wire through the mat and the holes to secure it.

Step 9

Place coconuts, palm fronds, candles or any other items on the top of the bar that you wish to add to the Tiki bar theme.

Tips & Warnings

  • To raise the table higher, place bricks under the table legs and place tropical plants in front of the bricks to hide them.
  • The canopy is not firm, so avoid placing the bar in direct wind.


  • "Yard & Garden Furniture: Plans and Step-by-Step Projects;" Bill Hylton; 2001
  • "Easy Entertaining for Beginners: You Can Throw a Fabulous Party, from Holiday Fiesta to a Romantic Evening for Two"; Patricia Mendez; 2008

About the Author

Julie Keyes has been a writer for over five years. She has written marketing content for the Michigan division of a large international company and also provides freelance writing assistance to personal clients who require a particular type of marketing message. Keyes holds a degree in sonography from Jackson Community College.