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How To Build A Wine Barrel Table With Lights – DIY

How To Build A Wine Barrel Table With Lights – DIY

My wife and I went on yet another wine tasting trip in the Santa Ynez Valley a while back. Yes I know… What else is new? We went to Lincourt Vineyards, and after chatting with the tasting room manager for a while, he graciously gave us a wine barrel from the “wine barn” near the tasting room. We brought it back home and quickly started thinking about what we were going to use it for. And suddenly, we both had the answer… Let’s turn it into an illuminated glass top wine barrel table!

Wine Barrel Table – Do It Yourself


Building something from scratch isn’t as easy as it seems. Fortunately, I am pretty crafty. When I think of a new project, I put on my builder outfit, grab my toolbox, throw out a proud manly growl… And quickly search up tutorials in my universal DIY manual, AKA YouTube. Except for this project… No siree! I felt inspired and decided to come up with my own design and build.

How To Build A Wine Barrel Table With Lights

Step 1: Get a wine barrel.

Recycled Wine Barrels For SaleThat seems obvious but it has to be said. Wine barrels are used to age wine. They are used for a few years after which they are retired and converted as tables or decorative items in the winery’s tasting room. As I just said, wine is aged in oak wine barrels and you’ll often read wine descriptions such as “new oak” or “old/neutral oak”. A new wine barrel will change the characteristics of a wine, contrary to an old barrel that will not affect the taste of the wine during the aging process. Once the barrel starts leaking, it is donated or sold to whomever needs it.

You can find wine barrels from your local hardware store but you will pay a premium for it. I recently went to Lowe’s and saw wine barrels being sold for a shocking $180!! That’s an expensive option, but an option nonetheless. Another way to acquire a wine barrel is from the Facebook Marketplace. They do pop up from time to time but you have to be quick… They sell quickly!

I get my wine barrels directly from wineries. Wineries have hundreds of wine barrels and they sell them periodically to make room for new barrels. So if you live in or near wine country, I strongly recommend that option. They usually sell for anywhere between $50 to $90.

Step 2: Locate the best place for your wine barrel.

If you live in a hot region, you’ll want to pick a shady area, perhaps under a tree or an outdoor covered patio, so you can sip on a delightfully cold and refreshing rosé, or perhaps a delicious wine cocktail during the hot summer days. Make sure the ground is level and well drained; water puddles will add too much moisture to the wine barrel and it will deteriorate quickly. I placed mine on a paved area of our backyard, under a eucalyptus tree, and surrounded by plenty other potted plants and trees.

Step 3: Bring power to that location.

Wine Barrel Table – Do It YourselfUnless that location already has a power plug, you’ll want to dig a small trench from a nearby electrical outlet, and extend the wiring to bring electricity to the barrel like I did. And since getting electrocuted isn’t part of this tutorial, you’ll want to turn off the power for that specific circuit at your electrical panel first. Make sure to use the proper material for underground wiring. And if you don’t know about what to use, check with your local building codes & regulations for required trench depth and appropriate material. Once the power is carefully brought to the barrel, attach a new GFCI plug to the wine barrel. That is the plug you’ll use to attach your light.

Step 4: Install the light.

Wine Barrel Table – Do It YourselfFor the light, there are a gazillion options to choose from. I probably don’t need to recommend anything to you. Simple go to the Amazon store and look up “string light” in the search field. Simple make sure they have a power supply that runs on 120 volts, none of that battery powered rubbish… You’ll thank me alter. The lights will sit on top of the wine barrel table, along with some wine corks for looks.

Every wine barrel comes with a hole on the side. That hole is used to fill the barrel with wine. Chances are, your barrel is empty but in case it’s full, please call me and I’ll help you drain it ;)

You’ll want to drill another hole on top of the barrel. You can drill anywhere you want, just not too close to the edge of the barrel to avoid damaging the side grooves. Then, feed the string light through both holes starting from the top of the barrel. Good luck making go through the side hole. I used a wire hanger to catch the wire. Plug in the light into the plug and make sure it works as intended.

Step 5: Did someone say wine corks?

Wine Barrel Table – Do It YourselfConveniently, I have lots of wine corks. I keep all of mine and my friends keep theirs to add to my collection. So when it came time to dress up the table, I used some of the wine corks to fill the gap at the top of the wine barrel. Add as many corks as you want (the more the merrier), just don’t go over the edge so the glass top can sit firmly on the barrel itself. Additionally, you could throw in a few tin foil capsules in there. You know, the sleeve that covers the wine bottle’s neck and the cork. And yes I keep those, too. I know I have a problem but at least I don’t keep empty wine bottles… Never mind, I have done that with some of the wines I really liked. OK, let’s move on shall we?!

Step 6: Glass top

And now, the pièce de résistance! I’ve been storing this round glass top in the garage forever, and I finally had a use for it. This was actually the best part of the project, as it made me feel so free and liberated. Usually, I would throw something away and find a use for it the next day… But not this time! Storing this item in my garage for 10 years became legitimately sane and reasonable. It is 4 feet wide and allows plenty of space for 5 to 6 people at the table. Once again, you’ll get plenty of options on the Amazon Store. Search for “glass top round” and you’ll find what you need. I recommend anywhere between 3 to 4 feet wide and 3/8 of an inch thick.

Wine Barrel Table With Glass Top

And there you have it! Your very own illuminated wine barrel table, filled with wine corks, and topped with a round glass counter. Well, it’s mine… You still have to build yours. But who knows, maybe you already have yours and you’re just here to compare your wine barrel table with mine. That’s totally cool. But do you have a wine box shelf unit like the one I built? I didn’t think so ;)

Check out this other with project I built…

My Wine Box Shelf Project

Wine Ponder Logo – Grape Only

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    1. Hi Bob. That’s a good question. If you use a half inch thick glass, it won’t budge much. My glass top is 4 feet in diameter, leaving about 1 foot overhang all the way around. The glass being as heavy as it is, you would have to lean on it quite a bit before it can tip. You can also add some clear rubber pads between the barrel and the glass top, which adds overall stability. Thanks for your comment!

  1. Karl Gunter

    Great DIY wine project!

    “… but at least I don’t keep empty wine bottles …”

    Whereas I have 4,791 empty wine bottles :D
    (each w/ different animal wine labels)

    1. Hey Scott! Great to hear from you sir. I am doing well, thank you. This particular barrel table resides in my backyard but I believe Steve has a different kind of DIY project involving a barrel. He turned his into a water fountain and it looks amazing!! So much so that we should write an article about it ;) Be well my friend!

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