One of the summer projects that I was passionate about completing was to make my very first painted cooler. Being a member of the greek community cooler painting is a common practice. Girls make them for their fraternity formal dates, littles make them for their bigs, there is pretty much always a sorority woman painting a cooler somewhere in the world. Although my father questioned why I would buy 1/2 gallon cooler, spend hours sanding, priming and painting it, only to have it complete the very same function that it would have if I had just brought it right home from the store, I can truly say this is one of the most fun projects I have completed!
First off, I have to be the first one to say that I am not artistic in the slightest. I am known in my sorority for helping the art chair with the banners, and I can tell you that I am the best at filling in lines. Truly, before painting this cooler, I had never even attempted something so artistic. I belong to a facebook group called the cooler connection, and they truly gave me the greatest ideas, and had so many great ideas and tips to help me get going. In there was a file to the "ultimate cooler painting tutorial, and I would not have known where to even begin without it. I started with a simple cooler that I bought at walmart for $4 (it was on sale, so that was even better), and sanded it and then primed it with primer that we had laying around our house from a previous project.
After sanding and priming, it was time to begin painting! I went to this websight, and created a monogram project, and then just simply printed it out! In order to trace the design onto the cooler, I just printed it on regular paper, and then used a fine tip sharpie pen and traced over the designs and let the sharpie bleed through the paper. I am sure that there are better ways to do this, but it seemed to work just fine for me!
To make the bow's on the side of the cooler, I simply went to my pinterest account (pinterest to the rescue again) and typed in "bow sides for cooler". I found one that I liked, sized it in microsoft word to fit the dimensions of my cooler, and then just traced! As easy as that.
This was truly the most time consuming part of the cooler, but my favorite none the less. I love the Lilly Pulitzer Chiquita Bonita print, and so that was my inspiration for my cooler! Just as with the other two designs, I simply traced, and then painted over my lines.
The most important part of the cooler is to seal it, just so that all your hard work doesn't go down the drain! I read on the cooler connection that this modgepodge and seal was the best, and so thats what I used and could not be more happy with the results! I ended up doing three coats of modge podge and three coats of sealent, and it worked perfectly.
I am so happy with the finished product! It ended up taking about two days start to finish to complete, and I cannot wait to complete another one!