Make a 5-Hour-Melt-Slowing Ice Bin for Under $3!

If you like to make cocktails anywhere but the kitchen, you’ve probably had your ice melt too fast, so that you’re making drinks with a slushy mess. You can always get a double-wall insulated ice bucket, but they have a few distinct disadvantages:

  1.  $35. That’s enough by itself.
  2.  Tongs. You could supply your own ice scoop, but the buckets are a lousy shape for ice scoops. Tongs are completely incapable of moving enough ice for the efficient home bartender.
  3.  Insulate as much as you like, if there’s no refrigeration, there will be some melting. And when meltwater contacts ice, it speeds the melting. Restaurants have ice makers with refrigeration, but they almost never dispense ice directly; they use ice bins with drains that remove meltwater to keep ice dry and solid.

Today, we’re making an ice bucket that acts as a miniature restaurant ice bin, using just scraps from the dollar store, a glue gun, and a drill.

You’ll need:

 You'll need


  • 2 plastic bins($2 together)
  • 1 ice scoop ($1.)
  • Pieces of scrap material (I’m using scrap cardboard) to act as spacers (effectively free)


  • Glue gun or other adhesive
  • Drill

Step 0:

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Set one storage container aside- it will basically remain as-is.

Step 1:


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Drill evenly spaced holes in the base of the remaining container to drain water. Make as many as you feel it will take to do the job.

Step 2:


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Glue scrap material under the lip of the container. It should provide at least a good inch and a half of space for water to accumulate.

Step 3:


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Place the modified bin in the unmodified bin. There should be a decent amount of separation.


You have made the bin. Now:


Step 4: Clean it.


You know how to do dishes, right?


Step 5: Fill with ice.


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Step 6: Use it.


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Step 7: Take all the credit for a clever idea.

I tested this design by filling mine with ice, and the ice was still solid and usable after 5 hours!
This was with occasional stirring, though. You can’t just leave it alone.
Meltwater can fuse ice cubes together before it ever reaches the drain at the bottom. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re using the ice during that time, since the movement will keep the ice from fusing. Otherwise, you’ll have to find an ice pick (screwdrivers work decently well).


If your ice bucket works (and why wouldn’t it? Seriously, if it doesn’t, use the contact form. I’ll answer in an FAQ.), sign up for our monthly newsletter, so that even if you forget to check the site for new posts, you can get a monthly reminder  to see if there’s anything equally useful or interesting.

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