Top Ten Ways to Repurpose Large Oak Barrels

Vintage and rustic décor is having a huge resurgence, and we at Deep South Barrels have seen the effects firsthand. From planters to bar stools, there are truly endless options for repurposing your used oak aging barrel. We have rounded up the top ten repurposing options here – hopefully these will inspire you to turn your used barrel into something that will wow your guests for years to come. If you have used your large oak barrel in a fun, inventive way that isn't represented here, contact us at blog@deepsouthbarrels.com. We would love to feature you! Added by Christina on Feb. 25, 2015.

1. Side Table

This is a fairly simple way to add rustic charm to any room in your home. You can refinish the barrel by sanding it and adding a coat of varnish, or you can simply leave it as is for a more vintage look. Either way, you will have a sturdy, eye-catching table that goes with any design.

2. Planter

Turning a whiskey barrel into a planter is a great option for your garden, front yard, or anywhere else really. Generally halved, the planter is prepped with a layer of rocks and potting soil to allow for good drainage. The sturdy wood and the staves of the barrel keep it together nicely, while the simple but appealing design is perfect for the front porch.

3. Whiskey Barrel Ice Chest

An ice chest made from a whiskey barrel is a stunning piece of outdoor décor. While making one yourself is a bit time consuming, the efforts are entirely worth it, as it is incredibly durable and can withstand the elements.

4. Bar Stools

Hand-crafted bar stools are heirloom pieces that can be passed down for generations. Sturdy and rustic-looking, they are perfect for a breakfast bar or home bar area. Adding varnish not only gives them a nice glossy finish, but it helps seal and prevent splinters.

Whiskey barrel bar stool

5. Wine Bottle Storage

Adding shelving to the interior of a used barrel is a fabulous way to store bottles of wine. More unique than a regular shelf and far more durable, this is a cool repurposing idea that will last for years.

Wine bottle storage shelves

6. Dog House

There are two ways to repurpose a barrel into a dog house. If you have a small dog, or even a cat, cutting into the barrel and using only the bottom portion, along with a pillow, makes a cozy bed. If you have a bigger dog (or a very large cat), flipping the barrel on its side, cutting out an entrance, and securing it to the ground will make a sturdy shelter.

7. Picture Frames

If you decide to break down the barrel entirely, the staves make beautiful picture frames. Just sand them down, decide on the size of the frame, and secure the staves together. These make wonderful gifts as well.

8. Serving Platters

Since you will have all those individual staves, turn a couple of them into serving trays. Elegant and vintage at the same time, when sanded down and varnished, these make great centerpieces as well.

9. Rain Barrel

Catch any excess water and redirect it by repurposing a used barrel into a rain barrel for the side of your house. Durable and weather resistant, they also look much better than a plain bucket.

10. Bathroom Sink

One of the bigger projects on this list, it’s also really worth the time because a barrel sink is stunning. Whether for a “mudroom” or bathroom, this is something that will make you the hero of your home DIY group.