It’s fraternity spring formal season! So exciting! The fraternities at Auburn either head to New Orleans, Louisiana or Charleston, South Carolina each spring! All the girls paint coolers for their dates to take with them. It’s a lot of fun to see what everyone comes up with and how they all turn out. Our whole sorority hall has been filled with coolers, paints and brushes for the past couple of weeks.

This year, some of my friends went to New Orleans and others went to Charleston! I got to go to New Orleans for the first time, and oh boy was it an experience! The city of New Orleans is really neat! The buildings are very different with high second story balconies with rod-iron pillars and fences. The town is known for their historic french background and mix of creole and cajun food. Besides the crazy scene on famous Bourbon Street (blocks and blocks lined with neon signs and mardi gras beads), a famous spot to go is Cafe du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait! Beignets are a tasty treat of fried dough with powdered sugar on top, similar to a donut and cafe au lait is just a fancy name for coffee! And you can’t forget to get some good local seafood gumbo while you’re there!

Whether your in the happening city of New Orleans or Charleston, it’s always a great time and wherever you go, a cooler for your date is a must!!

Here are some key tips and ideas on how to make the perfect cooler! You can even use these tips and ideas to make coolers for mountain weekends, spring break, or any other function!

1. Buy a cooler at any sporting goods store or a Walmart! They range in size, color and texture but anything works! Keep in mind, it is most favorable to have a smooth cooler, rather then one with a lot of ridges.

2. There is no need to prep the cooler with anything beforehand though if you choose, you can put a a primer on as a first coat. As for paints, use Acrylic! 

3. Next if to come up with your designs! I highly recommend checking out The Cooler Connection group on Facebook! It has a ton of really great examples of coolers that people have made for multiple occasions! It’s a great source!

4. Draw your designs on the cooler first with pencil (pencil shows up best on a white primer background or white paint background), then continue to paint each of the 5 sides!

TIP: Print out a picture of your design and use it as a stencil! For an even better stencil, if you have an electronic screen projector, use it to project onto your cooler to trace! It works really well!

5. The final step after the whole cooler is painted and dry, is to Modge Podge it so it stays in tact and doesn’t chip! This is very important! You can buy Modge Podge (a white glue-like liquid that dries clear) at any arts and crafts store! Brush a layer of Modge Podge onto every side of the painted cooler so all the paint is covered. Don’t be alarmed when it comes out as a thick white substance, it really does dry clear! 

6. Let the Modge Podge sit until it dries completely, this will take a couple hours. Apply one more coat for extra protection and once it’s dry, your finished!!

Here are some images of the cooler I made for my date and some pictures of my friend’s coolers! Have fun crafting!