Create Your Own Ice Bucket or Wine Chiller

Welcome to the 95th Metamorphosis Monday!

Update: If you like this ice chiller but don’t want to make one from scratch like I did, you’ll find similar ones available for purchase here: Ice Chiller. Also, here: Ice Chiller

Recently, I received a catalog in the mail and it showed a picture of a silver ice bucket that could be used to make a diy ice chiller. I was tempted to order it until I realized the silver bowl was plastic. I remembered I already had a silver bowl…so I decided to try and make the ice chiller with things I already had and save myself $29.00.


The Before:
The only thing I had to purchase was a bottle of wine, cranberries and distilled water. You don’t have to use distilled water so you could save the expense of buying that, if you like. But I learned back when I made “flower ice cubes” that distilled water will usually freeze pretty clear, and it’s only $1 for a gallon…more than enough for my ice chiller. If you’d like your ice chiller to be more frosty looking like the one in the catalog…just used tap water.

Make an Ice Wine or Champagne Chiller_wm


I searched around the house and decided on this tin for my mold. (It measures 6 1/2 wide by 7 1/2 tall.) This worked fine except for two snags. 1. It leaked very slowly, so I had to add a little more water to it after about 45 minutes. It was such a slow leak in the freezer that the water froze as it leaked out, so I just broke it off and tossed it in the sink. I think that could be prevented by running a bead of hot glue around on the inside bottom where it meets the sides prior to using it.

2. The other little snag is the indention near the top made my ice mold a little tricky to get out. A container that is completely smooth at the top would work better. Just DON’T use glass. It would be very difficult to get your ice chiller out because you’ll need to run warm water over it and glass would most likely break.)


I found a plastic container to use in the center…it’s an old Tupperware container/pitcher. (Again, please do not use glass for this part either…same reason…it would break with the temperature change.) I placed the wine inside to make sure it was the right size for a bottle of wine. It was perfect. (It measures around 3 1/2 inches wide by 8 1/2 inches tall.)


I knew I needed something heavy to go in the center container so it wouldn’t float. Clay cat litter almost worked, but wasn’t quite heavy enough. Next I tried pennies from a huge penny jar collection and that worked great. Sand, marbles or even pebbles/rocks would work fine, too.

Make a Wine Ice Chiller with Cranberries 13_wm


I stuck the container (filled with pennies) into the cannister and poured distilled water all around saving just enough room for 1 full bag of cranberries at the top. You can pour some of the water off or add more…whatever you need to do to get your cranberries right up to the top.

Make a Wine Ice Chiller with Cranberries 10_wm


After it had frozen overnight, I took the lid off and poured out all the pennies. Next I refilled the center container with warm water, being careful to not get it on the ice inside. In this pic I had just dumped the pennies out into the big container you see on the left. I ran just a little warm water into the center container and the center container came right out.

I didn’t take any pics of me fighting the ice chiller out of the tin container. (LOL) It was loose toward the bottom but that blooming ridge at the top of my container got wedged with a cranberry. I kept running warm water on the outside of the container near the top and it finally let go.

Make a Wine Ice Chiller with Cranberries 5


This is the only pic I have with the lamp off, and it shows the shape of the ice chiller best. It’s the shape of the small tin I had used. See how much clearer distilled water freezes than regular ole tap water?

Make a Wine Ice Chiller with Cranberries 6


The rest of the pics are a bit harder to see due to the light reflecting inside the bowl, but I think you’ll get the idea.

Make a Wine Ice Chiller with Cranberries 4


Here’s a view looking down into the center of the wine chiller.

Make a Wine Ice Chiller with Cranberries 1


Make a Wine Ice Chiller with Cranberries 2


I love how this looks…so festive for a party.

Make a Wine Ice Chiller with Cranberries 8_wm


This would be a fun way to serve white wine for a dinner party, holiday party, or really any party? I bet there are lots of other things that could be added besides cranberries. Lemon or orange slices?

Make a Wine Ice Chiller with Cranberries 7


I’ll be keeping my eye out for a better container than the tin one for the future, but overall I love how it turned out.
Update: If you like this ice chiller but don’t want to make it from scratch like I did, you’ll find similar ones for sale here: Ice Chiller. Also, here: Ice Chiller

Make a Wine Ice Chiller with Cranberries 4

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  1. Candy @ The Little Round Table says

    It's beautiful Susan! I did one a few years back with fresh lemons and lemon leaves …. it was a big hit!


  2. I love this idea Susan! So festive and pretty and I think simple enough for me to pull off. Thanks!


  3. marty (A Stroll Thru Life) says

    Susan, this is such a great idea, love it. It looks stunning. I definitely will give this a try. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, marty

  4. Susan, I love this idea. I've seen it done before using a 2 liter plastic bottle, but it wasn't as pretty and it wasn't very big. Yours looks like it would stay that way for awhile during a party. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Blondie's Journal says

    I love it, Susan! It looks so festive. I am really going to give this a go! Thanks for all of your tips!


  6. That is a pretty wicked awesome idea! LOVE this and will definitely be stealing it for my holiday party – thanks a ton for sharing it!!

  7. Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming says

    This is such a great idea! I can not wait to try this for our next get together. It looks gorgeous sitting in the silver bowl.

    Thanks for hosting and I hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  8. That turned out beautiful!!!

  9. Happier Than a Pig in Mud says

    What a fun idea! Pretty and functional:@)

  10. Modern Country Lady says

    What a great idea!! Thanks for showing how to- looks so pretty!!!

  11. The ice chiller is so pretty! There is a similar idea in my Mary Englebreit Christmas book using the same concept but for the purpose of using them as ice luminaries for your front porch. I've never tried it but I think it would be lovely.

  12. Hi Susan! Oh, this is so pretty! You did a beautiful job too. What a lovely way to present the wine at a party! You're amazing and hope you've had a wonderful weekend.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia πŸ˜‰

  13. What a great idea! This will be so perfect for a Christmas party.

  14. What a great idea! This will be so perfect for a Christmas party.

  15. Linda (Nina's Nest) says

    Susan, that looks great – very impressive and much better than $29! Linda

  16. What a GREAT idea. I want to make this for our Christmas Open House!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the tutorial!!!!! Now I have to find a tin!!!! XOXO

  17. Thanks for hosting, I love your wine chiller. It looks very posh~

  18. I've seen this in several magazines lately~ Love yours! Thanks for the inspiration to try πŸ™‚

  19. Christi @ A Southern Life says

    I love this idea! A great, inexpensive way to add a lot of elegance.

    Christi @ A Southern Life

  20. Ingenious Susan! (and very timely to save a few dollars for the holidays) My Mother used to freeze flowers in dry ice for her punch bowls when she catered (usually weddings). It would look so magical with the dry ice steaming out of the bowl. One word of warning there, however. One wedding held in the summer, was so hot in the reception hall that when she put the punch in along with the ice mold it cracked the crystal bowl in half. Total mess. She should have cooled the bowl down first…it never happened again!

  21. Karen- The Graphics Fairy says

    This is so beautiful!!! It really looks great in that silver bowl. Thanks for hosting another lovely party!

  22. Yours turned out perfect. What a great festive idea.

  23. These look fabulous with sprigs of evergreen in them.
    Make it half way full and add the decoration and freeze.
    Then the next day add more water and decoration and freeze again. Gorgeous. You can also put them outside with candles in them.

  24. This definitely has the WOW factor! I can't think of a lovelier way to serve your holiday wine. La

  25. This looks beautiful Susan. I love the cranberries. I have an ice mold I bought years ago for ice candles, I'm going to have to add your idea to my list of holiday eye candy.

  26. I really do want to try this for thanksgiving since I host our family meal. Now, you'll need to mail that beautiful silver bowl to me! LOL! Boy, it really sets the whole thing off. This looks so pretty in your dining room.


  27. Kelly @ JAX does design says

    Looks great! Thanks for sharing the process for making it, especially pointing out the snags you came across.


  28. GOR-GE-OUS, Susan. Yours is much better than the one in the original ad. Awesome! Great job! Loved it and it's so colorful for the holidays. You could even have added a tad of green food coloring to the bucket water, right? Even more Christmasy. Susan

  29. Wow! What a great idea, Susan! This will be a conversation piece too and it dresses up the table so nicely. Thanks for sharing!…Christine

  30. Confessions of a Plate Addict says

    I love the way this looks, Susan! The frozen berries are the perfect touch! Happy week!…hugs…Debbie

  31. The textures are so pretty. I can't say if I like the clear or frosty water better.I've seen people freeze a vodka bottle in water for effect and to keep the vodka icy. I like being able to take the bottle out. Maybe you could find a small plastic bucket that wouldn't have a rim indentation? You're wearing me down to where I want to have a party.

  32. Cool!

  33. Kristen White says

    This is so beautiful….love the red cranberries with the silver! Gorgeous festive touch :O)

  34. Glenda/MidSouth says

    Looks great and thanks for the "how to do" instructions. I really need to get busy and make plans and do some decorating.
    Have a great week.

  35. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says

    So cute and festive! Great little tutorial!

  36. High Street Cottage says

    I really love this, I have seen them done before with flower petals inside which are beautiful also, but I love this one, partial to red, I am. How long did it last, just curious?

  37. Yours turned out prettier than the catalog!

    BTW what time are you opening the link now?


  38. One Cheap B*tch says

    That is just TOO cool! Thanks for hosting! Can't wait to check everything out!


  39. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    High Street Cottage…it last surprisingly around 3 1/2 hours before it had melted significantly. The wine was very cold that I place in there, too so that probably helped.

  40. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Hi Ellen,
    I finished my MM post a little earlier today so I went ahead and put it up around 5:00 PM. It will be anytime between 5 and 9 on Sunday evening…as soon as I can get the MM post ready during that time period.

  41. That is so beautiful! Very festive.

  42. Diann @ The Thrifty Groove says

    Hi Susan!

    I have made these ice buckets before and they area great hit! but, I never made the cranberry frozen mold before. love this idea! thanks for the inspiration!
    Also, I make these in a smaller version for candles to line our sidewalk with during Christmas.

  43. Carmen @ Life with Sprinkles on Top says

    I love it! I've never seen anything like it. I like your version better. πŸ™‚

  44. Heidi@TheCraftMonkey says

    that is awesome! I'm going to have to be on the lookout for a tin, because I SO want to make one of these now!

  45. Nichole@40daysof says

    Really cool project! Maybe I'll have time to try it. I have 10 people coming… so maybe not! πŸ™‚

  46. Katie@LeBeauPaonVictorien says

    This is such a cool idea! I love it! Thanks for sharing. I might have to try this for my Victorian Christmas Open House!

  47. Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish says

    That is just too cool! Love it! I think I may have to do that for Thanksgiving!! πŸ™‚

  48. Patricia Torres says

    That is simply gorgeous.. Im going to have to try that for Christmas.. πŸ™‚

  49. Purnima@a creative project says looks awesome!! Fantastic job!!

  50. Love this and will try it!! Thanks!

  51. Cindy (Applestone Cottage) says

    Very pretty Susan!
    I did something similar last year to make ice luminaries outside.
    Only I cut a plastic milk container in half. In Wisc. its' cold enough in Dec. just to make them all outdoors!
    So Fun!

  52. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says

    Thanks for hosting, Susan!

    What a great idea to keep things interesting at a party. I know that my drinks area is usually pretty boring, although colorful with the bottles of pretty liquids! : ) I think this would make for a nice and different look, plus I like my wine chilled anyway.

  53. Hi Susan,
    thats literally a cool idea. I love such frozen decorations and the wine cooler is not only beautiful but also very useful. Wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing.
    Greetings, Johanna

  54. You are one resourceful bloggy sis! Wow, it looks beautiful and like something done by extremely talented chefs or caterers! Awesome. Thanks for sharing the idea. It would definitely be the highlight of a party table.

  55. Amy @MaisonDecor says

    You have had such great holiday entertaining ideas lately! Thanks for another pretty idea!!

  56. Southerncook says

    What a fabulous idea for chilling your wine. It certainly will keep it chilled.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

  57. This is beautiful Susan.

    I did something similar at the farm a couple of times. I made several for candles and lined a walkway with them. The bonus…we had snow.:-)

  58. Hi Susan,

    I have done this before but have never used all cranberries. I love it. I used the ice bowl hold bottles of wine or soda. It was acting like a cooler but was not attached to the bottle. I put acorns, pinecones and balsam as well as cranberries. I used an empty cardboard milk container to
    mold the ice. It was easy to tear away from the ice. I love all cranberries though, so vibrant.

  59. Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy says

    Hi Susan,

    That is very pretty! Great idea.

    Have a wonderful week.


  60. That is so beautiful Susan! I've never tried this but I've always wanted to. Thanks for the great tutorial and for hosting this fabulous party each week!

  61. ann @ mylifeasprose says

    i love this little trick! i'd seen it before, but didn't realize the difference the distilled water makes! thanks for hosting the linking party πŸ™‚

  62. Janet Blondell says

    simply gorgeous. Love that you were innovative to create your own ice bucket without spending much!!

  63. Sherri Cassara says

    Great Job! I like yours better than the original! Thank you for all the tips – I will attempt to make mine and have the confidence to do so because of your step by step directions including what NOT to do!

  64. Yours turned out great! Really pretty. Did it take a while to melt?

  65. Amanda Dale says

    Love it! Imagine how cool it would look with a candle inside . . . fire and ice! Wow!

  66. WOW! I think your rendition looks better!!!

    Thanks for hosting! πŸ™‚

  67. I really like this!!! I always wished I lived in a snowy state to make the cute pathway ice lanterns like this. such a great thrifty idea.

  68. Enchanted Rose Studio says

    Perfectly charming, Susan! What a fabulous idea! Going to see if I can make it for Thanksgiving! (yep, I'm making dinner for 12 in my teeny tiny kitchen ha!)

    Thanks for a fabulous idea!


  69. Chatty Crone says

    I have to say that was just breath taking. sandie

  70. GORGEOUS Susan!! I can't wait to try this!! Thanks for sharing – and for hosting the party!

    πŸ˜€ Lynda

  71. Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea says

    You never cease to amaze me, Susan! I actually don't drink wine but this would work great for sparkling cider – I'm going to give it a try.

    Happy Monday!

  72. Life in Rehab says

    That came out beautiful! I've always wanted to try one of these, but of course it's 80 degrees today…

  73. Tammy@ Not Just Paper and Glue says

    That is a GORGEOUS project! How long could you keep it out without it melting?

  74. Cass @ That Old House says

    Very cool.
    Yeah, bad pun, but STILL — very cool project. That would look fabulous on a holiday drinks table.


  75. Adorable. It reminds me of the punch bowl rings my Mother (I miss her so!) used to make and all her friends used to ooohh and Ahhh over them.

  76. a little bit of everything says

    Love how your ice container came out. Using distilled water is a great tip. I've made them with fruit in the past but this is a festive holiday look!

  77. Great project for holiday entertaining!

  78. Hi Susan,
    I made one of them using summer flowers petals…it was so pretty…for my daughter's bridal shower back in '03. Easy to make and so spectacular…got a lot of positive comments. I love yours.


  79. Susan I love this project! I might just be able to pull this one off! And I'm gonna save that $29 as well. And I am loving that silver urn lamp on your buffet! Girl you are the "lamp whisperer" I know it's wrong to covet….but I do…shoot me *winks* Vanna

  80. Did I mention how super-cool that ice bucket project is?! Absolutely going to use that idea, even if it's just me and the hubby (actually I'm kind of excited for a smaller crowd!) this Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing and for hosting today!

  81. So fun! I love the cranberry detail, very festive.

  82. That is such a brilliant idea. I am going to FOR SURE use it at holiday parties! Thanks so much!

  83. mustard seeds says

    Susan, your version is just beautiful, in fact prettier than the original.

  84. β™₯ Blue Creek Basement β™₯ says

    That is just so neat! Mason wants me to these on a smaller scale for his bottles ;o) Thanks so much for hosting MM – you are a doll!

  85. Oh I love it! Wouldn't it be lovely with sliced oranges or other citrus and cherries for a summer picnic?

  86. Thats for the tidbit about the distilled water and how it freezes. You learn something new everyday.

  87. Susan, thank you for sharing this 'how too'. I tried this last year using glass vessels and you're right, they all broke because of temperature change and ice expanding. I was devastated because I needed 5-6 for table center pieces and had to rethink my whole scheme.

  88. Excellent tip Susan re using the distilled water. (Thank you!) Definitely am going to give this a whirl as not unusual to have at least two reserve bottles of delectables on our Christmas Dinner table. Hugs -Brenda-

  89. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    You are a piece of work, Susan Napper. Mmmm … a genuine piece of work (that sounded like Andy Taylor in my head, lol.) Seriously, I don’t know how you find the time to do all the neat things you do! But I’m glad you do. πŸ˜€

  90. What magazine did you find this in?
    Thank you.

    • It wasn’t in a magazine, it was in a sales catalog that came to my house. It’s been five years so I don’t remember which one. If you google for “ice chiller” you may be able to find it online if they still make it.

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