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These Frat Formal Cooler Ideas Are So Cute & Easy To Paint

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It’s approaching the end of the semester, and you know what that means! And no, I am not talking about the upcoming break that I am sure you’re really looking forward to, and desperately need. If you’re anything like me, you look forward to this time of the year as it marks fraternity semi-formal season. As a girl, it’s nice to be the one like, not paying for anything. 

However, a “free” trip to formal comes at the cost of hours of your time and arduous manual labor. If you’re new to the frat game, you may not know that it’s pretty standard for you to paint a cooler for your date. Painting a frat cooler is not as easy as it seems, and it may be daunting for anyone who hasn’t done it before to even begin to brainstorm designs. To save you some time, I’ve compiled a list of possible design ideas to paint on your cooler for the semi-formal season. Let’s get those creative juices flowing, and remember, this is the easy part!

Destination Designs.

A frat formal cooler isn’t really a frat formal cooler if you don’t have the destination of your formal on at least one of the more spacious sides of it. Whether you’re going to Las Vegas, San Diego, Lake Havasu, Big Bear Lake, Aspen, or whatever, you’re kind of obligated to draw the landscape of the place, no matter how intricate or complicated the destination may look.


this took years off my life but happy formal!!! 🥳🥳🥰

♬ Au Revoir – Sweet After Tears
Their name (Or their frat’s name) modeled after a beer or liquor Logo.

If your date is 21+, this is a definite winner. Don’t sleep on this one – painting letters, or straight lines in general, is a lot harder than you think. For logos, I definitely recommend investing in some paint pens.

Memes, Cartoons, and all things Pop Culture.

Can’t really go wrong here.

His Frat letters or Fraternity Name.

Like the destination, this design is also a must.


If your date plays a sport, try incorporating that into your cooler. If they don’t, a simple logo from their favorite team will still suffice.

Ditch the cooler for a flask.

If you don’t feel like spending hours and hours slaving away on some cooler, you can opt for painting a flask instead. This option is really popular among seniors, who have painted far too many coolers than they ever needed to in their lives. 

Remember to keep in mind before you start painting: always sand your cooler, invest in some fast-drying paint, and seal everything with Mod Podge!

Katelyn Haruko Schmisseur is a wellness content writer for Her Campus. Prior to this, she served as an intern for the sex and relationships vertical during the fall semester of 2022. Outside of Her Campus, Katelyn works as a freelance writer and content creator where she posts story times as well as thrifting and fashion content. She graduated from Chapman University in the spring of 2023 with a BFA in Creative Writing and a minor in Integrated Educational Studies. At night, she enters her Tyra Banks Y2K era as a bartender at the flagship Coyote Ugly location. She currently lives in Florida with her boyfriend and her orange kitten that she recently adopted. When she’s not working or writing, Katelyn enjoys thrifting, tanning, spending hours scrolling eBay, and going to the beach. Follow Katelyn on social media! @Katelynharuko on Instagram, TikTok, and Depop.