How to: Repurpose an Old Office Cart into a DIY Rolling Bar Cart
Every man’s home or office needs a good place to stash the booze. Unless you have to hide it away in a desk drawer somewhere, I prefer to go the way of Mad Men and have it on display in the classiest way possible. Unfortunately, a nice bar cart can cost hundreds of dollars, so I decided to do a little hunting for an old Cosco cart I could repurpose into my own classy moonshine wagon.
I lucked out and found a perfect cart at a yard sale for ten bucks. You see these kind of carts all of the time, and some need a little more work than others to fix up, but they are pretty easy to come by if you make the garage sale rounds.
Once you have a cart, all you need are a few accessories from IKEA and a couple cans of spray paint to make your own fully stocked bar cart. Here’s what you will need:
- Cosco Cart
- Set of 2 IKEA drawer pulls
- IKEA wine glass rack
- 3 IKEA silverware canisters
- set of super strong magnets (like these)
- 3 small zip ties
- Spray paint
- Your favorite liquor bottles
- Awesome decorative tchotchkes
Start by cleaning your cart and prepping it for a new coat of paint. If your cart has any rust, go at it with some steel wool and sand paper to smooth out the surface. Wash down the entire surface area with soap and water and let it dry thoroughly. Here you have two options for painting – disassemble and paint individual pieces, or mask and paint as a whole. I wanted all of my screws to stay silver, so I chose the disassemble option and broke down my cart into 4 legs and 3 shelves by removing all of the hardware.
Prior to painting the cart, I drilled new holes for the drawer pull handles that I wanted to add on each side. First, carefully measure the distance between the holes of your drawer pulls and mark where you are going to put them on the top shelf of your cart. I started with a small drill bit to get an indentation started in the metal, and then finished making the screw hole with an awl and a hammer. The drill is really just to get the hole started, and the awl will do the rest of the work. Once you have a small hole, the metal is easily bendable and you can easily increase the size of your hole by spinning your awl.
Next, take your cart to a well ventilated area for spray painting. I went with navy blue, and I needed just over a single can of spray paint for full coverage. (Get two cans to be safe and avoid having to run back to the hardware store in the middle of the project.) Spray evenly across all surfaces of the metal, and let it dry fully before reassembling or unmasking.
Once your cart is back together, add the drawer pulls to the top shelf. If you want to add a wine glass rack without screwing any more holes into the shelves, and your cart is metal, use high powered magnets. IKEA sells a wine glass rack for a few bucks, so I lined the top of it with 10 magnets (each is rated to hold 4 pounds) and adhered it to the bottom of the second shelf of my cart.
Next put together your wince rack. Get your 3 IKEA canisters and line up the holes on the sides. Connect them through the holes using small zip ties. The zip tie is practically invisible once you tighten it and trim the excess, and can’t be seen at all when the wine rack has bottles in it.
Lastly, you are going to want to stock your bar with all of your favorite bottles of booze. I am a gin man myself, but I like to have a variety of spirits on hand. I stocked my cart with Sailor Jerry’s Dark Rum, New Amsterdam Gin, St. Germain, Espolon Tequila, and a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon. I stocked my wine rack with a few bottles of red wine and made sure to have enough glassware to host a small gathering.
In order to really make your bar cart stand out, you will also want to put a few choice items on the shelves. Dress it up with some other garage sale finds or special mementos from around your house. Then sit back and pour yourself a drink. Cheers!