If you follow me on Instagram you may remember the bar cart that I designed and built for season 8 of The Builders Challenge. Well, today is the day that I finally share build plans for this DIY bar cart! It was a fairly simple build so it would be a good project for a beginner woodworker. There are endless options when it comes to finishing this cart but I went with a mix of marble tile, rose gold accents and white paint. It’s such a beautiful piece of furniture! I really enjoyed building this piece and I hope that you will too.
How To Make a DIY Bar Cart
DIY Bart Cart Dimensions
The dimensions of this bar cart are 38″ wide x 17-1/2″ deep and 36″ tall. Below is a schematic of how the different parts go together. Keep scrolling to access the free printable pdf build plans that walk through each step in the build process and cut list.
Ok, let’s move on to what you’ll need to complete this build…
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QTY 2 – 2×2 x 96″ boards
QTY 2 – 1×4 x 96″ board
QTY 2 – 1×8 x 96″ board
QTY 3 – 1/2″ x 48″ dowel
QTY 72 –1 – 1/4″ Pocket screws
QTY 12 – 2″ Brad nails
QTY 2 – casters
Spray Paint – flat black Primer
Spray Paint copper rose
Sand paper (120 grit and 220 grit)
DIY Bar Cart Build Plans
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This bar cart design will require 2×2’s, 1×4’s, 1×8’s and 1/2″ dowels.
Step 1 – Cut angles and drill holes in legs
Cut a 45 degree angle as shown below on ALL FOUR of the 36″ 2×2 legs.
Mark centerlines and drill 1/2″ diameter holes that are a little more than 1/4″ deep on the face of TWO legs as shown below.
Mark the centerlines and drill 1/2″ diameter holes that are a little more than 1/4″ deep on ONE 36″ leg as shown below.
On the ONE remaining leg mark centerlines and drill 1/2″ diameter holes that are a little more than 1/4″ deep as shown below.
Step 2 – Trim 2 legs to account for caster height
Trim the length on the first two legs that you drilled the holes in to accommodate the height of the casters. Measure the height of your casters and determine how much should be trimmed.
Step 3 – Make the handle
Cut a 45 degree angle on each end of both of the 17-1/2″ 2×2 boards as shown below.
One one of the 5-1/2″ 2×2 boards, cut two 45 degree angles as shown below. There are two views of this part to show more detail.
On the remaining 5-1/2″ 2×2 board, cut two 45 degree angles as shown below. There are two views of this part as well to show more detail.
Using wood glue and brad nails, attach the 17-1/2″ piece to the two 5-1/2″ pieces as shown below. There are 2 views for more clarity.
Step 4 – Add pocket holes to 1×4’s
Drill 4 pocket holes into each of the four 14-1/2″ 1×4 boards as shown below.
Step 5 – Assemble the first side of the bar cart
To assemble the first side of the cart, align all pieces as shown below. Note where the pre-drilled holes should be positioned to align the dowels properly.
Apply wood glue in the 1/2″ diameter drilled holes and push the 15″ dowels in. They should be inset roughly 1/4″ deep.
Use wood glue and pocket screws to attach the 1×4 shelf sides to the left leg as shown below. Be sure to align the 1×4 so that it is flush with the top of the 2×2 as shown.
Repeat steps 12 and 13 for the right side. Use wood glue. Align the dowel into the pre-drilled holes and use pocket screws to attach the 1×4 to the right 2×2 leg.
Attach the 2×2 top bar using wood glue and brad nails.
Step 6 – Drill holes for dowels
Now, mark the center lines as dimensioned below and drill 1/2″ diameter holes that are a little more than 1/4″ deep. There should be two on each of the legs (4 total).
Step 7 – Assemble the other side of bar cart
To assemble the other side of the bar cart legs first align the pieces as shown below.
Use wood glue to attach the 1/2″ dowel to the first 2×2 leg. Then use wood glue and pocket screws to attach the 1×4 to the 2×2 leg.
Use wood glue to attach the 1/2″ dowel to the other 2×2 leg. Then use wood glue and pocket screws to attach the 1×4 to the 2×2 leg.
Now, mark the center lines as dimensioned below and drill 1/2″ diameter holes that are a little more than 1/4″ deep. There should be two on each of the legs (four total).
Attach the top handle using wood glue and brad nails.
Step 8 – Make the shelves
To make the bottoms for the shelves, drill pocket holes into two of the 1×8 boards as shown below. Then attach the boards as shown below using wood glue and pocket screws. Do this two times to make both the top and bottom shelves.
To make the sides for the shelves, drill pocket holes as shown below into each of the four 31″ 1×4 boards. Be sure to align your pocket holes toward the top of the board so that you have enough space to screw them in.
Use wood glue and pocket screws to attach the bottom of the shelf to the sides. Repeat to make two shelves.
Step 9 – Attach the shelves to the first side
Use wood glue and pocket screws to attach the two shelves to the first side of the cart as shown below.
Step 10 – Add the dowels
Use wood glue and inset 1/2″ dowels before attaching the other side of the bar cart. The dowels should be inset 1/4″ deep.
Step 11 – Attach the other side of the bar cart to the shelves
Use wood glue and position the 1/2″ dowels into the pre-drilled holes on the other side of the bar cart. Use wood glue and pocket holes to attach the shelf sides.
Step 12 – Attach the casters
Attach your casters following the manufacturers directions.
How I finished my DIY bar cart
Step 1 – Prep for paint
Before I applied any finishes I first filled the exposed pocket holes and brad nail holes with wood filler. Then I sanded the entire cart using 120 grit and then 220 grit sandpaper. I didn’t bother filling the pocket holes on the bottom of the shelves because I was going to tile over them.
Step 2 – Install the tile
Next, I installed a beautiful marble tile on the bottom of the shelves. The tile was actually left over scraps from my laundry room remodel so it didn’t cost me any extra money! I linked the specific tools and materials that I used to lay the tile and grout in the materials section at the beginning of this post.
Step 3 – Paint the legs , handles and shelves
After the tile was installed, I used painters tape and construction paper to cover it so that it wouldn’t be damaged when I painted the cart. Then I applied a few coats of white paint on everything but the dowels. I had some extra semi gloss white paint laying around so I used that for this project. It was the Behr paint and primer in one.
Step 4 – Spray paint the dowels
Since I sprayed the dowels, I first had to cover the white painted parts and the tile. It looks crazy but it was actually much easier to tape off than I expected. You’ll need some patience for sure but it’s worth it in the end. I used painters tape and cut up a garbage bag for this step.
I also taped off the wheels on the casters so that I could spray them the same color as the dowels. First, I drilled two holes into a scrap board and then I inserted the casters into the board to hold them in place. This made spraying the wheels much easier because I could spray all sides at one time.
A great tip when using metallic spray pains is to first prime using a flat black primer. Trust me on this, you’ll need way less of the metallic paint if you prime first.
The final color that I chose was copper rose by Rustoleum because I wanted a rose gold look. It looks so pretty with the marble tile.
Finished Bar Cart Photos
Ok, now for the finished bar cart photos! I added a hanging wine glass holder to hold my wine and martini glasses. It was such a great find because it matched the copper rose spray paint perfectly and provided storage for my glasses.
Here are a few pictures of the diy bar cart all stocked up! If you’re interested in any of the accessories that I have added links below:
What do you think of this bar cart? I love it so much. It’s definitely the prettiest piece of furniture that I’ve ever built.