Hey there!  I am so excited to share this goodie with you guys today!  We have had some serious love for a Bar Cart at Crate and Barrel but of course the $800 price tag was just too pricey for my wallet so, I designed my own knock-off DIY Bar Cart for about $150 including the hardware!!

diy-bar-cartWhat do you think?  She’s a beauty right?  And, just in time for holiday entertaining!!


I also had fun with another spin on this!  Who wouldn’t love to serve coffee and hot chocolate to your guests on this cutie!

This DIY Bar Cart is super easy to build…. I mean EASY!  Here’s how I did it 🙂

Let’s start with a shopping list:

3 – 1×2’s @ 8ft.

1 – 1×2 @ 10 ft.

4 – 1×3 @ 8 ft.

1 – 1×4 @ 6 ft.

1 – 4’x8′ sheet of 3/4″ Purebond Plywood (I picked birch because it’s the cheapest) *Have your hardware store rip this (long ways) at 21 1/2″ and you can make the cross cuts at home.  Or, you can have them make all of the cuts – 3 pieces at 21 1/2″ x 34″!

4 – 2 1/2″ locking casters

2 – pulls

Now, let’s build!!

***Remember, not all boards are created equal.  The measurements I am sharing are the measurements I used.  We always suggest cutting and measuring as you build so that you get a perfect fit!***

We are going to start by building the frames for the cart.  First, cut 4 – 1×2’s at 33″ and 6 – 1×2’s at 26 1/4″

build-framesYou can see where I drilled my 3/4″ pocket holes with my Kreg Jig and I attached three short boards between two long boards.  I attached one board flush with the top of the two boards and 1 board flush with the bottom of the two boards.  The one in the middle, I attached at 15 3/4″ from the top of the long boards.  I attached with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws and wood glue.

build-another-frameNow, just make a second frame.

Now for the rails (the boards that will support the trays)!

Cut 4 – 1×2’s at 23″ and drill 1 3/4″ pocket hole at both ends of each board.

attach-railsNow, attach these boards with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.  You can see that I attached them right below where the boards were attached on the frames.  Just do this at the top and middle of the frames. (I attached these with the pocket holes facing down so that they will be hidden).

all-four-rails-attachedThis is what it looks like at this point!  The two frames that we built first at the front and back and the 4 rails running between them.

Here is why we left the rails off the bottom of the cart.

flip-upside-downHere you will cut 2 – 1×4’s @ 24 1/2″.

attach-bottom-boardsattach them to the bottom of the frame (flush with the 1×2’s) with 1 1/4″ nails and wood glue.  I used my Ryobi Airstrike Nailer for this part 🙂

upside-downHere she is upside down!

That’s it for the cart!  Let’s build the trays 🙂

building-traysCut 6 -1×3’s at 21 1/2″ and 6 – 1×3’s at 35 1/2″.  Drill 3/4″ pocket hole screws into both ends of each short 1×3.

tray-frames-dry-fitAttach 2 short boards between 2 long boards to form 3 frames for each tray.  Use 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws and wood glue.  Here is a great spot to stop and make sure these frames fit in your cart.  It’s easier to make adjustments at this point than it will be once the bottoms are in.

Now, measure the space between each tray frame to make sure that your bottoms will fit.

drill-pocket-holes-in-tray-bottomsThe plywood will be cut at 21 1/2″ x 34″.  Then just drill 3/4″ pocket holes on each side.  I did 4 on the sort sides and 6 on the long sides.

attach-tray-frameNext, just attach with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws!

three-traysLookin’ good!  Let’s dress her up 🙂

Rustoleum_Dark_WalnutI decided to go with an old favorite, Rust-Oleum Dark Walnut Stain for this baby!  I just wiped one coat on with a foam brush, waited 5 minutes and followed up by wiping the stain with a clean cloth.  Don’t wipe the stain away, just use the cloth to blend it!

Rustoleum_PolyurethaneOnce the stain was good and dry, I used a bristle brush to apply two coats of Rust-Oleum Polyurethane in Matte finish.  This cart is going to be around liquids so this is a MUST to protect our beautiful finish 🙂

We want this to be able to move around the house with us while we are entertaining so…

locking-castersI purchased 4 – 2 1/2″ locking casters for the cart.  The locking feature is key so that there aren’t any accidents 😉

add-casatersAttach the casters flush with the 1×4’s at the bottom of the cart!

pullsI thought pulls would be a cute addition to the cart and they would make it easier to cart around so I picked these cuties out for about $2 each!  I just attached them to the top tray.

Now a little more FUN!

stemware-rackI purchased this stemware rack on Amazon for about $12.  The one I purchased is in the box below.


It’s super easy to install!  I just attached mine under the top tray.  I marked off the middle point of the tray and set it back behind the 1×3 frame.

For the beverage cart, I installed cup hooks for coffee mugs!

predrill-for-cuphooksI predrilled holes for the cup hooks


and just placed about 8 under the first tray. You could just install the stemware rack on one side of the tray and the cup hooks on the other side so that it is an easy switch!  I will probably go back and do that later 😉

secure-traysTo secure the trays, I drilled 1 1/4″ wood screws through the rails into the bottom of each tray.  (I just used 2 screws per rail).

That’s it!  Now it’s time for some serious entertaining 🙂









how-to-build-a-coffee-barDo you like the cute printables in the pictures???  Come back soon because I will be sharing them with all of you for FREE 🙂

I hope you love my DIY Bar Cart as much as I do!

We always appreciate your shares and pins!

Thanks for stopping by 🙂


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  1. I love this! 2 questions: how much did it cost to make, all in? And is a Kreg Jig absolutely necessary? Can’t I just use good wood screws? Thanks!

  2. I made this as a coffee cart for our wedding in April. I want you to know it was a joy to make and although I made a few rookie wood working mistakes, relatively easy to make too!
    My cart has a “wall” side (aka ugly) but I dont care and no one even noticed. Cost was minimal, if Id known how much I would love it I would have chosen some better wood OR taken the time to learn how to stain to get the effect I wanted.Can not wait to start on our bed!
    Thank you so very very much!

  3. I love all your projects. I’m currently wanting to make some of the printable things like you have on the cart. How do you resize the printables? I would love to make the coffee one in a 5×7

  4. This is beautiful and the tutorial is perfect. If I made this I would stain the entire tray (underneath as well) and put handles on all three. I would not affix them permanently to the frame so that a tray could be removed and passed around with hors-d’oeuvres or drinks. It would also allow a tray to be brought back to the kitchen to get more munchies, or to be placed within reach on a coffee table. I want one of these.

  5. Hi! Would you mind sharing with us what kind of screws you used to attach the casters? My husband is having a hard time finding ones that are large enough to fill the screw holes on the casters, but also short enough that they don’t go through the wood. Thanks!

  6. My dad just bought me the jig!!! One question I have…do the trays attach to the rails they sit on or are they removable?

    1. Removable, which I love…you can easily repurpose them for the day. With that in mind, I did think I might want to build this in a smaller version one day as a kitchen island or breakfast in bed removable tray thingy…Just build it, it as so much fun!

  7. You did a fabulous job on this!! I think I will make one myself! Thanks for the wonderful tutorial!!!

  8. Just bought my husband a Kreg Jig for Christmas. He’s going to get a nice long list of projects to go along with it!! First one on the list is the gorgeous hall tree with hooks. This cart will be on there, too! Love, love, love your stuff!

  9. I love this because it’s so versatile. I actually love modern decor (but still love your blog!) and this would be perfect for our dining room. The clean lines are just what I love. Thanks for sharing!! (PS- first time posting a comment, but I have been following you guys for quite some time).

  10. Y’all did it again! Bar carts are so popular right now and I love that this one if affordable and functionable! Thanks for sharing the plans!