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DIY Bar Cart with a Removable Tray

June 21, 2016 by Scott - Saws on Skates

Hey there friends! I’m back today with new DIY furniture plans. This time I’m sharing plans for a DIY bar cart with a removable tray!

Love this DIY Bar Cart! It features a removable tray and vintage industrial design. Plus, it's super easy to build! Plans at sawsonskates.com

For your convenience this post contains affiliate links to products or tools I used to complete this project. Click here to visit my site policies.

As a DIYer you know inspiration can strike anywhere. Well, the idea for this DIY bar cart started in an aisle at Target! Yup, I saw this bar cart at Target… I liked the overall design, but thought my DIY bar cart would look a little different.

target bar cart

My thought was to ditch the white plastic-look tray. Instead, my DIY bar cart would feature a vintage industrial look, an Early American stained wood tray accented with aged metal straps. Check out how I aged the metal straps using common household supplies!

DIY Bar Cart with Removable Tray - plans at sawsonskates.com

Gone too are the gold metal legs, replaced with wood legs painted satin black to hint that they might be metal. The top looks like it’s attached to the legs, but it’s actually a removable tray. This DIY bar cart is a real multi-tasker!

DIY Bar Cart with Removable Tray - plans at sawsonskates.com

Wouldn’t this DIY bar cart be a hit at your next party? Load the tray up with your favorite beverages and carry it where it needs to go. I have a confession… I’m not a wine drinker, but I did have an empty wine bottle, so that’s not wine in the glasses. My stand in “wine” is actually Coors Lite 😛

DIY Bar Cart with Removable Tray - plans at sawsonskates.com

Despite the DIY bar cart name, this could easily be used as an end table, night stand or even on a patio for outdoor entertaining.

DIY Bar Cart with Removable Tray - plans at sawsonskates.com

DIY Bar Cart with a Removable Tray Plan

Printed Plan
Click here to download a pdf of the DIY Bar Cart plan

Supplies
1×2 – about 6″
(1) 1x4x6
(3) 2x2x8 (I used 2×4’s ripped to 1-1/2″ – see Step 6 for details)
2’x4′ sheet of 1/2″ plywood
1″ pocket screws
2-1/2″ pocket screws
#8 1″ wood screws
(8) 2″ corner brackets
Elmer’s Wood Glue
Painter’s tape
4 casters
Rust-Oleum Early American stain

Tools
Stanley FatMax Tape Measure
Miter saw
Table saw or circular saw
Jig saw
Kreg Jig
Kreg Multi-Mark
Countersink drill bit
1″ Forstner bit

Step 1. Cut the Tray Bottom. Cut a 1/2″ piece of plywood to 16-1/2″ x 16-1/2″.

diy bar cart tray bottom

I used painter’s tape to keep the edges of the plywood from chipping.

diy bar cart cutting tray bottom

Set your Kreg jig to drill in 1/2″ material and drill several pocket holes around the edge. These pocket holes will be used later to attach the tray bottom to the tray sides.

diy bar cart tray with pocket holes

 

Step 2. Cut the Tray Sides. Cut 2 pieces of 1×4 to 16-1/2″.

diy bar cart tray side handle

Measure 6-3/4″ from each edge and 2″ from the bottom. Using a 1″ Forstner bit, drill a hole at the intersection of each mark.

diy bar cart drilling holes for handles

Using the Kreg Multi-Mark draw a line to connect the holes.

diy bar cart marking handles 2

Remove the remaining material with a jig saw.

diy bar cart cutting

Step 3. Attach the Tray Sides to the Bottom. Apply glue to edges of bottom, clamp the sides so they are flush and attach using 1″ pocket screws.

diy bar cart attach sides to bottom 1

Step 4. Cut the Tray Front and Back. Cut 2 pieces of 1×4 to 18″.

diy bar cart tray front back

Step 5. Attach the Front and Back to the Bottom. Apply glue to edges of bottom, clamp the front and back so they are flush and attach using 1″ pocket screws.

diy bar cart attach sides to bottom 2

Step 6. Cut the Legs. Cut 4 pieces of 2×2 to 24-1/2″. You know how 2×2’s have round edges? Well, I wanted square edges for this project, so using my table saw I ripped off the round corners and then ripped the 2x4s to 1-1/2 (the same dimension as 2x2s).

diy bar cart leg

Step 7. Cut the Rails. Cut 8 pieces of 2×2 to 15″. (again, I used 2x4s as described in Step 6.) Set your Kreg Jig for 1-1/2″ material and drill 2 pocket holes in each end of the rails.

diy bar cart rails

Step 8. Attach the Rails to the Legs. Layout 2 legs and two rails. Apply glue to the top rail and make sure it’s flush with the top of the legs. Apply glue to the bottom rail and place it 2″ from the bottom of the leg (I ripped some scrap to 2″ to help align the bottom rail. Attach the rails to the legs using 2-1/2″ pocket screws.

diy bar cart legs

Repeat for the remaining set of legs and rails, then connect the two leg assemblies to the remaining rails.

diy bar cart legs attached to rails

Step 9. Drill Pilot Hole for the Casters. If your casters require a mounting hole, mark the center of the leg and drill the appropriate size hole.

diy bar cart casters

Step 10. Cut the Bottom. Check the measurement of the opening at the bottom rails of the legs and cut a piece or 1/2″ plywood to that dimension. It’s a good idea to check the dimension of all four sides in case something was misaligned during assembly.

diy bar cart measure for bottom

Step 11. Cut the Tray Feet. Cut 4 pieces of 1×2 to 1-1/2″. Locate the center of the foot and drill a counter sink hole. Repeat for each foot.

Step 12. Paint the Legs and Stain the Tray, Tray Feet and Bottom Shelf. First I primed the legs and then painted two coats of a black satin paint. The tray, tray feet and bottom shelf were stained with Rust-Oleum Early American stain.

Step 13. Attach the Bottom Shelf to the Rails. Set the bottom shelf in position…

diy bar cart install bottom 1

and attach using 1″ pocket screws.

diy bar cart install bottom 2

Step 14. Attach the Corner Brackets to the Tray. Using the Kreg Multi-Mark center the brackets on the tray.

diy bar cart install straps 1

Attach using the corner bracket screws.

diy bar cart install straps 2

Step 15. Attach Feet to the Tray. The tray feet are more than just feet. They help lock the tray into the framework of the legs. Place the tray upside down on your workbench, place the legs on top…

diy bar cart install feet 1

and mark the location of the corners.

diy bar cart install feet 2

Set your Kreg Multi-Mark so it’s about an 1/8″ deeper than the marks (this will give the tray a little wiggle room). Apply glue to the foot, position with the Kreg Multimark and attach using a 1″ wood screw.

diy bar cart install feet 3

Step 16. Attach Casters to Legs.

That’s it! Your DIY Bar Cart is complete and ready for your favorite beverages!


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Love this DIY Bar Cart! It features a removable tray and vintage industrial design. Plus, it's super easy to build! Plans at sawsonskates.com


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DIY Bar Cart with a Removable Tray

2 thoughts on “DIY Bar Cart with a Removable Tray

  1. Tracey says:

    Scott, as always, your projects are awesome! Your bar cart with the removable tray shines compared to the Target one! Thanks for the the plans and your awesome website!

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