DIY Bar Cart from a Single Board

How to Build a DIY Bar Cart from One Board

Can you believe you can build a DIY bar cart from a single board?? Read on to find out how.

Shara Woodshop Diaries with 2x10 board

The 2x material you find at the building stores—both your local building supply stores and the big box stores is usually what you call “construction lumber.” It’s probably not the most glamorous stuff you’ve ever seen. You may have to dig through a large pile just to find some straight ones. But, it’s cheap. And it’s readily available.

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But, despite the bad reputation construction lumber can sometimes get, honestly, most of what I build is made from construction lumber. When you get a little creative, you can make some really pretty stuff from not-so-pretty boards.

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.So, I’m sharing this DIY Bar Cart (I guess since I don’t drink, it’s technically a tea cart??) that I made from a single 2x10x8 board that cost me $6.56 exactly…I just checked the receipt.

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And as always, I’ve got the how to for you below. AND I even have a video tutorial, too!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase from these links I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. This helps keep the content on this site free. See disclosure policy for details.

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To build this DIY bar cart, you’ll need:

Materials:

(1) 2x10x8

1 ¼” pocket hole screws

2 ½” pocket hole screws

Glue

Wood Putty

4 rolling casters (I used these from D Lawless Hardware)

Tools:

Table Saw

Miter Saw

Drill

Kreg Jig for pocket holes

Measuring tape

Sander

Clamps (optional, but helpful)

Step 1: Cut down the 2×10 board

First, I had to cut down my board to size using a table saw.  (If you don’t have a table saw, you can purchase four 2x2s and four 1×2 to make this instead.) I cut in this order:

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First, I ripped two strips of 2” wide board from the 2×10 using a table saw. I cut 12” off of ONE of these 2” boards with a miter saw and set it to the side.

Ripping down 2x10 to build wooden cart

Then, I cut what’s left of the 2×10 in half (two 4 ft pieces).  I ripped three strips from one of these pieces at 1 ½” wide.

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Lastly, I ripped the remaining wood and the 12” piece I cut from the 2” wide boards earlier all down to ¾” thick strips.

Board cuts needed to build bar cart

I know that’s a lot of instructions, but once this is cut, it’s easy peesy from here.

Step 2: Cut Legs for DIY Bar Cart

The 2” wide strips are the legs. (If you are using 2x2s instead, it’s fine that it’s 1 1/2″ instead of 2″ wide, but you’ll need to add a little piece onto the bottom to attach the casters because…) I would have made these 1 ½” wide instead of 2”, but the casters had 2” long brackets to screw into the legs. So I made the legs 2”.

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I cut two legs and a top from each 2” piece. The legs are mitered at 45 degrees on ONLY ONE END and cut at 34 ½” long at the longest point. The tops are mitered at both ends not parallel to each other and cut at 15 7/8” long at the longest point.

Cutting bar cart legs to length on miter saw

Step 3: Cut out the frame pieces

I cut down the 1 ½” wide pieces so that I had 4 pieces at 11 7/8” long and 4 pieces at 23 7/8” long. (Why 7/8”?? If you cut at an even 12” and 24”, you won’t have enough board because you didn’t account for the blade width on the cuts. Your last piece will be too short…helpful hint 😉 ).

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I drilled one 1 ½” pocket hole in each end of these pieces.

Step 4: Assemble the Cart frame

I measured up from the bottom of the legs 4” and made a mark, then 26 ½” and made another mark. You can totally pick different measurements if you want.  I lined the frame pieces up with these marks and assembled the frame like shown using 2 ½” pocket hole screws in the pocket holes I drilled in step 3.

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I checked to make sure the miters were turned the right way on the legs. I found it easiest to assemble the two side frames first, then attach them together with the longer pieces. You can see this in the video.  Also note that all the frame pieces are flush to the INSIDE of the legs.

How to assemble bar cart frame pieces

Assemble cart frame using pocket holes and screws

Once the frame was together, I glued and clamped on the top piece. Allow the glue plenty of time to dry.

Gluing on top handles of DIY bar cart

Step 5: Cut the slats for Bar Cart

While the glue was drying, I cut 10 pieces of 11 7/8” long and 7 pieces of 23 7/8” long from the ¾” thick boards. The longer ones will be the top slats and the shorter ones will be the bottom slats.

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I drilled one ¾” pocket hole in each end of each board.

Slats cut and pocket holes drilled for cart trays

Step 6: Attach the slats

I screwed the slats in place using 1 ¼” pocket hole screws, making sure to space them out evenly. I made the tops slats run lengthwise and the bottom run opposite.  I screwed them in so that the bottoms were flush with the bottom of the frame pieces. This left a shallow “lip” around the edges so that they were more like a “tray” than a “shelf.” You can make the top flush across if you’d rather. It’s just personal preference.

Installing bar cart slats using pocket hole screws on underside

All slats installed onto bar cart

Step 7: Add casters to DIY Bar Cart

At this point, I simply screwed the casters into the bottom of the legs.

Screwing casters into bottom of cart legs

Step 8: Putty, sand and finish

I put a little putty around the mitered corners and sanded it down really well. I’m really digging natural finishes lately, so I chose to leave mine as is with just a coat of poly on it. Of course, you can stain or paint as desired.

Step 9: Roll DIY Bar Cart in place

Fill up your tea picture and grab your mason jars and get ready for a party.

Close up of Iced Tea on Bar Cart Top Tray

I love how it turned out and I think the natural wood color looks great.  If you plan on leaving your cart “naked,” look for a board with lots of large, dense knots to add some color variation and character.

Simple Modern Bar Cart with natural wood finish on caster wheels

Close up of top tray of Bar Cart

I love this little cart for my kitchen.  That wood round was made from rough cut poplar I originally bought to cover a steel beam in our kitchen remodel, but changed my mind.  After I made lazy susans, I had an idea and glued some of that old wood up and cut it out.  Why I waited so long to make these, I have no idea!!

DIY Bar Cart from 2x10 with slatted trays

Okay that’s enough pictures…I may have gotten carried away haha.  Be sure to check out the video tutorial and all the 2×4 and More projects below, but first, I’d love it if you’d pin this for later! 🙂

DIY Single Board Bar Cart Collage

Now, check out all these other awesome #2x4andmore Challenge projects from these other talented bloggers!

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garden arbor | Remodelaholic
15 minute coffee table | The Ugly Duckling House
tiered corner plant stand | Charleston Crafted
single-board rolling bar cart | Woodshop Diaries
outdoor bench w/rope detail | At Charlotte’s House
wall planter and herb garden | Making Joy and Pretty Things
upholstered x-base bench | Frazzled Joy
jumbo tic tac toe | Ginger Snap Crafts
porch bench | Everyday Party Magazine
console table | Hertoolbelt
farmhouse patio table | North Country Nest
easy flower planters | Our House Now a Home
treadmill incline | Practical and Pretty
patio side table | Small Home Soul

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22 Comment

  1. […] Ugly Duckling House tiered corner plant stand | Charleston Crafted single-board rolling bar cart | Woodshop Diaries outdoor bench w/rope detail | At Charlotte’s House wall planter and herb garden | Making Joy […]

  2. Anna
    July 1, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    This turned out so beautiful. I would love something like this in my front entry way!

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      July 2, 2017 at 7:11 am

      Thank you!! I really enjoyed this project…I may make one for every room! 🙂

  3. Ginger Bowie
    July 1, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    Love this project. I think the wheels are my favorite. 🙂 Good job!

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      July 2, 2017 at 7:12 am

      Thank you!! Yes I love the little wheels too!

  4. […] Ugly Duckling House tiered corner plant stand | Charleston Crafted single-board rolling bar cart | Woodshop Diaries outdoor bench w/rope detail | At Charlotte’s House wall planter and herb garden | Making Joy […]

  5. Charlotte
    July 2, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    SO AMAZING! I thought about ripping down my boards because I love the crisp edge but… I didn’t. 🙂 Your bar cart looks terrific!

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      July 3, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      Thank you friend!!! Sometimes I rip all my boards in my builds for that crisp edge and sometimes I don’t, but I really like it on this project…makes it look more modern I think 🙂

  6. Toni | Small Home Soul
    July 2, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Oh my gosh, seriously brilliant! And I love all the great grain you got out of that board, it really gives so much character to your beautiful bar cart Shara. So glad to have been in the challenge with all you talented bloggers.

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      July 3, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      Thank you!! I picked the grainiest and knottiest looking board to use for this 🙂 This challenge was so much fun and I was excited to be in it as well!

  7. STEPHANIE ABBOTT
    July 3, 2017 at 5:29 am

    1 board! Genius. So pretty too. Pinning…everywhere.

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      July 3, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      Thank you!!! Pin away, friend!! 😉 I appreciate it!

  8. Denise
    July 5, 2017 at 11:15 am

    This is pure genius! I love that you made it out of one piece – so smart! The character of that wood is beautiful! Great job 🙂

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      July 6, 2017 at 11:13 am

      Thank you so much!! Yes, I made sure to pick the knottiest board I could to get some character on it 🙂

  9. Lauren H
    July 10, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Love this piece! Just curious…do the wider 2x’s just have more square edges? I read through the instructions and it doesn’t appear that you cut anything off…

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      July 10, 2017 at 11:58 am

      I did cut 1/8″ off the edge of my board before I started ripping it down to square off the edge. This is something I do with all my 2x material before I use it, so I didn’t even think to mention it. It’s just personal preference. But if I didn’t, that would just mean that two corners on two of the legs of the cart would be slightly rounded. Not really noticeable. The rounded edges are minimal on wider pine boards. They are more significant on 2×4 spruce boards.

      1. Lauren H
        July 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

        Thanks, Shara! I have been contemplating a bunch of projects using ripped 2x’s but haven’t actually done any yet 😉 It’s too darn hot here and, TBH, I’m a little afraid of my table saw…

  10. Sarah
    July 12, 2017 at 6:39 am

    SUCH a creative idea. You can’t beat a stylish bar cart for less than $7!

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      July 12, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks so much!! And yes, you can’t beat $7 🙂

  11. […] Ugly Duckling House tiered corner plant stand | Charleston Crafted single-board rolling bar cart | Woodshop Diaries outdoor bench w/rope detail | At Charlotte’s House wall planter and herb garden | Making Joy […]

  12. […] Pingback: DIY Bar Cart from a Single Board–2×4 and More Challenge […]

  13. Mulitpurpose Bar Cart
    October 3, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    […] for outdoor entertaining, these carts work hard. In this case, they also look good too. Shara from Woodshop Diaries shares with us how she made this cart entirely from one piece of […]

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