How to make a D.I.Y. bar cart

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How to make a D.I.Y. bar cart

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Project Overview

You can take your entertaining to the next level with this stylish and very handy bar cart. A great way to serve drinks at your next party, this great design works well indoors or outdoors. Continue to step-by-step instructions
tape on screw
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Using tape to grip a screw

If your screw keeps falling off the screwdriver before you are able to screw it in, this handy little trick will help get the job done. First, pierce some tape with the screw. Then attach the screw to your screwdriver using the tape. Once you’ve started screwing it in, you can simply remove the tape and away you go.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure and mark for the wheels
2 Cut out the wheel
3 Make the shelves
4 Make the frames for the shelves
5 Attach long sides to the shelves
6 Measure and cut for the short sides
7 Attach the short sides to the shelf
8 Sand the timber
9 Measure and mark for the bottom shelf
10 Attach the bottom shelf
11 Attach the second shelf
12 Attach the second circle support
13 Putty and sand the cart
14 Paint the cart
15 Make the copper stand
16 Attach the copper stand
17 Bottoms up!
  • Step 1. Measure and mark for the wheels

    We made our two wheels out of a piece of MDF; each wheel measured 750mm in diameter. Measure 375mm in from the corners, which will be the centre point for the router. Mark the spot and drill a 5mm pilot hole for the guide on your router.
  • Step 2. Cut out the wheel

    When cutting the MDF make sure you work in a well-ventilated space and always wear safety glasses, dust mask and earmuffs. Set your router arm to 375mm and screw the arm into your pilot hole. Use the router to cut the wheel. Repeat these steps to make the other wheel.
  • Step 3. Make the shelves

    Measure and mark on the MDF for the two shelves. Ours measured 20mm x 920mm x 450mm. Clamp the MDF to the workbench and use the circular saw to cut the shelves.
  • Step 4. Make the frames for the shelves

    Set the drop saw to 45 and cut one end of the pine. Measure and mark the length of the shelf to make the second mitre cut. Repeat for the other side and the second shelf.
  • Step 5. Attach long sides to the shelves

    Line up the frame along the length of the shelf, making sure it’s flush. Use the nail gun to secure the pine frame to the shelf. Repeat for both sides of the shelf and the other shelf.
  • Step 6. Measure and cut for the short sides

    Take the measurements along the width of the shelf, from short end to short end. Mitre cut one end of the timber for the frame at 45 degrees. Then measure and mark for the second 45-degree mitre cut. Repeat this for the three other ends to complete the shelf frames.
  • Step 7. Attach the short sides to the shelf

    Apply glue to the mitres on the short sides of the frame. Line the timber up so it’s flush with the rest of the frame. Clamp it and fix together with the nailing gun. Repeat this to attach the other sides. Remember to wipe away any excess glue as you go.
  • Step 8. Sand the timber

    Now that all of the pieces for the bar cart are complete, give them a light sand with the orbital sander and the 80 grit sandpaper before you start fixing them all together.
  • Step 9. Measure and mark for the bottom shelf

    First you need to mark the centre line of your circle. Half the depth of the shelf frame is 21mm, so mark this length down from the centre of the circle and draw a straight line across. Repeat this on the other circle so the bottom shelf will be fitted in the centre.
  • Step 10. Attach the bottom shelf

    Once you’ve established the shelf position, clamp the circle and shelf in place. Pre-drill with the 3mm drill bit and use the 30mm screws to fix them together. Use at least five screws on both sides. Tip: drill from the MDF into the pine shelf. That way the screws will hold better.
  • Step 11. Attach the second shelf

    The top shelf needs to be parallel to the already fixed shelf. Use a straight edge to ensure the shelves are level with each other. The top of the shelf is positioned 20mm down from the wheel’s top edge. Once positioned, clamp the shelf into place, pre-drill with the 3mm drill bit and use the 25mm screws to fix it into place.
  • Step 12. Attach the second circle support

    When the first shelf is in place, fix the second circular support. Measure, mark and check the levels. Once you’re happy with the position, pre-drill with the 3mm drill bit and screw into place with the 30mm screws. Use at least four screws on both sides.
  • Step 13. Putty and sand the cart

    Use putty to fill any screw holes. Let it dry and sand the putty back with the orbital sander and 120 grit sandpaper.
  • Step 14. Paint the cart

    Before spray-painting the cart apply a coat of primer. This will increase the adhesion of the paint and helps to give you a better finish and coverage. We spray-painted the cart black. Apply as many coats as necessary, sanding between each coat. When using spray paint be sure to work in a well-ventilated area, wear appropriate safety gear and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Use smooth even strokes for maximum coverage.
  • Step 15. Make the copper stand

    To finish off the cart and keep it stable, we attached a copper stand to the centre front. First, measure from the underside of the top shelf to the floor for the total height of the pipe, which on our cart measured 700mm.

    Next, measure and mark the pipe at 310mm. This length will attach to the underside of the top shelf, until the start of the first bend. Set the pipe in the pipe bender and bend it to shape 90 degrees.

    Then measure from the top of the length you’ve just created, down the long length of the pipe. Mark for the height of the pipe stand, minus the radius of the pipe bender. Then bend the pipe enough in the opposite direction so that it heads towards the underside of the bottom shelf.

    For the final bend, which fits to the underside of the bottom shelf, place it in the pipe bender to create a reverse hook shape.

  • Step 16. Attach the copper stand

    Measure and mark the centre of the cart at the front. Attach the copper stand using saddle clips and 20mm screws. Use two on the top shelf and one on the bottom.
  • Step 17. Bottoms up!

    And there you have it, a stylish bar cart, part Gatsby, part Art-Deco, all made by you. With its shelves filled with your favourite drinks, it will be a very popular addition when you next entertain.

Tools and Materials


  • Combination square
  • Copper pipe benders
  • Cordless screwdriver
  • Drill
  • 5mm and 3mm drill bits
  • Philips head screwdriver bit
  • Fixing gun and 40mm brads
  • Dust mask
  • Earmuffs
  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Mitre saw
  • Orbital sander
  • Pencil
  • Pipe cutter
  • Quick clamps
  • Respirator mask
  • Router and guide
  • Safety glasses
  • Scraper
  • Straight edge clamp
  • Utility knife
  • Work gloves


  • 2.4m x 1.2m x 18mm MDF x2
  • 42mm x 19mm x 2.4m pine DAR
  • 12mm x 1.2m copper pipe
  • 20mm timber screws
  • 30mm screws
  • Copper saddle clamps x4
  • Disposable gloves
  • Primer
  • PVA or wood glue
  • 120 and 80 grit sandpaper
  • Spray paint
  • Wood filler

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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