Learn how to repurpose drawers into a DIY bar cart with this step by step tutorial. This unique drawer repurpose idea is not just pretty but functional too!
I am excited to be partnering once again with the Power Tool Challenge Team on a special challenge this month – the reader challenge! And there are prizes involved!! See more at the bottom of the post!
The theme for the challenge is “Upcycle”. And I am showing you how I upcycled old drawers into a bar cart!
But first the story of how these drawers came into my life…
A long time ago, there was a daybed on the side of the road. My Mother in law and I tried to get it into the car but it was a heavy beast!
After struggling for almost 20 minutes, we threw in the towel!
But we salvaged whatever we could – like the headboard and all the drawers! That is how 4 drawers came into my life and have been waiting for me to give them a purpose!
In their new life, they no longer sit covered in dust in a corner of the garage but are a glamorous bar cart!
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What you need to repurpose a drawer into a bar cart –
- Old drawers
- 2″ x 2″ lumber
- 1″ x 2″ lumber
- Super FinishMax Extra
- Large HomeRight Spray shelter
- Paint in colors of your choice.
- Kreg Jig Pocket hole system (I also have a full tutorial for you on how to use a Kreg Jig!)
- 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
- 3/4″ square dowel (in case you have drawers like mine)
- 2″ Casters
- 3/8″ T-nut inserts
- 3/4″ wood screws
- 1¼” finish nails and Brad Nailer or Hammer
- Gorilla Glue
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How to make a bar cart from old drawers –
Step 1 – Prep the drawers
Clean those drawers really well… you never know when they have been! Also, remove any drawer slides. Mine were bottom mount and left a little cut out at the back.
Step 2 – Make any repairs needed.
Fill any holes with wood putty and smooth out any blemishes.
If you have a cutout like mine at the back of the drawer, you want to cover it up because its now going to be the front of the cart.
Step 3 – Build the base
Cut out the 2″ x 2″ and the 1″ x 2″ lumber according to dimensions of your drawers and build a base using pocket holes like below. Also, you can cut up the long legs to the desired length at this time.
Step 4 – Paint all the parts
Time to paint! I painted all parts of the bar cart separately before putting it together because of the two color scheme i was going for. If you want to use one color, you can paint it after assembling.
I used the Super FinishMax Extra to paint. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to dilute the paint! You just use different nozzle sets for different material!
I used silver acrylic paint on the base and the legs using the green nozzle set. The acrylic paint went on super easy and smooth!
For the drawers, I used primer followed by my favorite Navy Blue latex paint!
Step 5- Attach casters to the base
How to attach threaded casters –
- Drill a hole into the leg using a 1/2″ drill bit. Make sure the hole is deep enough to accommodate the entire length of the thread on the caster.
- Hammer in the T-nut insert till it is flush to the leg.
- Screw in your caster!
Step 6 – Put it all together!
First, attach the long legs to the bottom drawer from the underside with a strong adhesive like the gorilla glue and countersunk ¾” wood screws. Then, attach the base to underside of the bottom drawer with glue and ¾” wood screws.
Similarly, attach the top drawer to the long legs too. I used wood screws from the top of the drawer. Drive them flush and cover them with paint to blend in.
I love the combination of silver and navy! I love it so much, I am in the mood to take into my office and use it store craft supplies where I can look at it all the time 😉
That’s 2 drawers down… 2 more to go… and that headboard too! Any suggestions on what to do with them?
More inspiring ideas –
Build this DIY Tall Bar Cabinet that will fit anywhere.
Take a plain Ikea Ivar Cabinet to a whole new level
Build an easy upholstered 2 x 4 X-leg bench
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Anika's goal is to inspire and empower beginners with woodworking, DIY, home improvement, and home decor ideas.
She wants everyone to unlock their creative potential and experience the feeling that comes with making something. Nothing feels better better than seeing something and saying "I can make that!"