project // ikea hack: bar cart(ish)

IKEA Hack Bar Cart(ish) | lifestylethreesixfive.com

In rearranging our living room furniture the other day for the umpteenth time, I found myself with an empty spot in the corner just begging to be filled. I’ve always liked the idea of having a bar cart, but could never come up with a good place to put it – until now! Having West Elm taste on an IKEA budget, I decided to see what kind of IKEA hack I could come up with. This post on the Rain er Shine blog looked appealing, but $100 for the IKEA piece was more than I was willing to spend on this project, especially as the base price. Then I came across this post on StyleMePretty Living using the $40 VITTSJO laptop table. While the look of their bar cart wasn’t really my style, I liked the lines of the laptop table they used and the price was certainly right. I decided to add a wooden top and shelf, installed a wine glass rack for additional storage, and ended up scrapping the addition of wheels (hence the “ish” in the title). There isn’t really anywhere to move the cart to, and with all the bottles and glasses on there, I’d be afraid to try moving it even if I could.

Top View, IKEA Hack Bar Cart(ish) | lifestylethreesixfive.com

Here’s everything that went into the project:

Before and During, IKEA Hack Bar Cart(ish) | lifestylethreesixfive.com

I had Home Depot cut the 8-foot long boards into four 39.5″ pieces, so that I could use two boards for the top and two for the bottm shelf. The width of the boards combined was a bit more than the depth of the laptop table, but I was able to sand them down to get close to what I needed. For the shelf, I also cut 0.75″ square notches out of the corners to accommodate the table legs.

Details, IKEA Hack Bar Cart(ish) | lifestylethreesixfive.com

After sanding and staining all the boards, I put the two top boards onto the table, with the glass part removed, and traced the opening where the glass had been. I used this as my guide to screw on the wine glass rack – make sure you get the back of the rack close to the back of the opening so there’s room to put the glasses into the rack in the front. I also cut down the craft board to about 12.75″ long and nailed it to the two boards on the left edge of the opening to hold the boards together, and act as a guide to keep the top from slipping around on top of the frame. Both the wine glass rack and the craft board were the same depth as the glass that comes with the table, so they fit nicely on top of the little notches that are built into the table to hold the original glass.

The total cost of the project came to just about $90 ($88.87 plus tax) and I love the way it turned out!

Side View, IKEA Hack Bar Cart(ish) | lifestylethreesixfive.com

IKEA Hack Bar Cart(ish) | lifestylethreesixfive.com

21 thoughts on “project // ikea hack: bar cart(ish)

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  4. I loved this idea but found that the measurements here aren’t accurate. Although the 0.75″ cuts in the bottom boards fit the legs, they were not big enough to allow both 8 ft deep boards (which resulted in lots of extra sanding and another round of staining). Such a great looking idea though!

    • Sorry for the delayed response Daniel! The lamp is from Target – it’s their Threshold brand. It’s from a few years ago though, so not sure if they still have them. I think Pottery Barn usually carries something similar.

      • I have that lamp! I got mine from Target. It’s been about three or four years. It raises and lowers, which is pretty cool.

  5. This is one of the best bar cart hacks I’ve seen! I had this in my head, although I never thought of adding the wood to the top too but it looks so good. I was worried about how the bottom shelf would be fixed to the metal base. Did you use anything?

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  8. Love this idea, so I bought everything I need and made my own one.
    Only need to find a similar lamp, then it will be perfect 😍

    Thank’s for sharing!

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