DIY Bar Cart for Under $40!

Omg! I have been quietly obsessed with gorgeous bar carts for quite a while. These extravagant displays that some adorn their dining room or sitting areas with, can definitely be pricey. With prices starting at $150+ for just the cart, a broke ass chick like me? Do you know how many $10 bottles of wine I could splurge on with that?! I was not having that. But I neeeeded a bar cart. My mom recently redecorated my previously drab and dull dining room, but one space seemed so empty. After seeing the space I had, I *knew* it was time for my bar cart.
I was definitely working on a budget but with a fabulous vision in mind!

The biggest part of this project for me, is the glassware. I’m a big fan of keeping various glassware for some reason. I mean, wine glasses, glasses for my make up, vases, anything you can think of. Don’t ask me why, but that came in handy! I get 85% of my glassware from Goodwill. Yep, I love thrifting! At my local Goodwill, glassware is usually $1 each. That’s where I saved the most, and picked up the most important things.

I will say that I lucked up when I found my cart on Craigslist for $15, (originally $30 @ IKEA). Little did the seller know, I had big plans!
You can choose any accessories and glasses that work for you! I’m a wine/champagne drinker, but enjoy the occasional craft beer so I made sure to have those glasses and drinks ready. I added some highball glasses and martini glasses with the intention of enjoying them very soon! Look around different stores for your accessories, don’t feel like you have to spend hundreds on items you can easily make your own at home!

Items Needed
  • Rolling Cart or standing cart – (Ikea, Target, Walmart & Amazon have great choices)
  • 1-2 cans of Metallic Spray Paint – $4 (If your cart is bigger, plan to use more!)
  • Contact Paper of your choice (I chose a cream marble-like pattern) – $5 per roll at Walmart!
  • Scissors
  • Glassware – (see message above!)
  • Accessories [Check out a few great options I found for those on a budget!]
  • Newspaper
[Want some ideas on items to add to your bar cart on a budget? Here are a few cute items I saw! Read More for links to purchase!]
  1. If it’s possible to remove the shelves on your cart, do so now.
  2. Prepare yourself and your area for spray painting. It can get messy. I prefer to do it outside and on newspapers.
  3. Lightly coat bar cart handles, wheels and outer bars with spray paint – (Be warned that it’s best to cover up any pieces of the cart that you may not want to get your metallic spray on! One of my shelves doesn’t move, so I covered it with newspaper :D) 
  4. After 1 coat, allow your cart to dry
  5. While waiting for the spray paint to dry, prepare your shelves for contact paper! Wipe down your shelves with alcohol if possible or a soft cloth, as to ensure that the contact paper will hold. Feel free to pre-measure your shelves vs. contact paper, or you can do as I did, and simply lay the contact paper over the shelves for sizing and then cut away! 😃 I found that I had very little extra on the side, and simply sliced it off at the end. (Be aware of bubbles under your contact paper! I took my time and smoothed the paper from the middle to each edge)
  6. After applying the contact paper, add your second coat of spray paint to your cart and leave to dry.
  7. Once your cart is dry, replace the shelves, being mindful of keeping the contact paper intact.
  8. Accessorize!
Pre-Spray Paint
Post-Spray Paint!
My shelves up close with contact paper (Only $5 at Walmart!)
Want to know where to get the items I recommended? Check below! 🙂


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