Outdoor Bar Cart DIY Guide: Make Your Own Patio Bar Cart

The magic of making your own outdoor bar cart is that it can be exactly what you need for your space. Whether you want to use it poolside in the summer or by the fire pit in the winter, a bar cart is perfect for keeping all your party cordials in one place. Even better: when you decide to DIY a bar cart you can avoid the generic options on the market for something that’s totally yours. This guide will help you with everything you need to piece together and build your own bar cart. Let’s get started! 

Sourcing an Outdoor Bar Cart Base

If you’re not skilled in metal fabrication you’re likely going to have to source a metal cart for the base of your DIY outdoor serving cart project. There are a few places you should look for a potential bar cart base, they include:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Craigslist
  • Local eBay Listings
  • Flea Market
  • Used Furniture Stores
  • Consignment Shops
  • Goodwill/Salvation Army

If you choose a direct marketplace like Facebook or Craigslist, just make sure you follow the best guidelines and safety practices.

If you come up short on metal carts, the right end table might work to suit your purposes. You’ll have to consider if you want to add wheels to make it more mobile or not.

Cleaning Up a Bar Cart

Once you’ve acquired the bar cart base, you’ll want to give it a good cleaning. Make sure to wipe it down thoroughly with a strong cleaning solution. We recommend using a cloth towel or rag instead of paper towels as you’ll want to be able to apply more pressure and really scrub.

Once your bar cart base is cleaned the fun begins. You can now start to think about how you’d like to customize the base of your bar cart. Consider how you’ll use it most often – do you see yourself using it on an outdoor patio, screened-in porch, or poolside?

If so, a waterproof or weatherproof finish is likely the best choice for ensuring your bar cart lasts through the seasons and avoids rust. This is a good time to think about any other features you may want like hooks for grill utensils or a dedicated rack for wine bottles.

Adding a Butcher Block Top to Your Bar Cart

Once you’ve sourced, cleaned, painted, and modified your serving cart base the way that you want it, it’s time to consider the butcher block to top it. A butcher block top would allow you to slice lemons, limes, or any other beverage necessity directly on the cart. At The Hardwood Lumber Company, we have a variety of wood species that we can cut to perfectly fit your cart base.

Some of our options for butcher block cutting board cart tops include:

  • Birch
  • White Oak
  • Walnut
  • Cherry
  • Maple
  • African Mahogany

Once you’ve decided on a wood species and style of butcher block like end grain, edge grain, or wide plank you can order it to your exact needed dimensions.

End grain is a great choice because it gives your cart a checkerboard-like top, or wide plank for a more natural one-piece look. If you’d like custom wells carved into your butcher block you can include those in your order as well.

Your butcher block bar cart top will be made to order, and we’ll finish it twice with our butcher block mineral oil so that it’s food safe.

We recommend once you receive your wood block you wipe it down and condition it with food-safe butcher block oil one more time prior to installation. You can purchase our own butcher block oil for keeping your outdoor bar cart sealed.

Once sealed you’ll want to make sure you install your butcher block serving cart top with wood screws. Wood glue or adhesives will not be strong enough and over time will fail. We recommend using a power drill and pre-drilling the holes prior to screwing the butcher block in place. It’s also important that this bar cart top is installed within a week of its delivery.

Want to skip all the work? Shop our Wood Furniture Collection to find a made to order cart for your home or patio.

Cheers!

With your butcher block outdoor bar cart built, you’re ready for guests whether it’s campfire season or backyard barbecue and bags season. You’ll be able to slice limes, lemons, chop mint or anything else you need directly on your bar cart while storing bottles below.

Remember to give your wood serving cart top a good wipe down after use and recondition the surface if you notice the seal starting to fade.

If you pull off this DIY don’t hesitate to tag @hardwoodlumberco in photos on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to be featured on our social media accounts!

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