DIY galvanized pipe bar cart

Thanks to Don, Joan, and the rest of the gang from AMC’s Mad Men, bar carts have made a serious comeback.

Add a touch of mid ’60s mod to your next summer soiree by creating your very own bar cart — and related cocktail-time accessories — with repurposed materials. Read on for ideas we hope you’ll love.

The Bar Carts

DIY Galvanized Pipe Bar Cart

DIY galvanized pipe bar cart
Photo: Life: Designed

Made entirely from tool shed and hardware store materials, like galvanized pipe and plywood, this sleek modern bar cart is perfect for bringing a touch of Mad Men glam to your summer fiesta.

The best part of this upcycled idea? You create the entire thing yourself, meaning you can craft your cart in any size to fit small spaces or large.

Ready to give it a try? Check out the full tutorial from Nancy Choi of Life: Designed for step-by-step instructions on how to create the magic for yourself.

Upcycled Dresser Bar Cart

upcycled dresser bar cart
Photo: Bliss Ranch

This upcycled dresser bar cart from Bliss Ranch is seriously genius. It has everything you need, from an ice bin up top for bottled beverages to a counter station for cutting garnishes and storing all of your must-have tools.

Fitted inside a dresser drawer, the makeshift well even has a custom-made wood insert to keep all those bottles from sliding around. Those crafty folks at Bliss Ranch thought of everything!

The husband-and-wife design team behind Bliss Ranch scored a disheveled dresser for free at a yard sale to complete this project. But you can use any thrifted or unused piece that strikes your fancy, for example an old-school hutch or dusty entertainment center.

Head to Bliss Ranch for a run-down of the project to snag the look for yourself.

Tip: Create a shabby-chic look like this one, or use colored spray paint for a sleek and streamlined appeal. Get creative!

Upcycled Pushcart Bar Cart

upcycled pushcart bar cart
Photo: My French Twist

Can you look at a dirty old metal cart and see its reuse potential? Blogger Wendy of My French Twist did when she decided to transform a rusty industrial pushcart into a cheerful bar cart for her deck. After washing and sanding the cart, she drilled drainage holes in the shelves so rainwater won’t collect and ruin all her hard work.

Next came priming and several coats of paint. She added a chrome wine glass holder for the finishing touch, and her refurbished cart was ready for her next outdoor gathering. Find her upcycled bar cart instructions on French Twist.

DIY Bar Tray

DIY bar tray
Photo: Honestly YUM

With a little crafty TLC, blogger Erica Chan Coffman of Honestly YUM transformed a rectangular tray into an elegant bar tray for her living room.

While Chan started her project by purchasing her tray, we think this would be a great upcycling project for an old serving tray you don’t use — or one you find at a garage sale or thrift shop. With just a bit of sprucing up, some hardware, and a repurposed tray stand, your bar tray is ready to go.

Tip: We’ve seen some similar projects that use other items instead of a tray, like this suitcase bar table project from the Desi Wonder Woman. The possibilities are endless!

Next: Cocktail-Time Accessories

By Mary Mazzoni

Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.