Bar Cart Goals: DIY, Thrift, and Style Your Dream Bar Cart

As many of you know, I moved apartments three (3) times in 2017. It was as terrible as it sounds and I've never wished I could embrace minimalism more. But, alas, I have three bins and a box of shoes and they all bring me joy, so I dismissed that idea long ago and embraced long moving days and stuffed closets. In this last move that occurred in August, the most important thing on my mind was creating the most beautiful bar cart that has ever graced this Earth. 

A tall order, but I was up to the challenge. Now, my bar cart stands proudly in the corner dressed to the nines and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. Keep reading for a few hacks and things to avoid along the way!


1. Pick your cart. The price range of carts range wildly on the internet, so a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Do not limit your search to "bar cart." Also Google things like "kitchen cart" and "utility cart" or even "wheeled cart." Some of these will be less stylish, but never underestimate the power of a coat of metallic spray paint.

  2. Decide on a metal or wood tone and stick to it. Consider your apartment / home's color palette and decide whether a gold, silver, black, white, or wood bar cart will flow the best. Once you've decided, match all your metals.

    (For example: I opted for wood for my cart, and then chose copper as my accent metal since I love to make Moscow Mules. I bought a copper tray at Target!)

  3. Check Ikea! I ended up shopping mine from Target, but Ikea has some much cheaper options that can be upstyled to a really cute piece. Lots of DIYs on Pinterest for this project.

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2. Find your glassware at Salvation Army, Goodwill, or any other thrift store.

  1. I found all of my wine glasses, champagne glasses (which tragically broke ... R.I.P.), and cocktail glasses at a Salvation Army. You have to hunt a bit and maybe hit a few, but you can find great stuff at places like this. Just give them a good scrub in a vinegar and water bath!

  2. Consider doing a mis-matched look. I love the idea of choosing many different kinds of beautiful glasses and creating a more eclectic cart. I opted for a more organized collection, but it depends on your space.

3. Decanters, decanters, decanters!

  1. The real polishing feature of any bar cart is NOT your Tito's fifth. I highly recommend picking up a few decanters and transferring your liquor into these much more attractive vessels. I got very lucky and found two stunning decanters at my local Salvation Army, but they are also easy to find online!

4. Add Decor: Cocktail books, string lights, trays

  1. An important part of showing off a beautiful bar cart in your home is actually knowing how to make a good cocktail. I know, crazy right. Luckily, there are hundreds of cute cocktail how-to's on the market, so you need only select one or two and display them on your cart!

    I always have Cocktails for Ding Dongs displayed on mine. The cute illustrations drew me to it and the measurements have never steered me wrong.

  2. I wrapped clear string lights from Ikea around my bar cart around Christmas time and we loved the look so much we never took them off.

  3. I bought a tray, stirrer sticks, coasters, and cheese knives to accent my bar cart and dress it up. Go with your style here!

5. Find your signature drink.

  1. I think it's important to have one drink that you can make in your sleep, and well. Always have the ingredients on hand and you'll never be stuck when you have unexpected company.

  2. Mine is a Moscow Mule -- hence my cute collection of copper mugs!

6. Throw a party!


I hope this helps as you find your own apartment style! Tweet me pictures of your finished bar cart, I'd love to see how you put your own twist on it. 

Let me know in the comments what your signature drink is! -xx


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