DIY Industrial Wood and Metal Rolling Bar Cart

A DIY rolling bar cart is a perfect addition to any savvy, industrial-chic design. Today we guide you in a step-by-step instructional on how to make an industrial bar cart from stained wood, iron support beams, and wheels. In one afternoon you can create a gorgeous addition to your kitchen or living room.

Wood Bar Cart

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - Glass Flower VaseView in gallery

The greatest part about this industrial rolling kitchen cart is that it’s easier to build than it might seem.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart ProjectView in gallery

Look at this mini bar cart! With wheels, it’s ready to entertain in the home.

DIY bar cart Level: Intermediate - Mateirals

Materials you’ll need for this Industrial portable bar cart:

This diy bar cart requires some simple materials, and a bit of handywork to turn out a timeless creation perfect for storing liquors, snacks, or books in one place.

  • Six (6) 1×8 pine or white boards, cut to 26” lengths
  • Three (3) 1×3 pine or white boards, cut to 26” lengths
  • Six (6) 1×3 pine or white boards, cut to 15-1/4” lengths
  • Four (4) 1” aluminum angle iron, 36” lengths
  • 1-1/4” kreg screws
  • 3/4″ wood screws
  • Four (4) casters
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Pocket hole plugs (optional)
  • Rustoleum paint + primer spray paint in Flat Soft Iron
  • Kreg right-angle clamp (optional but highly recommended)
  • Stain/paint/finish of your choice (not shown)
  • Kreg jig, impact drill screwdriver, power drill

The Step-by-Step for building your bart cart on wheels

Part 1: Drill the holes for the rustic bar cart

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - Drill four pocket holesView in gallery

Pair up six 1×8 pieces into three pairings of two-board shelves.

Determine, based upon knots and the appearance of the boards, the tops/bottoms of the shelves and also which sides of the boards will be the joints. 

Drill four pocket holes along the long side of one board per pair.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - eyeball this or measure itView in gallery

You can eyeball this or measure it. 

Try to keep the two outside pocket holes about 2” from the ends, then evenly space the other two holes in between. 

They’ll end up being about 7” apart.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - same boardView in gallery

Do the same for the other side of that same board. 

Drill two pocket holes along each short end as well, about 2” from the sides. When you’re done with one board, you should have 12 pocket holes. 

Repeat for two other 1×8 boards, for a total of three 1×8 pocket-holed boards (one for each shelf pairing).

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart -bottom sideView in gallery

Take the other (non-pocket-holed) 1×8 boards and, on what will become the bottom side, drill two pocket holes on each short end, for a total of four pocket holes on these boards.

Part 2: Create the main, horizontal shelves

clamp the two boards togetherView in gallery

With the pocket holes facing upward, clamp the two boards together onto your work surface. 

You’ll be creating the shelf at this point by joining them together. Make sure both ends are precisely aligned.

To keep the boards flush and togetherView in gallery

To keep the boards flush and together, clamp both boards together with one clamp on each end. This will hold them together vertically and horizontally.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart -Kreg screwsView in gallery

Grab your 1-1/4” screws.

Holding the boards alongView in gallery

Holding the boards along with the clamps, screw in your screws through the four pocket holes.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - turn shelf overView in gallery

Turn your shelf over. Repeat for other two shelves, for a total of three shelves.

Take your longer 1x3 boardsView in gallery

Take your longer 1×3 boards and drill two pocket holes (one on each short end) slightly off-center.

Make sure the holes are slightly off-centerView in gallery

Make sure the holes are slightly off-center toward the same long side of your board. 

These pocket holes will be placed on the back side of the cart. 

Repeat for other two longer 1×3 boards, for a total of three 1×3 boards with pocket holes.

Part 3: Create Back Support For Shelves

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - these longer 1x3 boards anduseView in gallery

It’s time to take these longer 1×3 boards anduse them to create the back shelf “wall” of each shelf. 

Lay a longer 1×3 board, pocket holes down, on your work space. 

Position the long side of one of your shelves (pocket holes away from the 1×3) on the edge of the 1×3.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - right-angle clampView in gallery

Clamp into place using a your right-angle clamp. 

Attach the boards together using your 1-1/4” screws.

Note: Don’t forget to remove the right-angle clamp and screw in the final screw in that pocket hole as well.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart-Pocket holesView in gallery

Here’s what you’re looking at at this point. 

Pocket holes on the back wall aren’t visible from the shelf side. Repeat for the other two shelves and back “walls.”

Part 4: Add surrounding walls to shelves

Turn your shelf sidewaysView in gallery

Next, take one of your shorter 1×3 boards and place it on your work surface. 

Turn your shelf sideways and position it onto the edge of your shorter 1×3 so that the back wall and all connecting edges align. 

Clamp into place with your right-angle clamp.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart -screwView in gallery

Screw the 1-1/4” screws into your pocket holes to connect the side wall. 

Remove right-angle clamp and screw into this pocket hole.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - trayView in gallery

Repeat for other side wall on this shelf.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - made two more shelvesView in gallery

Repeat side wall steps for the other two shelves. You’re almost done with this part.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - pocket holesView in gallery

Use the pocket holes on the back wall of the 1×3 board to secure the side and back walls together for added stability. 

Use 1-1/4” screws to do this.

Part 5: Add Wooden Plugs

Insert your pocket hole plugsView in gallery

Insert your pocket hole plugs into the back wall pocket holes.

Note: Use a little wood glue.

Three well-constructed shelvesView in gallery

Part 6: Start sanding and apply finishing to your shelves

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart- finish your shelveView in gallery

In order to finish your shelves, you’re going to need to sand them smooth. Use fine-grit sandpaper (220-grit recommended).

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart-shelves and walls.View in gallery
Example uses dark walnut wood stain and polyurethane.

Sand all surfaces of your shelves and walls. 

Wipe them clean and dry, then finish with the finish of your choice. 

Part 7: Spray paint your Mobile Bar Cart Posts

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart-While your shelf finish is dryingView in gallery
Example uses Rustoleum metallic paint + primer in Flat Soft Iron.

While your shelf finish is drying, you can work on your rolling cart posts. 

Grab a can of spray paint in the metallic finish of your choice.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - Lay your angle ironView in gallery

Lay your angle iron out on a drop cloth, and spray paint two or three light coats, with timing and drying according to your spray paint instructions. 

When it’s safe, flip the angle irons over and spray paint the other sides.

Part 8: Drill holes into posts

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart- angle irons painted and completely dryView in gallery

With the angle irons painted and completely dry, it’s time to drill some holes so we can mount our shelves easily.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart-Measuring from one endView in gallery

Measuring from one end, I drilled holes at these measurements.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - two identical angle ironsView in gallery

You’ll want two identical angle irons and two other mirror image angle irons (in other words, two sets of identical angle irons that are mirror images of each other). 

In order to accomplish this quite easily, I simply clamped the four angle iron pieces to some scrap wood, aligning the ends precisely. 

I measured on only one piece of angle iron, then used those holes as guides for the other three angle irons. 

Be aware that you’ll need to rotate each of the irons to do the other angle side, so take care to measure correctly from the same end as before.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - A simple wood drillView in gallery

A simple wood drill bit worked fine for this because the aluminum was thin, although you can use a metal drill bit if you’d feel better about that.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart-Place the now-drilled angle ironsView in gallery

Place the now-drilled angle irons back onto your drop cloth, and fill the drill holes with 3/4” wood screws.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart-Lightly skim the topsView in gallery

Lightly skim the tops of your screws with your spray paint, so they don’t stand out quite so much when you attach the angle iron pieces to your shelves.

Part 9: Assemble the 3 tier bar cart

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - completely dryView in gallery

When everything’s completely dry and thoroughly cured (the finish on your shelves as well as the paint on your angle irons), it’s time to assemble the modern bar cart.

Begin by attaching the bottom shelf to the bottoms of your four angle irons. 

Pay attention to screw hole placement on the angle irons; the single-hole side should align with the front/back of your cart (not the sides) and should align with the bottom shelf boards.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart-use levelView in gallery

After screwing in the first single screw on a front corner piece of the second shelf, use a level across the front of that shelf to determine placement of the single screw on the other front corner.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart -shelf levelView in gallery

When the shelf is level, attach the first (front) screw of the second corner.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - side walls levelView in gallery

Use a level on the side walls on each side before attaching the third and fourth (back) single screws.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart-single screws are attachedView in gallery

When all the single screws are attached, follow up with the two screws on the other side of your angle iron for each corner.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart- double screw holesView in gallery

Repeat this process, with the level and the single screws, then the double screw holes, for the third/top shelf.

Part 10: Add the wheels

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - time to attach your castersView in gallery

It’s now time to attach your casters.

Take care to avoid hitting any of your pocket hole screws as you attach the casters.

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart -your industrial rolling cartView in gallery

Finally, place bar cart accessories! Decorate as you please

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - wood and metallView in gallery

Of course, you can opt for no casters on your unit and create an industrial cart that’s still gorgeous and functional. 

However, the casters really make this unit more versatile – it can be a craft supply cart, a beverage cart, a dessert cart, a blanket cart…whatever you need

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - spray paintedView in gallery

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - Dark walnut wood stainView in gallery

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - wheelsView in gallery

Additional bar cart ideas

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart - flowersView in gallery

You can increase the depth of your industrial wood rolling kitchen cart by opting for shelf pieces wider than 1×8. 

A 1×10 or even 1×12 will provide more surface area on each of your shelves. 

Just be sure to recalculate the length of your sidewall pieces if you opt to change this measurement based upon your space and your needs.

DIY Industrial Kitchen Rolling CartView in gallery

DIY Industrial Rolling Cart ProjectView in gallery

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How to decorate a bar cart?

There’s so many ways to decorate your bar cart. It all comes down to the overall aesthetic you’re going for within your home. You can decorate a bar cart with string lights to give it a nice touch or even use washi tape on the metal posts to give it a quirky, kid-friendly feeling.

How to style a bar cart?

When it comes to styling the piece of furniture, knowing where you’re placing your small bar cart is key. If you’re adding it to a dining room as a coffee bar cart, for example, you’ll want to style it with mugs, canisters of coffee beans and sugar containers. Yet, if this is going to be a patio bar cart, the goal would be to use outdoor, waterproof bar cart accessories. Ultimately, knowing where and what the function is wil better serve you in decorating the furniture.

What to put on a bar cart?

Trying to decide what to put on a bar cart? Look at your overall home’s design theme and go from there. If you have a farmhouse look, make a farmhouse bar cart and use country chic decor. If, on the other hand, you have a retro chic home, a more vintage bar cart decor setup will suit you.

Where to buy a bar cart?

You can buy cool bar carts online or in-store at big box retailers like Wayfair, Amazon, Target, or Walmart.

How to make a bar cart?

A DIY bar cart’s biggest investment is the materials and time. However, it’ll be far sturdier than some cheap versions sourced online and you’ll have pride knowing that you made it yourself. Go to Home Depot for bar cart materials, and follow the step-by-step process above to make your own. You just need wood, wood finishes, spray paint, metal posts and a drill with screws.

Conclusion:

That wraps up our home bar cart tutorial! Now that you know the ways to make your very own mobile bar cart, we wish you luck and enjoyment in creating one! 

Before you go – Don’t feel stuck to making a traditional rustic wood bar cart, you can make a modern, black bar cart that’s perfect for any contemporary spaces.