How to Build a DIY Coffee Bar Cart

A DIY Coffee Bar Station Made from Wood

This DIY coffee bar station has been on my mind since last Christmas when I set one up on the kitchen counter.  Although fun and fantastic to have for visitors I wanted a separate standing coffee station. For the last year I have been looking at thrift stores, garage sales, and auctions to find an antique cart to refurbish, but no luck.

My version of the cart uses some finds stored in the garage, but I am including directions on how to use regular lumber to replace the garage finds.

She ain’t pretty, at least not yet.  I added some quick props to the photograph to entice you to make one, but it still needs refinishing.  In my next post, I will show you how to refinish it and make it pretty for Christmas.  Today I am posting the building tutorial.


Homemade DIY Coffee cart or Coffee bar using wood.

How to Build a DIY Coffee Cart for Cheap

This coffee cart is inexpensive,  the most it should cost is $50 and that’s if you have to buy everything which is doubtful.  It cost us $10 which includes the chopping block.  I will need to buy a stain to refinish it at $20 or less hopefully.

DIY Coffee Bar Cart Supplies

To build your own you will need:


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1″ by 3″ lumber

1″ by 4″ lumber

2″ by 8″ lumber (or piece of chopping block)

1″ by 8″ lumber

2″ by 2″ lumber (or old table legs)


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1/2″, 1″, 3″ screws

Metal L-brackets]


Electric drill and screwdriver



DIY Coffee Bar Cart Tutorial

As the chopping block is very heavy, we started building the cart from the chopping block and worked upwards.   We didn’t want to cut the chopping block so I let the dimensions of the block dictate the size of the bar cart. Our chopping block is 23″ by 32″.

You can make your own coffee cart top using 2″ by 8″ lumber.  I just substituted a top with this $10 piece of chopping block.  My chopping block is heavily marked up and will need lots of sanding.


Removing stickers from garage sale chopping block for DIY Bar cart


Making a  Coffee Table Top

Cut  2 by 8″ lumber into 3 lengths 32″ long. Adhere the four pieces of lumber together using wood glue.  Clamp together until dry.  The glue is to prevent cracks between the lumber so sugar etc can drop in between. The wood will be bracketed to a frame for strength.

Building the Coffee Bar Frame

Cut 1″ by 4″ lumber into 22″ and 29″ lengths. Start by building the frame first by lining up the corners and attaching them with L brackets and the 1/2″ screws.


The frame of a DIY coffee bar cart made from lumber.


(You could attach the frame board together using long screws from the outside, but using the  L-brackets mean less finishing work to cover the screw heads so I recommend buying some).

Center the frame on top of the 2 by 8″ countertop (or chopping block), and attach with more L-brackets.

Use a measuring tape on the four corners to make sure the supporting frame is centered. Then attach L-brackets in the four corners with one screw. Remeasure and once your certain it is placed the way you want,  add the remaining screws.

Adding the DIY Coffee Bar Legs

My table legs are a Habitat for Humanity find, from a long time ago so I have some holes to fill in. Make yours using 2″ by 2″ lumber cut to 28″ lengths.

Place the legs in each corner and attach with screws. Make sure to predrill the holes so that the wood doesn’t split.

This job is much easier with two people, one person drills and screws in the legs while the other one ensures the legs are level.

How to use a level to attach the legs to a DIY coffee bar cart.


Place two screws from the side, and two screws from the front making sure they are staggered depths.


Attaching Legs to a DIY Coffee Bar Cart


Pre-drill the legs first so as not to crack the wood, and then attach with 2″ screws.

Adding Lower Shelf Brackets to DIY Coffee Bar Cart

Measure the distance between the legs of your table. Cut 2 lengths of 1″ by 3″ lumber to match. (You can either measure and cut or place the 1″ by 3″ lumber against the wood and mark it with a pencil.  I am not great at measuring, but the cross pieces on this one are exactly 14.5″ long.


How to add a leg bracket to a DIY Coffee Station cart


These side brackets not only strengthen the legs, but they are also the brackets for the shelf. For this bar cart, we placed the horizontal cross pieces 12″ from the upper frame.

You can have the shelf any height you like, so I suggest double checking what you need before putting in the brackets.  Choose whatever the tallest item is you can think of for the shelf, for example, a coffee carafe.

Adding the Leg or Lower Shelf Brackets

Place the first bracket at the height you like. Using the level make sure the bracket is level. Hold it while the second person predrills holes for the long screws.


Predrilling and then screwing in long screws for a DI^Y coffee bar for cheap bracket.. How to predrill and then attach coffee bar leg brackets using screws.


Attach them with the three-inch screws.

Making the Lower Shelf

Measure the width you need for the shelf.    Cut two 1″ by 8″ boards to length.  Our boards need to be 28 3/4″ to fit on top of the brackets.   Again you can do it by laying the board and marking.

Measuring the shelf length of a DIY coffee bar cart


Flip the table over, lay the shelf lumber on top and attach using L-brackets to the underside.  Again you can attach the lumber using screws from the top if you prefer.


How to build a DIY coffee cart for cheap. A handmade coffee cart or coffee station that is still unfinished.


The bar cart is about 1/3 of the way finished now.  It needs to be sanded very well and stained.  Then finally decorated.

Unfortunately its too cold for me to be sanding outside in the unheated garage.  But sometimes you got to do what you got to do.

Not so Happy Sanding.




  1. This cart would work great in a small home, too! Love it, Leanna! Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  2. It’s going to be so worth all that sanding Leanna and knowing you she’ll be a beaut when you’re done with her

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you Michelle. It’s certainly one of those projects that includes sweat equity. I am excited to see it finished and to have a special area for a coffee station.

  3. Love that you decided if I can’t find one, I’ll make one! Love the butcher block top and looking forward to seeing how you finish it. Have you ever tried hemp oil? It’s a food-safe oil perfect for butcher block.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      I was thinking of using tung oil. I haven’t tried hemp oil Marie. I need to see which one gives a darker finish. I may use coffee even. It will be fun to test out once I get way too much sanding finished.

  4. I love the fact that since you couldn’t find the right stand for the coffee bar you made it. It came out so nice. I know you will be so happy when you can get in the garage to finish it up.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you Debra. I enjoy sanding, I play music and its stress relieving somehow. I am excited to have it done.

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