You can easily turn a potting bench into a DIY outdoor bar cart! Here’s how…
Have you ever heard of…I think the gardener-types call it, a “potting bench?” You have?! Well, I hadn’t. But then again, while I am AMAZINGLY good at many things (or at least maybe one or two smallish, rather insignificant things), gardening is my kryptonite.
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I was out in our yard the other day musing. Sometimes I muse. Around this time of year, our yard becomes over-run with caterpillars. When I was a kid, I loved caterpillars. I’d gather them, name them, pick the most choice of leaves for them to nibble on. One named “Mary” actually got to come inside at night to sleep in my dollhouse bed. I don’t know if Mary was the world’s luckiest caterpillar or still in therapy to this very day. Anyhow, you get the point.
Nowadays, I see caterpillars and I think “pest”. Kind of a sad metamorphosis, really. But I’m still in awe of that whole caterpillar into a butterfly phenomenon. It just shows that sometimes, true change is possible.
The problem? Well, there really isn’t one unless you happen to have black thumbs. I’m talking thumbs so black that when you enter your local garden supply store the sales reps turn and stare your direction with a look of horror and utter disapproval. Think middle school…[shudder]. So why is a gal like me writing about a gardening table?
Because…THIS is no garden variety potting table anymore. This black-thumbed gal has raised the bar. You may know the kind of bar of which I speak.
The kind with drinks. Adult drinks. Sometimes frozen ones, if you’re lucky. Maybe some fun little paper umbrellas, and happy hour specials…
That’s right. Our potting table has undergone a bit of a metamorphosis. I give you, our outdoor bar cart!!!
I’d been looking for a bar cart to put in this spot on our deck for the past year. I scoured craigslist, eBay, my local yard sale sites for months trying to find a vintage cart that would fit. Problem was that most bar carts are fairly shrimpy. And if we wanted a bar, we were going to have a BAR!
There’s no halfway here. Heck, we had 8′ worth of space, so a 36″ cart would have been completely underwhelming. So I needed to find an alternative.
And that’s when I stumbled into this bar….cart.
There are a couple of places online that I consider my “go-to” spots if I’m looking for something. Within a minute or two, this baby popped onto the screen. This “potting table” sure looked like it would make a fantastic outdoor bar cart to me!
It has a large heavy-duty plastic tub that slides in and out of the frame. PERFECT for a drink cooler! The image above is only showing 1/2 of the tub being used. Two pieces of wood on the tabletop surface are removable so that you can use none of the tub, or the entire thing easily. It’s awesome.
Assembly was really easy, but as we put it together, we did a few little DIY tweaks to our bar cart.
In the assembly instructions, typically that top shelf is flipped the other way, but we thought it would make a better shelf for glasses, bottles, etc installed in this direction.
I bought a wall-mounted bottle opener and mounted it to the side of our DIY outdoor bar cart so we can easily situate a trash can to catch the bottle caps right below.
We also mounted the bottom shelf upside-down, again to make it a better spot to hold bottles and such. Works great.
The final alteration we did to our kinda-sorta-not-really DIY bar cart was the paint. The wood on this piece comes unfinished, so to protect it from the weather, we wanted to finish the wood somehow.
Our deck is full of color, so we thought the outdoor bar would be one more opportunity to add some personality. We used the same exterior paint on our bar cart as we did on our outdoor painted rug. The color is “Heirloom China” by Clark + Kensington.
This is what I’d call a fantastic metamorphosis. A little bit of paint, a little bit of DIY and voila, we’ve got ourselves a cart of gold. Goldshlager, that is. Now, if only I could find out how to morph myself into a gardener…wouldn’t that be a trick?!
You know what though, we can’t be perfect at everything, right? And heck, I guess if I’m being honest with myself, I’m ok with being better at pouring a glass of vino than potting a plant.
So if you’re in the market for an outdoor DIY bar, you may want to give this potting table a whirl. It’s sturdy, solid, substantial, and you can use it to pour a stiff martini…shaken or stirred.
This is one change that I can embrace, wholeheartedly. Cheers!
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Pin this outdoor bar cart idea for later! And if you make one, leave a comment (or better yet, a photo) on the pin! That helps others know whether they want to try this project, too!