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Thrift Store Bar Cart | Trash to Treasure

In this post: How I found a bar cart at the thrift store and gave it one heck of a makeover!

I love it when the thrifting gods smile down on me.

Okay, not really. I don’t believe in thrifting gods.

But I did find this awesome little run down bar cart for a steal at our local Value Village a while back. Of course it came home with me.

thrifted bar cart makeover

Thrift Store Bar Cart | www.akadesign.ca

It was a little grimy and had lost its lustre. Not to mention the ugly faux wood shelves and peeling handle grips.


But I could see past all that to what it could be.

After its makeover, it was well-loved and well-used – especially at our first annual Christmas Cocktail Party.

bar cart after

When the holidays where over I put it away in the basement. Er, Dean put it away. I just gave direction. Isn’t that what a good supervisor  wife does?

I pulled it out again for our patio party  in the summer. Really, I pulled it out. Dean was at work.

Anyway, everyone loved it. Such a stylish and versatile little thing.


I had a lot of fun the other day styling it to show you what it looks like indoors – not at Christmas time. Plus I had some new accessories to show off. (Thank you Chapters Indigo!)




Here are some ideas for you if you should find yourself the owner of a cute little run-down bar cart:

  • Look at the overall shape. If you like the shape, just about everything else can be changed.
  • Paint or clean all the metal. I used some Brasso to clean up our bar cart. But I’ve seen some gorgeous paint jobs on bar carts.
  • Replace or fix up the shelves. Originally I wanted to replace the faux wood shelves with glass or plexi-glass, but I ran out of time. Instead I painted the shelves in CIL Grey Tweed (the same color as our dining room hutch). Then I used the Springtime in Paris stencil by Royal Design Studio to add a little contrast and interest.
  • Think of washi tape or special craft masking tape as a replacement for grimy or peeling handle grips. I used some simple tape that I picked up at Michael’s. It’s not perfect, but it works just fine. The patterns and colors are pretty much endless.


So now you’d like to know where all the goodies on the cart came from, wouldn’t you? I thought so.

  • Wine cooler, ice bucket, pitcher – all HomeSense (the Canadian version of HomeGoods for all my lovely American friends)
  • Clear PLASTIC tumblers (upside down on bottom shelf) – Target (Canada)
  • Wine glasses – Superstore (I also have many from the dollar store but shhh, don’t tell!)
  • Mason jars – Canadian Tire
  • Daisy cut mason jar lids – etsy
  • Gold striped straws – Target (Canada), although I have bought paper straws from etsy and Michael’s as well
  • Galvanized drink caddy – Indigo
  • Pilsner glasses – Kitchen Stuff Plus
  • Mason jar cocktail shaker (LOVE! And apparently as seen in Style at Home. Who knew?!) – Indigo
  • Mason jar shot glasses – Indigo
  • Ice scoop – Pier 1
  • Glass and gold cocktail glasses – LCBO (sold as a gift set with Bailey’s liqueur around the holidays)

So that’s our fun little bar cart. Isn’t it adorable? And functional too! My favorite kind of decor!

trash-to-treasure-no-guest-host 2nd friday

Want to see what some of my favorite bloggy friends made out of their trash this month?


KariAnne – Thistlewood Farms


Jenna – Rain on a Tin Roof


Jamie – So Much Better With Age

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I'd love to chat with you in the comments!


  1. shonee says

    Great cart! Love all of your pictures. It is fun to see the cart decorated with the different occasions . I will definitely be taking a look around aka design!

  2. Yvonne @ StoneGable says

    Your bar cart is so so chic! Pinning and featuring it on fb!!! LOVE it!!! Thanks for sharing at THE SCOOP!

  3. Suzan says

    What a beauty – your transformation is just amazing – very Mad Men ( ish ) love love love !!!
    And I guess you’re a fellow Canuck – ( chapters – indigo lol )
    So nice ” meeting ” you
    Hugs from Montreal

  4. Lani says

    Love this makeover! I’d probably use it in my craft room to store more fabric, of course πŸ™‚
    Hugs & Blessings!

  5. Kelly says

    Shannon I LOVE this bar cart! It is part Mad Men, part family friendly ( with the mason jars & straws ). Really great job. Pinning for sure!

  6. Pamela says

    Hey Shannon!

    I have this bar cart in my apartment and am so relieved to have seen your cart featured on AT. I grew bored of this cart and was planning on purchasing a new one but now you’ve given me some great ideas on how to fix her up! Thanks!

  7. Aime @ Aime Christine Interiors says

    This bar cart is AMAZING. It’s so versatile and pretty! I really must find one to use on our screen porch this summer. Thank you for sharing your sources, especially that beer glass caddy! All the different styles make me want to come join you for a drink!

A little πŸ–€ for Home Made Lovely

My aha moment!

I found my style and was able to bring our small space together for our family of 8! My aha moment was when you talked about undertones! That was the moment when I could bring everything together.

Danae C.

Falling in love with our home again

My ah-ha moment was when I realized I was going about things all the wrong way. I loved the house but it didn't feel like home. BUT now because of your course...I am falling in love with our home all over again.

Cheryl P.

Thank you for your direction and inspiration!

You have been very helpful in just identifying my style and what I like! Thank you for your direction and inspiration!

Dawn G.

Decorating is not as complicated as it once seemed!

I love your easy process to determine my style. I've also learned that my style has changed over the years and seasons of my life and that decorating properly/successfully is NOT as complicated as it once seemed!!!

Sheryl R.

Lightbulb moment!

Your explanation of paint colors was the light bulb moment for me! I am enjoying your teaching.  Thanks!

Pat J.

Filled me with the confidence I need

Oh Shannon, thank you, thank you thank you!!  I wish I could download you and take you with me, but your Decor Staples Checklist has definitely given me the guidance and filled me with the confidence I need!

Zee V.

Love this idea!

Orbs are such a great decor item to add to a space. Staining the hoops really gives them a vintage feel. Thanks for the inspiration.


I love your instructions!

LMAO!! I love your How Not to Paint Cabinet instructions! It made me laugh with good humor! Kudos for sharing your lessons learned!!

Tom H.

Done with Haphazard Decor!

I'm so done with Haphazard Decor! (Yes, I think I just made that "style" up). Thank you for your style quiz!


So Accurate!

I thought the quiz was so accurate, I want my friends to do it. I feel I like such a mix of things and the quiz described them all so well!

Lisa G.

A trusted friend

Before I felt overwhelmed by my clutter. Now, I feel like I have a trusted friend alongside me to pull me out of my paralysis with a fresh mindset!


"Home is the most important place on earth."

xo, Shannon