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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!

shannon sign off