IKEA is the master of utility carts, making it the ideal choice for an endless array of bar cart hacks.
It may not be considered high-end design, but their inexpensive staples are ideal for people living in tight quarters or families with kids. You can dress 'em up, stack 'em up and squish 'em into small places.
The staples, I mean...not your kids.
This is Part 1 of the Ikea Hacks for The Home Bartender series. Whereas this post focuses entirely on bar carts, Part 2 delves into shelving units and accessories, and Part 3 is a gallery roundup of built-in bars.
That said, here are 18 amazing IKEA bar carts to hack for less than $110.
This page includes affiliate links for your convenience, and at no additional cost to you. All opinions are 100% my own. For more, see my disclosures.
1. RÅSKOG Utility Cart
The Råskog is not only the cheapest option, but requires the least amount of customization. A simple coat of paint or metallic spray would be enough to get this cart ready for accessories. The original tutorial can be found here at Verily Mag blog.
2. SUNNERSTA Utility Cart
This little stunner coming to you from Kasie at Musings on Momentum, where she shows you how to spray paint your pieces prior to assembly and apply marble contact paper. Less is more, especially when you're working with a $30 budget.
3. RAST 3-Drawer Chest
It's amazing what you can do with a little beadboard, caster wheels, and new hardware. For helpful instructions and a good laugh, check out Bri's tutorial for this lovely Rast hack over at Average But Inspired. I'm inviting myself over for drinks next week, btw.
4. SNIGLAR Changing Table
Who says you can't incorporate mirrors or faux tiles into your design? Lisa over at Garrison Street Design Studio turned this Sniglar changing table into a show piece wet bar with a beautiful stencil design. Quite a change from the wet bar it was before!
For a video tutorial of the same hack on wheels, check out this video courtesy of blogger Miss Kriss.
5. VITTSJÖ Laptop Table
One cart, two ways. The first enlists the use of acrylic glass, the second replaces all shelving options with stained wood. I'm partial to the second option, because the floor shelf would be less prone to bending and the wood topper allows for the addition of under cabinet glass rails.
6. BYGEL Utility Cart (Discontinued) via GRUNDTAL utility cart
- Ikea Bar Cart Redux from Renee Reardin
- Bygel Utility Bar Cart from Ikeahackers
- DIY: Ikea Bar Cart Hack from History in High Heels
- DIY Marble and Gold Bar Cart from Belle Vie (not pictured)
It's a shame they discontinued the Bygel, because this one has been hacked in so many wonderful ways. The Grundtal is a reasonable alternative, though it would take a bit of imagination to get this looking less like something you'd see at the dentist's office.
7. NORNAS Side Cart (Not available in the US) via SUNDVIK Kid's Table
Unfortunately the Nornas side cart is not available in the US. This tutorial reveals all of its untapped potential. Also unfortunate — it's written in Hungarian. The Sundvik kid's table is the next best thing with respect to size and styling. Add four caster wheels, paint and two hardware handles on the top. BOOM.
Just imagine how happy your kids will be when they see their banged up craft table dedicated to a noble cause.
8. KALLAX (formerly known as the EXPEDIT)
Coffee by day, wine by night. What could be better?
- Ikea Kallax Kitchen Island Hack by Jen Lou Meredith
- Bar Cart Essentials and DIY Bar Cart Hack by Sara du Jour. This gal is serious about her bar! 🙂
- DIY Ikea Hack Bar Cart by Sugar and Cloth
9. MOLGER Cart
A fun, beachy spin on a utilitarian cart. The whole project cost Kita at Pass The Sushi $60! Gotta love the aspen tree straws!
10. BEKVAM Cart
How adorable is this? The designer uses it for kitchen goods, but lay a couple of wine bottles on the shelf and by golly you've got yourself a bar cart. The little crate underneath could easily be swapped out for a crate with wine insignia. Also, the stamp on the top looks like it could pass for a wine barrel label. Full tutorial here.
11. MARYD tray table
I call this one Girl Cart Meets Boy Cart.
- Retro Rosé Feminine Bar
- Masculine Gin Time
12. IKEA PS 2017 Cart
Simple yet sophisticated. Style photos via Beaux Arts Living.
13. TARVA 3-Drawer Chest
These pieces could easily pass for $500 bar carts.
14. FÖRHÖJA Kitchen Cart
The most expensive item on this list is still only about $100. While it has more upfront cost, it doesn't require as many bells and whistles, just a coat of protective stain and poly finish. See the full tutorial here.
15. NISSAFORS Utility Cart
New to IKEA in 2020, the NISSAFORS utility cart epitomizes the one-size-fits-all universal trolley cart (second only to the Råskog in my book). Coffee, tea, whiskey – whatever your cuppa may be, this cart is sure to deliver.
16. OMAR Shelving unit
This kitchen cart could easily serve as a full-time bar thanks to its capacity for 48 wine bottles. Who knew?
17. BROR Utility cart
And the hits just keep coming. Screw flat aluminum pieces to your sides in an "X" formation, and you could easily transform this $100 utility cart into a copycat industrial bar cart double its price.
18. Any IKEA bed slats
How awesome is this build made from basic Ikea bed slats? Talk about resourceful! Also, a good way to clear up precious garage space if you've been holding onto some leftover slats.
Tackling a bar cart hack in the near future? To recap, here are the custom finishes mentioned in these tutorials:
- marble contact paper (like this or this)
- paint, stain, gold leaf, or metallic spray paint (gold or silver)
- under the cupboard wine bottle holders
- custom "X" style wine bottle shelf dividers (video tutorial here)
- caster wheels
- custom hardware for drawers and top of cart (Hobby Lobby is my favorite)
- stencils and paint
- graphics (The graphics fairy is a good option) and ink
- accessories: potted flowers, framed artwork/signs, candles, serving trays
Feel free to take those ideas and run with it!
If you have an entire wall or bar area to furnish, click here for Part 2 of the Ikea Hack Home Bartender Series»»