This Bar Cart will be made with 2 x VITTSJÖ laptop desks. They are relatively cheap so it will all be worth it in the end. A comparable bar cart can easily run from $300-$600 retail. So this will be a bargain when it’s all said and done. All-in-all it should cost about $100-$120 after some minor additional parts.
• 2X Ikea VITTSJÖ Laptop Desks
• 1X #8 1/2″ Box of Teks screws
• 4X Everbilt Corner Supports (box of 4)
• 2X Everbilt L brackets (bag of 4)
• 4X 2″ Iron Caster wheels
• 2-3X Cans of Design Master gold spray paint (or similar)
• Drill with various bits and screwdriver head
• Dremel with round cutting attachment
Step 1: Understanding what you need to do
To get some perspective, see the final build to understand how it will all work out at the end.
In a nutshell this is what we’re doing:
• flipping the desk upside down (this will give us the railing around the top of the cart)
• We are taking the same top of the 2nd desk and attaching it to the bottom.
• We are relocating the small mezzanine level, since it will be upside down.
• Adding horizontal bar from 2nd desk which is missing (bottom of original) to make the base go all around the top.
• We’ll need to shave off some excess prongs that stick out of the original design.
• Add some corner brackets for the top glass.
Note: Picture of laid out parts is of only one complete desk.
Step 2: Chop off the feet and add the top railing
We’ll need to start by cutting off about 3/4″ of the legs which have the screw-in for the adjustable feet. We’ll need to do this for all 4 legs. This is where the full top railing of the 2nd desk will fit right into the holes left in the legs.
Once the legs are chopped off. You can fit the top railing to see that it all fits into place.
Now you’ll need to find and measure where the pegs that go inside the legs fit. They have the predrilled holes but you’ll need to drill new holes in the chopped legs, make sure they line up. You can use the IKEA supplied screws in there.
Step 3: Add the missing long bar (Top Base)
Next. Let’s place the one missing long bar across the top base.
We’ll use the supplied triangle bracket to secure it in place. This will be placed in the back. Put it all together temporarily to see how it fits and align the long bar. Measure out where it needs to be and mark the holes you’ll need to drill to secure it in place. Drill the holes and screw it in. Not much to it. (When I got to this step I didn’t have the box of suggested screws. So I made holes for screws I had laying around. the screws I suggest are great because they taper out and tighten quite well.)
Note: Don’t make the holes too big. the screws will tighten themselves in.
Step 4: Adding the Corner supports and shaving off glass brackets
Now we’ll add the corner supports which will hold the glass on the top shelf. This is pretty straight forward. Just measure, mark and drill. Note: the glass that comes with the the desk will need to be shaved in order to sit properly on the corner supports. (I still haven’t done this. but it fits just fine on top, for now)
You’ll also want to cut off the pre-existing prongs that are meant to hold up the glass which is not the railing. Cut them off, then shave them flush with the dremel tool. Make sure it’s smooth to touch. We’ll be spaying this later so the smoother the better it will look later.
Step 5: Add the Mezzanine shelf and shave off the peg.
This is optional if you want that mezzanine shelf.
Place it where you’d like and use the L brackets to position it. You’ll need to mark the holes and drill new holes to hold it in place.
You’ll also want to shave off the holder for the original mezzanine bracket. These won’t work any more since we flipped the table upside down.
See image of it on it’s side, this is what it should look like once built.
At this point you should look something like this. The wooden shelf can still work. The glass should fit on the bottom and top shelf. Test it out. You’re almost there.
One step I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of is the placement of the caster wheels.
If you’ve gotten this far, it’s a no brainer. Just mark the position on each corner (only 3 corners will make contact) Drill some holes and voilá.
Step 7: Time to paint
Now that you see how it will look. Take it all apart. Make note of how it should all fit. Don’t worry it’s not that complicated. make sure you know which way is up on the long bar, which is the only piece that can get confusing.
You’ll want to paint the screws. I placed them on a piece of cardboard to make it easier. Throw in some extra screws just in case. I got creative and hung it from strings in the backyard so that it was easier to get all the way around it and no part was left covered. It’s pretty self explanatory from the pics. Use long, quick spray strokes and keep it moving, don’t linger in one place because you’ll get overspray and dripping. Give it at least 2 good coats. You’ll probably go through 2 cans of paint. Make sure you let it dry for a good 3-4 hours (more if possible).
Step 8: Put it back together.
Ok, now that it’s painted, time to reassemble. ALMOST THERE.
I had some of these IKEA wine glass hangers in and they fit perfectly (Not sure if IKEA still makes them). Aligned and screwed new holes. Perfect fit.
Place the glass tops and decorate with some nice glassware and your favorite bottles.
Pat yourself on the back. You’ve built yourself a classy bar cart for about $100 dollars and some elbow grease.
I hope this was useful and made sense to you. My girlfriend was thrilled with how it came out and I was very proud and happy with the results.
Jules Yap started IKEAHackers.net in 2006 as a personal blog to showcase the most impressive IKEA hacks from all over the world. Since then, she has learned a lot more about power tools and DIY. Her site has helped thousands modify IKEA furniture with step-by-step tutorials, craft projects and home styling.