Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Back Yard Upgrade: Catering Cart Makeover

This weekend here in Arizona we are under an Extreme Heat Advisory.  That means 110 degrees and higher for several days.  Having a swimming pool is critical in our attempt to stay cool.  Going in to this summer, we knew we wanted to make a few additions to our back yard to make it more usable for our family and for parties.

Our objectives for the back yard are as follows:
  1. Storage/Bar Area
  2. Comfortable and more seating
  3. More table space
  4. Create a purpose for west side of yard (currently a dirt patch, this will be next summer's project - need to save $$$)

Today I am very excited to share the results of our first objective - creating a storage/bar area.

For the past 6 months, we have been on the hunt for a piece of furniture to make over.  The piece needed to provide storage for towels, sunscreen, pool toys/goggles, etc.  It also needed to have a surface to be used like a buffet for drinks and snacks when we are out back.  We really thought we were looking for a dresser or buffet similar to the buffet we found for our living room.

Then one day, we were at one of our favorite salvage shops and came across this beauty...

Yep, an old beat up catering cart that reminded us of those that are used by the airlines.  It was sitting just outside the dumpster.  Had we not rescued this gem, it was going to the junk yard!  Nooooo!  We knew it was just what we were looking for - a conversation piece, a piece we could bring back to life and make our own.

This dirty, faded, sun worn, dried out, rusty cart with missing doors was a bit of a challenge.  It took a few attempts to take it all apart.  We broke a few bolts in the process but got it apart with the help of a blow torch to loosen a few rusty pieces.  After a lengthy pressure washing we were ready to go.

Since we immediately thought airline beverage cart when we saw it, we decided to go that route with an aviation color scheme.  We chose a dark blue for the shell - painting both inside and out.  We kept the metal pieces as is for an industrial feel.  We gave them a good clean and buff and reattached them with new hardware. 

We removed the broken door hardware.  With no doors on the piece we decided to create a simple roll-up dust cover for the front of the unit.  I went to my fabric stash and found the perfect orange and white awning striped outdoor fabric.  I love how the orange played off the blue. I sewed a simple curtain with pockets at the top and bottom.  Through the top pocket we placed a metal strip.  We bolted the curtain to the top of the piece.  The bottom pocket has a piece of dowel to add some weight and structure for when we roll up the cover.

 I added a couple of ribbons to hold the cover up when we were using the cart.  I plan to add a couple of pieces of Velcro along the sides of the cart to help hold the cover in place when not in use as the wind catches it and blows it around.

We created a few adjustable shelves for the unit.  I then hit the dollar store and found the perfect baskets and tubs to store items on the cart.  I was so excited to find our colors. 

 The best part about this piece is that we rescued this forlorn cart and turned it in to an amazing gem.

I'll be back next week with part 2 of our back yard update.


  1. Lori I love this! Love the colors, too {Go Broncos!} Thanks so much for sharing at Wicked Good Wednesdays!

  2. That's super cute! Now I just have to build one into my car...

    Mei @ Diary of a Fair Weather Diver

  3. what a great idea! and i love the orange striped, roll-up curtains!
    Thanks for much for linking up to support Habitat! Good luck and hope to see you back Thursday night. :)

  4. Love it! Glad you saved it from the trash.

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