DIY Bar Cart Hack

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Out of all the wonderful presents we brought home with us from our Christmas holiday trip, perhaps the most exciting was a (Rod Roddy voice) NEW BAR CART! Unfortunately, this Target cart seems to have been discontinued and none of their current stock is as affordable and cute, in my opinion. Jordan, Friend of Me and Friend of the Blog, was so generous as to make it my combination birthday/Christmas gift before this one disappeared from their inventory.

I’d been eyeing bar carts for quite some time (and cringing at prices) and ended up with the wine rack scrounged off Craigslist as a starter cart. As I’ve worked on this here blog, our liquor collection has…erm…expanded. Perfect time to upgrade! Jo suggested selling the wine rack on Craigslist in a grand circle of life kind of thing, but I think we’ll keep it around if only because it can hold this hideously awesome wine holder that we got as a reward for not being able to attend my family’s White Elephant tradition in person. My Texas-living uncle always brings the worst gifts… I’m keeping it out of spite.

Boot wine holder.That Sutter Home was also a White Elephant cast off. We got two! :/

Back to the most wonderful bar cart: I knew from the beginning that I wanted to add a wine/martini glass rack to the underside of the top shelf. I think the added efficiency and shine takes the whole thing up a couple of notches. After consulting Pinterest, I discovered it is even easier to create a glass rack than I thought; T-Moulding is the key. Cut to fit, attach to the underside of the shelf, and Bob’s your uncle. All your glass hanging needs fulfilled in a few short minutes.

Of course, as any experienced DIY-er knows, it wasn’t quite as easy as all that, but it was pretty easy!

DIY Target Bar Cart Martini Glass Rack Hack

DIY martini glass rackThe wood that comprises the shelf on the bar cart is fairly sturdy and thick enough to drill into, so I wasn’t too worried about adding anything in between the T-moulding and the shelf. Unfortunately, the T-moulding wasn’t quite tall enough to allow enough clearance to slide the glasses past the cart frame and into the rack. So back to Lowe’s we went for a length of 1/2″ x 2″ x 4″ poplar to bump the moulding and provide some clearance.

A note about arrangement decision making: the underside of the shelf has a metal bar screwed in that runs right through the middle of the shelf. I would have preferred to maximize our materials and use only three pieces of T-moulding to create two slots (like this), but because that metal bar would have been right in the way, we opted to use four pieces to make two slots. (Take a look at the picture above to see the metal bar in between the slot on the left.) Also, once that decision was made, I made another decision to forgo adding another slot, even though there is enough room for one. There are a few reasons for that: we already have a wine rack and one extra slot would only make room to hang three glasses, this cart is mostly going to be used for cocktail supplies (not wine), and I like the way two slots look better than three. It all depends on what you want and how you like the look, so feel free to go your own way!


  • T-moulding. We got the cheapest kind, which was unfinished and came at a 78″ length.
  • 1/2″ x 2″ or bits of scrap wood (all the same size) to elevate the t-moulding. May not be necessary for your particular situation.
  • Wood screws of varied lengths
  • Some way to cut the wood to size. We picked up this little saw.
  • Power drill with appropriately sized drill bits
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Glasses to be hung
  • Willing and gracious helper. May not be strictly necessary, but is helpful.

Procedure, or Here’s what we did:

  • Before you do any cutting, I recommend contemplating the configuration you want and what your glass hanging priorities are. Get out your glasses and try different arrangements to see what works best. I would have loved to make a rack that fit both our wine glasses and our martini glasses, but the martini glass bottoms were too small to fit in a rack that fit the wine glasses. Because of the metal bar in the middle of the shelf, we couldn’t fit enough slots to hold all the glasses and we decided it was better to hold all of one kind than some of all kinds. The martini glasses were the priority, so that’s what the rack is made to fit.
  • Measure, mark, and cut your t-moulding and (and elevator piece if using) to size. We decided to put a 3″ piece of poplar at each end of the 13″ lengths of t-moulding. 13″ t-moulding fit the shelf and provided enough space to fit three glasses. Why 3″ pieces of poplar with one at each end? I’m not entirely sure, but I like the way it turned out.
  • Unscrew the shelf from the cart frame. If you are trying this on another kind of cart or under a cabinet, good luck. It was so much easier to do this project with the shelf laying on top of a table. If working from below, I would advise attaching the t-moulding to the elevator pieces (if using) before trying to attach everything to the rack base.
  • Lay all the pieces out for the first two piece of t-moulding and use your glasses to space the t-moulding. Mark where the elevator board pieces need to be. Since we decided to only make two slots, we weren’t as concerned with making the most out of the space we had.

Lining everything up

  • Drill pilot holes and secure the elevator board pieces with screws as you go. Continually check your alignment as you go to make sure the drilling action hasn’t skewed everything. Make sure the screws you are using are short enough that you won’t risk punching through the top of the shelf!
  • Line up your t-moulding on the elevator board pieces, drill pilot holes, and secure with screws.

Progress on bar cart wine rack.The triangle pieces of wood in each corner are used to secure the shelf to the bar cart frame.

  • Repeat the process with the second set of materials.
  • Triple check that the glasses fit in the rack without any issue and reinstall the shelf in the bar cart.
  • To make sure that there is no danger of pushing the glasses out the back, I folded up some bits of cardboard and glued them in place.
  • Load up the cart with all your alcoholic goodies and implements and admire the convenience added by your new glass rack.

Bar cart cornerThe arrival of the bar cart prompted me to rearrange our dining room a bit to make a suitable space for such a feature-worthy piece of furniture. Between the discount Christmas lights that make me feel like I’m back in the box office at my first job and the properly tall home for my beloved pothos plant, I get all smile-y when I look at this corner of my apartment. It feels finished, at least for now.

I’m sure I’ll start rearranging things soon enough.


The Martinez

Obviously a project that is all about a rack for martini glasses must involve a martini of some sort! I’ve been wanting to feature the Martinez on H&H for quite some time, but hadn’t done the right project. Alas, the wait is over!

The Martinez is a very close relative of the gin martini (its predecessor, according to many) and requires Old Tom Gin, which isn’t the easiest variety to find. It is sweeter than your average dry gin, although not as sweet as jenever, and was popular in the 18th century. I was able to pick up some Hayman’s at Liquor Barn some months ago, but the drink can be made with regular old dry gin too.

I fell in love with this drink and I’m glad to share my little twist on the recipe. I’ve found that grapefruit bitters used in place of orange play really well with the sweetness of the gin and vermouth. I highly recommend seeking some out and not just for this drink!


  • 1 3/4 oz. Old Tom Gin
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes grapefruit bitters (feel free to use orange. I just like the grapefruit better!)
  • 1 dash maraschino cherry juice

Stir with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon peel if you feel so inclined.

Martinez CocktailA note: Unbeknownst to me until today, that maraschino juice is supposed to be maraschino liqueur. Whoops… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ To be fair, the book we took the recipe from calls for maraschino “flavoring”. And since I don’t yet know what Luxardo tastes like, I’ve made the executive decision that this drink is a-ok the way we make it!

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2 Responses to DIY Bar Cart Hack

  1. Pingback: Repurposing An Old Crate And Some Old Jim Beam | Hooch & Home

  2. Pingback: Clean Home & A Clean Martini | Hooch & Home

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