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How to Build a Portable Bar

How to Build a Portable Bar

This isn’t your typical bar, this is a functional piece of furniture that has endless options. A portable bar can be used as a mini bar, console table, kitchen island, sofa table, and much more!

Portable Bar

A portable bar is a great option if you do not have a lot of space for a large home bar.

With this bar on wheels design, you can have both a mini bar and a bar cart without taking up much space.

Our bar plans make it easy for a beginner to build their own bar on wheels.

portable bar

Bar on Wheels

The open shelving on this portable bar can be used to store barware and alcohol or it can be decorated with home decor.

Then the portable bar can be rolled away and rotated it 360 degrees to be used a small bar anywhere in your home.

After rotating the bar 360 degrees, lock the wheels and pull up a couple of bar stools to enjoy a cold drink at your small bar.

We designed this portable bar because most people do not have enough space for a large L shaped bar.

bar console

Everyone could always use more entertaining space, so that’s why a functional piece of furniture is key.

Portable Bar Ideas

This portable bar can be used for much more than just a small home bar to enjoy a cocktail.

A bar on wheels can be used as a craft station and store craft items in baskets behind the bar.

Another option is to present the bar as a console table on the open shelving side to display family photos and home decor.

If additional space is needed in the kitchen this portable bar can act as a coffee bar or a kitchen island.

The bar plans for this portable bar are built to counter height, so this would easily transition into a kitchen.

A small living room would greatly benefit from a sofa bar table to add additional seating for entertaining a crowd.

The great thing about building your own portable bar is that you can adjust the color and outside details to fit your personal style and needs.

Coffee Station or Kitchen Island

Before building a mobile bar think about where you will use this piece of furniture the most.

This bar works great as prep space in the kitchen or a coffee station, so you may want to consider changing the bar top.

Butcher block would be a nice touch for the bar top, if you are going to be using this in the kitchen.

mobile bar

Sofa Bar Table

If you need additional seating in your living room then you can easily roll this portable bar behind your couch.

Simply roll the portable bar behind your sofa then grab bar stools to increase your living room seating.

Now you have a sofa bar table that automatically added at between 2-4 guest seats.

sofa bar table

Bar Console Table

You could even use this as a bar console table to display your home decor.

When you have company over, rotate the console bar for additional seating or a buffet in your dining room.

This bar console table with wheels just went from being a purely decorative item to a functional piece of furniture.

bar console table

Building the Bar Frame

Once you determine where you will use this mini bar the most, it is time to start building it. 

The first step to building a portable bar is to make the wood frame for each side of the bar.

I recommend building your wood frame 31 inches tall to accommodate the bar cart wheels and the wood bar top.

The bar wheels that I used are 2 inches tall and the wood bar top is about 2 inches wide.

If you are planning on building this bar cart at counter height then this will add up to 36 inches. 

I decided against bar height at 42 inches tall for this mini bar because it would of overpower the room.

This is multipurpose piece of furniture, so I recommend building this to counter height.

Bar Plans for Portable Bar

To simplify your project and take out the guess work, we created plans for this exact mini bar.

Our plans are broken down step by step, so a new woodworker can build this exact bar without feeling overwhelmed.

The bar cart plans also include a cut list, so you can save on lumber and prevent waste when building this bar.

portable bar

Assembling the Wood Frame

The left and right of the wood frame will look exactly the same, so you will have identical pieces as shown below.

I used pocket holes for my bar frame, but I recommend drilling directly into the wood to simplify this project. 

If you don’t mind the look of wood screws showing on the final design then you can simply drill directly into the wood frame.

bar frame

Avoiding using pocket holes will save time and make this project easier. 

Pocket holes aren’t hard to make, but they are tedious and they sometimes cause the wood to shift when attaching it.

You can countersink the wood screws then use wood spackle over these areas to hide the screws. 

Attaching the Center Pieces to the Frame

To attach the center pieces to the frame, lay down 2 of the 2×4’s then place 1 of the smaller 2×4’s toward the bottom.

Either use wood screws or use pocket holes to attach the center piece in between the 31 inch 2×4’s.

First attach the center bottom 2×4 then attach the middle piece that will be used to support the shelves.

Finally attach the top center piece in between the 31 inch 2x4s.

This will be your first frame, now you have to follow the same steps to build the 2nd wood frame.

bar on wheels

Bar Shelves

I used 2 pieces of 2×12 wood cut to 47 inches in length for the bar cart shelving. 

To attach the shelving to the frame, insert the first 2×12 shelf in between the frame.

mini bar cabinet

Portable Bar Shelf Support

Then add the shelf supports in with either the bar or the front of the shelf.

I wanted to avoid using more pocket holes, so I attached the shelf support in the back of the shelf.

Attaching the shelf support toward the back, also helped with supporting the wood planks on the outside of the bar cart. 

If you are going to use similar wood planks on the front of your bar cart, I recommend using a similar shelf support.

portable bar

Wood Bar Top

After assembling the bar, the bar top can be adhered to the frame.

You can get creative with this part and use any good quality wood for the bar top.

bar on wheels

I was trying to use up scrap wood that I had on hand, so I use 2 pieces of 2×6 wood for my bar top.

The 2×6’s are butted up against each other and I put wood filler in the center of the wood to prevent crumbs from falling in between this area.

Bar Wheels

These bar wheels are heavy duty, so they can support a lot of weight and easily turn.

The wheels can rotate 360 degrees and lock to keep the bar in place to prevent any rolling.

bar wheels

Conclusion

If you aren’t quite ready to commit to building your mobile bar or you would like a much larger bar then check out our other post on building a home bar.

We share detailed instructions on how we built a home bar that seats 7 people comfortably.

How to Build a Portable Bar 1

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