diy thrift bar shops

Attention all who love the aesthetic of home bars! You, too, can achieve this prominent status without spending exorbitant amounts of money. We’ll take you step by step through four projects to create a DIY home bar. Choose your favorite, or try a combination of all of them! Either way, you’ll be set to impress at your next dinner party.

#1: Grandma’s Secret Stash

Grandma's secret stash

We all have that one grandma that still watches fuzzy-quality shows on a super old small box TV, or she at least has one sitting in her basement never to be used again. It’s time to turn that ancient technology into liquid gold.

First, dust off that bad boy. Seriously, you’re going to want to do a thorough job at this. Who knows how many years it’s been sitting around. Using a mask is recommended so you don’t breathe in all the dust particles as you work.

Next, remove the back wood panel, but do not destroy it!  We will use it again in another part of the process, so don’t trash it. Once it’s removed, you’re going to see a mess of wires and the back end of the screen. All of it needs to go. Be cautious in how you remove each part.

Then, repeat step one. Dust the inside until it looks like you just bought it brand new, well close at least.

Following dusting, pick out a fabric design that goes well with whatever room your new mini bar is going to live. You’ll want to use some sort of adhesive to attach the fabric to the wood. This is where the back panel comes back into play. It’s up to you, but it may be easier to attach the fabric to the back panel before refastening it.

Once you’ve covered the interior with your choice pattern, all you need to add now is the bottles of liquor you probably already have in another cabinet. You can continue to add more flair by placing glasses on top, decorating with battery-powered lights, and whatever other tools you see fit. Check out the one from @nmusik with bright lighting!

#2: The Door to Your Dreams

Repurpose an old door into a masterpiece home bar

Thrift shop finds are the best. It’s like finding treasure. Some will sell parts of homes, like doors and windows. Habitat for Humanity is a prime hot spot for this type of item.  Our next DIY home bar will most likely take more work than “Grandma’s Secret Stash,” but the design speaks for itself.

Once you’ve found the perfect size door, sanding will need to take place. You can do this by hand or if you have the power tool version you can attack this at an increased pace. In reference to the photo to the right, @everlyafterevents found a door that was 100 years old. They spent time stripping back between 8 and 9 layers of paint to bring it back to life with craftsman Robert Aggen.

Next, pick your paint or stain and evenly coat it, front and back.

Another item you will need to purchase is an end table. One with wood similar to the door is best. You’ll want it to be close to the width, as well. Sand and stain it the same color. Use any leftover wood or pallet wood to make a shelf, again using the same sanding and staining techniques. As you can see in @everlyafterevents photo, they created a wood base that goes under the entire door, so there is capability for storage on both the front and the back. They bought their shelf and table new and distressed them to match the door. As you can see there are many ways to go about making your unique door bar.

Find out where you want your bar to exist, some look great out on a patio or deck, but others fit in well with a modern, rustic kitchen. Whatever you choose, simply lean your door against the wall and place your small end table in front, while attaching the shelf to the upper portion. You may or may not want to attach your end table to the door or you can just simply place it in front of it - up to your artistic freedom.

Now comes the fun stuff! We put copper mule mugs, our Raconteur Decanter, beer, our globe whiskey glasses, a mixer, straws, and a few pint-sized succulents on the table and shelf. We also added a sign, which you can make out of any piece of wood you can find.

Voila! You’ve got a home bar perfect for any occasion. Just change out your sign or wreath to match the seasons!

#3: Pack your Bags for a Staycation

 Home bar bags

Get ready for the best staycation every day with a home bar that can expand to no end. This project is for people who have limited time and/or don’t want to work too hard to get a makeshift home bar. Head to your local thrift shop, antique store, or vendor market to hunt for some super old luggage. Make sure each vintage piece complements the others.

Two is a great number when it comes to this as you can use one as your base and stack the other on top, lid open. You will want to use some fabric cleaner, or Febreze to disinfect the interior fabric. If any tears or rips bug you, go ahead and mend them. If they are too large to salvage, you may want to invest in some brand new silky material. As for us, we like the used, worn look.

Of course once you’ve cleaned out your suitcases, it’s time to add the fun! Grab your liquor collection, cocktail recipe book, alongside any glasses or tools and strategically place them inside keeping the presentation in mind. @scarlettandophelia made the cutest demonstration in the photo above. Better get packing!


4: Dress to Impress

A Dresser with Shelves

Have you ever been driving down the road and notice an old beat-up dresser abandoned curbside? Next time don’t just pass it by! It may look rough now, but it’s possible to turn it into your dream home bar! Our next DIY home bar does just that! You can also find some worth keeping at thrift shops; just know they aren’t free like those tossed in a yard.

If the shelves are still in the dresser, you can choose to keep one, but for our example we tossed all three to the trash. You’ll need some boards that fit inside where each drawer went in. You may choose to use part of the drawers for this, or you can use any wood that you have lying around. Sand them before attaching them inside your dresser.

Next, sand down the entire dresser, as well. If you like the paint job that it had previously, then you can leave it as is, but we do recommend starting from scratch with paint/stain so that each piece matches, creating uniformity.

Once everything is sanded, go ahead and pick a stain for the entire piece. If you want your drawer gaps a different color, then make sure you’re careful when staining to only paint those portions. You can also add wood to any drawer gap by making slots for wine glasses to hang or by crafting box-shaped bottle holders. @blissranch added writing on the side of their dresser, along with wooden slots in one of the drawers for each liquor bottle. It looks so cute, we want to buy a farmhouse and put in on our back porch like yesterday!

Lastly, it’s time to fill in the gaps. In our example, you could chose a wine theme – adding a corkscrew, bottles of winewine glasses, corksa decanteretc.

And there you have it! Get ready to go thrift shopping and see what you can find! It’s time to get your home bar swag, one that your friends will want to copy over and over again!