Thursday, April 26

DIY [drink up]

So, have you gotten a good dose of bar cart lovin? Good.

I was thus smitten myself while visiting one of my best friends and college roommate, L (she was at the lovely Brooklyn reunion earlier this year). After graduation, she moved out to San Francisco, because she's cooler than me. I was lucky enough to have a conference in the bay area last summer, so I had a chance to visit her. I ended up going over a full week early so I would have plenty of time to shop/thrift/eat with her, and boy did it pay off.

I'll show you some of the incredible (and cheappp) things I picked up at some other time, because I need all your attention for the super-cool retro brass bar-tools I found while thrifting in the Mission:

 That's two tiers of awesome my friends, for the bargain price of $10(!!):

Pretty baller, no? The box they came in (some sort of fake leather) is in pretty rough shape, but the peach silk interior is great, and the pieces themselves have very little wear. That's when I KNEW I had to do a bar cart for D for Christmas. Even though it was only July. I'm typically not a planner, but I take present-giving very seriously.

First step was finding a bar cart. Of course, I turned to Craigslist (which has already hooked me up with a campaign dresser and desk, an antique photographer's tripod, a few Uzbekistani souzanis, and the list goes on). I didn't want to spend too much on the cart, as I was planning on doing some work to it, getting more bar tools and glassware, and hopefully purchasing a buncha booze.

I found this lil guy close by for $30. It's nothing special. I thought the shape would work, but the tray tops were Formica (hello 70's kitchen counters), the wheels were sticky, and the frame was stainless steel, when I'd really been hoping for brass. Since I didn't spend much on it, I invested in sprucing it up to get closer to my inspiration images.

First to go was that chrome look. Not my bag. I bought some liquid gold leaf (I used the leftovers for this gold-dipped bowl DIY). I did 3 layers to get full coverage, giving drying time between each coat. I sanded gently, then moved on.

Second to go was the Formica. In my DIY State Art post, I shared my love of Paper Source's hand-made papers. I hit them up again for this project too, and bought two sheets of the World Map Wrapping Paper. They pieces are 20"x28", which was close to the size of my trays. I measured twice and trimmed off the edges to fit my trays, lightly sanded the Formica to get some grip, and mod-podged like a crazy woman. I painted one coat of mod podge down on the tray using a foam brush, laid the map on top, and then mod podged 3 or 4 layers on top, allowing each layer to dry in between. This was stressful- the moisture of the mod podge makes the paper wrinkle and curl a bit, but it always shrank back up once dry.

Once the frame had been gold-leafed and the trays had been mod-podged, I was ready to coat the whole thing in polyurethane. Like seven times. This creates a fully waterproof seal, which is necessary for a bar cart! Again, allow each coat to dry...waiting is a bummer, but worth it.

Now, for bar accessories- I already had the tools, but I used Etsy to find a teak ice bucket and napkin holder, a brass cocktail shaker, a striped-wood cutting board, drink stirrers, decorative toothpicks, a really cool wine decanter with chiller, and cute little glass pots for olives, cherries, or fruit wedges. Many of these came from the same shipper- always ask for a discount on multiple items or to combine shipping. Many sellers are happy to do so for positive feedback!

The best part was probably buying $$$$ worth of liquor from our local ABC. I definitely got some weird looks. I read up on what was necessary, and ended up getting a few basic bottles- a vodka, a gin, a rum (we already have quite a bit of whiskey, don't worry). I got sweet and dry vermouth, grenadine and lime juice, lots of olives, Triple Sec and Kahlua...basically all the ingredients necessary to make my favorite drinks. For the big christmas gift reveal, I'll admit that I added some of our nicer bottles to fill out the collection- D loves Glenfiddich 12, and I have a soft spot for St. Germain.

That's all that went into the Christmas present, as the budget was blown. For his birthday just a few weeks ago, though, I continued the theme with a beautiful decanter. D's brother had the same thought, and got him one with matching glasses (rad). Here's the new set looking chummy:

So that's it folks- my bar cart DIY. It came out to be pretty affordable, all things considered- I was so excited to have funds leftover for the fun stuff, like cocktail napkins and a candy cane full of baileys. Overall I'm pleased with it- I actually finished all the work in one whirlwind weekend while D was in Vegas, then hid it in my roommate's closet for a few months. He was very surprised, so it was all worth it :)

1 comment:

  1. what brand of gold leaf paint did you use? The end product is so awesome by the way


how you like dem apples?