If your kitchen is small, a kitchen cart can provide additional work area and storage without taking up too much floor space. You could probably find a kitchen cart at Ikea if you wanted one immediately. Wouldn’t it be more satisfying if you used your woodworking talents for how to make a kitchen cart to design and build your own that you were sure would meet your storage needs and match the overall appearance of your kitchen?
For example, the Stenstorp Kitchen Cart from IKEA measures about 16 inches wide and 35 inches tall and fits even the smallest kitchens. It’s a simple and elegant design made from solid oak that you could use for sizing your DIY cart and for design inspiration. You could even use the diagrams from Ikea’s assembly instructions to blueprint your project.
Amazon has dozens of kitchen island cart designs with many materials, finishes, and storage ideas. There are lots of straight cuts for shelves, legs, and bracing pieces. So long as you get the measurements right, you wouldn’t have much trouble making something similar.
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Design Your Own Kitchen Cart
You can determine the perfect size for your island top by cutting to size a cardboard template and placing it on the floor at various points around the kitchen. That way, you can walk around it to see if it would be too much of an obstacle for food prep. If you don’t have any cardboard handy, you could use a small rectangular rug or a folded bath towel to simulate the island top size.
Kitchen island carts are often used as breakfast bars or for serving snacks and drinks, but they are also versatile enough to serve other purposes in your home. You could make your kitchen cart the focal point of the kitchen. If you can match the stock cabinets, it will look like a kitchen remodel.
Add Storage Space
When adding kitchen storage space, there are several things to keep in mind. For instance, some kitchen carts feature drawers for storing knives and kitchen utensils, while others provide cabinets or hooks to hold kitchen towels or other essentials. Another possibility for kitchen storage needs is a cart with extra-deep drawers to store dry goods, like flour and baking ingredients. A large wicker or mesh wire basket on the bottom shelf can be filled with cereal boxes, pickle jars, bread, and all other kinds of miscellaneous things.
You can make yours a rolling kitchen cart by adding caster wheels so it can easily travel where needed and get pushed out of the way when it’s not. I appreciate mine when I can roll it next to the stovetop to transfer raw chopped vegetables or to move big, heavy pots of hot liquids off the stovetop. Caster wheels also add a little style while making your kitchen cart even more helpful.
You can customize your DIY cart with unique features that help maximize kitchen storage space. Your kitchen cart could feature a wood butcher block top or stainless steel as its countertop surface material. Select one that complements your kitchen aesthetic without being vulnerable to stains or chemical cleaners. One idea is a specially-designed spice shelf that frees up limited countertop space and hides away spices that clutter the countertop.
Use It For Food Prep
When it comes to food preparation, a kitchen cart with a worktop can be a great addition to your kitchen. You can use it to organize your raw ingredients, chop vegetables or fruits, or prepare large meals quickly and easily. Moreover, cleanup can be a breeze with the right design, as you can dispose of prepared foods in one container rather than individually into the garbage can. If you regularly prepare meat, fish, or vegetables, consider a cart with a worktop and butcher block featuring an easy-to-use trash ring for waste collection and a stainless steel chef pan for food prep.
Another advantage of having a kitchen cart with a worktop is that it can double as a baking preparation center. A marble, quartz, or granite top provides a sturdy, heat-resistant surface that lets you set hot pans directly from your oven or stovetop. You could even repurpose an old desk or dresser top.
Consider adding drawers and cabinets to your kitchen cart if you need more storage. Movable pegs allow you to add or subtract shelves and drawers as your needs shift. A narrow rolling cart is a good option for smaller kitchens as it’s lightweight and can easily navigate tight spaces.
If you’re looking for a standalone piece of furniture to give your kitchen an old country house look, a kitchen island cart could be the perfect solution. These carts are designed to look like cabinets and can store dishes and cooking vessels in the open. You could design and build a second one for the dining room, providing even more storage and serving space.
Make Your Kitchen Cart Design Practical
When designing a kitchen cart, it’s important to consider functionality and stability. The size and weight capacity of the shelves will play a key role in ensuring that the cart is sturdy enough to hold your items. Commercial models made with solid wood typically feature two adjustable shelves with a weight capacity of 50 pounds per shelf.
To create a DIY kitchen cart, you’ll need basic tools such as a circular saw, table saw, or a good hand saw for cutting your lumber pieces to size, a pocket hole jig, and an orbital sander for finishing. You’ll also need materials such as wood screws, pocket hole screws, dowel pins, wood glue, and wood filler. The finishing materials will depend on whether you decide on a stain or paint finish, and you’ll need a cut list and some trim pieces to complete the cart.
To ensure the stability of your cart, it’s important to dry fit your cart together before gluing and screwing the parts in place. Once assembled, you can add a butcher block countertop or wooden countertop to complete the cart. Consider adding a towel bar, open shelving, or a bottom shelf for extra storage space. This will provide additional options for organizing your kitchen utensils and towels and keeping your items easily accessible while you cook.
With a little bit of creativity and some DIY know-how, you can create a kitchen cart that is both practical and stylish while keeping your budget in check.