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DIY - Outdoor Serving Cart

grey and wood tone serving cart with easy to make plans

The weather is warming up which means it's time to head outdoors and enjoy it the most we can! Better yet, I have you covered with how to make this beautiful and handy serving cart, the perfect helper when dining outdoors.

This is another project created for the patio makeover and it's been used dearly these last weeks.

When I decided how to build this cart, I remembered a lovely cart project that this blogger that I admire so much, had done right HERE. After some consideration, I gave it a go, it seemed like an easy enough build. I was full of projects and the last thing I wanted to do was something too complicated.

Well, now I know it was for sure an easy project that would make a great addition to any outdoor space, and it looks so good, I'm tempted to bring it inside the house, if only I had the space! :/
I mostly used 1 x 4 pressure treated lumber.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Cut List:

Top & Bottom Frames:
(4) 1" x 4" x 48" boards
(6) 1" x 4" x 19" boards

(8) 1" x 4" x 32" boards

(1) 1" x 4" x 51" board
(1) 1" x 6" x 51" board
(2) 1" x 6" x 23.5" boards

Top Slats: 
(6) 1" x 4" x 49.5" boards

Lower Slats:
(5) 1" x 4" x 48" boards

Other Materials and Tools:
Ryobi Miter Saw with stand |

Using the cut list above, cut your material, frames, legs, slats and apron.

| Ryobi Drill |
Using the pocket hole jig, drill ¾" pocket holes into the ends of the six shorter boards for both frames.
Put together both frames using 1¼" pocket hole screws and glue.
Make sure your frames are square.


Each leg consists of two 1" x 4" x 32" boards. Again, using the pocket hole jig, drill ¾" holes along side one of the boards for each leg. Attach both boards at a 90-degree angle. Repeat the same process for all the legs.


Now it's time to put together the frames and legs.
Place a set of legs on the floor, bring one of the frames and position it at the far end of both legs.
Attach that top frame to the legs from the inside of frame using two-1¼" exterior screws on both sides of the frame -four screws on each corner.

Mark the position for the bottom frame at 12.5" from the bottom of the legs.
Position the bottom of the frame at that distance, and attach it to the legs.

At this point it already looked like a cart, you can add the top and bottom slats and leave it like that.
But, I wanted to give it the pretty look the apron adds.

5. ADD AN APRON - (Optional)

I added scrap pieces of 1" x 4" material all around the top frame, in between the legs.

Those scraps pieces are the ones, as well as the legs, where the apron pieces get attached to. The 1" x 4" x 51" goes to the front.

All the other apron pieces (1" x 6"s) go to the back and sides, to create a raised edge on those three sides.


At this point, I went ahead and dry-fitted all the top and bottom slats. I also gave the entire cart a good sanding, especially those 1" x 6" corners.
Behr - Ext Semi-Gloss Graphic Charcoal

Next, I gave the entire frame two coats of Behr - Ext Semi-Gloss Graphic Charcoal.


Use a nailer with 1-1/4" brad nails to attach the slats to the top and bottom of the cart.
baluster repurposed as a bar cart handle

I also added a vintage baluster I had on had to serve as towel holder. Look at that gorgeous patina!
outdoor entertainment center

The corners on the front-top slat were diagonally trimmed. All the slats were stained and attached to the frames with one screw on both ends.
metal Basket with white dishes on serving cart

How to repurpose a baluster -

deck entertainment made easier with an outdoor cart full of goodies

Needles to say, I'm loving this cart!

For the complete Patio Makeover click HERE.

*Ryobi Tools were given to me to try out, 
I love them so much so that they are the tools I use for my every day projects. 
All stated opinions are my own.*
Affiliate links were added for your convenience.

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  1. Beautiful as usual, love the contrast of the paint with the wood and that spindle handle is precious.

    1. Thanks Jaime! I'm loving that charcoal color, and the exterior paint itself. It's thick, chunky, but once dry it has a lovely shine!The spindle... A hoarder's lucky break. ;)

  2. Another beautiful project. Your backyard looks like a nice place to be! Love the blue colour, or is it grey? (Looks different in some photos)

    1. We're now enjoying our outdoor space, Julie, Thanks! The color's grey, but depending on the light, sometimes it looks like blue.

  3. Love the cart! Thanks for giving directions. Do you think wheels could be added to the legs for movability?
    I do have a question. Tell us about your deck floor boards. Are they stained, or painted, or synthetic? Our deck looks awful. Would love to make the deck floor look like this. Any help appreciated.

    1. Thanks so much Elizabeth! It's funny, I was looking for something without wheels, otherwise it would be my kids rolling toy! :D Well, anything is possible, but no, it's kind of hard to add wheels to this one.
      My next post is about the construction of the deck and the complete makeover. The boards are Trex, a synthetic material.

  4. This cart is fabulous. The directions are so well done....I think even I could make a cart! :-) I love seeing your new deck coming together project-by-project. It's just going to be so awesome, I may have to fly out to share some of that Root beer with you. Congrats, sweet friend, on another great build. Susie from The Chelsea Project

  5. I love this so much! I'm going to ask one of my men to make it for me and add wheels so I can wheel it around in different places. If they won't I'll have them give me a tutorial on using the power tools and I'll build it myself! :)

  6. Did you use an acrylic paint for outdoors or regular latex for indoors? Thanks. I'm planning on making this in the next week. Cheers, Laurie

    1. Laurie, that's Behr - Exterior Semi-Gloss Graphic Charcoal. So far, it's holding really well. I would love to see your outdoor cart! Happy building. :)

    2. Thank you. Really love the design. Nice work. Cheers, Laurie

  7. Hello,

    Did you cut your 1x4 boards to the 4" width or did you buy them 4" wide? I ask because the boards I'm finding are not exactly 4" wide and I want to make sure my table turns out like your table.

    1. Hi Candace, that's right, the real measurement for "1x4's" is: 3/4" x 3-1/2" So, that's exactly what I used.

  8. The two apron sides are too short at 20.5

    1. You're correct! I just fixed that info. Thanks for letting me know!

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