How to create your own drinks trolley in 6 easy steps

The makeover options are endless with this pine utility shelf. Here we’ve turned it into a cute drinks trolley – or you could use it as mobile storage unit!


You will need

Hand saw, tape measure, pencil, hammer, heavy-duty scissors, phillips screwdriver, square

Step 1

Follow flat-pack instructions to build utility shelf (it’s 800 x 300 x 900mm high).

Step 2

To create the raised sides of your shelves: cut the 1m lengths of pine to the length and width of each shelf. Position each piece in place, making sure the bottom edge is flush with the underside of the shelf, and fix to the uprights with panel pins.

Step 3

For the leather straps: on the bottom shelf, measure 80mm up from the top of the shelf’s side and lightly mark that point on all 4 uprights with a pencil. Using heavy-duty scissors, cut leather to fit all the way around the trolley.


Step 3

Place one end of strap in middle of upright and secure with a copper nail. Stretch leather around shelves, meeting the pencil marks as you go, and fix the strap to each upright with a copper nail. Fix final nail next to where you started and trim off any excess leather. Repeat for middle shelf.


Step 4

Step 4

Now fix the 4 blocks to the legs at the base using panel pins. Attach the lockable castors to the blocks with screws.

Step 5

For the handle: cut the 40x10mm pine into 2 x 200mm lengths, cutting each end at a 15-degree angle. Attach each piece (angled upwards) to top shelf with 2 x 18mm screws screwed in from the shelf side.


Step 6

Step 6

Cut dowel to fit in between the handle supports. Fix in place by screwing an 18mm screw through the support and into the centre of the dowel at either end.

Top tips

  • You can customise your trolley by painting or staining it and choosing leather straps in a matching shade.
  • Shorten the height of the wooden side pieces if you’d like shallower shelves.
  • You could reinforce the base of each shelf, if desired, using pine planks or even chopping boards to stand your bottles and glasses on.
  • Add hooks on the sides for pots or tea towels if you wish to create a kitchen cart.


For the trolley:
Shelf unit $24.85, 9 x 1m lengths of 90 x 10mm pine $71.98, packet panel pins $4 6m leather strap $90, copper nails $12.64, packet 18mm screws $6

For the wheels:
4 pine blocks $4, 90 x 80 x 45mm, 4 lockable castors $105.44

For the handle:
0.9m length of 40 x 10mm pine $4.43, short 30mm dowel $6

TOTAL: $329

Get the look

Leather from Lapco; Press mirror in copper from Tim Webber; wooden clipboard stand from The Mood Store; wine glasses from Freedom; decanter from Simon James Concept Store; plant from The Botanist; wall painted in Resene ‘Pot Pourri’. All other items stylist’s own.

Created by: Catherine Wilkinson and Martin Laidlaw. Photography by: Wendy Fenwick.

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