Upcycled Serving Trays from Bar Cart Parts

I just have to say I have the coolest friends and family. They know my #trashure lovin’ heart and vision for other people’s unwanteds. This time around I am sharing how these cast-off Target bar cart parts gets turned into upcycled serving trays. It’s Trash to Treasure Tuesday too, so you’ll get to see what my blogger friends have for you too. Hooray!

Target Bar Cart Parts Before Upcycled Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Would you have passed up these bar cart pieces if offered to you? When Mandy sent me the picture of them, I was kinda like…fun! Most often I am up to a good challenge. This caught my interest because I adore carts. You can see all my makeovers of them in these posts.


First, to get these upcycled serving trays started, I first decided to use my hacksaw to remove the handle on the top cart tray. I’ve created a video tutorial of my steps below in addition to the steps in this post.

Next, I used the hacksaw to cut off the threaded bolts that extended out of the bottom of the top tier. Those bolts are where the legs would have been attached to form the cart. I also demonstrate in the video that I added holes to one end of the top tier. That’s because there were holes at the corners in both trays except one end. You’ll see my reasoning in a bit.

Since I cut the metal, I need to grind it down to make it safe for fingers and hands. Out comes my favorite Dremel Rotary Tool to play. I requested this as a birthday gift nearly 12 years ago and I hoard it to myself I love it that much. JC has to have special permission because he can be rough with tools! tee hee!

Dremel Rotary Tool to tackle DIY projects in and around your home | by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

Notice I’m using the grinding stone attachment. This allows me to safely, quickly, and easily get rid of those metal burrs and get the surface smooth. Take a peek at the video to see how easy it really is.

Using Dremel Grinding Stone Attachment to Smooth Cut Metal | prodigalpieces.com

First, I grind down the top where I removed the handle, then I tackled the threaded bolts on the bottom. *note: I could have used my Dremel with a cutting attachment instead of the hacksaw, but I wanted to show you that it could be done without power tools. I could also have ground down this metal by hand with a steel file too. I did use some of those as well.

Grinding Bolts Smooth with Dremel Stone Attachment by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com


Once I got the metal prepped, I removed the wooden insets and set up my small spray shelter and turn table to get ready to paint.

Spray Painting Upcycled Serving Trays | prodigalpieces.com

I chose to use a satin paint in Espresso to accent the wood insets. Not that I didn’t like the gold, but I wanted to make this more of a rustic set rather than a Mid Century vibe.

Then, after two coats of the paint (letting cure in between), I cut wooden feet to take these upcycled serving trays to a new height…literally.

Staining Wood Feet for Upcycled Serving Tray | prodigalpieces.com

Notice I added a few triangle pieces of scrap using my jigsaw to cut them out, and my nailer to attach. This gave me the proper base for adding the feet. Again the video gives the best idea of how this worked out. Finally, I attached the feet using a countersunk screw with my drill.

Attaching Upcycled Serving Tray Feet | prodigalpieces.com

However, before I can call this project complete, I added lengths of dowel to each hole that existed to add a wood accent touch, but also prevent fingers from getting stuck. We all have that child that likes to poke fingers where they don’t belong. tsk.

Inserting Dowel into Holes | prodigalpieces.com


Last, but not least, it’s time to show you how these upcycled serving trays came to fruition.

DIY Upcycled Patio Decor with Tutorials by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #outdoor #patio #summer #homedecor #farmhouse

Create your own upcycled outdoor decor with tutorials by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #outdoor #patio #homedecor #farmhouse

Subscribe to Prodigal Pieces on YouTube for DIY video tutorials and a whole lotta fun | prodigalpieces.com

I’m so delighted with the outcome of these upcycled serving trays. One looks good on my patio dining table with my DIY faux fireplace as the backdrop.

DIY Upcycled Patio Decor with Video Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Head to prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor #farmhouse #patio #outdoor

Upcycled Serving Tray Top View by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home

I literally think just about everything on my patio is handmade or found at the thrift store or from Curb le Chic (aka. #trashure)

Repurposed Patio Decor by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Video tutorials at prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #patio #home #homedecor #outdoor #entertaining

Farmhouse Style Patio Decor created from upcycled materials by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor #patio #outdoor

I’ll add the links below to all my tutorials for this space. It’s hard to believe we did all this by ourselves and on a very tight budget. Here’s to DIY!

DIY Patio with Pergola and Large Outdoor Dining Table with Benches by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #outdoor #patio #homedecor #farmhouse

Farmhouse Style Patio Decor created by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #home #farmhouse #diy #outdoor #patio

The second tray works as shown on my coffee table. I just love having accents like this to decorate, but that also serve a functional purpose.

Reclaimed Patio Decor with Upcycled Target Bar Cart Serving Trays by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor #outdoor #patio

Thrifted Patio Decor for Farmhouse Style Design by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #patio #outdoor #garden #homedecor

You can see all I have to offer from redeemed furniture, to vintage finds, to handmade goods.

Shop Prodigal Pieces | shop.prodigalpieces.com

Do pin and share these upcycled serving trays to inspire others to see past the obvious (missing parts) to the potential.

Check out how a Target bar cart became two upcycled serving trays by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Video tutorial at prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #diy #home #homedecor #outdoor

Up next, I’m pulling this large cupboard door out of my stash-to-end-all-stashes of cupboard doors. Any guesses as to what it will become? Come on over to see – head HERE.

Cupboard Door Before Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. It’s time to see what my blogger friends have for you below.

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Check out these awesome Trash to Treasure Projects by my friends…

Trash to Treasure Tuesdays - Thrifted Makeover Fun | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Trash tp Treasure June 2019 via Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

  1. Artsy Chicks Rule
  2. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
  3. Bless’er House
  4. Girl in the Garage

More projects like my upcycled serving trays:

From Trash to Upcycled Plant Caddy, this cast iron and bamboo creations adds interest and function to your outdoor decor. Plus, repurposed bamboo torches for DIY decor too. Get all the details at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #handmade #outdoor #diy #homedecorGet your craft on with these fun and easy to create DIY bee skep tutorials. It's time to do some garden and home decor fun that the whole family can enjoy. Get the step-by-step details at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #garden #handmade #homedecor #crafts #kids

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  • Sam - Raggedy Bits

    What an awesome save!! You sure are the queen of repurposing. The serving tray looks right at home in your beautiful outdoor space.

    June 11, 2019 at 7:50 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yahoo!! You made me smile from ear to ear, Sam. I’d love to have you over for some tea! 😀

      June 11, 2019 at 8:24 am Reply
  • Cindy

    Larissa these are great. Many uses for them around the house. I love your outdoor space too.


    June 11, 2019 at 7:51 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I think I’m addicted to trays. tee hee! Thank you, Cindy.

      June 11, 2019 at 8:25 am Reply
  • Christy James

    Great repurpose as always, Larissa! SO many would have just tossed them in the trash, but you turned them into something functional and beautiful! XO

    June 11, 2019 at 8:19 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I had really hoped to revive it, but am glad my vision worked out. Thanks so much for the love, Christy.

      June 11, 2019 at 8:26 am Reply
  • Cate

    Very cool Larissa! I would never have thought to do that. Thanks for the inspiration!!

    June 11, 2019 at 10:23 am Reply
    • Larissa

      My pleasure to share, Cate. Thank you!

      June 11, 2019 at 9:23 pm Reply
  • Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule

    How cute is that?? Great as always!!! 🙂 xo

    June 11, 2019 at 9:52 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Nancy. 🙂

      June 12, 2019 at 4:42 am Reply
  • Cristina

    I love your way of thinking! It’s so perfect as a tray.

    June 12, 2019 at 9:40 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you! I’m just glad you don’t think my nutty. tee hee! 😀

      June 12, 2019 at 7:20 pm Reply
  • Marie

    Larissa, you’re amazing! Only you would see serving trays in an old bar cart. Fantastic repurpose, as always and they look great in your gorgeous pergola space.

    June 13, 2019 at 8:28 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Or you could call me crazy as these were a bunch of work. haha! Not too hard though, thankfully. Thank you for the everlasting love, Marie.

      June 13, 2019 at 12:46 pm Reply
  • Jen @ Girl in the Garage

    What a great find! I love how you repurposed those bar cart pieces into trays Larissa.

    June 13, 2019 at 10:50 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Jen. It was fun to try to remake them.

      June 14, 2019 at 5:40 am Reply

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