As with most of my design projects, once I get to the end, I start evaluating if anything is missing, or is there a functional problem that I still need a solution for. Our Outdoor Staycation was no exception. After completing all of the design and decor elements, we started enjoying the backyard. I quickly realized that I needed somewhere for pool towels other than in the bathroom, sunblock, Water Watcher Tags, Swim Goggles, and all the bazillion miscellaneous small toys Deuce and RG throw into the pool.
I thought a cute cart on wheels would work well because I could put beverages and snacks on top for them and still have a place to keep things tidy.
As I started shopping around online, I noticed everything I liked was pretty pricey. After investing so much in the backyard project, including furniture, we didn’t want to spend a ton on something else.
Enter the repurposed kitchen cart.
Simultaneously, I was doing updates to our clinic, and one of the main upgrades was adding a more permanent coffee and tea bar to our reception area. Initially, we purchased a very simple, but small cart from Ikea when we first opened, and as we’ve grown, it started to feel a bit crowded.
After discussing the need for a storage cart with my husband Demetrius, he sent me a text the next day with a picture of our Ikea cart “You think we could repurpose for the backyard?”
Of course, I was ecstatic – I LOVE DIY projects, but I was quite surprised that he suggested this because frankly, he’s got a love/hate relationship with DIY. Projects always start as things I’m going to do on my own, and then somehow, he ends up helping and then complaining that he has to help. (Secretly I think he likes my projects.)
He brought the cart home, and we put it in the garage to work on “later,” and it sat, sat, and sat some more until we had all of our kid’s outdoor toys and bubbles stored on it. Sadly, it was becoming a permanent fixture in our garage.
Finally, I carved out some time to work on it – once I started, Demetrius had a lot of opinions about how I was sanding, and thus, he stepped in to help. Ultimately it was great teamwork, and it turned out lovely! Here are the instructions for what we did. I hope it helps you to create your very own outdoor storage cart.
Here are the supplies you’ll need:
- An old bar/kitchen cart that you can reuse or purchase this one Ikea for $109
- Stain or Paint (Make sure you select something that works well for outdoors)
- All-weather paint/stain waterproofer
- Sander or sandpaper (if using wood)
- Scotch™ Self Seal laminating pouches (4 x 6)
- Plastic bins for storage – I found these amazing woven looking plastic ones from At Home
- String or ribbon to tie signs to your baskets
Step 1. Sand down the wood surface. Of course, a sander will make the job go a lot faster, but you still may need to use old fashioned sandpaper for the nooks and crannies.
Step 2. Apply 1-2 coats of stain. I used Varathane Fast Dry Wood Stain in Aged Barrel to make the process go a bit faster. I purchased 1-quart and had plenty left over.
Step 3. Once the stain has dried, apply waterproofer. I used Olympic Waterguard Clear Multi-Surface Water Proofer.
Step 4. Make signs for your baskets. You can use a simple Word document or Powerpoint. Print them out and follow the instructions on the Self-Seal laminating pouches.
*Pro Tip: I purchased 4″ x 6″ pouches with the intent of my tags being half that size to fit two on each sheet. Be sure to leave room in between the cards when laying them to ensure each is adequately sealed.
Step 5. Punch holes in your signs. Take a hole punch, punch two holes in the top of the tags, and then tie to your baskets.
That’s about it! Be sure to mentally think through what types of items you want to store so that both your cart and your baskets are large enough. I would love to see how yours turns out! Please send me a photo or tag me on Instagram @authenticallyamberblog.