Creating a Home Bar: 3 Budget Solutions and DIY Inspiration

Setting up a Home Bar

Get ready for your next party with these suggestions for setting up your own home bar. Having a bar cart or other beverage station is in.

With the resurgence in entertaining at home, the increased popularity of historical and designer cocktails (and, let’s admit it, the influence of Mad Men), lots of people are setting up their own home bars. And we’re not talking about some tacky built-in at a fraternity or an over-the-top Real Housewives of New Jersey situation. Imagine a tasteful beverage station in your home from which you can serve drinks or at which your guests can serve themselves. 

Setting up a home bar cart.

If you think that you don’t have the space to incorporate a bar cart or beverage station in your home, fear not. There are tons of creative ways to add a cool and functional home bar just in time for your next dinner party or get together. And for those who don’t imbibe, a home bar isn’t just for adult beverages either. Gone are the days of just buying a couple of bottles of soda for parties—it’s so much more chic to offer a homemade concoction instead! Mocktails, homemade raspberry lemonade or even warm apple cider for those upcoming autumn holidays.

Here are 3 easy and functional ways to add a home bar without spending a lot of money or having to build anything!

Bar Cart


Image: Style Archaeology

Growing up, my grandparents had a bar cart that they kept in a corner with plants on it when not in use, but when they had a party it was wheeled out and outfitted with all the trappings. You can buy a brand new bar cart or look for a cool vintage one on Etsy, at estate and yards sales or at thrift shops. A cart can be kept stocked in the corner, or converted for parties like my grandparents did, and best of all, it moves, so it’s flexible for parties of various sizes.

Serving Tray

A serving tray can make a home bar.

Image: Lake Tahoe Creations

Another option is to simply just use a serving tray that you can station on a coffee table, end table, dining room table or even on a kitchen counter. Using a tray is a little more chic than just putting some bottles out and it can also help protect your furniture from the inevitable spills. You could use three trays of varying sizes for liquors, glasses and accessories (wine opener, garnish, and the ice bucket).


Use a cabinet as a home bar.

Image: Urban Reclaimer

The final option is to outfit an existing cabinet or purchase one for use as a beverage station. One that is taller and is outfitted with shelves would be ideal. Again, there is no need to purchase one brand new, but instead look at yard sales and furniture thrift shops for something that will work.

Feeling crafty? You can turn almost any sturdy bookcase into a bar (just repaint and vary shelf heights, keeping tall bottles in the middle, short glasses at the top, etc.); even an Ikea bookcase could be transformed. Or try this DIY project for a bar-bookcase.

Top Image: MnMGlamping

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Jen Wallace

Jen Wallace shares her indie life by writing about making, creating, cooking, learning, playing, decorating, and pretty much anything else that strikes her fancy from indie biz tips to the modern history of the American hemline.