How to Make a Retro DIY Portable Bar

With the number of events and entertaining that we do in the studio, it was only an amount of time before we made a Retro DIY Portable Bar.

A retro DIY portable cocktail bar for entertaining this Summer! - sugar and cloth

We throw so many events at the Sugar & Cloth studio!

So it was only a matter of time before we broke down and made a bar cart that was easy to move around while also being able to serve lots of cocktails.

Of course, it couldn’t be any old design.

So we had the grand idea to make this Retro DIY Portable Bar after some serious internet product stalking.

You’ll actually be super shocked at how easy this is to make. And it’s legitimately portable enough to fold back up into a carrying case.

For real. You can thank us after your next evening soiree.

In fact, this project is so simple “to make” that we almost feel bad calling it a DIY.

Technically it’s more of an… aesthetic twist if you will.

Here’s why…

A retro DIY portable cocktail bar for entertaining this Summer! - sugar and cloth

Materials Needed to Make a Retro DIY Portable Bar

Portable pop-up podiumThis is a similar counter table that we are basically hacking.

Spray BIN primer

High gloss plastic spray paint — In the color of your choice. White is always a neutral color.

Optional: Vinyl retro cocktail decals — Or cut your own.

Clear spray Shellac high gloss coat — Your sealant.

A retro DIY portable cocktail bar for entertaining this Summer! - sugar and cloth

How to Make a Retro DIY Portable Bar

So we’re basically revamping a portable conference podium. It’s true.

It has a really cool kidney bean shape, which makes it the perfect retro cocktail stand and super easy to customize.

In fact, you don’t even need to change the base and high gloss white countertop.

Step 1 — All we did was paint the foldable podium wall with the BIN shellac primer first.

Then, let it dry completely.

Step 2 — Next, we painted two coats of white plastic spray paint over the entire side panel.

Let it dry completely, and then put a clear shellac high gloss top coat over that.

Step 3 — Now, you can customize it with adhesive vinyl decals.

We cut a pink scalloped trim from pink adhesive vinyl and then a metallic gold decal from vinyl as well using a Cricut machine.

 

A retro DIY portable cocktail bar for entertaining this Summer! - sugar and cloth

A retro DIY portable cocktail bar for entertaining this Summer! - sugar and cloth

Tips on Applying Decals

Just be careful when you’re applying the decals that they’re the permanent adhesive kind if you’re planning to have it, whether some temperature or humidity.

Originally we had the temporary decals, and it didn’t like being maneuvered much at all after that.

On the other hand, once you have the permanent vinyl in place, it doesn’t like to move either, so heads up!

A retro DIY portable cocktail bar for entertaining this Summer! - sugar and cloth

A retro DIY portable cocktail bar for entertaining this Summer! - sugar and cloth

Bar Top Styling

I hadn’t thought about how you identify the beverages after they’re decanted.

Hence, we created these DIY decanter tags so everyone knows what’s what.

Our lemons were displayed in a DIY Footed Display that we made from a glass terrarium. 

And those drink stirrers can be found in our easy tutorial on how to make DIY Reusable Gold Drink Stirrers!

A retro DIY portable cocktail bar for entertaining this Summer! - sugar and cloth

It seems like an investment of around $150 for the whole bar.

But it’s actually a super budget-friendly option for how customizable and modern it can be.

We had THE HARDEST time trying to find anything that was under $100 and didn’t look like reclaimed wood before this!

So what do you think?!

Pretty interesting use of a token conference product, right?!

You know us, we don’t like to do things inside the box.

A retro DIY portable cocktail bar for entertaining this Summer! - sugar and cloth

More Easy DIYs for You Bar

For more DIY projects like this, you might want to check out our favorites below —

A retro DIY portable cocktail bar for entertaining this Summer! - sugar and cloth

A retro DIY portable cocktail bar for entertaining this Summer! - sugar and cloth

DIY Portable Bar

Print
5 from 1 vote
Learn how to build a portable bar for your next party or get together.
Active Time20 mins
Dry Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course DIY
Category Entertaining Decor

Equipment

  • Spray BIN primer
  • High gloss plastic spray paint
  • Clear spray Shellac high gloss coat

Materials

  • Portable pop-up podium
  • Vinyl retro cocktail decals  or cut your own

Instructions

  • Paint the foldable podium wall with the BIN shellac primer first.
    Then, let it dry completely.
  • Next, we painted two coats of white plastic spray paint over the entire side panel, let it dry completely, and then put a clear shellac high gloss top coat over that.
  • Now, you can customize it with adhesive vinyl decals. We cut a pink scalloped trim from pink adhesive vinyl and then a metallic gold decal from vinyl as well using a Cricut machine.
Cost: $150
KEYWORD: diy portable bar cart

Don’t forget to share your Retro DIY Portable Bar Cart with us on Instagram using the hashtag #sugarandclothloves. We always love seeing all of your creations! Looking for more interior design inspiration? You can find them all of our home decor tutorials and ideas right here! 

 

Please note that we may earn a commission for some of the above affiliate links. However, products featured are independently selected and personally well-loved by us!

13 thoughts on “How to Make a Retro DIY Portable Bar”

  1. Can you tell me when its time to pack it up can you put it back in the carry case or will that make the paint crack and peel?

    Reply
  2. I love love love this! I have a gold bar cart that i definitely love, but being able to take this to different venues–and being able to hide things behind the counter–makes me want this one too! (How many bars is too many to own before someone stages an intervention?)

    Reply

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