DIY Trunk to Rolling Bar Project

published Feb 24, 2010
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Trunks are not cheap &mdash especially ones of good quality. If you don’t have a use for the trunk you may current own, it’s nice to see alternative uses for them. It’s great to know that you can transform your trunk in the comfort of your own home!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We stumbled across this DIY on ReadyMade and we thought it was great. We’ve always wished we had an old trunk (we love them stacked up as a coffee or side table) and this is another reason why. You may not believe this, but transforming your own trunk into a rolling bar can happen in under 12 steps.

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Set and prop designer Dane Holweger was in the final stages of ending a long term relationship. He was faced with having to quickly find an apartment and ending up finding a 20’s era bungalow. We all know what that means &mdash space was certainly an issue. He wasn’t opposed to DIY (anything to clear his head) and realized he needed to transform pieces of furniture to be not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing as well. He didn’t have room for a full size bar, so a small rolling bar seemed to be the next option.

Here’s how he transformed his old trunk into a rolling bar:

1. Draw a line around the face of the trunk 2½ inches from each outside edge with a pencil. Cut this piece out with a jigsaw.
2. Drill holes for casters in the four corners of the trunk to serve as the bottom of your new bookcase. Attach casters.
3. Cut a -inch piece of birch plywood 1 inch wider and 1 inch longer than the opening you’ve cut into the face of the trunk.
4. Cut two pieces of ½-inch birch plywood the depth of the inside of the trunk and the length of your -inch birch panel, and two pieces the depth of the inside of the trunk and 1 inch shorter than the width of the birch panel. Assemble these pieces into a box with the -inch panel as the back, using the 1½-inch brad nails.
5. Drill -inch holes for shelf pins where you’d like shelves.
6. Remove any lining from the trunk. Glue the back of your newly assembled box to the inside back of the trunk so that when you close it, the edge of the box lines up under the opening you’ve cut.
7. Trim the edge of the opening with aluminum corner channel cut at 45-degree angles.
8. Insert the shelf pins.
9. Cut the ½-inch birch plywood into shelves the width and depth of the inside opening of your bookcase. Finish the edges with birch finish strips, cutting with the X-Acto knife.
10. Sand the wood using fine sandpaper, and wipe clean with a piece of cloth.
11. Finish all wood with polyurethane. In between coats, lightly sand the wood again and wipe down with the cloth before applying another coat of polyurethane. Insert the shelves into the trunk.

Would you DIY Trunk to Rolling Bar?