DIY Coffee Bar and Pallet Mug Holder

When we were in the process of buying out house we were at a hold staying at my parents house. The process happened so fast and the sellers ran into a few road blocks in the process of getting their new home. The ended up renting the house back from us for about a month and a half. So we closed on July 5th but didn’t move in until August 12th. I’ll tell the story of why we moved and getting our new house soon.

In the mean time I had some time to prepare some things I wanted in our new house. I’ve always wanted to have a “coffee bar” in our house. It just never worked out at the last house. There wasn’t really anywhere to put it that wasn’t in the way and the kitchen had lots of Counter space so it wasn’t really an issue. I just liked the idea of it having it’s own space and not taking up counter space.

When we went to look at the new house there was an area next to the kitchen that is suppose to be a breakfast nook. To me it didn’t make sense to put a table there because the dining room table is literally on the other side of the kitchen. Why do I need two tables that close together? My first thought was that’s where the coffee bar can go. I don’t really have a good picture of the space from before because we did our purchase directly with the sellers do they were there when we went to look and it seemed weird to take pictures of their things while they were there. I did sneak a few pictured when I went for the inspection though.It’s dark and hard to see but that corner the arrow is pointing too is where my vision started!

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Then I was looking on Facebook and came across a picture of a kitchen cart at this furniture resale place in Sanford. They go to auctions and get stuff and bring it back to their huge warehouse and they have really good prices. After texting a picture to my Mom and getting a second opinion, because I’m indecisive! I got this cart for $50. In the picture on line it looked in good shape and it was, but the paint had some marks on it and it wasn’t a color that would go with my vision of our new house. I took it home and gave it a make over.


I sanded the top and stained it in my favorite stain color, Minwax Special Walnut, and I painted the bottom. I didn’t want to have to sand the entire bottom since there were lots of nooks in it so I used chalk paint. I used it once before and it’s great because you don’t have to sand or do any prep to the area for the paint to stick. However you do have to seal it with a special wax after you paint. You pick your battles and I would rather rub some wax on it afterwards then try and sand it all down.

I used a grey that we already had because my mom had used it to paint a cabinet at her house. It worked because we planned to paint the new house a light grey, so I knew it would match just fine. After I finished all of that it looked great and so much better then before.


Once I got it in the space and set up I decided that it needed something on the wall above it. I had seen a few of the pallets transformed into a mug holder on pinterest. I decided that was what I wanted to go above my coffee bar. I looked up a few tutorials online but it’s pretty straight forward so I just went by my own rules on this one.


The first step was needing to find a pallet that you didn’t have to pay for. Hey, I like to do things on a budget around here. I got lucky a week or so later and my neighbor was throwing out a bunch of pallets. I had my husband run over and drag them back home. I only needed one but my Mom had some plans for the rest.

I started by measuring and cutting it down to size with the hand saw. and then I sanded it down on the front just to make it smooth and it got off some of the dirt and black spots it had acquired while sitting out by the curb.

After cutting it down it was still quite heave and I was worried about how I would hang it on the wall. I decided to take that back half off of the pallet to get rid of some of the weight, but it also made it sit flat on the wall which was a bonus since it was hanging over the coffee cart  and I didn’t want it sticking out in the way. Let me tell you though that sounds like an easy task but it is not so easy trying to pull the nails out of a pallet! They were embedded in do far down into the wood that it wasn’t easy pulling them out while trying not to leave a huge whole if the front of the pallet that would be hanging on the wall. Not a big deal if you are planning to paint the pallet because you could just use wood filler first, I was planning to leave it unfinished for a more rustic look though. Here’s a tip though if you’re having to remove embedded nails, get a tool called a “Claw Bar” It helps to get down under the nail and lift it up so that you can actually use a hammer to pop it out.


Once we got all the extra wood off the back of the pallett the rest of the project was smooth sailing. I used my Cricut (a must have for any DIYer) to make a stencil to paint “Coffee” on the top of the pallet. I didn’t have any contact paper to I just used card stock for the stencil and then sprayed it with adhesive to make it stick so it didn’t shift while spray painting.

After that I got some hooks and measured the correct distance to space them out I went with 3 rows of 3 initially, but since I had 12 hooks because they came in a packs of 6. I ended up remeasuring and doing 3 rows of 4 to optimize how many mugs it would hold. It was ready to to be hung above the coffee bar, but I didn’t have the right hardware to hang it since it was so heavy I didn’t want to use just nails. I was having a house warming party so for the time being I just set in on the bar and adjusted the stuff around it so I could at least show off my hard work. One minor detail that wasn’t necessary, but I cut the screws down that came with the hooks because they were longer then the wood on the pallet and they stuck out the back about 3/4 of an inch. Again not a big deal because it was going to be hanging on the wall and no one would see or know, but I didn’t like all those sharpe ends coming through so we cut them down with a hack saw.

I’m glad I did that because that’s when I figured out that I had done two things wrong! It was too tall and I didn’t like the way it looked with just 3 hooks. There was so much extra room on the sides it looked awkward. So before I hung it permanently I cut of the bottom board and adjusted the hooks to have 4 in a row. I went to Home Depot and got the hardware to attach to the back of the pallet and the brackets and screws to hang it on the wall. I also figured we needed to add some cute containers to hold our coffee, tea, and sugar. That clear Tupperware one just wasn’t doing it anymore! I ordered these, 3-Piece Brushed Stainless Steel Nested Cans,  from Amazon. their air tight and look much better. In the end I think the coffee bar lived up to my expectations of what I always wanted! It’s cute and keeps the coffee maker from taking up an entire section of kitchen counter!


This was my first adventure in re-purposing a pallet. I’d had plans for things before but just never had the time or desire to take them on. I think this one came out great and now I’m thinking what else could we make Have you made anything by transforming pallets? Let me know and if you’ve written about it leave a link so I can check it out!

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