Tabletop Industrial Cart

pallet wood industrial cart

One thing often leads to another, but in my case, it can lead to another, and another, and another.

Do you remember the little clementine box that I turned into a vintage style crate?

DIY wooden crate

Recently I added some vintage style signage  to it, and I loved it even more.

vintage sign stencils crate

Well, I set that little crate on my kitchen shelf, and as I looked at it, it made me think of something I would really, really, really love to have…

an old industrial cart.  I actually found one that was fairly reasonably priced a few years ago, but at the time it wasn’t in the budget, and I had to pass it up.

old wooden cart

Once I saw the similarity between the crate and the cart (does anyone else see it?), I couldn’t get the idea of of my mind, and decided that even if I can’t have a full-size version, I could make myself a miniature version!

Just in case you really, really, really want an industrial cart too, but it isn’t in your budget, I’ll show you how mine was made.

1)  Gather up a few planks of pallet wood.  The finished dimensions of my cart are 13″ long x 10-1/2″ wide x 4″ tall (not including casters), so here are the cut lengths of each piece of pallet wood:

(5) – 13″ long

(2) – 9-1/2″ long,

(2) – 9″ long.

(2) – thicker scrap wood (shown in step #4) were cut 12″ long.

pallet wood scrap

2)  Center the two 9″ pieces over three  of the 13″ pieces and screw them together.  This will form the top of the cart.

wooden cart tutorial













3.  On the remaining 13″ pieces, stencil or hand paint an old-fashioned business name.  I used the small Seed Store stencil on one piece, and the Goodfellow & Co. stencil on the other.  These will be the two long sides of the cart.

painted vintage sign

Purchase Vintage Sign Stencils HERE.

4.  Screw or nail the 2 sign planks onto the thicker 12″ blocks of wood.  I used my cordless nail gun, so there wouldn’t be visible screws in the sign.  Those thicker pieces will be the support brackets inside the cart, and won’t be visible when it’s finished.

DIY factory industrial cart

Now it’s time to put all the pieces together.

5.  Attach the 9-1/2 pieces on each end of the pieces with signs on them, to form a box, then attach the 3 connected pieces from step #2 on top of the box.

industrial cart assembly

6.  Flip it over, and attach the last pieces you have left (9″) to the support brackets.  Screw 4 castors into the corners.

industrial cart assembly

Real industrial carts have cool metal parts on them, so I rooted through my rusty stash of metal pieces.  I added old hinges to the corners, a rusty bolt on top, and some other rusty gizmo on one end.

DIY Industrial Cart from Pallet Wood |

DIY Mini Factory Cart from Pallet Wood |

Now, you might wonder what you’d do with a miniature version of an industrial cart, so I’ll show you what I’m going to do with mine.

It’s a table trivet!  It’s big enough to hold my cast iron skillets, and salt and pepper shakers, but not so big that it takes up too much space on the table.

Tabletop Industrial Cart |

I think every steak house needs one of these don’t you?    A clip could be added to one side to hold a menu.

Tabletop Industrial Cart |

I think I need to increase my stash of rusty little junk pieces, so my hubby and I can make bunches more of them, and market them to restaurants!  Seriously though, I am absolutely in love with how it turned out.  It’s pretty rare that something turns out exactly like I envisioned it, but this little cart did, and my only expense was the cost of the 4 casters.  That’s a whole lotta love for less than $10!

Tabletop Industrial Cart |

signature pin it

DIY miniature industrial cart |

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  1. Oh Angie I love this idea! Very cool. I want one for my dining table too now! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Julie

  2. Clever, indeed, Angie. More goodies for your shop until the restaurants come calling? Cheers, Ardith

  3. Oh, I’ve always had a thing for these industrial carts, too…I’ve always wanted one to use as a coffee table…they are very popular for that sort of thing now, so popular that reproductions are popping up like mad for anywhere from $800-$2000 and that is much too rich for my blood! I LOVE your miniature version of an industrial cart and what an ingenious idea to use it as a trivet for your table…that way, it’s not only decorative, but functional, too! You kid about you and your husband making these and selling them to steakhouses, but I’ll bet you could make a tidy sum from making these and selling them! After all, if the big ones can sell for outrageous amounts, I’m sure your mini version would fly off the shelves while making you a handsome profit…it’s something to think about! It’s amazing projects like this one that make me wish I did saws! I’m such a big scaredy-cat! 🙂

    • The prices of the real antiques are way to rich for my blood still, and I still regret passing up on the one I found a few years ago. I think it was only about $150, but it just wasn’t in the budget at the time. I love my little mini version though!

      This project only requires a few straight cuts with a saw, so it’s really easy! Don’t be scared! 🙂

      • Oh, I LOVE your sweet mini version, too…it’s so very unique and just plain awesome…I think anyone who is into vintage and/or industrial would be proud to display this little beauty in their home…and what a great conversation piece, too! $150 for an industrial cart is a very rare and impossible-to-find deal, most especially a bona fide vintage one, so I can certainly understand how passing up on it could become a regrettable experience, but something amazing came out of that experience…the idea of the cart stuck with you and now you have made your own wonderful mini version and you got to share it with all of us and provide inspiration to a lot of people! So, in a way, this regrettable decision has now transformed itself into an ingenious idea we can all be grateful for! This sweet, little, industrial cart is the result of you using your talent and creativity to turn a negative into a positive and I have to admire that sort of spirit greatly! It’s so easy just to let yourself get pulled down into a “woe is me” frame-of-mind…the difficulty comes in when you make a conscious decision to work at pulling yourself up out of that “woe is me” and into a “WOW IS *ME*!” You seem to have a keen knack for this sort of thinking, Angie, and this is one of the reasons why I find your blog sooooo inspirational and uplifting!

        Thank you for being sooooooo encouraging in regards to my using a saw…I appreciate that mightily! I really should try to get the hang of a compound miter saw as I hear they are the best type for scaredy-cats like me because they are stationary and easy to use. I can’t just keep begging the guys down at the hardware store to make my cuts for me…that doesn’t work well when you want to work with pallet wood or any other kind of old or found wood. Do you have any advice as to which saw is best…like maybe a favourite make of saw? I’d greatly appreciate any guidance you could offer me!

  4. Miss Angie, I love how you think!! You come up with these cool ideas, then actually follow through and create so many of them….WAY to GO, girl!! 🙂

  5. I have a junkin’ contact and a few years ago, he had a number of real, industrial carts. I knew I should have bought them, since they were so “cheap”…but while I have the instincts of a dealer, I don’t have the money. Sigh. Now, those passed on carts are in my hall of, “I should have bought those when I saw them, what was I thinking?” repository. Man, oh man. Hindsight is 20/20 isn’t it?
    Love your creativity. I need to quit my job and just go for the junkin’ life. I see so much potential in cast off stuff but my teaching job trains me. This sounds whinney, sorry!

  6. I absolutely LOVE this idea!!!

  7. I want one too! Please make some for your Etsy store!! Perfect as a trivet! I could sit on stove
    to cover one burner 🙂

    • Debbie, I hate to tell you, but unless you have a REALLY big stove, this would be too large for it. It measures about 13″ long. It’s really the perfect size for a kitchen table. I’m not sure that we’ll be making them to put in my shop, but I hope you’ll try making one yourself with the tutorial! 🙂

  8. What a wonderful idea, Angie! It turned out great!

  9. What a great idea and so charming too. Love the addition of the wheels!

  10. I love everything about it.

  11. Angie,

    That little table top industrial cart is soooo darn cute!



  12. How cute I that! And I love the stencils. Featured at Be Inspired this morning. Thanks so much for sharing!

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