An Elderly Weber Grill Repurposed into an Outdoor Bar Cart (plus a bushel of tomato, squash & corn recipes)

What do you get when you cross a 26-year-old Weber grill frame with boards, leftover deck paint, galvanized screen, and rope?

A party on a bar cart! Just in time for the Labor Day weekend. We got the idea from daughter, Greta. She’s developing a line of bar carts to complement her Coleman (bar) stools. Richard and I share her love of repurposing, particularly when integrating industrial aesthetics into the design. We came up with our own, easy-to-make, bar cart.


Our new house came with a Weber gas grill, circa 1988. Although it still worked, we decided to update to a new Weber (natural gas) Spirit Grill, but decided to keep the original sturdy frame (pictured).


We sanded a few of the rusty areas, wiped them clean, and painted the base with a rust-resisitant spray.


To make trays for the cart, Richard inserted screws (with an electric screwdriver) into mitered corners of his prepared wood to secure them together.


He finished the sides of the trays with outdoor (deck) paint.


To make a bottom for the trays, he tacked two layers of heavy galvanized screening into the frame. Over this screen, for added stability, I placed two removable lucite trays.


For decoration, we glued rope around the top tray lid; made rope handles for bottom tray; and wrapped remaining rope around two-thirds of each handle.


The bar cart comes in handy when juggling several items to cook on our new Weber grill.


We placed lucite trays on the top and bottom of the galvanized screening and VOILA! Instant bar!

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Our new, fixer-upper lake house came with a Weber gas grill, circa 1988. Even though the geriatric grill worked like a charm, we decided to upgrade to a natural gas grill, to complement our charcoal grill. The old frame was very sturdy, so we decided to keep it. It was easy navigate, and the base and wheels are in excellent shape. I’ve included a “recipe” below for making your own cart, if you’re lucky enough to have access to an old grill frame.

Side note: Here are favorite recipes for “repurposing” the plethora of fresh local produce that’s filling gardens and stands right now. In Michigan, we’ve got another 8-10 weeks to revel in the glory!

Fried Green Tomatoes with a Tomato-Corn Relish

Fried Green Tomatoes with a Tomato-Corn Relish

Appetizers: Fried Green Tomatoes with a Tomato-Corn RelishTomato-Cucumber RaitaTomato-Zucchini Tapas; Tomato-Mozzarella Bruschetta;  Super-Fast Caprese Canapes

Salads: Tomato Bulgur SaladPanzanella; Jerusalem Pita and Vegetable Salad; Quinoa with Black Beans, Corn and AvocadoRoasted Corn and Barley Salad; Corn and Coconut Salad

Soups: Tomato-Zucchini Soup; Chilled Zucchini Soup with Tarragon; Gazpacho; Cherry Gazpacho;

Tomatoes Stuffed with Walnut -Tarragon Chicken Salad

Tomatoes Stuffed with Walnut -Tarragon Chicken Salad

Main Events: Pasta with Fresh and Easy Tomato Sauce;  Sun-kissed Tomato-Basil Angel HairWhitefish with Tomato Caper Relish; Grilled Pork with Romesco Sauce;  Zucchini & Yellow Squash Gratin; Fried Green Tomato BLT; Tomato stuffed with Walnut-Chicken Salad; Corn and Tomato Farrasotto; Baked Peaches with Savory Ground Turkey

Sides: Butter Beans with Tomato Relish; Grilled Mexican Street Corn;  Southwest Corn and Zucchini Fritters; Blistered Baby Zucchini; Grilled Vegetables with Mediterranean Breadcrumbs

Desserts: Fresh Peach and Limoncello Sorbet; Ricotta topped with Honey, Blueberries and Fresh Thyme; Apricots stuffed with Mascarpone and Pistachios; Super-Simple Fresh Fruit Cobbler

Recipe: Outdoor Bar Cart


  • 1 (formerly used) Weber (or other) grill frame
  • Sandpaper, if needed
  • Rust-resistant spray paint, if needed
  • Enough 1×4-inch pine boards to construct two box side frames
  • Nails and screws as needed
  • Wood glue to secure corners of boxes and glue tile onto tray
  • Enough 1×2-inch pine boards to build one extending tray
  • Desired paint color (we used grey deck paint)
  • 1-inch wide wood trim, as needed
  • 1 piece of decorative tile to fit extending tray (we needed 9×13-inch)
  • Heavy galvanized wire mesh screen (comes in a roll)
  • Hot glue to secure rope trim
  • Decorative rope
  • Tacks to secure rope to top box
  • 4 hook eyes to secure rope handles to bottom box
  • Lucite trays to fit top and bottom finished boxes


  1. If grill base is rusty, sand, wipe clean, then paint according to directions on spray can.
  2. Construct two box frames to fit top and bottom dimensions of cart: Miter corners to form a diagonal cuts on each end of the boards; glue sides together and secure with nails or screws, or use pneumatic nail gun. (Note that the top box frame will be secured to the top grill frame and the lower frame will rest on the existing bottom shelf.)
  3. Construct a new extending tray, to replace the extending wood tray on the original grill cart. Original grill cart had existing holes in the frame, which held original shelf. These holes were used to insert wood screws to hold new shelf secure.
  4. Paint the box frames, the extending shelf, and trim.
  5. Glue tile on top of extending tray to accommodate hot dishes.
  6. Cut screen to box frame size using wire cutter scissors. Stretch screen tight, then staple to the bottom of the wood frames. For added stability and strength, add a second layer of screen and secure in the same manner. (Note that you may substitute pine for the screen. We prefer the aesthetics of the screen.)
  7. Cover staple lines with a thin, 1-inch wide trim. (Note that we mitered the trim sides, as well.)
  8. To decorate, glue rope along top edge of the top box, then secure with tacks. For the bottom box, form rope handles on each end of  box: Drill two small starter holes and screw in hook eyes, and thread rope through hook eyes. Tie knots at the end of each rope hoop. Using hot glue, wrap rope 2/3’s along each handle of cart.
  9. Place lucite trays on top of wire mesh box bottoms.                                          *We drilled through the bottom of the grill’s frame into the bottom sides of the box. We secured this in place with wood screws. This was not necessary for the bottom, as our cart had a bottom shelf. We placed the bottom box on the shelf. ** The boards to form the top box frame to fit our grill frame were 27-inches long x 18-inches wide. The boards to form the bottom box frame were 23-inches long x 14-inches wide.

Number of servings (yield): 1  (49-inch long X 34-inch high) outdoor bar cart

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.


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