I can sort of do a lot of things. I don’t mean that in the non-chalant way of saying that I am capable of doing many things, but in the way that I can do a passable/pity-worthy “passable” job of a range of things that I have tried. I can do arts and crafts on my own, I can bake on my own, but never again should I be allowed to do an IKEA hack on my own.
My Achilles’ heel is my laziness and desire to cut corners. That’s what this entire blog is about. Let’s make this clear: do not cut corners with furniture.
First of all, I’d like to point out that my bar cart is perfectly (?) functioning and looks nice:
I’m not entirely sure how all this alcohol came into possession. Perhaps it was a gradual accumulation, perhaps it was all at once? I’d like to say it was more or less bought over the summer (although the beer and wine get replaced… err, “every now and then”, let’s say)
In that box behind the fan on the ground. I had the Butterscotch Ripple in my closet because I never drink it (it’s so sweet and I don’t like butterscotch, but I tried to make butterbeer once and it was okay…but not enough to make it again). Also, that’s my dad’s cool-looking tool set.
So, um, this cart was “necessary” (I grew up in the suburbs, okay, so buying things just for storage is pretty much engrained).
Anyway, I had wanted to find a fixer-upper because that seems to be how everyone gets their bar carts, and I’m close to Toronto so that should have been easy, but I’m lazy and it takes a lot of looking. I had found a nice cart at Wal-Mart, actually, but it was completely finished and the point of this was to tweak a cart. Safe to say that my skill level for tools and handiness was way too low to even try getting wood…planks? from Canadian Tire or some place to put some…thing…together. It would have been so ugly and taken three years to construct. I went with something from IKEA.
There seems to be a whole genre of people that tweak IKEA things, but they seem to know what they’re doing. Again, I must say, I am not one of them. I will plainly state that the most “hacking” I did was applying varnish to the parts that still look like wood (that was a whole new experience for me and I should have sanded down the wood first) and paint the other parts black (you really should sand down the wood first before you do things). Eventually I might add a towel rack thing to the side, maybe handles to the drawers (which are currently empty), but for now…this is all that I can handle.
MIGHT I POINT OUT that I was mostly in Hamilton this summer and all my weekends were busy, so there was about a few hours once a month that I could really work on this. Plus I didn’t do a lot of research into things and forgot that you had to sand down wood before you do stuff to it. Also, by “forgot,” I really mean, “didn’t know.” Basically, you can scratch off the paint pretty easily even when it’s dry, so I try not to touch it and I don’t hit the bottles against the cart when I take them out. (Basically, I’m an idiot who should have tried to save myself the work and do things properly the first time, but…no.)
But what’s done is done.
Loading up the alcohol was easy:
The glassware was a tiny bit more difficult. The wine glasses were easy because my mom had a set of four sitting in a cabinet for twenty years, unused, and she had no attachment to those. The tumblers… I had originally wanted heavier, perfectly cylindrical ones with about a 1cm thick bottom, but the closest set I found was a set of four for $36 and seriously, fuck that shit, one glass isn’t worth ten bucks. I had initially gone to Crate and Barrel, but my mom said that they were too expensive, and then we looked at Home Outfitters, Home Sense, the Bay, and (online) IKEA (See? Suburbia.) but I didn’t like anything. I ended up at Crate and Barrel who had the largest variety, what I wanted (I actually love the dimpled tumblers now), and for the lowest price.
Now that that’s more or less done, the next things to acquire are: a nice cocktail shaker (but mostly I don’t give a shit and pour my crap together into the glass, toss in some ice cubes, and maybe stir it); Vermouth (it’s in everything…); bitters (also in everything…); more beer.
It was literally the first time I had built something all on my own. My parents moved me back to school and I built it with no assistance. I even lost the instruction manual but IKEA has all their manuals (in several languages) online. I used tools. I figured things out. I used hex keys and dowels and screw drivers without being told what to do by a human. I am so capable!!!!! (Except not.)
(But actually, I am quite proud of myself. It would have been a lot more helpful to have taken construction instead of family studies in high school, but I wasn’t too interested in doing things that I was bad at back then.)