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1 Cart 3 Ways

This organizer on wheels adapts to the kitchen, craft room, or garage. Choose your project location and get rolling.

Three carts

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1-2 weeks

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Hacksaw
  • Mill file
  • Drill with driver bits and #8 countersink
  • Pocket-hole jig
  • Random-orbit sander and sandpaper
  • Carpenter’s square
  • 7/16-in wrench or socket
  • Bar clamps
  • Painter’s tape
  • Wood glue


  • See Cutting Diagrams for lumber lists
  • 2 - 4-in locking swivel casters, #4491
  • 2 - 4-in rigid casters, #235614
  • 2 - Gatehouse satin-nickel 320mm bar pulls, #227450
  • 4 - Gatehouse satin-nickel cup pulls, #227349
  • 2 - 1/8-in x 1-1/2-in x 3-ft aluminum flat bars, #29186
  • Band-It 3/4-in x 25-ft birch iron-on edge banding, #165461
  • 1-1/4-in fine-thread pocket-hole screws
  • #8 x 1/2-in panhead screws
  • #8 x 1-1/4-in flathead wood screws
  • 8-32 x 1-3/4-in truss head combo screws
  • 16 - 1/4-in x 1-1/2-in zinc-plated lag screws
  • 16 - 1/4-in flat washers
  • Valspar Signature, Tranquility (#CI 183) (kitchen cart)
  • Cabot stain, Driftwood Gray (crafts cart)
  • Valspar Signature, Soft Coral (#CI 112) (crafts cart)
  • Valspar spray paint, Medium Gray (garage cart)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online

Project Resources


We’ll start with the basic kitchen cart, and then show you how to modify the drawers and accessories to work in a craft room or workshop.

Make a Case

Step 1

Cut the plywood to size (Cutting Diagram). Ask a Lowe’s lumber associate to break the sheet down to make transportation easier. Then cut the case sides/divider (A), backs (B), tops/bottom (C), and shelves (D, E, F) to size.

Step 2

Use a pocket-hole jig and drill pocket holes in the panels where shown (Exploded View). Sand the panels with 220-grit sandpaper.

Good to Know

When sanding, start with a grit that’s coarse enough to remove saw marks and rough surfaces -- usually 100- or 120-grit sandpaper. Then sand with 150- or 180-grit sandpaper to remove the scratches from the previous grit before sanding with 220-grit abrasives.

Step 3

Assemble the case sides/divider and the backs using the small shelves as spacers to offset one of the backs.

Step 4

Position the case on the bottom panel and drive the pocket screws through the sides and back into the bottom to secure the assembly.

Step 5

For the two-layered top on the kitchen organizer, apply veneer edging to each layer with a hot iron and trim flush with the plywood faces following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 6

Secure the lower layer of the top to the case with pocket screws from the underside. Then add the work surface to the top by drilling countersunk pilot holes and driving screws through the lower top into the work surface.

Step 7

Complete the case by installing the shelves in the front of the case. Set the shelves where shown (Exploded View) and secure with glue and pocket-hole screws. Each shelf should be positioned to create a 6-inch-high opening. The lower, larger opening will allow for a taller drawer or can be customized to fit your needs.

Add Back Shelves and Casters

Step 1

At the back of the cart, add the remaining small shelves (F) as shown (Back and Casters) with glue and pocket-hole screws.

Step 2

Cut the caster blocks (G) to size. Turn the case upside down, inset the blocks 3/4 inch from the edges of the bottom, and secure them to the bottom with glue.

Step 3

Screw casters to the car
Center the caster, drill pilot holes, and fasten it to the cart using lag screws and washers.

With the caster centered on the caster block, use the holes in the caster as guides to drill 3/16-inch pilot holes. Secure the casters using lag screws and washers.

Step 4

Use a hacksaw to cut four 1/8-in x 1-1/2-in aluminum bars to length for the shelf cleats. File the ends smooth and drill 3/16-inch holes for the mounting screws. Hold a bar in position on the case, mark the center points of the holes, and drill 1/8-inch pilot holes. Screw the bar in place and repeat for the remaining bars.

Build Simple Drawers

Step 1

For the three drawers, cut pieces of 1 x 4 aspen for the short sides (H) and short fronts/backs (I). Repeat using 1 x 8 aspen for the tall drawer, cutting the tall sides (J) and tall front/backs (K) to length. Sand the inside faces with 220-grit sandpaper.

Step 2

Glue and screw the drawer sides to the fronts/backs (Drawers Diagram). Sand the outside of the drawer boxes with 220-grit sandpaper.

Step 3

Screw the drawer bottom to the frame
Screw the drawer bottom (L) to the completed drawer frame.

Cut the drawer bottoms (L) from 3/16-in hardboard and glue and screw them to the drawer frames so that the front of the hardboard bottom is flush with the drawer front and centered from side to side.

Step 4

Fasten drawer glides to the case
To create sliding room for the drawers, cut scraps of the hardboard as spacers to position the drawer glides (M) while driving the mounting screws.

From a 1 x 2 board, cut eight drawer guides (M) and secure in the drawer openings (Exploded View). Place the guides 3/4 inch back from the front edge of the sides/divider (A). This allows the drawer fronts to sit flush with the front of the case.

Step 5

Cut the short faces (N) and the tall face (O) 1/4 inch smaller than the width and height of the drawer openings.

Step 6

Press the drawer fronts against tape on the drawer boxes
After fastening the drawer fronts to the boxes, remove the drawer and screw the front in place from inside the drawer.

Slide the drawers into the cabinet and apply double-face tape to the front of the drawer boxes. Position the faces centered in the drawer openings. The double-face tape holds the faces in position as you attach the drawer pulls.

Step 7

Center the pulls on the drawer fronts to locate the mounting holes. Drill 3/16-inch holes for mounting the screws. Remove the drawers and screw on the pulls. To make the drawers slide smoothly, apply paste wax to the 3/4-inch-wide areas of the drawer bottoms that overhang the sides.

Step 8

Drill holes in the sides (A) for the 320mm bar pulls. Remove all hardware and fill the edges of the plywood parts to be painted. Prime and paint all but the top. Apply a clear finish to the plywood top. Reinstall the hardware.

Customize a Crafts Cart

Step 1

Craft room organizer cart
This cart allows space for a stool

To make the craft room organizer, omit one of the backs (B), one layer of the top (C), and the large shelves (D). Assemble as you would the kitchen organizer, and apply a semitransparent deck stain to the plywood. When the stain has cured, apply a clear protective finish. Replace the drawer pulls with Gatehouse satin-nickel 128mm bar pulls (#227444).

Step 2

For the paper trays, cut the backer (P), spacers (Q), and holders (R) to size (Cutting Diagram and Cutting List).

Step 3

Glue the spacers in position on the holders (Paper Trays). Sand, prime, and paint the parts and secure the trays to the backer with 3/4-inch flathead screws.

Step 4

Secure the assembled paper trays to your cart with panhead screws as shown, centering the trays on the width of a side (A) and 3 inches from the top.

Step 5

Crafts cart ribbon-holder bar
Size the length of the threaded rod to suit your ribbon storage needs.

See the garage organizer section for information on making and installing the perforated hardboard storage rack. To make a holder for spools of ribbon, drive two eye hooks. Then connect them with a threaded rod, washers, and nuts.

Take Charge of the Garage

Step 1

Garage organizer cart
A hose reel also holds extension cords and vacuum hoses.

For the garage organizer, use BC plywood. Omit one layer of the top (C) and the drawer faces (N, O). Assemble the cart using the same procedures as the kitchen organizer. Apply a clear finish to the plywood.

Step 2

To add a storage panel to one side of the organizer, first cut 1 x 2 aspen for the end stiles (S) and rails (T) (Storage Rack). Cut perforated hardboard for the panel (U) to match the size of the frame. Glue the hardboard to the frame.

Step 3

Tool storage rack on garage cart
The perforated hardboard storage rack can be customized with different hooks and hangers.

For a finished look, spray-paint the storage panel medium gray. The glue and screw the rack to the cart. We also painted the cord-holder (#220028) to match the panel.