Copper Bar Cart

I was asked to make another bar cart for my son's school for a 60th Anniversary Gala Auction so I chose to use pennies. I have always wanted to do a penny topped table and what better time try. It turned out great and was a hit at the auction. So glad I was able to help raise funds while having fun too.
Changing tables are hard to come by at the thrifts due to this trend but I was able to find one on Craigslist in good sturdy shape. A bit more than I usually spend but it was worth it and for a good cause.
Did a light sanding because there was some wear and tear scratches and dings from normal use. I don't usually have to since I use my own chalk paint recipe.
I added boards for stability and strength to hold heavy bottles and to attach the wine glass racking.
I make my own chalk paint and like to use sample sized paints from Lowes. For this project I used Antique Burgandy. The purple/red hue looks great with copper.
Painted and I used black acrylic craft paint as the background behind the pennies. I also used a polyacrylic top coat on the entire piece. I like using wax with chalk paint but for this item it needed a better top coat.
Pennies, pennies and more pennies. My son and I sorted for variation of color. To my surprise, our local banks will only sell $2 at a time so we made several stops at different banks. A total of 1085 pennies including the pennies I cut in half to make a nice tight fit. All pennies are heads up with the exception of one that is heads down as well as one wheat penny and one Canadian penny for fun.
This stuff is great!! one word of wisdom. Follow the directions to the tee. Work fast and carefully. I used a blow torch to get the bubbles out and it was easy. It starts to harden fast and give it time to cure. Make sure your area is level and no pet hair or dust particles around. I found that while it was curing and drying, I put a large piece of plastic over it making sure it did not touch.
Dried and cured with a nice shine. Looks like glass.
Just a small sampling of what it looks like from the top with a few bottles on it.
This is again, a feature sample showing the top, glass holder, bottle opener, towel bars and wine rack. I made the cart and my son's 8th grade class was contributing the barware and liquor to accompany the whole packaged deal for the live auction. I did not have those items handy to display at this time.
Finished, stocked and ready for our live auction. What a fun project and I was especially excited it brought $1300 to our school's campaign for the children.

Suggested materials:

  • Changing table
  • Chalk paint
  • Glaze Coat
See all materials

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Pat Ruge
    Pat Ruge
    on Apr 20, 2016

    How did you cut the pennies in half w/o distorting them beyond recognition?

    • Mindi
      Mindi
      on Apr 20, 2016

      Metal snips I purchased at HD for about $10.

  • M. M..
    M. M..
    on Jun 7, 2016

    How hard is the bar top finish? Would the sliding of bottles and glasses across it over time lead to scratching or dulling and haze on that shiny, beautiful finish? Very nicely done!

    • Mindi
      Mindi
      on Dec 24, 2016

      Would probably work on this top. I believe it is an acrylic coating.

  • Judy
    Judy
    on Apr 13, 2017

    I meant to ask, is the glaze highly toxic...in terms of the fumes?? Assuming this needs to be glazed outside??
    • Mindi
      Mindi
      on Apr 13, 2017

      It is stinky but goes away. I would not recommend doing it outside. Debris may land in it and you would be doomed. Unless of course it's an enclosed area.

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