I wanted to have a breakfast bar that could fit the frame of my windows. It would be ideal to work at, eat breakfast and keep a watchful eye on the cat when she’s outside. In fact, since I’ve had it, it’s become one of my favorite places to sit at. However, the size of the window frame was not suitable for any ready-made furniture.
Under the influence of many TV shows about flipping furniture, rooms and houses, whom all made DIY look so simple, I thought I would give it a try. I’m not at all experienced with these kinds of DIY projects at home, so I even had to YouTube some of the basic skills, like how to saw in a straight line. Especially, after discovering that the local DIY stores would only saw panels, but would not help with the wooden bars. After all challenges were overcome, this is the result (and I’m quite proud of it):
Breakfast Bar Design
My objective for the design of the breakfast bar was to get as little lines as possible, because I didn’t want to block too much light. This is also why I painted the legs white.
For practical reasons, I wanted to make it easy for me to move the breakfast bar out of the way, when needed. This allows me to use it for other purposes (like to host a buffet at parties). I wanted the scroll wheels to lock though.
How To Create the Breakfast Bar / Coffee Bar
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The total dimensions of my breakfast bar:
- 1 wooden furniture panel, in the design you like (they sell them at the size of approx. 240 x 40 x 2 cm)
- I let the DIY store saw this to a 204 cm length
- a few 4x4cm pinewood bars, you need:
- 4 with a height of 31 cm
- 3 at a height of 193.5 cm
- 4 at a height of 83 cm
- 4 scroll wheels with 35 mm plate and locking mechanism
- Wood glue
- With the strongest adhesive power
- Wood screws
- I’ve used the 4 mm (diameter) x 50 mm (length), flat head, combo drive screws with red tips (they release a glue when fastened, so they are extra secure)
- Sand paper (optional)
- White paint (optional)
- Measuring tape
- (Electric) saw
- Drill (optional)
- Drill bits for sunken screw holes (optional)
- Right measuring square angle shape ruler (L-shaped ruler)
- Electric screwdriver
- Paint brushes (optional)
- You’ll be using: furniture panel, 4×4 pinewood bars, measuring tape, ruler, saw and drill
Get all the wooden elements to the right size. As mentioned before, I’ve got the DIY store to saw the top panel, but I had to saw the 4x4cm wooden bars to the right sizes, as mentioned above. I’ve used the ruler to draw lines on all sides of the wooden bar and then started sawing.
Optionally, you can choose to pre-drill your long wooden bars with sunken holes for attachment on the top panel later. I only drilled partially through the long wooden bars and created the sunken bit for the screw head to fall into. Just enough for the screws to start attaching easier. Make sure you spread out the drill holes over the length of the wooden bar, starting about 9 cm from each end.
Steps To Build The Breakfast Bar
Step 1) Create the framework for the side legs
- You’ll be using: all short 4×4 pinewood bars, glue, clamps, ruler
Create a rectangle by gluing 2 bars of 4 x 4 x 31 cm on to 2 bars 4 x 4 x 83 cm. Use the right angle ruler to make sure you get a perfect corner. I’ve also used tape to help me keeping parts together while gluing.
Make sure you apply some clamps to create pressure on the areas you have glued. Let the whole thing dry. While you let it dry create the second rectangle as you need two. One for each side.
Tip! If you want, you can also use screws for extra security, but, in my version, I didn’t want to see any screws on the outside of the legs. I could’ve chosen to create sunken screw holes and fill the holes to fully hide the screws though. It would a stronger structure. However, I’d seen a DIY TV show fully glue some of their furniture, so I decided to give that a try and see if that would hold. So far, so good! The breakfast bar has been in use for 1.5 years, at the time of writing this. I expect the bar will be more durable if you do screw it together.
Step 2) Finish the complete framework
- You’ll be using: the long 4×4 pinewood bars, glue, clamps, ruler
Glue the 3 bigger bars in between the side panels, two on the side and one in the middle. Make sure you apply some clamps to create pressure on the areas you have glued. Let the whole thing dry.
Step 3) Add frame the top panel
- You’ll be using: furniture panel, drill (optional), electric screwdriver, screws, glue
Turn the frame on its legs and lay the top panel beside the frame as you want to move quickly. Put glue on top of the long wooden bars, flip the frame and immediately glue it on on top of the furniture panel. Make sure it’s exactly where you want it to be. Then screw the framework to lock it in place even more.
Tip! I’ve drilled holes in the wooden bars first and even made sure the screws would sink into it, so you would never see them on the outside. I’ve used 17 screws; 5 on each long wooden bar and 1 in the middle of each sidebar.
If desired, you can sand the frame and paint it like I did.
Step 4) Screw the wheels at the bottom
- You’ll be using: scroll wheels, drill (optionally), electric screwdriver, screws
Tips: Design Improvements
I’ve been using the breakfast bar for a while and would suggest a few minor improvements. The width of the breakfast bar is causing some problems in stability. It helps that the bar is placed within a window frame, and it gets locked in on each side because of it, but if that wasn’t the case, it can be a bit wobbly. For stability, it would be better to add a horizontal bar at the bottom center – connecting the two side frames there too. I was afraid this would be in the way with the bar stools, but in retrospect, I think it would’ve been a great place to rest my feet. For even more stability, you could even consider cross bars at the back legs of the breakfast bar.
If you are more experienced at DIY projects like this, leave a comment with your tips to improve this idea.