Holly’s Rolling Book Cart featuring Rockler, Gorilla Glue, and DecoArt

by Holly LL on January 31, 2012

Storage is a top priority for me – good storage that has function and design and versatility is a HUGE PLUS!

I love books! The more books the better for me! But, they are everywhere, including the space under my buffet (the buffet still needs its makeover…so pretend it looks nicer than it does, OK?)

I started thinking about how to achieve a cleaner look than those stacks of books tucked under there…and then I had an idea for this rolling cart. It took me awhile to get to it…but finally I got to it and it was worth the wait (at least I think so). 

The look of the cart is very much inspired by my new “old” crate I made last year.

My daughter loves this and asked me to make her one for her room. I am kind of lovin’ the functionality and the faux-vintage look…I see many many more in my future! 

So, let’s get to it! Trust me – it is not hard to do!


I am not super-duper DIY Lady…but this was relatively easy to do. In fact I built it all in 1.5 hours, and that included some redesigning. You can download a simple sketch and wood list RIGHT HERE!
  • Cut 3 of the 1″ x 6″ board down to 64″ long.
  • Cut 5 lengths or the 1″ x 6″ board into 16.5″ pieces
  • Cut the 1″ x 8″ boards down to 66″
  • On one of the 8″ boards, find the center, mark over 2.5 inches on each side of the center; draw a curve between those 2 points. This will become an opening/pull. Cut with the jigsaw. Sand well.
  • Layout the 3 – 64″ boards, lining them up.
  • Place three of the 16.5″ lengths perpendicular on the longer boards. One board is centered on the longer boards and the other 2 boards are placed on either side, 12″ in from the edges.
  • Once happy with placement, mark and then use the Gorilla Glue Wood Glue and run a line of glue between the boards and onto the shorter boards before screwing in (is this 100% necessary, maybe not, but I really wanted a strong secure base, and the glue combined with the screws will do that)

  • Screw the shorter lengths into the longer lengths (this becomes the bottom of the cart)
  • Flip it over and dry fit the front/back and sides (just to be sure you have cut correctly).
  • Screw in the sides, along the bottom to the base of the cart.
  • Flip over, propping the base of the cart on the sides and the bottom of the cart is facing up – the front and backs are designed to hang down farther hang the sides
  • Place the front and back in position, lining up the tops of the boards to the tops of the sides and screw into the base and then into the sides.
  • Stencil the letters. I chose “Magic Begins Here…” because we all love to read and I believe magic lies in books. 
  • justified my wording to the left and made a light pencil line 2″ down from the top of the cart to line up the top of my letters.
  • Place the stencil on the front board, spelling out your quote/wording and continue until you are down. Keep some rags/towel handy for wiping the stencil.
  • NOTE: I chose to stencil before sanding and staining because I wanted it to appear as though it was an old cart and the age was on top of the wording.


  • Sand away! Sand the entire cart. I hit the top edges and corners really “hard” and rounded them out a bit. I also sanded the cut out/pull really, really well.
  • When I sanded the lettering it appears to have smeared, but it came right off and was perfect!
  • Once finished sanding, wipe clean with a cloth before staining.


  • Prepare your stain…I just used a basic color and painted it on with a paint brush. Let sit for a minute or so and then wipe off with a rag.
  • Repeat this all over the cart. Let dry.


  • Now on to antiquing…Mix a 1:1 ratio of DecoArt Staining and Antiquing Medium with Americana Acrylic in Burnt Umber. Mix very well. 
  • Use a rag or a paint brush and brush onto the cart (do a piece at a time). Let sit for a minute and wipe off. Do this all over the cart.
  • I then went back and painted it on heavier on the corners and other areas for “wear.” Let dry.
  • Spray all over with Deft Wood Finishing Spray

This is with stain and antique medium
Just to compare with the antiqued look, this is stain only.
  • Once dry, flip over and place the casters. I placed the casters just inside (toward the center) or the outside support boards.
  • Be sure when you place them they have room to swivel and move – I almost screwed mine in right next to the boards…guess what no swivel then!

NOTE: Most important thing – MEASURE TWICE, cut once.  I had a little mishap…my cart ended up being too tall to fit under my buffet (I still have not figured out how that happened!)…so what to do…well, I unscrewed the box from the base, measures up 1″ from the original screw holes/baseline and then screwed it back in. This dropped the front of my box lower to the ground, which did not really bother me. I then had some screw holes that were showing. I did not want to fill them in with wood putty…so I decided to place “extra” wood screws into the holes. They do nothing for the support/function, but in the end I actually think the double screws give an interesting detail.

Here is a sample of how I had to re-position my screws..oops! I filled those “extra holes with 1″ wood screws and actually like the detail.

Why am I telling on myself?
To show you that you can fix a big ole mess up and make it look pretty!
NOW…to recap:
Flip it over, fill it with magical books…and all done! 
504 Main

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

cassie January 31, 2012 at 6:18 pm

that is so cool, holly!

Lezlee Cheek January 31, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Holly, this turned out great! You always make cool stuff!

Cheri January 31, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I am always looking for storage too–I love it.


kendall February 1, 2012 at 12:23 am

WOW! This is such a great idea, especially when you’re tight on space like I am. Thank you so much for sharing! I love how the wood looks aged- just like an old crate like you said! Awesome, awesome project!

charlene February 22, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I love this ideal…talk about storage…I can think of multiple uses for this in my home…thanks for sharing…

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