Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Tongue-Twisting Teal Tea Trolley

Some people call it a bar cart. But since we are teetotallers, I'll call it a tea trolley.  And since it is teal in colour, it's a Teal Tea Trolley for Teetotallers (yes, say that ten times if you can)! Whatever, I had so much fun making this!  All out of scrap wood.

There's a furniture shop near my house that chucks out lots of stuff and I have no idea why.  Sometimes the flaws I detect can be easily fixed so I can't understand why they don't. We have salvaged parts of benches, wooden window frames, lots of wooden slats (the kind used as the base underneath mattresses of beds), even a 6-foot long TV stand.  So here's what I made with some of the pieces of wood I have been hoarding over the months.

After sawing the pieces to the required lengths (with the awesome electric saw I picked as a birthday gift when my kids asked me what I wanted), I arranged them with tiny gaps in-between and had two slats nailed underneath to keep them together.  This formed the top shelf.

For the bottom shelf, I used wider pieces of slats.

See those castors at the bottom?  I have fallen in love with castors!  So fun to roll my trolley anywhere I want.  But it still looks incomplete.....

Ah, I got needs some bars around it so things won't topple off easily...(that's how I work, I figure things out as I go along because I'm an amateur DIY-er like that).

Fill up any holes in the wood with wood filler and sand it smooth.

I used emulsion (water-based) paint because I find it less messy to work with.  I usually Protect my Painted Projects with Polyurethane (yes, say that ten times) anyway.  Polyurethane is in the family of wood varnish, wood wax, shellac and lacquer but I do not know the difference because I'm an amateur DIY-er like that. Then I picked this bright teal colour because I have plans for where this trolley is to go.  I have my favourite Paint Man from my favourite Paint Shop and he'll mix any colour that I choose !

Just remember to keep the colour code (of the colours blended) in case you need to get more paint later.  Here's my code, given to you free-of-charge because I'm generous like that.

And there you have it, in all its bright, glorious colour!

The amazing thing about it is I can think of so many ways a trolley like this can be used:
- to display plants
- to store your make-up and hair paraphenalia
- to stack books on
- for toys

Made completely out of discarded wood - my Teal Tea Trolley for Teetotallers (yes, say that ten times).  

What do you think?



  1. You are so, so clever!
    My birthday is coming up next month. Is that ample time for you to make one for me? In a slightly darker teal shade.... oh, thank you!
    Tried the tongue twisters too, just for the heck of it!
    xx, pam

  2. Totally agree with annonymous Pam, so clever. My birthday also coming up n since it's in Jan 2013, you got plenty of time!! Val, why don't you hold a workshop for us, build-your-own-tea-trolley, BYOW, bring your own wood! I will be there! Thanks for sharing. Of course we read your blOg all the time! Keep it coming.

  3. Have to try again.....See whether it'll go through this time! LOL!
    What I've been wanting to tell you are sooo good in this! I want the trolley! Can give lesson how to make one? When are you starting carpentry classes? I thought electric saws are only used for felling trees? LOL! Oh no...that's chain saw, I think....Good job , Val! :)

  4. Pam, you are too funny! Yes, I love the tongue twisters - didn't try them myself though, hahahaha!

    Anonymous - would you settle for a birthday cuppa tea instead? Workshop indeed...hilarious! I'm really an amateur who just loves doing stuff like this. Wish I could build a treehouse. Gotta find a tree first :)

    Allana, thank you! Imagine if I had a chain saw in my hands....actually, you just reminded me of a blog post I haven't put up yet that involves logs and saws and....

  5. Awesome Aunty Val!! Inspiring... Let me know when u find tt tree... Tree houses are part of my unrealised childhood fantasies... :) two thumbs up for the tea trolley! - sarah b

  6. IKEA will go out of business soon Val. Great job. Can't wait to see what your next project is..

  7. Very creative!
    -Michelle (

  8. Sarah B,you wanna come talk to me about any other unrealised childhood fantasies? :)

    Oli - aww, you're too kind. I've done other projects but just haven't blogged about them yet!

    Michelle H - why, thank you! You are one of those who've inspired me!

  9. Wow, Val ... you're a natural born genius (especially with the chain saw... lol!) You make all the men in my house blush ... with envy! When's the next tea invite? Bottoms Up! :)

  10. Pattie Boo, I'm a phone call away,you can come for tea anytime! It doesn't take a genius to make this - just a love for experimenting. Just don't ask me to cook.... :)

  11. What do I think? It's genius! I think its my favourite of all your projects. Simple, and so pretty. I was thinking, would you mind renting your creatures for photo shoots and events display? They are just too pretty!

  12. nice nice nice ... but but but u didnt put any tea on the teal tea trolley ;-) .veronica.

  13. HeR$heYs - awww, thank you so much, I really wondered what other people thought of it, although I like it...of course you can borrow it, I'm flattered! (Rent?!)

  14. veronica - oops, I forgot! should have, right? c'mon over and Polly will put the kettle on and we'll all have teeeeeeeeeea! :)

  15. From facebook, Thur 3rd May 2012:
    Hi dear, enjoyed your DIY. Invite us on one your hunting trips for items for your DIY project. Then we continue until me make something then there or at home after distributng the spoils!! pirates of the high lands of subang jaya....

    Rajeswary Dorai

    Hi Rajes,
    I'm thinking how hilarious it will be when the furniture man (I always ask his permission before taking any 'spoils')sees this bunch of ladies scrounging around in his back alley!!

  16. I always look foward to read about what you've been up to frin your blog and to say you're creative is an understatement. Thanks Val for making my day. Psst, my birthday is just round the corner. Patricia Lee

  17. Patricia Lee - I'm wondering why everyone is thinking I'm the Birthday Claus or something....heeeheeee....

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. From facebook, Sunday 6th May 2012:

    I also like it so much.. i tried putting some comment but it was asking me to choose an account.... So i thought of sharing here my comments...
    You are Smart and creative....
    Bavaani Subramaniam

    Sorry Bavaani, I copied and pasted your comment wrongly (above)....but thanks. When are we having tea together??

  20. From facebook, Sunday 6th May 2012:

    U r always awesome.

    Esther Lin

    Estherrrrrrrrr....thank youuuuu, muaks.

  21. "very nice . i love it . love to have a chance to make some'

  22. Maw Toom! Thank you! You are so clever with your hand-sewn projects. Looks like we won't get bored when we get oldER!

  23. Waa .. well done! You nailed it girl! Luved your trolley. No wonder you said you were busy lately, kekeke. Also luved the fact that your scrap wood looks so nice and clean! What other scrap do you have ah?

    I took a closer look ( 400% magnification ) and being someone who has tried basic carpentry before the computer age, I must say your method of construction is quite marvelous and well thought out (I hv an idea of how you did it but I'm curious as to your actual sequence).

    Your putting in the bars last is not only interesting/comical but also begs the question of how seamlessly it was done.

    No dove-tailed joints, no dog-legged joints, just nailed and drilled/screwed, yet it looks very sturdy indeed!

    And your choice of Polyurethane protection coat is a good choice. There is a major difference btw Shellac/Lacquer, Polyurethane/Varnish and Wood Wax but that is another subject altogether.

    My birthday is in July but no, I'm thinking more along the lines that perhaps I should start on baisic carpentry again and build something before that day!

    Cheers! Those tongue twisters are great!


  24. Love the trolley!
    Love the tree-house idea too, by the time i have a tree large enough in my backyard to build a tree-house, we'll be too old to climb up/down it ....

  25. Edwin, hahaha, I nailed it...
    Now don't get all technical with me as I am an amateur. Thank you for your kind remarks, and yes, start on your carpentry. Throw in a tongue twister and you're done!

  26. Gaby Tegouch - thanks so much!

  27. Huda - yah.....but we're not thinking of such things, are we? We just dive right into our crazy ideas....

  28. Rose cheng JayasooriaMay 21, 2012 at 6:39 AM

    Great job, Val! You do take after your boss, the Jewish carpenter!!

  29. Rose cheng Jayasooria - hahahh, never thought of that. I hardly think He wanted me to follow Him thataway....hahahhaha!

  30. Wow... this is amazing...., complete, natural talent you have there! Bravo!

  31. Hey Mei Kuen, thanks a you would want one in purple, huh?

  32. Replies
    1. Sharon Muru - you did it! you figured out how to leave a comment! thanks, keep them coming!

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