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Our New Gray DIY Coffee Bar, an easy weekend project

Our new DIY Coffee Bar combines excessive cuteness with a little geek chic — and, we love it!

DIY coffee bar -- showing the signs and shelves

I know, I’m coming in a little late here on the DIY coffee bar craze. But as we’ve been looking at merging two households, our mutual love of coffee has crashed into our mutual need for more cabinet & counter space. Some blank wall space, a busy weekend, and a few fun signs later: Our new coffee bar is complete! And, we couldn’t be happier with it.

How we made our DIY Coffee Bar

black cat on a gray coffee cabinet

The perfect mix of new and old, our DIY coffee bar serves its purpose beautifully: Corralling all of the coffee supplies, clearing extra space in the kitchen, and adding a touch of whimsy to the space. As you can see, we were also well supervised during the entire construction process — which is obviously why the finished coffee bar required a vintage style Black Cat Coffee Co. tin sign. Then, after we put the Black Cat Coffee sign up, the Coffee Shop: Open 24 Hours tin sign clearly had to go under the shelf in order to balance things out.

Shades of gray

coffee bar cabinet and baskets

My initial exposure to this whole coffee bar concept stemmed from Facebook chatter about the infamous teal cabinet that ALDI carries occasionally. Although the ALDI one is nicely affordable (when in stock), we wanted a slightly larger gray farmhouse style cabinet, in order to match other home items and help everything flow. I picked ours up on Amazon, although it’s gone up in price since I bought it. As far as furniture you have to assemble yourself, this cabinet wasn’t bad at all.

Also from Amazon, a plain black silicone mat helps to protect the top of the cabinet from water damage and offsets all of the gray. The three gray woven baskets (as well as the adorable Mandalorian stackable mug set, which we just couldn’t resist) came from Home Goods.

Moving right along

Full finished DIY gray coffee bar

This setup then enabled us to move the existing coffee pot and grinder from the kitchen counter right on over to the new cabinet, along with a Star Wars Wookiee single cup coffee maker. No Keurigs for us, but who doesn’t appreciate the convenience of being able to brew a single mug easily? We took all of the kitchen towels out from under the kitchen sink, rolling them up into the two little gray baskets — which tucked nicely onto a coffee bar cabinet shelf. And as an added bonus, we were able to bring the 2 liter pop bottles out of the pantry into a matching larger basket next to the coffee bar.

Our coffee, tea, and hot cocoa mix all fit nicely on the shelves behind that barn door, along with their associated accoutrements and supplies. And… all of the crazy mugs have now migrated from the kitchen cabinets into the coffee bar cabinet. (OK, a bunch more were in the dishwasher when I snapped this pic, but you get the idea!) All of this rearranging freed us up a lovely amount of space in the kitchen along the way, accomplishing one of our main goals.

Let’s shelve that idea

coffee bar shelves and signs

After assembling the cabinet, we just popped over to Menards and picked up two gray wall shelves + black brackets to match the hardware on the cabinet. These, we decorated with a mixture of the old and the new. If you’re thinking of doing a similar project in your own house, be sure to look for decorative items you can repurpose, instead of buying everything new.

Oh, and speaking of not buying everything new: Also check your local Goodwill or other thrift store for decor options. Mine often has cute signs out, so I picked up both the “Never stand between me and my coffee” and the “Bacon makes everything better” signs for a grand total of $2.50.

Scrabble me this

scrabble mug and tiles spelling coffee bar

Let me tell you about a couple more of these decor items, too. For starters, isn’t this Scrabble mug just awesome? Since we play the game together fairly often, I’d actually picked it up at a local thrift store last year as part of a holiday gift. Its accompanying “COFFEE BAR” Scrabble tiles came from a local vintage + gift shop that sells them by the tile. (Spell out anything you’d like!)

If you’re local to me, I highly recommend both Gather & Collect gifts & collectibles in Glen Ellyn, IL, and the Purple Manatee Resale Shop in Lombard.

tardis teapot

Speaking of gifts that go on coffee bars: Why yes, it is indeed a Dr. Who Tardis teapot! A beautifully blue early birthday gift to me, that definitely required a place of honor on the coffee bar shelf.

ALDI Finds

coffee candle and coffee cat sign

Of course, some of our coffee bar decor does come from ALDI. (They stock affordable coffee-related home items a few times a year, so keep an eye out for those.) I’ve had the “But First Coffee” candle for quite a while now, but never burned it, because I wanted to keep it for decoration. The pretty French press? Oh yes, that jumped into my cart at ALDI a couple of weeks ago, and seemed eminently appropriate here.

The rest of the decorative coffee bar items were repurposed from elsewhere in our homes. The Franciscan Desert Rose earthenware teapot & creamer/sugar containers were my grandmother’s, the little cat has been hanging out on a shelf for about 15 years now, Baby Yoda was 3D printed and then painted, and the chalkboard sign has been hanging on my wall for quite a while. (The chalk itself, however, was a cheap Amazon subscribe & save item a while back.)

And that’s how you DIY a coffee bar!

diy gray coffee bar

A little over the top? Maybe, but our new coffee bar is filled with things that are meaningful to us: We play Scrabble, we watch Star Wars, we have too many cats between us, we love bacon… And, all of that makes us smile every morning when we pour a fresh cup. We just kept rearranging and trying different items and combinations on the shelves until it looked right to us.

Making your own DIY coffee bar? Fill it with things equally meaningful to you, for your own version of cute + practical + fun.


Saturday 12th of March 2022

Nice job. I'm just curious. Where is the coffee bar in proximity to your kitchen? I would imagine that you want it to be close to a faucet and sink. At least, I would want that. I'm always spilling something.

Whenever you are ready, please post pictures of the new kitties. From my experience, merging adult cats is always an experience.


Saturday 12th of March 2022

It's very close, there is an open floor plan family room running into the kitchen, so the coffee pot is about equidistant to the sink from where it was on a kitchen counter before. :)