Krissy Whiski mobile art cart

Art Cart Build

Hi, I am Jeff. I will tell you about the Art Cart Build.

The idea for the Art Cart came from Krissy's desire to live paint in unusual places easily. So, we designed and built the Art Cart.

Design Criteria

  • Fit flat into the back of the Subaru Outback
  • Be able to stack things on top when disassembled (easel, stool, canvas, etc)
  • Fit in standard door openings
  • Hold all her supplies to paint
  • Be at a height where the supplies are easy to get to while sitting or standing
  • Be able to handle a 1/4 mile walk
  • Able to be assembled by one person
  • Be a stand for a beach umbrella with typical beach wind
  • Inflated wheels to have a smoother ride and get over thresholds easily


There was no planning other than some sketches on sticky notes of maximum dimensions!

It would have two shelves, which would be boxes to hold things. The bottom shelf would mount the wheels and kickstands. Then, four pieces of wood would hold the top shelf where handles would mount for pushing the cart. Everything would be held together by bolts with wood handles going into thread inserts into the wood.

To be strong enough, 3/4" plywood was used for the shelf bottoms and the stands for the top shelf. The sides of the boxes would be 1/2" popular, and the handles and kickstands were leftover wooden closet rods.

The Build

 The first step was building the boxes for the bottom. This photo is of the two of them stacked on top of each other.

Art cart boxes

Then, it came to cutting and shaping the stands to hold the top shelf. Krissy did a quick sketch to make sure it could be appropriately adorned.

Art Cart Shelf Stands

Then, it was a matter of building the mounts to hold the handled and kickstand legs and the bolt assemblies.

Art Cart Handle Position  Art Cart Kick Stand

Art cart building bolts

Mounting the handles was over-engineered, as seen here.

Art Cart Handle Mounts

The wheels were mounted with bolts and nuts glued into wood blocks. I thought the washers would keep them from over-tightening (I was wrong!)

Art Cart Tire Bolts

This is what it looked like fully assembled for the first time.

Art Cart First Assembly side view Art Cart first assembly handle view

Art Cart first assembly front view

Things got painted a lovely blue that Krissy picked out.

Art Cart painting parts

Then we set it all up for a test in the driveway!

Art Cart driveway dry run

Lessons Learned

  • The bolts for the wheels were a bad idea; the washers were not slick enough, so one wheel would tighten and the other loosened. These were replaced with hitch pins from the tractor store.
  • The mounts with threaded rods were too complicated; the threads could just have been in the box's side, which would have been fine.
  • It is too broad and bulky in smaller spaces; it must be about 8" skinnier. The front to back is about right, which helps with umbrella stability.
  • The handles are great for hanging things!

The First Show

This is also where a pinstriper put Krissy's logo on the cart!

Art Cart First show

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