Introduction: The Art Trolley

About: I'm a Portuguese stone sculptor. For years I have been addicted to working with stone, but lately, I started to diversify my materials and techniques. The main reason being the slowness of stonework. Because …

Hi, and welcome to this instructable were I'll guide you to the necessary steps to create The Art Trolley.

I have kids at home. Like me, they love art, especially the messy kind. In the end, it looks like a tornado has swept their bedrooms. Markers, crayons, pencils, and brushes dripping with paint; open paint tubes, sheets of paper and cardboard; tiny rubber bands, paper clips, and beads; duct tape sticking to the shoes, everything scattered, messy and dangerous. If I ask them to put the supplies in the correspondent drawer when they finish playing, they just throw them all inside the drawer like it was trash, open glue flask and all, with their little sticky painted fingers getting printed all over the furniture.

I then started observing their play more attentively and noticed that when they finished playing, they didn't like to make several trips to the drawer, with supplies falling from their tiny hands. That's when I had the idea to make something mobile, so they didn't have to make those perilous journeys, and thus was born The Art Trolley. At first, I thought of Art Cart for the name but it rhymed and was already taken on the internet :)


  • Old or new shopping trolley
  • Shelving system parts
  • Plastic boxes
  • Plastic coated copper wire
  • Plastic cups
  • Coat hanger with pegs
  • Plastic cable ties
  • Magnets

Step 1: The Shelving System

First of all, take disassemble the bag from the cart. It's usually attached with velcro so, this is an easy step.
Next, grab two perforated bars from the shelving system and attach them to the vertical tubes of the trolley with the cable ties. Make sure the flat face is facing forwards and the convex one is facing back. If you can't find this kind of shelving system, you can use others, like Dexion, for instance. And I'm pretty sure IKEA has something like that also so, use your imagination. The system I'm using is great because it allows one to reposition the shelves supports to adapt to various heights or simply remove them to free space. The way I did it, if my wife asks for the trolley to go shopping, I just disassemble it and attach the bag part again.

Step 2: The First and Second Layers

Now go get one of your boxes filled with supplies and lay it on the horizontal tubes were the fabric bag used to be. Of course, if you move the cart right now, everything will eventually fall because the box isn't attached to these tubes. I just grabbed some magnets and fixed them on the underside of the box with hot glue so it won't fall, but is, at the same time, easily removable and repositionable.
Now gather two shelves supports and attach them to the vertical bar as shown in the picture. This will be layer two. You can decide later how you want to organize your supplies because of the ease in repositioning things. Maybe put the messy supplies on the bottom and the clean ones on top so they don't get dirt with drips. Don't forget to glue the magnets under the boxes so they won't fall.

Step 3: The Third Layer

After laying the second box of supplies I decided where to attach the supports for the third and final shelf. I used longer ones in this case and on the ends, I just rolled a foot of plastic covered copper wire to hang duct tape rolls.
Clothes hangers with pegs in them are great for supporting flat stuff like paper sheets, canvas, or even bags with supplies. And you can hang them in the cart everywhere you like. Besides using one of these hangers to hang a blank canvas, I used another one to support an extra box for rulers, squares, protractors, etc. Now, my kids have the supplies near them and are building a taste for organizing, as I notice everything is more or less in the place it should be. Then the floor is also less cluttered and clean. In the end, they just drive the cart to a corner and even that simple trip, that used to be a martyrdom, is now fun and safe. I hope you liked this instructable. Bye!

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