I kept seeing golf club caddys at garage sales and it occurred to me that they are made to go over rough terrain, grass, and to haul heavy loads. Then the light bulb went off and I realized that it was the perfect base for making a Garden Cart! With a few modifications using inexpensive or free supplies, I have a great way to haul my tools around the yard AND I can fold it up to make storage easier at the end of the season!
Before we start, it's important to understand that each cart/caddy is unique. You will need to tailor my instructions to fit the peculiarities of your cart. I will try to give general instructions and tips that should give you the basic premise.
(Sorry, for some reason I couldn't get the rotated version of the photo to save and upload.)
Step 1: Supply List:
Straps - the green straps in the photo are freebies from the lumber yard. I wander through the store and pick these up off the floor. The managers now save them for me because I'm such a regular, LOL! Seriously, do the landfills and your local store a service and pick these up. You're keeping people from slipping on them and they are great for chair caining and other craft items like this.
Golf Club Caddy - watch for a nice one at garage sales. I typically pay $5.
(2) Popcorn Tins - these are more garage sale items. In my area (Des Moines, IA) I get them for free to 25 cents.
Empty Coffee Can - this is another freebie. If you don't drink coffee, I bet you can pick one up at the office or from a neighbor.
Nuts/Bolts - I used #6-32 Stove Bolts (1/2" long x 1/8" dia round head)
Grommets - are an optional touch. They are a nice way to add extra strength to the holes you will be punching.
Wood Screws - this will depend largely on the design of your cart. You may or may not need this.
Big Bite (scrapbooking tool for placing grommets - yes, it goes through the can easily!)
Screwdriver or other tool to start hole
Tin Snips - I used this to cut off the bottom of my popcorn tin. I will say that this isn't the safest choice but I was too lazy to dig out my band saw. Use whatever you feel safe using. If you can get a hold of one of those large can openers used at restaurants, that would be a great way to go.
Drill with Drill bits and screwdriver bits
Step 2: Overview:
This is the general idea for the Garden Cart.
#1 - You need to have a small bucket at the bottom that will allow you to put small garden tools inside without requiring you to dig too deeply. 5 gallon buckets are okay but they are more expensive than the popcorn tins and not as versatile.
#2 - You need the 2nd popcorn tin in order to keep the larger items from tipping out of your cart.
#3 - The coffee can is a great way to store twine and scissors. It's easy to cut a cross in the top for the twine to pull through as well as providing storage for the scissors. Also, it's easy to get the lid on ad off to replace the twine as it runs out.
With all that being said, let's get started designing your cart.
By the way, I've attached a photo of my very first cart so you can see how to adapt your cart.
Step 3: Binding the Bottom Bucket
Put the bottom bucket on first. It's important that you do this so you can line up the top bucket. If you're lucky, your cart might have some straps that came with it in order to stabilize the golf bag.
I did need a small board in order to have an angle I liked on the bucket. This is where the modification comes into play. I also found that I liked the stability better on this cart if I screwed through the bucket and into the frame while attaching some of the straps.
1. Use the Big Bite to punch holes in your straps and the tin. I would recommend that you punch one end of your strap. Wrap the strap around the bucket and mark the hole placement. Then you will take the strap off and punch the other end of the strap.
2. Use the bolts to go through your straps AND the popcorn tin. Hold the bolt in place with a nut.
1. You can use grommetts for reinforcement but it isn't necessary.
2. Have someone help you hold the straps tight so you can easily line the holes up and punch through the tin. You can do it alone if you're ambidextrous or creative but it's faster and easier with an assistant.
Step 4: The Tin at the Top
The purpose of this tin is to stabilize the tools in your cart. Therefore, it must be bottomless. Since this really isn't going to bear much weight it's not a problem to make it into a tube.
You will note in the photographs that I've attached some blocks of wood to the back of this tin. This is another example of being flexible and fitting the cart to the task. Because of the way the cart was designed I needed to have the support of the wood to make sure this tin lined up with the bottom tin. It also came in handy for attaching the straps.
Use the same methods for attachment on this tin as you did for the first.
Step 5: Stabilizing Your Can
I can't emphasize this enough...each cart is different! That being said, I have used some tricks to stabilize my cans.
In this photo you will see how I put a bolt through the tin and into a part of the frame. I simply didn't like the way this tin wobbled so I looked for a likely spot for attaching a bolt or some other support to this portion of the cart. It was as simple as one little bolt and the problem was solved.
Step 6: Twine Control
This is one of the best features on the cart and it's SO EASY.
1. Use the Big Bite to punch 2 holes in your coffee can.
2. Reinforce holes with grommetts.
3. Use bolts to attach the can to the side of your top popcorn tin.
4. Using a sharp tool, cut an "X" in th lid of the coffee can.
5. Put twine in the can and thread the twine through your "X" then put the lid on the can.
6. Put a pair of scissors into the "X" and you're ready to go.
Step 7: Now It's Time to Customize Your Cart!
You are now ready to fill up the cart and customize it. As you can see from the photo I have clipped a tape measure to the cart. You may want to add other things like a bandaid tin pocket for gloves, wire, twist ties, etc. You might also want to look around and see what kind of things you have around your garage that will make pockets.
No matter what you will be the envy of the neighborhood with your little caddy. I know I've made several of these for friends and neighbors. I started making them about 4 years ago and I've had to make one or two every Christmas not to mention all the people who put them on their Birthday Gift List. If you have any questions about what I've tried on others, feel free to write me. I'm happy to help.