As the holidays loom on the horizon, many families have begun to make plans and gather essentials. For some, that means unpacking string lights and purchasing wrapping paper. For others—in particular, those homeowners bracing for the arrival of their eccentric out-of-town relatives—it's time to stock up on wine, beer, and liquor! Once you have all those potent potables on hand, wouldn't it be great to have an attractive, functional place to store and serve them? Why not build one yourself? If you think you don't have time to build a bar, think again: Any of these designs could be created in one productive weekend. 1. MOUNT A CABINET
Built of weathered wood and painted in a pastel hue, this drop-down drinks cabinet conserves floor space when not in use. While it would look great as a permanent addition to a sunroom or entertaining space, consider wall-mounting a similar setup either for one night only or for the duration of your guests' visit. 2. USE A SHELF
Those who rarely entertain may balk at the idea of building a dedicated bar at home. But if you're hosting visitors around the holidays, it may prove sociable to serve drinks in whichever room the family congregates. If you have a bookcase—and are up for reorganizing your collection a little—you are just one empty shelf away from an understated, serviceable bar area. 3. BUILD A BAR CART
In these days of smartphones and tablets, it's all about going mobile, and especially in small spaces, many now favor furniture that's easy to move around. Inspired by a retail item out of her price range, The Design Confidential drew up plans for a bar cart on wheels; experienced DIYers can build it for $50 or less. 4. TRANSFORM A BOOKCASE
Here's an equally economical (though much easier) way to build a bar: Buy a beat-up bookcase from a thrift store or flea market, then outfit the piece to store wine bottles, glassware, and liters of the hard stuff. Visit Apartment Therapy for step-by-step directions detailing the trash-to-treasure transformation pictured above. 5. STACK UP CRATES
Island Orchard Cider of Ellison Bay, Wisconsin, combined a cache of apple crates to construct the support structure for a steel-topped bar. (The stools, too, are built from the same type of wooden boxes.) What does it mean to build a bar? If you define the concept broadly, countless creative approaches are likely to arise in your mind.