How to Create Your Own Pop-Up Drinks Cabinet at Home

A home bar can be fun, but a pop-up drinks cabinet is much more enjoyable. With a bar, you get a nice entertainment station where you can host friends and families. When you throw parties or other events, the bar will serve as a focal point. In addition, having a chilled drink can relieve stress in some situations.

However, you may not want everyone to know that you have a home bar when they visit. Or, perhaps, you have minors, and you’re skeptical about what could happen if you’re not at home. Well, these are valid considerations, but they shouldn’t stop you from setting up your bar. That’s why we advise going for a pop-up drinks cabinet, and we’ll explain how you can make one.

Pop-Up Drinks Cabinet

What is a Pop-up Drink Cabinet? 

If you have a cabinet at home, picture setting up a couple of bottles and drinking glasses on top of it. That’s easy to achieve, and with a good lineup of brands, you already have your bar. However, the difference with a pop-up drink cabinet is that your bottles and glasses won’t stay on the surface all the time. Instead, they’ll descend into the cabinet and remain hidden when you don’t want to access the bar. But if you need a drink, then, the cabinet opens, and your bottles and glasses pop up.

Besides bottles and drinking glasses, you can keep shakers and ice buckets inside your cabinet. Whatever you need for a bar can go in, and you can go with any design. The design here refers to the size and appearance of the pop-up cabinet. You can check out this ingenious idea of a liquor cabinet that looks like a Cadillac. But in general, if you plan to house many bottles and drinks, you’ll need something large and spacious — like a multi-step liquor shelf.

Components of a Pop-up Drink Cabinet

Knowing the various parts is the first step toward building a pop-up drink cabinet. The good thing is that not many components are in play, so grasping how the cabinet works should be easy. For most applications, you’ll only need the cabinet, a tabletop, and a sturdy lift mechanism.

The cabinet is what holds the drinks and bottles, as already explained. Meanwhile, the tabletop is the furniture where you install the cabinet. It can be a different cabinet or cupboard or some other tabletop furniture with sufficient space to house the pop-up lift. Ideally, the tabletop should be wide, irrespective of the cabinet size. That way, you’ll be comfortable when preparing and serving drinks.

Then, about the lift mechanism, you should go for an electric setup. Note that the lift mechanism is essentially what makes the pop-up drinks cabinet work. As a result, care is advised when setting it up.

Choosing the best lift mechanism for your pop-up drink cabinet

For the best results, you should use a linear actuator for your pop-up drink cabinet’s lift mechanism. Motion with a linear actuator is efficient, so your cabinet will slide up smoothly. You get to program the speed and height you want the device to reach. The right linear actuator for your pop-up drink cabinet will depend on certain factors. However, the two most important are stroke length and weight capacity.

You’ll most likely install the lift at the bottom of your cabinet, cupboard, or other tabletop. If it’s tall, which is most likely, the actuator will need to travel a long length. That means you need an actuator with more stroke length. Alternatively, you can consider a telescopic or rod-style device instead of a track linear actuator.

Regarding the weight capacity, it depends on how big you want the cabinet bar to be. Of course, if many drinks are on display, the actuator must have sufficient carrying capacity to lift the cabinet. You should also consider how you operate the linear actuator, which, in other words, means how you activate the pop-up lift. For that, a button or remote-controlled option would work. 

Making a Pop-up Drink Cabinet

With the right materials and tools, you don’t need expert help to assemble your pop-up drink cabinet. You start by choosing a location. As explained, you need a tabletop, which can be a different cabinet or cupboard. You can even use a simple wooden box, but that won’t carry much aesthetics.

Next, gather the materials you’ll be working with. Besides the linear for the lift mechanism, you’ll also need some hinges, screws, and bolts. However, these will usually come with the pop-up cabinet, along with other items required to keep the setup stable.

You’ll need to cut an area at the top of your tabletop where the pop-up cabinet will pass through. Do this carefully without damaging the furniture, as it still needs to be enclosed when the cabinet is concealed.

Proceed to install the lift mechanism. Mount the linear actuators to the floor or wall of the cabinet, depending on the design. Then, tighten the screw and bolts and connect the motion device to a power source. Activate the setup using your remote or switch to confirm it works.

For more elegance — which we recommend — you should consider adding lights to make the cabinet attractive. Finally, add your bottles and glasses and other accessories you want. With that, your pop-up drink cabinet is ready to go. If you are satisfied with your setup, you should check out other applications where you can use actuators at home.


Use a pop-up drinks cabinet to introduce a stylish bar to your home. It doesn’t consist of many parts, so you should find it simple to set up and manage. However, note that the cabinet will only work optimally if you use the right lift mechanism, and for that, linear actuators are what we recommend.

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