A 10 Minute DIY Plant Dolly That Can Also Easily Move Major Appliances.

Move major appliances around your house as if they weigh NOTHING with this 10 minute DIY dolly.  Good for moving massive potted plants as well.  Your choice.

DIY dolly being used to easily roll a huge potted plant up a suburban street, being pulled by Karen Bertelsen, dressed all in white.

This is me parading up and down my street with a potted fig so I could get a good shot of my dolly. My neighbours are very good about ignoring me 90% of the time.

Skip right to the step by step guide.
 

Last week I had a bit of a scare when I discovered my home was filled with a gang of bongo playing meerkats.  I mean, it’s the last thing you expect really, even if you live in a place that has meerkats.  Which I don’t. If I’m being 100% honest, I was quite surprised at it all.

But that was the exact sound (bongo playing meerkats) that I followed from the upstairs of my house, through the foyer, down the hall and into the kitchen where there wasn’t a single meerkat to be found.  Which makes sense because there really are no meerkats here in Canada. I was just imagining things. 

Obviously, I was dealing with beavers. 

Poor things seemed to be locked somewhere in the guts of my clothes dryer making an alarming sound. Banging, clanging, screaming.  It’s no wonder I thought it was bongo playing meerkats.

Turns out it was neither a beaver nor a meerkat. What I had was a broken dryer.  If I’m being 100% honest, I was not surprised at all.

I’ve fixed my washer and dryer countless times over their 20 year lifespans. I’ve replaced fuses, motor brushes, belts and electrical panels on them. And every single time I fixed it I had to wiggle the stackable washer and dryer out of my “laundry closet”. A tiny little room just inches wider than the washer and dryer. 

The last time I fixed my dryer I vowed to never fix it again and with that revelation I ordered a new washer and dryer.  

The underside of the DIY dolly showing the four casters that lock in place against a stone tile background.

The night before it arrived, I quickly whipped up a DIY dolly so I could easily roll the new one in and out of the “laundry closet” whenever I need to.  So yes, my washer and dryer will be resting in the closet on this dolly forever so I can roll it in and out easily.  I’m not sure this is advisable (putting your stackable washer and dryer on a rolling dolly) and I’m pretty sure it isn’t something I would ever tell you to do.

But I’ll do it, see how it goes and then only one of us will cry if it ends in disaster, not a whole bunch of us.

Think of this more as a plant dolly which can do other stuff as well.

The casters I put on the dolly lock in place. So that’s helpful.

As I made up my little DIY dolly I realized making a miniature dolly is something I’d just do without really thinking about it, but others might not.  As I finished it even I was surprised at how handy one of these things would be for moving all sorts of stuff around the house. 

This thing makes moving my large potted plants around a breeze and is way sturdier than a plant dolly you would buy.  The plant I’m moving with it in the photo is my Olympian Fig.

The dolly I made will carry almost 400 pounds and can easily be stored anywhere because it’s only 2′ x 2′ and just a few inches thick.

Hey Dolly!  Wanna make one?  Here’s how you do it.

DIY Plant Dolly

A 10 Minute DIY Dolly

A 10 Minute DIY Dolly

Yield: 2' x 2' rolling dolly
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Estimated Cost: $40

Make this simple, small dolly with a few things from the hardware store and about 10 minutes.

Materials

  • 4, locking casters
  • 1, 2' x 2' sheet of 3/4" plywood
  • 16, 1/2 screws

Tools

  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Screwdriver or ratchet
  • 2 hooks
  • Rope

Instructions

  1. Position casters in each corner of the plywood.
  2. Drill pilot holes for screws.
  3. Screw in casters.
  4. Attach hooks to one side of dolly edge.
  5. Attach rope to hooks.

Notes

Obviously you can make this any size you want.

Make sure to check the weight restriction on your caster wheels and compare the total weight to what you intend to carry.

Again. I am not condoning or recommending putting your washer and dryer on a moving dolly. But so far so good for me.

If I’m upstairs and hear the sound of  skydiving buffalos, I’ll know I made a mistake.

 

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←

 

A 10 Minute DIY Plant Dolly That Can Also Easily Move Major Appliances.

30 Comments

  1. Rod from Calgary says:

    Yoinks! Newer washers have very high spin rates, Karen. I’d betcha your washer’s installation instructions say “on solid flooring, and level all around”. I think you’re gonna be the source of a 5.2 Richter-scale earthquake when that washer gets spinning…

    • Sarah McDonnell says:

      Which is why Karen said for us to NOT do it. However, the chances of finding “solid flooring, level all around” in an elderly house are greatly increased by putting the washer on a flat thing with wheels that lock. Just in my old house experience. If it falls off it will likely be caught and supported by one of those cloth-covered electrical wires. Again, just in my old house experience

    • Karen says:

      I know. I’ve already taken the washer and dryer off! But I had to test it and know for myself. It did fine at a medium spin rate, just not at high. :/ It’s back to being a plant dolly, lol. ~ karen!

      • Sarah McDonnell says:

        Doh! Light bulb moment!! What if you put one of those rubbery things that keep carpets from sliding UNDER the washer between washer and dolly???
        My lawyer says to highlight that this is theoretical talk only. Not suggesting that it should be done.

  2. Mark says:

    I was hoping you were going to show us how to make one of those vacuum operated hover lifters (my technical term) that I have seen fridge movers use….

  3. Tracy says:

    I was so excited to read that I am not the only person who would think that this is a very cool idea! About 8 years ago I made myself a rectangular DIY dolly for my little freezer that I kept in a tight space in our laundry room, slightly overlapping the trap door to the crawl space below our house, AND slightly tucked under a small shelf. We moved into a house with similar space issues and the dolly-freezer combo is still going strong. I did put a piece of carpet on my dolly before putting the freezer on it. I don’t remember why. I think it just seemed more like the dolly belonged in the house and not in the garage that way.

    • Karen says:

      Well sure you carpeted it. Now it’s basically upholstered, so it’s almost furniture! Definitely house worthy. Makes sense to me. ~ karen!

  4. Dd51 says:

    My question is : how do you get a large plant, say a hundred pounds up into a larger pot so you can roll it where ever you want? Does it live forever on top of the dolly? And I will predict now your washer and dryer combo will creat more problems with a spin cycle long, long before you need to pull it out to fix anything. Imagine the fun and excitement of somehow getting your w/d out the closet after it shimmies off the plywood base and tilts forward out of the closet. Keep us informed.

    • Karen says:

      Washer dryer has already been moved off the dolly, lol. It was fine, it didn’t go flying off. I just knew one day it definitely would. The pot I’m using here is a 5 gallon bucket that’s in a larger pot to hide the 5 gallon bucket. They live together like that. For using the dolly to move plants around, it’s more for moving them distances. I can lift 100 pounds for instance, I just can’t lift it and walk with it from one end of the house to the other. Usually. Unless I’ve eaten a lot of kale. ~ karen!

  5. Mossum says:

    But, my question is not about the dolly, that’s the easy part, it’s getting stuff ON the dolly.

    • Dd51 says:

      Good point.

    • Karen says:

      With things that are big and bulky, you just need someone to help you lift it on. My sister helped me take the washer/dryer off of the dolly. So you can lift a washer, dryer or dishwasher onto it. A refrigerator? Yes, that’d be more difficult. ~ karen!

  6. SuzNKton says:

    I used those slide coaster things to out the washer/dryer into place but then removed them. But, i have to say, I am starting to see the merits of your plan. My sons have recently switched up rooms. I am absolutely horrified by the crud I had to clean when I moved out the one boy’s captain bed. The dust/hair/can’t tell what all that had accumulated under the wooden frame was roughly the equivalent of a small animal. And the bed had only been in place for _years. I can’t imagine bigger furniture that doesn’t get moved. This is my naivete from moving every few years but I had no idea that dust could accumulate behind and under things.

    • whitequeen96 says:

      Oh yes! I wish I could post this anonymously, but I neglected to vacuum behind a heavy sofa in our den. (Honestly, it was an experiment in particulate accumulation! 😉 I finally moved the console table between the sofa and wall after 10 or so years and discovered the dust had formed a sort of mat of felt underneath. Yuck!

  7. Linda B says:

    Years ago we had trouble with water in our basement, where we also had an office. One large metal cabinet was a problem until we did what you did…built a dolly to keep it on. It kept it off the moisture and allowed us to easily move it away to do cleanup and dry everything. It is still sitting on the dolly 20 years later, happy and dry. It did help to finally fix the problem of water coming in, but you never know! P.s. Solution for putting the big pot on the dolly…have the dolly ready, and wait for reinforcements to come visit and help!

  8. Bonnie Gutierrez says:

    To address a comment about the dolly being more level than an old floor: if the floor is not level the dolly will not sit evenly. I think most washer/dryers have levelers on them butI know this is not what your concern is about, Karen. I am anxious to hear how this works out because you have constructed a very useful item. If you are confronted with the sound of elephants roller skating and then falling over, you’ll know!

  9. Jane says:

    Hi, Karen, I notice that your fig sits in a 10-gallon bucket. Is that its permanent place? Do you get ripe figs off it? Mine is in the ground, in a sunny spot in front of a south-facing wall, since the day I bought it. Every year, it grows to about 6 feet tall, fruits, and dies back in winter. Unfortunately, the figs don’t have a chance to ripen before frost hits. I’m also in zone 5.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jane. I’m in Zone 6b, so very similar. I used to plant my fig trees right in the ground and as you say they’d die back every winter and then regrow. I’d always get a few figs. I ended up pulling them out because it was silly to grow them for a couple of figs. This is my first year growing them in buckets (which I’ll then bring into the house or potting shed for the winter). So I’ll let you know how it goes! ~ karen!

  10. Mary W says:

    I love a parade! Another useful purpose for you is to carry off lots of corn on the cob from your annual block party. I had to break down and get a dolly with larger wheels as I need to move plants and ‘stuff’ over dirt, gravel, grass, and sand. But putting all my large plant pots around the pool deck would be SOOOOOO useful to have permanent plant dollies under each one. (Until the grands come over and change my beautiful plant arrangements into a shuffle board court.) Your noise reminded me of something that happened about 50 years ago in bed about 2 AM. My husband and I were sound asleep until awakened by a horrible extremely loud woman screaming in the living room. No one else lived in our house. When the deafening sound stopped, I poked my husband and said go see what is in there. He said I didn’t hear anything. So we both got up and carefully creeped into the living room when the screaming started again – from the wall unit air conditioner. Even though it scared us again so that we could hardly breathe, we started laughing. Until I remembered him saying he didn’t hear anything, then I got mad at him, then we started laughing again. Great memories!

  11. Andrea says:

    Retractable casters are a thing…..

  12. Capt Ron says:

    Your idea is awesome! One comment – Harbor Freight puts furniture dollies on sale frequently for $7-12 and that is a price you can’t buy the casters for. They are 2.5-3″ wheels but are cheap and runners are carpeted. Of course, this denies the fun of saying “I made that”.

  13. Lin N says:

    Made a wheeled platform years ago. Can’t say how many times it has come in handy. Need to put better wheels on it tho. I too, have fixed my stacking washer/dryer and have just purchased a very good condition used set, a lot newer than my 16 yr. old set. Old set still works, but new set has much bigger tubs. Putting it on a dolly…hmmm, even if wheels lock, there’s a lot of vibration, moreso if there’s uneven weighting in washer. I look forward to hear how this works for you. Please post on this. Thanks!

  14. J says:

    Wow-what a good idea! Thank you.

  15. Jack says:

    In the Materials list the third item reads “1”. One what?

  16. leo muzzin says:

    cut an oval on one side about an inch or 2 in and you can easily carry it like a portfolio case when not wheeling it.

  17. Kat says:

    Now I need a bunch of dollies. I just know it! lol 😀

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