How to Make a Lazy Susan (DIY)

How to make a Lazy Susan on the blog today because they’re the HANDIEST things for your cupboards. Plus they’re almost impossible to find unless you want a tiny, useless, plastic one.  Make this big DIY Lazy Susan for 8 bucks out of wood or MDF and a bit of hardware.

White Martha Stewart pantry cupboard opened to reveal shelves with lazy susans filled with canned and bottled goods.

 

Before you go any further you need to know I had every intention of making this the most entertaining post in the history of my blog.  Then I got sleepy.   And now I’d like to have a nap.  So instead, this is going to be the least wordy post in the history of my blog.

This is more of one of those informative type posts anyway so you should be fine with the lack of  all redeeming value, other than the information.

If you’d like to be entertained today, might I suggest throwing rubber snakes at your neighbours.

Onto the information!

If you’re on the hunt for a large, good quality Lazy Susan you’re out of luck.  There are no Susans, lazy or otherwise to be found anywhere.  Stores like Lowes and Home Depot carry the HUGE stacking Lazy Susans that go in base cabinets, but no one carries a regular Lazy Susan.  There are a few tiny plastic models around that you might use in your refrigerator but nothing for big cabinets.

When I first had my kitchen done I didn’t get ANY of the extras. You know, all those nice things that make your drawers and cupboards so nice? Yeah, I didn’t splurge on any of those. So the first thing I did when my kitchen was made over was make some Lazy  Susans for my cupboards. 

They’re incredibly easy to make and very, VERY affordable.


 

Lazy Susan Bearings.

O.K., there are two types of Lazy Susan bearings (hardware). Round and square.  Generally speaking the round ones are more expensive and bigger.

You can get away with the smaller, square mechanism for 95% of your Lazy Susananing needs. 

The larger round ones one however will make your Lazy Susan more stable if you choose NOT to screw it to your surface. On other words if you want a Lazy Susan that will be moveable and stand on its own for your countertop or tabletop you should use the round mechanisms.

How to Make a DIY Lazy Susan

Basically what you’re going to do is measure your cupboard to see how big a Lazy Susan you can fit into it, cut that sized circle out of a piece of MDF, prime it, paint it and attach the Lazy Susan bearing onto the bottom.  Easy, right?

Here it is in pictures …

 

2x4 foot panel of MDF laid on outdoor table with circles marked on it ready for cutting.

From a 2×4 sheet of MDF you’ll be able to get two large Lazy Susans.  These are 22″ across, so basically huge.

When you measure their size don’t forget to allow for some play inside the cupboard. In other words make the Lazy Susan a little smaller than the actual size of the cupboard interior.

 

Bosch jigsaw cutting through MDF to create circles.

Once your circles are drawn on the MDF just cut them out with a jigsaw. My jigsaw brand of choice is the Bosch and it should be yours too. I went through a LOT of jigsaws before I bought a Bosch and the difference between a crap jigsaw and a Bosch jigsaw is unbelievable. It’s steadier, more stable, less wiggly and it turns with precision.

Once your circles are cut, prime and paint what will be the top of your lazy susan. You can leave the bottom unfinished. 

All that’s left is attaching the hardware.

Lazy Susan hardware being fixed to the back of a circle of MDF.

Mark the centre of the underside of your circle and place the hardware over it.  The base of the hardware that’s flush with the MDF is screwed in right away. The wheel that turns will now be attached to your cupboard shelf. But to be able to do that you need to drill an access hole into your circle. 

 

Drilling an access hole through MDF that's large enough to fit a screwdriver through.

So you need to mark the point of the access hole with a pencil and then drill a hole through it that’s large enough for the head of your screwdriver to fit through.

 

Attaching a DIY lazy susan to a tabletop by dropping a screw into the access hole and then screwing it in through the access hole.

Lay your lazy susan onto the shelf you want to attach it to (in this case I’m pretending to attach it to my outdoor table, for demonstration purposes).

Spin it around until your screwdriver access hole is directly over a screw hole on the lazy susan plate like you can see below.

 

Three holes in MDF in a row revealing lazy susan hardware underneath.

 

 

Place a screw into the hole and screw it into place. Do this for all of the screw holes (there should be 4) securing the lazy susan to the shelf surface.

You’re done. That’s it.

Martha Stewart cupboards from Home Depot stacked like a pantry, with one door open revealing DIY lazy susans inside.

 

How to Make a Lazy Susan

How to Make a Lazy Susan

Yield: 1 lazy susan

Aside from the money savings, making your own lazy susan gives you the advantage of being able to make it the exact size you want.

Materials

  • 1/2" sheet of MDF ($8.50)
  • Lazy Susan hardware ($4-$9)
  • 8 screws
  • Paint

Tools

  • Jigsaw
  • Drill

Instructions

  1. Mark a circle on your MDF with pencil.
  2. Cut the circle out with a jigsaw.
  3. Prime and paint what will be the top portion of the Lazy Susan.
  4. Flip the circle over so you're working on the underside and find the centre. Mark it.
  5. Place your Lazy Susan hardware over the centre mark and screw it into place. You will be screwing only the part of the hardware that is in direct contact with the circle of MDF.
  6. Find the large circle on the hardware and mark it on the board underneath with a pencil. Drill a hole big enough for your screwdriver's head to fit through.
  7. Flip your Lazy Susan so it is right side up and place it where you want it to go (probably on a shelf.)
  8. Turn the Lazy Susan until your screwdriver access hole aligns with a hole on the hardware. Screw in a screw. Repeat this for all 4 screwing points on the hardware.
  9. You're done!

Notes

Circular lazy susan hardware is very similar and installed in a similar way.

1, 2x4 sheet of MDF will get you 2, 22" Lazy Susans.

Cost per Lazy Susan will be apx. $8 each.

Recommended Products

I'm an Amazon affiliate some I get a few cents when you buy something I've linked to.

In case the pictures were a bit confusing (and it is confusing until you make your first one) let me know and I’ll explain whatever you need to be cleared up.

The point of the big screw hole (the access hole) is so once your Lazy Susan is in place on the shelf, you have a little hole to fit your screwdriver through so you can screw your Lazy Susan mechanism to the base of your shelf.  It seems confusing and weird but once you do it yourself with the help of these instructions you’ll see that it all makes sense.

The round Lazy Susan mechanism gets attached in a similar way.

And that’s all there is to it. I made 7 of these for my kitchen. The cost of each will be slightly less than $8 for you if you make smaller Lazy Susans.

Now speaking of lazy, it’s time for that nap.
 

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How to Make a Lazy Susan (DIY)

84 Comments

  1. Nora says:

    Hi, Karen, Ikea actually sells some pretty large turntables (respecting the Susans of the world) but they are certainly not as cheap and it is great to be able to make them just the right size.

  2. Mary Edmondson says:

    I am not mechanically gifted. I reread your instructions and I think I’ve figured out that you have already answered my questions – I simply need to adapt to the different configuration. Your instructions could not be more clear and illustrative. However, some like me, need to pay closer attention and perhaps read through again to master the content. You very well might make DIYers out of all your fans. Thank you, Karen. Your postings are the highlight of my days.🥰

  3. Mary Edmondson says:

    I would like to make a really big free standing turntable. Will the hardware include whatever is needed to attach the top part to a bottom support? I need to know how to go about attaching the two pieces. Thanks, Karen.

  4. Debj says:

    Thanks so much. I just made two for my kitchen. I did 22” and followed your directions. So easy. I just love them. I’m only 5’ so I now can easily access things. You are a genius! Love your blog!

    • Karen says:

      That’s great! I’m so glad you made them and did it so quickly! Usually if you don’t do something right away, you don’t end up doing it, lol. :) ~ karen!

  5. billy sharpstick says:

    Another option for anyone not ready to commit. (Apartment renters, not decided on location yet). instead of screwing it to the cabinet floor, make a rectangle of plywood that is (almost0 the size of the cabinet floor and screw it to that.

  6. George McCarter says:

    I hope someone hasn’t written this idea before me but I didn’t want to spend the time to read all the comments. Sometimes you may have a cupboard that is wider than it is deep. To make a lazy susan for that space you can cut a segment off the front of the circle and mount it far enough forward so it will turn and still be able to shut the door when the flat segment is forward. Also there are various sizes of bearings and if you use a larger one you will not have to keep the sides balanced as well. I hope this makes sense to you. I am not a blogger.

  7. Kipley Herr says:

    Could you just use the top from one of those decorator tables that have three legs and one throws a table cloth over….?

  8. billy sharpstick says:

    I might try this to make a double decker one. We have a cheap plastic one we keep spices on. they are short bottles, less than half the height of the cabinet. Problem is sometimes bottles hide in the middle. I would solve this by mounting a column in the center to attach the upper shelf to. You could make a nice boxy thing, but I think a 4×4 would work fine. Nothing heavy is going on top. A thinner material would be adequate, too, say 1/4″ plywood. Might make it hard to reach the rear mounting screw hole, but I think 3 would be enough.

  9. LOIS M BARON says:

    I love lazy susans. Thanks for your clear explanation of how to put more of them in my life. :-)

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