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)

83 Comments

  1. Maria says:

    I won a lazy Susan in a raffle. I looked it up on amazon and the thing was almost $90 US. It is hickory and vert nice but not worth $90. These are just as good, just as useful. Nice instructions. Are you tempted to stand on them and spin around?

  2. Amy Watson says:

    Ok you need a proof reader….attack and shold??? Just saying…you must have been really sleepy…

  3. Suzanne @ Le Farm says:

    I found a rubber snake on the housing to my ceiling fan the first time I cleaned it after I moved into my farmhouse. Someone was verrwy verrwy bad.
    And, months later, found a real one in my bedroom. Had I not trapped it in a mesh wastebasket, skidded it along the wood floors and kicked his very long ass out the front door, I would have had to move.

  4. Karen says:

    Were you a teacher in a previous life? Your instructions and pictures are so clear and easy to follow that I’m going to make one this weekend since you made it look so easy! Thanks for this great DIY.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Not that I know of. That’s funny because looking back on the post I thought … NO ONE is ever going to be able to follow this, lol. It’ll all make sense once you start to do it. Although it sounds like you’ll be fine. ;) ~ karen!

  5. Jake says:

    If anyone throws a plastic snake at me it’s your fault. I will not forget that fact.

    • Karen says:

      I hope you don’t because I want to make sure I’m the first one you email and tell about it! ~ karen

  6. Jackie says:

    Karen, You made me too tired to do anything – with all that drilling, spinning & screwing. I need to go & find my plastic snakes to throw at my neighbors. Good idea. Maybe I’ll write your name on them first.

  7. Olga says:

    I like how you explain to everyone that you just pretending to screw your Lazy Susan to the patio table lol. I wonder if anyone actually though “ohhh, did she screw her lazy Susan outside on the table (add random head scratch)???”. I bet you come across of a lot of interesting people lol

  8. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Great tut..cheap..errr..frugal..love Lazy Susans..

  9. LazySusan says:

    I cannot tell you how many Lazy Susans I find at garage sales. I cannot tell you, because I never counted, but almost every garage sale around here seems to have one or more, and I’ve been going to garage sales around here for a decade. They might be the smaller two-tier plastic ones, or very large single wood ones. I buy most of them, and find a use for them somewhere, like in the upstairs hall closet for first aid supplies, or my craft table for art supplies, or the top of the refrigerator so I can just whirl it around to get the potato chips or the crackers that are kept up there, or in the garage on the work bench, for nails and screws of the size we normally use. They cost anywhere from $1 for the very large wooden ones to 10 cents for the single tier plastic ones. Just a bit of information about where to find Lazy Susans, from another Lazy Susan. Love your Lazy Susans, Karen! I would imagine they will make it much easier to retrieve things from those big, deep cabinets!

    • Karen says:

      They do indeed. I like ’em because I could make them exactly the depth of the cupboards so I’m not wasting a single inch. ~ karen!

  10. Agnes says:

    Do you use an oil based primer on the MDF? I was recently working with some laser cut MDF and needed to make sure all the burnt edges were covered up since the project needed to be very white.

    I used a really good oil based Beautitone primer from Home Hardware…very low VOCs and dried in a couple hours. Then top coated in regular latex paint.

  11. Leslie says:

    Genius with the little drilled holes for attaching it to the foundation!

  12. JF says:

    OK, now that you’ve showed us how to make a Lazy Susan, can you tell me how to coax the ones in my cabinets to actually work?!?!?! it’s a two tier LS that came with the place and they inevitably get stuck and won’t rotate completely. . .wait, I have a Lazy Lazy Susan?!?

    anyway, can I adjust them or should I just get out my axe?

    • Deb J. says:

      JF – not sure exactly what kind of lazy Susan you might have but we fixed one installed at our cottage. It involved the centre pole and two shelves. The pole needs to rotate in its pivot points and the two shelves were attached to the centre pole with a screw that locked them into place. Failure at either point results in poor function. However, fixing the damned thing (poorly) involved actually getting into the cupboard and messing around with the parts. These things are put in before the countertops go on which makes access much easier. If you can’t climb into the cupboard (contortionists here we come!), the axe might be your answer.

      • JF says:

        Deb,

        doing my stretches as we speak! thanks for the info!

        hey, if you don’t hear back from me say, within a week or so, please call the rescue squad and ask them to bring the jaws of life!

  13. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    AWESOME…thanks for the tute! I’ve pinned this info. You are so clever.

  14. Bols says:

    I admit I got a bit confused with all the holes to be drilled but I know from plenty of my own experience that the fog will clear up once you start actually working on it.

    I don’t know what is the current situation but I bought a few of fairly large lazy susans at Home Outfitters. Probably not as large as Karen’s, I would estimate them approx 17″ or 18″ in diameter. These were purchased some 12+ years ago and I still have them. Like I said, not sure if they are still available.

  15. christine says:

    Did you know if you have a lazy susan on the table and you spin it fast enough a full size jar of pickles can become airborne and stain your rug forever?

  16. Mary Werner says:

    Seems like you need to make a DIY for a grabber, pincher, picker-upper thingy. My Mom had hip surgery and needed help picking up things so we found one at a store that sells hospital equipment like wheel chairs, toilet potties, etc. It works great for retrieving from the abyss, tall cabinets, or into narrow spaces next to the refrigerator. Anyway, it’s no wonder you needed a nap after all that spinning and screwing!

    • Becky says:

      I have a few of those grabber things you speak of… I found mine at Harbor Freight for $3. I use them for picking up trash that blows in my yard that I don’t want to touch.

  17. Ann says:

    I have to agree with Jack on the border. I have 2 built in Lazy Susan’s that are in blind corner cabinets. So much has fallen off behind that we can not ever get out. Luckily it is all non-food items like tupperware and such. Maybe in a regular type, easy to reach in cabinet it would all be fine. Unless something glass spins off and breaks. Now that could be a real mess to clean up

  18. Tigersmom says:

    Those are awesome. I found a huge wooden one at a thrift store that I use when I’m spray painting for twelve bucks after pricing similar ones new at around $70. (I paint in my garage and like to keep what I’m painting in the direction of the natural light from outside.) Good to know I can make one if this one ever dies.

    • Nancy Blue Moon says:

      Hey Tigersmom..same here..found huge wooden one at thrift store..first thought..this wood be great for spray painting..works great..very convenient..

  19. Jack Ledger says:

    My expertise here is entirely lacking but might I suggest a border edge around the circumference of each circle and slightly overlap the edge so that your favorite sauce doesn’t fall off into the abyss at the back of your cupboard to become unretrieveable for centuries.

  20. Dagmar says:

    I give you so much credit Karen. I am way too lazy to make a Lazy Susan, hey actually, how did they ever come up with that name ? But, even though I don’t make a good deal of the projects you speak of, I jump like a giddy little girl on the first day of school when I hear my iPad make that ping at midnight, and I know my new installment of what’s new in Karen’s world is here. (The Art of Doing Stuff) Hehehe

  21. Mandy Dunbar says:

    I love that you have to ‘attack’ the lazy Susan bearing onto the bottom – makes the whole venture seem slightly more daring!
    Great instructions :)

  22. Margaret K. says:

    Great instructions! I didn’t know the bases had access holes for the screwdriver to fit through to attach them onto your shelves – always wondered how you did that. By the way, in paragraph 2 of the instructions, I hope you are attaching the bearing, not attacking it. They look like they could be vicious if threatened.

    • Peg says:

      With any project involving me and a screwdriver, I am attaching and attacking! I can get it done, but it takes me 2-3 times longer than most men – life is not fair sometimes.

  23. Amber says:

    Hmm, I know a lazy Susan. She revolves quite frequently.
    Maybe she isn’t exactly lazy…

  24. Feral Turtle says:

    This is just bizarre!! I am in the process of making a big ass one for the floor in my pantry. In fact I just put the first coat of paint on it an hour ago…..so weird. Poor hubby has been after me for months to do this, and we happen to do it around the same time! I guess great Karens think alike….hehe Cheers.

  25. Becky says:

    I have said it before and I’ll say it again… YOU are a genius, and I think I love you.
    In a weird, sorta, I wish you were my sister, or my best friend kind of way, of course.

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