Put a wheel on it

November 19, 2013

I’m back with a super easy update that I seem to like…a lot. I started thinking about all the times I’ve made this little change to an item and they added up fast.

I think it’s a fun detail that also adds some functionality to a piece you already have. If it needs a little something -- just do what I do…put a wheel on it. ;)

These small castors are so cheap at the hardware store – I think two or three bucks for two of them. If that? You can get the plastic ones for even cheaper.

I added them to a little shelf I found at Goodwill years ago:

book caddy

It’s easy to wheel it around wherever and they add a bit of height to something that may be too short otherwise.

I got an inexpensive ottoman for our basement last year that was super functional (there’s storage space inside):

ottoman with storage

But I wanted to be able to move it out of the way easily, so I picked up four of the slightly larger castors and screwed them into the bottom:

adding wheels to furniture

I love the copper color on those. :) They come in this copper color and brass. I think silver too?

Awhile back I added them to the coffee table in the family room so we could push it around if needed:

bold graphic rug

Still can’t believe the difference a new rug made in there. ;)

I’ve been thinking about adding them to my next victim for awhile. A couple years ago I made over a clearanced caddy for the kiddo’s markers and crayons in my office:

art caddy

I wanted to add wheels to this too, but it was really deep underneath (the bottom wasn’t flush), so I didn’t do it back then because I’d have to add some wood to make them work. (I thought the wheels would have looked awkward because they would be so deep underneath there.)

Well, my wheel obsession continues and I decided to make the little update to this finally. The bonus was that I found four wheels in the garage clean out, so it didn’t cost me anything!

I emptied it out (this also gave me a good reason to go through the markers that seem to multiply) and measured the length I needed for the scrap wood:

See how deep that is? That’s why I wanted to make it more flush on the bottom. And yes, there’s a cat in there. There’s always a cat.

See the paws?

He likes to “help.”

So anyway, I cut down the wood and just used wood glue to secure it to the bottom:

I could have used a nail gun but I didn’t feel like dragging it out and I didn’t want to risk the nails to come up through the bottom of the caddy. I couldn't tell how thick that bottom shelf was.

Not helping:

And yes, there were a lot of markers in there.

Here’s the little castors I used:


They have more of an antique brass finish. Love it.

You’ll want to make sure the spacing is fairly equal when you install – I just eyeballed them:

Adding wheels

And that’s it! You just want to make sure you have some kind of wood for them to screw in to. If there’s not you can always add some scrap like I did to make it more secure:

craft caddy

If you don’t have to mess with adding wood or anything it should only take you ten minutes or so to install the wheels. Or 30 if you have a cat helping.

There are also locking castors so you can secure something you don’t want floating around the place. :)

Now we can easily roll the caddy around my office:

craft caddy with wheels

Or take it all the way to the kitchen table for projects. This thing is heavy so being able to wheel it around is helpful.

Cute eh? I think it’s a fun little detail. I’m always looking for ways to make store-bought pieces more unique and this does it. Do you ever do this in your home? It’s such an easy and cheap project!

P.S. If a wheel doesn’t work you could always put a bird on it.

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  1. I love all the wheels! I was just dreaming about using some old doors and hinging them together and putting wheels on them to make a giant screen separating my third car garage (aka the workshop) from the two where the cars will be. The house isn't built yet, but soon...I can turn that dream into a reality. I love how you've used wheels in your home. Would love for you to follow along as we build our home. www.dreamingofdiy.com

  2. Ha! Put a bird on it. lol. Anyhoo. Love the wheel ideas. Your a genius! :)

  3. Love this!This looks great.Great use of wheels.

    Keep it Touched,

  4. How do the floors hold up to all the wheeling around? I just installed new floors and I am TERRIFIED of scratching them... though I'm sure it will happen eventually!

    1. They don't scratch ours at all! Our floors are finished on site and hold up pretty well to stuff, I'm not sure about other kinds though. ;)
      And I just realized that bottom pic has scratches on the floor but those are from years ago -- right after we had them installed of course. You can only see them when the sun hits them just right. ;)

  5. This is a genius idea! I'm pretty sure I need to do this to all of my furniture!

  6. When my son was in his cars phase I added castors to a plain three drawer chest and painted it a bright glossy red to make it look like a mechanics rolling tool chest. It turned out really cute and I still love that chest because I can roll it out of the way to clean underneath it.

  7. That's a great idea! I have a sofa at my dining table that's just a little too short so I want to add some wheels to it if I can find some small enough to go with the legs. You just reaffirmed that I should def try to do it! I love the little storage caddy for the markers and things; now I want to find something like that for my kids' art supplies!

  8. Love the idea, but I too had issues with an ottoman we had on our hardwood floors. Not scratches per say, but dents/grooves. Of course, the dogs are just as bad. LOL

  9. What a great idea. I love your living room TOO just gorgeous

  10. AWWW! I knew exactly what I was going to write and you finished your post with it! You do seem to have a little obsession, yes:)

  11. How smart! I've never thought of adding wheels to anything, but it seems to be a great idea! Thanks!

  12. Wow !! You make it look so easy !!

  13. I love the added wheels, this is perfect and I really love the square coffee table. It is so perfect for the space. Hugs, marty

  14. Wheels make everything better, don't they? And so do kitties. They are always helpful. I have one trying to help me eat my dessert right now. :)

  15. It's like, Put A Bird On It. But more functional. :)

  16. I'm literally looking around my house from the couch to see what I can put wheels on. great idea.

  17. Ok, I want to put wheels on something NOW!

  18. Casters are the best. Anything you can roll instead of breaking your back to move is a great thing. Your garage looks great.

  19. This is a good idea I have never thought about. My house is very small and I love it, but I do have to keep things organized. Right now I have two Rubbermaid type drawer sets in my closet for my "portable office." It would be so nice to just roll them out as opposed to dragging them every time I need to use them.

  20. I'm totally on this bandwagon. I've used those lovely little antique brass casters to make 2 rolling crates for my kids' playroom! I had to add scrap wood, too, since I had this bases to deal with. The first crate is one of the ones from Michael's and the other is a big old melon crate that a neighbor used to use when he did deliveries for a grocery store about 50 years ago! How cool is that?!

  21. Isn't it true, just adding wheels to something does make it more useful!

  22. Like a few others here, I wonder about the wheels and the wood floors?

    1. Ours hold up fine with them -- the wheels themselves are plastic so we've never had a problem, but not sure how other hardwoods would hold up! I would think they'd be OK?

  23. Great idea and I love the rug :) I have the same one!

  24. My wheel project list has grown from one to three now, and I haven't done any of them yet. I should really get started, shouldn't I?!

  25. I love your living room! It's gorgeous! and, wow, that rug. love it. OK, I have two questions. Where did you get the framed light green bulletin board? (You prob made it?) And what about the one, two, three thing? Did you make that as well?

  26. Where did you get the storage ottoman? I have been looking for one just like that! Thanks!! :)

  27. Love your great ideas...and your house! Can you tell me where you got those 2 teal glass lamps? I've been looking everywhere for ones like that. Thanks!

  28. I swear by the adhesive wheels from The Container Store. Once you put them on, it would take the jaws of life to remove them. I first saw them on Alejandra's Color Coded website and YouTube channel.

  29. That is so cute! It would be so handy to be able to move it around the house. I love seeing the kitties in your pics too! Cute!

  30. We have an orange kitty also, they are so sweet and smart. Ours doesn't like to be held or hugged as he was a barn cat most of first year of his life, then he decided to come adopt us.
    I put casters on anything I can to make it easier to move things when I clean. I have one of old fashioned picnic baskets I use to store some of my craft supplies when I'm working in kitchen on the island. Hubs added some wood on bottom to put castors on it. Makes it so much easier to move around house where I need it. Also put castors on an ottoman. I'd like to put castors on our couch so we can move it easier when I get the wild urge.
    Love your living room, so snazzy.
    I love that caddy you use for art supplies, going to pin this so hubs can make one for me. Love that it won't take up much room being taller. And it will have castors on bottom. Sure nice to have a handy hubs. He'll make it if we don't get snow that is. Just never know here on the western slope, west of Grand Junction, CO. Happy Thanksgiving

  31. Hi,

    I was wondering where you got the ottoman. Ive been looking for one like this for ages. Thank you!!

  32. "And yes, there’s a cat in there. There’s always a cat." That sounds like my kind of home! Thank-you for this post; I really enjoyed it.


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