How to Make a Lazy Susan

Small bowls of food on a wooden lazy Susan.

chameleonseye / Getty Images

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 30 - 45 mins
  • Total Time: 2 - 4 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10

By building your own lazy Susan, you can maximize your storage space while protecting your countertop from scratches as you grab the supplies you need. Place one in your pantry or kitchen cabinet to hold things like spices and condiments, or keep it on your desk to hold your office supplies. You can use a lazy Susan for almost anything you need easy access to—the options are virtually limitless.

Unfortunately, well-made lazy Susans are difficult to find. With this tutorial, you can skip the search and make your own DIY lazy Susan with a few simple supplies. This DIY is simple and straightforward, making it suitable for all skill levels (though you will need to use power tools, so it isn’t kid-friendly). You can grab everything you need at your local home improvement store.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Jigsaw
  • Circle-cutting jig or compass
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Electric sander or sandpaper

Materials

  • Lazy Susan turntable hardware
  • 2-foot x 4-foot sheet of plywood
  • 4 screws
  • Contact paper or paint

Instructions

  1. Measure Your Space

    Maybe you’re placing your lazy Susan on your desk to hold your office supplies, or maybe you’re fitting it into a cabinet for easy access to your jars of spices and seasonings. Either way, measure the space where you want to place it. Measure the length and width of the area to ensure that your lazy Susan will fit nicely. 

    While this step is crucial if you’re placing your lazy Susan inside a cabinet, it’s okay to make rough measurements if size isn’t critical, like if you’re placing it on top of a large table.

    Tip

    If you’re putting your lazy Susan inside a cabinet, make sure to make the unit itself smaller than the cabinet to give it some room to spin without bumping up against the cabinet walls.

  2. Draw and Cut out a Circle

    Take your measurements and use them to draw a circle on your piece of wood. You can either use a circle-cutting jig, compass, or you can make your own with string cut to your desired diameter and a screw attached to the center of the soon-to-be circle.

    Use a jigsaw to cut out the circle, being careful to make it as smooth as possible.

  3. Sand It Down

    If you have an electric power sander, use that to sand down all surfaces of your wood circle so that it’s smooth to the touch. If you don’t have a power sander, sandpaper will work just the same—it will just take more time and effort to get the circle nice and smooth.

  4. Prime and Paint Your Lazy Susan

    Once you’ve cut out your wood circle and sanded it down, prime and paint one side. This will be the top of your lazy Susan. Feel free to leave the bottom unfinished since nobody will see it. Prime and paint the sides of the lazy Susan only if you want to.

    You can use any paint color you like. Choose paint that’s durable. Consider a product that’s food safe if you’re using your lazy Susan to hold food. Some options include chalk paint, acrylic craft paint, or milk paint. To make this project quick and easy, you can use spray paint. Allow the paint to dry for at least two hours, but read the instructions on your product to determine the ideal drying time for yours.

    If you’d rather forego paint altogether, you can also use contact paper.

    Warning

    To avoid breathing in paint fumes, always apply paint in a well-ventilated space, like your porch or garage.


  5. Screw on Turntable Hardware

    Place your hardware against the center point of the underside of your wood circle so that it’s flush with the surface. Grab your pencil and lightly mark the location of the holes in the hardware onto your wood. 

    When you remove the hardware, you’ll be left with four marks. Use a screw and a hammer to lightly pound small holes into these marks to make screwing them in easier. Place your hardware back over the holes and screw in your screws using your screwdriver.

  6. Display Your Lazy Susan

    Your new DIY lazy Susan is all ready to go once the hardware is installed and the paint is completely dry. Place it in your cabinet, on your kitchen table, or on your desk in your home office and place everything you need on top.