On the move

From issue 54.

If you’re bored with your furniture, adding castor wheels is a fun and functional way to give things a lift.

Attaching wheels to the bottom of an every day, or otherwise unremarkable, piece of furniture is an easy DIY craft project – and a surprisingly effective way to transform the item’s look and usability. 

The addition of wheels to almost any item of furniture in your home is likely to make it look or function better. For instance, adding wheels to tables boosts their usefulness, as it makes it a very simple matter to move them around the house or even outside, as required. (If your kitchen table is on a wooden or tiled floor, then using lockable wheels is a generally good option to choose.) Attaching heavy industrial wheels to a basic chest of drawers can instantly give the piece an updated, modern look. Oversized castors can also add attitude to a conventional kitchen cabinet or breakfast bar – it might not be going anywhere but it looks like it could if it wanted to. Mobile furniture makes it simple to rearrange the furniture when you feel like a change and adds greater flexibility in small homes where furniture might have to serve multiple purposes. 

Just add wheels

Castors are special metal wheel housings that make it super-easy to attach wheels to furniture and other objects. They range in size from tiny to huge and can be found everywhere from office chairs to industrial factory floors and hospital beds. There are two basic types of castors; fixed (where the wheel rolls back and forth in one direction) and swivelling (where the wheel swivels in all directions). Some castor wheels have a locking clip to stop the wheel from rolling, which is handy for desks and other furniture you want to secure in place. Assemble any new castors according to manufacturer’s instructions. Using a screwdriver or drill, attach castors to the four corners. Add extra castors as the load requires.

One cube two ways 

Turn a wheeled cube into a handy place to store towels and stash laundry. To make a fabric cube to fit inside, measure the cube’s inner dimensions and cut five squares of very stiff fabric (thick felt is ideal), allowing a little extra for the hems. Add a tag handle. Hem top edges. Sew squares together.

Ten easy DIY ideas

1 A set of wheels screwed to a wooden pallet transforms it into a coffee table. 

2 Castors added to a dresser, or small table with drawers, creates a handy mobile kitchen island or extra work surface. 

3 Attaching load bearing wheels to the base of tall shelves mean you can swing it away from the wall to be used as a screen or room divider. 

4 Add wheels to a dining table to ensure maximum flexibility when entertaining. 

5 Use wheels to turn a basic kitchen chair into a home office chair. 

6 Six or more castors attached to a sheet of plywood makes the base of a simple wheel-away trundle bed. 

7 Put a freestanding bathroom storage cabinet on wheels to protect it from wet floors and make mopping a breeze. 

8 Mounting cumbersome items such as the lounge suite on small swivel wheels makes them much easier to nudge out of the way when vacuuming.  

9 Screw wheels onto a basic beer crate (painted or plain) or other simple wooden crate to make a toy box on the move.  

10 Add wheels to the base of shallow wooden boxes or old drawers to use as extra under-bed storage. 

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