SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Monday, January 14, 2013

Lazy Susan Tray | Family Economics

By Cathe Holden


It’s incredibly simple to turn almost any large, round tray, tin or platter, into a very useful lazy susan. Recently I found a colorful, vintage, metal serving tray on a website and couldn’t wait to put it to use! I didn’t care for the green sides (seen on the image below), so before modifying, I painted the sides with white acrylic craft paint. 

vintage tray

To begin, I purchased lazy susan hardware including a turntable mechanism made with ball bearings that allows the top section to revolve separately from the bottom. When attached to an item, such as a tray, this hardware will rotate freely in a circle while staying in place on a surface. You can find this mechanism at most hardware stores and online.

For a metal lazy susan which will receive light-to-medium use, attach the hardware to a metal tray, using a strong metal-to-metal adhesive or hot glue gun. Run a bead of adhesive along the bottom side of the hardware ring and place in the center on the bottom of the tray. Add larger pools of adhesive into the screw holes of the hardware where it attaches to the tray (as seen below). Allow to dry based on adhesive manufacturer directions.  

bottom of tray

Turn the tray over and begin using.

I was inspired by the floral design of my tray and use it as a lazy susan for jars of craft flower embellishments. 

tray in use

Here are some other tips and ideas to use when making a lazy susan:

  • Craft a desk organizer using decorative paper to create wraps for recycled tin food cans to hold pens, pencils, paint brushes and rulers

  • Create a turntable for your pantry or cupboards for organizing spices and other food staples

  • Make a turntable for your refrigerator and/or outdoor barbeque serving table for condiments

  • Craft a turntable for holding makeup or toiletries to keep on a vanity

  • Add lazy susan hardware to the bottom of a potted, plant tray which will allow you to easily rotate the plant on sunny days for max-exposure.

  • Use short screws and attach lazy susan hardware to a round cutting board. Be sure to use pre-drilled shallow holes to avoid splitting of the wood.

  • Add adhesive felt rounds to the bottom of the hardware to keep your lazy susan from scuffing finer surfaces.

What would you use a lazy susan tray for?

Photo courtesy of Cathe Holden.

6 Comments so far

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On Thursday, February 7, 2013, Lisa Loves K wrote

This is great!. I need this for student crayon buckets at their tables!

On Sunday, January 20, 2013, Mona from Louisiana wrote

I've seen great lazy susans made from leftover cutouts (sink area) of granite countertops. Heavy duty metal hardware would be needed, though, due to the weight.

On Sunday, January 20, 2013, Lynn Dee wrote

I love this! I want to try doing this in tiers for a cupcake/cake stand. How fun would that be?!

On Wednesday, January 16, 2013, MN MOM wrote

I would have never thought you could make your own lazy Susan turntable! Thank you for the ideas!

On Monday, January 14, 2013, Mary from Indiana wrote

Cathe you always have inspiring ideas. Now I want to make a lazy susan tray!

On Monday, January 14, 2013, Saucy Chick Sherry wrote

Fabulous idea and so practical too. Thank you for always generously sharing...


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