Rolling Laundry Basket

13 Materials
1 Hour
I know I'm not the only person who kicks their full laundry basket from one room to another. This project is the perfect solution for that! Instead of paying out the wazoo for a nice, rolling laundry basket, you can make your own using a collapsible laundry basket and a barrel mover from Home Depot!
SUPPLIES: -19.7" collapsible laundry basket -13" barrel mover -1/4" plywood -jigsaw -nail gun (commercial stapler should work too if you don't have a nail gun) -18 gauge trim nails -pencil Not pictured: -scrap drop cloth or fabric (optional)
OPTIONAL SUPPLIES: -stencil -transfer paper (only if making your own stencil from vinyl) -fabric paint -scissors -small sponge
STEP 1: Trace bottom of laundry basket The first thing I did for this project was trace the bottom of the laundry basket on the plywood.
Here is what I came out with... *Note: there is no significance of the red pencil--it was just the first thing I grabbed.
STEP 2: Cut out plywood shape Whether you have a square or circular laundry basket, you'll essentially cut the plywood same way. Depending on where you traced your basket (I did mine in the middle of my board), cut from the very edge of your board -- letting the saw lead (don't force it and make sure the guard of the saw is flat against the board) -- cut just inside the shape until you've cut it completely out. Go back over any places that you may have missed.
STEP 3: Cover cut-out shape with scrap drop cloth or other fabric (OPTIONAL) Once I cut out my shape (what will be the inside bottom of my laundry basket), I realized I should cover it with some sort of fabric just for aesthetic purposes. You don't have to do this step, but I think it would complete the look of the project -- even though you would be the only one to see it.
I simply laid my circle on a piece of drop cloth I had left from making a bed skirt a few months ago. I folded over the sides...
...then placed the covered circle in the bottom of my laundry basket.
STEP 4: Attach barrel mover Don't let the photo deceive you! The next step is to attach the barrel mover to the UNDERSIDE of the laundry basket. The goal is to have this laundry basket easily mobile so no more kicking around your laundry baskets! :)
To attach the barrel mover, I sat my laundry basket on top of it, and using my nail gun, I nailed the bottom of the laundry basket to the barrel mover. Be careful to nail into the wood of the barrel mover -- a few times, I missed and the nail stuck out of the bottom of the laundry basket -- this isn't a huge problem, just cut the nail off or pull it out as the trim nails are very thin.
...OPTIONAL STEPS... STEP 5: Create stencil If you want to add an extra touch to your laundry basket, a stencil is the perfect way! I have a Silhouette machine so I used vinyl to create my own stencil. If you have a machine, you can do the same thing I'm doing here, or create a design with Heat Transfer Vinyl, or you can cut a stencil by hand using printed words and an X-acto knife. If you're going to make your own stencil with a machine, simply cut out and weed your design, then adhere a piece of transfer tape to the top of your stencil.
STEP 6: Adhere stencil and paint Then, adhere your stencil to your laundry basket and carefully remove the transfer tape. As silly and unprofessional as it sounds, I used my knee to press the laundry basket on so I could adequately remove the transfer tape without pulling up my stencil. Hey, whatever works, right?!
This is what your stencil should look like on your laundry basket if you're using vinyl. If you use a store-bought stencil, just tape the edges of the stencil onto your basket.
Finally, using fabric paint, fill in your stencil with a small sponge. I recommend dabbing the paint on with a sponge rather than using a paint brush, because you're more likely to experience paint bleeding if you use a brush. Once the paint dries, remove the stencil.
How cute is this?! I have several laundry baskets between mine and Rob's room and Bo's room, but to me, they are almost part of the decor. You can also use these rolling laundry baskets for toys, stuffed animals or other items that you use but need a "home" when not in use.
Suggested materials:
  • Collapsible laundry basket   (Amazon)
  • 13" barrel mover   (Home Depot)
  • 1/4" plywood   (on hand)
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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 6 questions
  • Rhonda Elaine Harris Rhonda Elaine Harris on Jul 02, 2017
    How do you keep the collapsible basket upright?

  • Teresa Caldwell Teresa Caldwell on Jul 13, 2017
    Wouldn't it be just as simple to use a plastics laundry hamper and attach it to the barrel mover? You could even cover it with cloth if you wanted to.

  • John R. Hansler John R. Hansler on Apr 26, 2020

    How do you make the barrel mover with the wheels. Why would you not show the most important thing to make it mobile?

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2 of 36 comments
  • Jan Jan on Aug 24, 2020

    Love this idea. I have baskets from ikea I could use.

  • Sonia Sonia on Jun 11, 2021

    WOW I am definitely going to do this!! I don't like carrying dirty clothes so I play soccer with the basket. HAHA Thanks for sharing, well done!!!