Add Casters to an Antique Trunk for a Mobile Coffee Table

Old wooden trunks are stowed away in many attics and often end up in yard sales or thrift stores at a great price. Give one an easy update by simply adding furniture casters to make it a charming (and mobile) storage piece for your living room.

Adding Casters to a Trunk

Adding Casters to a Trunk

Old wooden trunks are stowed away in many attics and often end up in yard sales or thrift stores at a great price. Give one of them an update by simply adding casters to make it a functional (and mobile) coffee table.

Materials Needed

  • old wooden trunk
  • 4 large furniture casters (new or old)
  • (16) 3/4" wood screws
  • drill equipped with drill and driver bits to fit screws
  • washers (optional)
  • pencil (marker or chalk)

Mark Wheel Placement

Flip trunk over on its side or top for easy access to the bottom. Hold one wheel in one corner of the trunk to determine best placement for caster base. Make sure screws will go into thick, solid wood, so wheels are securely attached to trunk. Mark each screw hole with a pencil, marker or chalk. Repeat for three other casters.    

Adding Casters to a Trunk

Adding Casters to a Trunk

Flip trunk over on its side or top for easy access to the bottom. Hold one wheel in one corner of the trunk to determine best placement for caster base. Make sure screws will go into thick, solid wood, so wheels are securely attached to trunk. Mark each screw hole with a pencil, marker or chalk. Repeat for three other casters.

Drill Pilot Hole

Using an electric drill equipped with a bit the same size as screws, drill pilot holes at each pencil mark. This is an important step when working with old wood, even if self-boring wood screws are being used. Tip: Old wood may split if a pilot hole is not drilled prior to inserting a screw. 

Adding Casters to a Trunk

Adding Casters to a Trunk

Using an electric drill equipped with a bit the same size as screws, drill pilot holes at each pencil mark. This is an important step when working with old wood, even if self-boring wood screws are being used. Old wood may split if a pilot hole is not drilled prior to inserting a screw.

Insert Screws

Line caster base up with pilot holes. Insert one screw about 3/4 of the way in. This allows room to adjust caster base placement, so it's easier to line up with pilot holes. Insert remaining three screws in the same manner. Once all four screws are inserted into pilot holes, tighten each down the rest of the way until caster is tightly affixed to trunk. If screw heads are smaller than drill holes on the caster plate, use metal washers between caster plate and screw head (Image 1). Repeat with three remaining wheels; set your new coffee table upright and admire your handiwork (Image 2). 

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Make an Upcycled Coffee Table

Salvaged wood and architectural remnants are prime candidates to be repurposed as furniture. In the case of this table, pieces of an old rope bed and a beadboard door are upcycled into a functional and one-of-a-kind coffee table. 

How to Construct a Rustic Trunk-Style Coffee Table

Trunk-style coffee tables are not only stylish, they also provide practical storage for toys, extra throws and pillows, a movie collection and anything that needs to be stored for a busy family. This rustic trunk-style coffee table is an easy build, but the result will have your friends thinking you're a pro woodworker.

Build a Factory Cart Coffee Table

Add updated style to your living room with this DIY coffee table. Featuring an optional reclaimed wood top and caster wheels, this step-by-step project proves factory style — without the price — is obtainable by anyone.

Turn an Old Coffee Table Into an Upholstered Storage Ottoman

This stylish storage ottoman makes a great coffee table, provides extra seating and is a cushy place to prop up your feet at the end of the day. The handy lid lifts to reveal plenty of storage for throws, kids' toys or board games.

Build Custom End Tables

Create deep, wall-mounted end tables by cutting a vintage bench in half. The tables take up less floor space and provide ample surface space.

Upcycle Wood Crates Into a Rustic Bookshelf

This easy-to-build storage unit is a great way to give new life to old crates to create a functional, one-of-a-kind piece for your home. 

Add Nail Head Trim to Furniture

Bring a high-end look to an upholstered piece of furniture by adding nail head trim.

How to Make a Wallet-Friendly Pallet Coffee Table

Turn a discarded pallet into a cool, one-of-a-kind piece of furniture. 

How-To: Stenciled Coffee Table

Upcycle flea market finds to create exciting new pieces courtesy of the DIY experts at HGTV Magazine .

20 Stylish Coffee Tables to Inspire Your Own Design

It is the center of your living room, after all.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.