DIY Spinning Bookcase

Marilla Mulwane

The only problem with books is that they take up space. You place bookcases along walls and soon run out of wall space. Instead of placing bookcases side-by-side against a wall, place them back-to-back. Instead of walking around the two bookcases, attach them to a Lazy Susan. The bookcases turn on the Lazy Susan.

Make a spinning bookcase using small, cheap bookcases that are lightweight. The books add weight so the bookcase does not spin too fast.

Combine Bookcases

  1. Remove the shelves from both bookcases and set them aside.

  2. Place the adhesive tube in the caulking gun. Cut the tip off the adhesive tube with the scissors.

  3. Set one of the bookcases on the work surface so the back faces up. Run a line of adhesive around the perimeter of the back of one bookcase and 1 inch from the edge.

  4. Run a zig-zag line of adhesive from one corner of the back of the bookcase to the other.

  5. Press the back of the second bookcase to the back of the first so that they line up evenly.

  6. Let the adhesive dry and cure according to the directions on the tube.

Construct Lazy Susan

  1. Measure the length and width of the bottom of the glued bookcases. Make note of the largest measurement.

  2. Cut or purchase a plywood circle that is the same size as the largest measurement, and a second plywood circle that is 4 inches larger than the measurement. For example, if the bookcase measures 18 inches by 12 inches, the circles are 18 inches and 22 inches. Purchase a Lazy Susan bearing that is 4 inches smaller than the measurement. An 18-inch measurement needs a 14-inch bearing.

  3. Place the bearing at the center of the smallest circle so that the bottom panel looks like a square. Locate the holes for the screws on the bottom layer and mark them with the black pencil.

  4. Turn the top panel of the bearing, without moving the bottom panel, so that it looks like a diamond. Mark the holes for the top panel using the blue pencil. Remove the bearing and set it aside.

  5. Drill 1/2-inch holes through the wood at the blue marks.

  6. Place the bearing back on the circle, lining up the holes on the bottom panel with the black marks. Drill screws through the bearing and wood at the black marks.

  7. Place the larger circle on the work surface. Set the smaller circle on top so that the bearing points down.

  8. Turn the top circle until the holes in the wood and the holes in the bearing match up. Drill screws through the bearing hole and into the bottom circle.

Attach Bookcases

  1. Stand the glued bookcases on top of the Lazy Susan so they are at center.

  2. Measure the length of the bottom shelf on one bookcase. Divide the measurement by three to determine screw placement. For example, if the length is 12 inches, the screws attach 4 inches from the sides of the bookcase. Mark the placement of the screws with a pencil.

  3. Pre-drill holes at the marks then drill screws into the bookcase and Lazy Susan.

  4. Repeat with the second bookcase. Replace shelving on the bookcases.


If the bookcases are not pre-assembled, glue the two back pieces together first, then build the bookcases. This is not possible with all styles of bookcases. If you are using plastic bookcases, use construction adhesive and screws used for plastic. Use larger screws for the bookcases if the screws for the Lazy Susan are not strong enough. If it is not possible to find a Lazy Susan bearing the correct size, choose one that is slightly larger, not smaller, than the size required. The bearing is smaller than the smallest circle, but not so small that it doesn't handle the weight.


Construction adhesive is permanent.