How to make wooden wheelbarrows

Updated April 17, 2017

You can make your own wooden wheelbarrow using just a few materials and tools easily found at a hardware or lumber supply store. A wooden wheelbarrow is both functional and decorative. Making your own saves you money and allows you to customise it to fit your specific needs. You can use your wooden wheelbarrow to gather and haul leaves in your backyard or as a decorative planter in your garden.

Place both 2-by-4-by-48-inch boards onto your work table. Measure 3 inches in from one end each board, and mark each spot with a pencil. Drill a hole through each mark. The boards will be the handles of your finished wheelbarrow, and the drilled areas are where you will mount the wheel.

Place the handles parallel to each other on your work table, leaving a space of 3 inches between the ends with the drilled holes, and 20 inches between the ends opposite them. Put one of the 24-by-36-inch plywood pieces on top of the handles, 6 inches from the ends with the drilled holes. Attach the plywood piece to the handles with wood screws, spacing the screws 4 inches apart. This piece serves as the bottom of the wheelbarrow.

Put two 24-by-36-inch plywood panels on either side of the wheelbarrow bottom so that they are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the bottom. Attach both panels to the bottom with wood screws.

Put two 24-by-24-inch plywood panels on the front and back end of the bottom so that they are perpendicular to the sides. These panels serve as the wheelbarrow's front and back ends. Attach them to the bottom and side panels with wood screws to form the wheelbarrow's bucket.

Insert the wheel into the 3-inch space you left between the handles in Step 1. Insert the dowel through the holes you drilled and through the centre of the wheel. Use wood glue to secure the dowel in place. Wipe off any excess wood glue with a damp cloth.

Turn the wheelbarrow upside down, and use both 2-by-4-by-12-inch boards to reinforce the handles. Put the boards on the top edge of the inside of each handle and attach the boards with wood screws. Use 3 screws to attach each support board. Turn the wheelbarrow right-side up again. Sand the exposed surfaces with a fine-grit sandpaper. Apply a wood finish and let it dry.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 boards, 2-by-4-by-48 inches
  • Tape measure
  • 3 plywood panels, 24-by-36 inches
  • Screw gun
  • Wood screws
  • 2 plywood panels, 24-by-24 inches
  • Hardwood dowel, 3/8-by-6 inches
  • 3/8-inch drill bit
  • Drill
  • Wheel, 6 inches
  • Wood glue
  • Rag
  • 2 boards, 2-by-4-by-12 inches
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Wood finish
  • Safety goggles
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About the Author

Vivian Gomez contributes to Retailing Today, the Daily Puppy, Paw Nation and other websites. She's covered the New York Comic Con for NonProductive since 2009 and writes about everything from responsible pet ownership to comic books to the manner in which smart phones are changing the way people shop. Gomez received her Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Pace University.