Introduction: DIY Bicycle Wheel Pots and Pans Rack

If you have a small living space and an even smaller kitchen, fitting everything into your kitchen cabinets is a challenge. A hanging pot rack saves space and keeps you from having to constantly organize, but they can cost $100 or more. Luckily, you can build one yourself for less than $20 using a few parts from the hardware store and an old bicycle wheel. Besides being easy on the wallet, a bicycle wheel pot rack is eco-friendly because it saves old bicycle wheels from the landfill. Whether you live in a modern industrial loft or a quaint townhouse, a bicycle wheel pot rack is perfect for anyone who needs a little more space in the kitchen. Here’s how to make your very own.

Note: Although not essential, it is helpful to be familiar with basic building tools such as wrenches and a power drill, both of which are necessary to constructing this rack. If you have never used a power drill, it may be helpful to read an article on how to use a power drill (such as continuing.

Step 1: Gather Materials

Simple parts found at any hardware store are used to hang the bicycle wheel from the ceiling. You will need:

(1) bicycle wheel, cleaned to remove grease and dirt, with axle and tube removed.
(1) 7" x 3/8" carriage bolt
(2) 3/8" jam nuts
(1) 3/8" coupling nut
(1) 3/8" threaded hanger bolt with half metal threads and half wood threads
(2) 3/8" washers
(5) 3" S-hooks

In addition to these parts, you will need these tools to install the rack:

(1) Power drill
(1) Adjustable crescent wrench
(1) Ladder

Other helpful tools:

1. Paper towels and cleanser to clean the bicycle wheel.
2. Newspaper to cover your workspace and protect floors from dirt, grease, and drywall pieces.
3. Stud finder

Step 2: Prepare the Wheel

If your wheel still has an axle and tire, the first step will be to remove them. If your wheel is already bare, skip to step 3.

To remove the axle, loosen the nuts on each side with using the adjustable crescent wrench. Discard all ball bearings and other parts which may fall out.

Deflate tire and slip off the wheel. Clean and dry the wheel, then set it aside.

Step 3: Drill a Hole Where the Rack Will Hang

It is best to hang the rack from a stud, in order to support heavier pots and pans. A stud finder is particularly helpful for this task, but it is easy to locate a stud by lightly tapping on the ceiling with a hammer and listening to the sound. Most homes are built with the joists spaced 16 inches apart, or in some cases, 24 inches apart. Measure the distance from a corner of your house and lightly tap that area with the hammer. A solid, loud sound rather than a hollow one is a good indicator a stud is present.

Once you have found the stud, pre-drill a small hole where you want your rack to hang- remember to leave enough space away from any walls or cabinets.

Step 4: Assembly

Thread one jam nut and the coupling nut halfway onto the thinner, metal threads of the hanger bolt (see first photo and notes.)

Then, tighten the nuts against one another by twisting in opposite directions with two wrenches. To see what this motion should look like, view the second photo in the set.

Step 5: Screw the Hanger Bolt Into the Ceiling

Screw the wood-threaded end of the hanger bolt into the pre-drilled hole in the ceiling, using the wrench to get it extra tight (and so you won't hurt your fingers!)

Note: Make sure you are screwing the bolt into the ceiling straight, otherwise your pot rack will end up hanging crooked.

Step 6: Thread the Carriage Bolt Through the Axle

Now it's time for the wheel! Thread the long carriage bolt through the wheel axle, so the threads point up. The wheel should be able to spin freely. Slip the two washers onto the bolt.

Step 7: Thread a Jam Nut Onto the Carriage Bolt

Thread a jam nut about 1/4 of the way down the threads of the carriage bolt.

Important: Do not screw the nut all the way down to the bottom of the threads!

In the next step, you will attach the wheel to the ceiling by screwing the carriage bolt into the coupling nut, then tightening the jam nut you just threaded onto the carriage bolt against the coupling nut.

Step 8: Fasten the Wheel to the Ceiling

Fasten the bicycle wheel to the ceiling by screwing the carriage bolt all the way into the coupling nut as far as it will go. Depending on how far down you threaded the jam nut onto the carriage bolt, the nut may need to be moved down (that's ok!)

Step 9: Tighten the Second Jam Nut Against the Coupling Nut

Once the carriage bolt has been screwed all the way into the coupling nut, tighten the second jam nut against the coupling nut. See photo 2 for a close-up of what this step should look like once completed. Now you should have a sturdy, rotating bicycle wheel hanging from your ceiling!

Step 10: Check the Wheel

Before hanging your cookware, check and see if the wheel is 1) properly fixed in the ceiling, and 2) not leaning or crooked. The first time I attempted this, as you can see from the photo, my pot rack was very crooked because I didn't drill a straight hole in the ceiling. As I learned the hard way, it is difficult to tell if the "hanging part" of your creation is crooked until the wheel is actually on!

If your wheel is straight, congratulations! Move to the next step.

If you're looking crooked, disassemble the rack by unscrewing the carriage bolt from the coupling nut, then unscrewing the hanger bolt from the ceiling. Start at step 3 by drilling a new (hopefully straighter) hole, then repeat steps 8 and 9.

Step 11: Hang S-hooks

Pictured are 3" S-hooks, which worked perfectly for my particular wheel. I used five hooks, but you can use as many as you can fit!

If you are having difficulty hanging your hooks on the wheel, try tilting the hook to the right or left while pushing it on, rather than trying to push straight down.

Step 12: Hang Pots

The most exciting step of all: hang the pots from their handles on the s-hooks and admire your one-of-a-kind kitchen accessory.