How to Build a Sled From a Pair of Old Skis and a Wheelbarrow

Attach a wheelbarrow bucket to an old pair of skis to make a custom sled to hit the slopes in style.

By: Timothy Dahl

Related To:

  1. Crafts
  2. Upcycling
  3. Winter
Original_Ski-Sled-finished-project_s4x3

Original_Ski-Sled-finished-project_s4x3

If there is one snow sport that everyone can enjoy, it's sledding. Age, experience and skill level are never questioned, and the only requirement is that you have a good time.


Snow-sled technology has evolved from the iconic wood-and-steel runners to today's slick plastic discs. Just because there haven’t been many innovations doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with building your own sled. If you’ve got a pair of old skis that are just collecting dust in your closet, you’ve got the makings of a DIY ski sled. This project is highly customizable; use the materials you have on hand.

Materials and Tools

  • wheelbarrow bucket – Use an old one or you can buy one at a home improvement store.
  • skis – We used kid-length skis (about 5') but you can cut down a pair of adult skis to desired length.
  • braided polyester rope
  • 2x4 at least 4’ long cut into 5" pieces (risers)
  • 2' x 2' 3/4”-thick piece of plywood
  • 3-1/2" galvanized deck screws
  • 5/16 bolts, locking washers and nuts (if wheelbarrow hardware not available)
  • measuring tape
  • jigsaw
  • cordless drill/driver
  • oscillating tool with metal blade or hand saw with metal blade
  • sandpaper
  • safety glasses


Part of the joy of building this ski sled is that you’ll be upcycling used skis and possibly a worn-out wheelbarrow. You can find used skis at most thrift stores as well as Craigslist. We decided to use kid-sized skis, as they were the perfect length for this project (5 feet).

Original_Ski-Sled-materials-1_s4x3

Original_Ski-Sled-materials-1_s4x3

Remove Bindings From Skis

If your skis still have the bindings attached, remove them using a screwdriver or cordless driver. There are typically four screws holding each binding onto the ski.

Original_Ski-Sled-binding-2_s4x3

Original_Ski-Sled-binding-2_s4x3

Outline the Base

Place the wheelbarrow bucket onto the plywood and trace around the edge of the bottom of the wheelbarrow.

Original_Ski-Sled-outline-base-3_s4x3

Original_Ski-Sled-outline-base-3_s4x3

Cut Base and Risers

Using a jigsaw, follow the tracing of the base of the wheelbarrow and cut out your plywood piece. Measure eight 5” pieces of your 2x4 and, using your jigsaw again, cut your 2x4 to create the risers.

Original_Ski-Sled-cut-base-4_s4x3

Original_Ski-Sled-cut-base-4_s4x3

Sand Base and Risers

Using sandpaper and sanding block, smooth the edges around your base and risers.

Original_Ski-Sled-sand-corners-5_s4x3

Original_Ski-Sled-sand-corners-5_s4x3

Seal Base and Risers

Use a water sealant to treat the wood risers and base. This will delay the wood from rotting and keep it watertight. Let it dry overnight.

Original_Ski-Sled-seal-wood-6_s4x3

Original_Ski-Sled-seal-wood-6_s4x3

Attach Base to Wheelbarrow

The plywood base serves as a solid foundation to the ski sled. Using the pre-cut holes in your wheelbarrow bucket, mark the plywood below and drill holes, then attach it to the plywood base using your existing wheelbarrow hardware or the correct-sized bolts. Ours were 5/16".

Original_Ski-Sled-attach-base-7_s4x3

Original_Ski-Sled-attach-base-7_s4x3

Remove Excess Bolt Length

Using a saw with a metal blade or an oscillating tool, cut down the bolts, leaving about half an inch.

Original_Ski-Sled-remove-bolt-length-8_s4x3

Original_Ski-Sled-remove-bolt-length-8_s4x3

Attach Risers

Stack two risers over the holes where the bindings on the skis were attached. Using your deck screws, you can try to tap into the pre-existing holes, but we ended up tapping new holes into the skis, which is probably a stronger bond. Use used 5 screws to attach each set of risers.

Original_Ski-Sled-attach-riser-9_s4x3

Original_Ski-Sled-attach-riser-9_s4x3

Place Bucket Onto Skis

Now it's finally coming together. Place your bucket (seat) onto the skis (runners) and check the alignment of the back of the skis and front of the skis to make sure they are even and straight. If you’d like to control the speed a bit, you can angle the toes of the skis in slightly.

Original_Ski-Sled-place-bucket-10_s4x3

Original_Ski-Sled-place-bucket-10_s4x3

Screw Down Bucket

Attach the bucket to the risers using your deck screws.

Original_Ski-Sled-screwdown-bucket-11_s4x3

Original_Ski-Sled-screwdown-bucket-11_s4x3

Add the Handle

Drill two holes in the front of the bucket and thread your poly rope through them. This will serve as both a handle to hold while riding as well as a way to pull the sled when you are climbing back up the hill.

Original_Ski-Sled-adding-rope-12_s4x3

Original_Ski-Sled-adding-rope-12_s4x3

Hit the Slopes

Sledding is fun, but it can also be a dangerous activity. Use this sled at your own risk; we recommend wearing a helmet. Each time you have finished sledding, check the sled for worn-out parts or cracks in the wood or skis, and make any necessary repairs before using the sled again.

Next Up

10 Ways to Banish Winter Boredom

Entertaining and occupying kids during long winter days isn't easy, but it can be fun. We have lots of ideas to get you started.

5 Ways to Survive Your Snow Day

Don't get bored on a snow day. Here a few suggestions on how to use the extra time wisely or just have fun.

6 Ways to Humidify Your House (Without a Humidifier)

During the winter months, low humidity in your home can become an issue, leading to worsening allergies, dry skin, static electricity and increased susceptibility to colds and flu. Find ways to add moisture to the air without the expense of buying and running a humidifier.

How to Make Your Own Windshield De-Icer

Check out the best method for de-icing a car windshield, plus learn how to make de-icer from simple household ingredients.

How to Upcycle Holiday Items for Everyday Use

Think about repurposing unused or dated holiday items into your next DIY project.

5 Ways to Brighten Your Home During a Dreary Winter

Don't let the dark, cold days of winter get you down. Check out these easy ways to freshen your decor to help keep your home sunny and warm.

How to Make a Fairy Costume

Learn how to transform a plain dress into a fairy costume come true.

7 Ways to Whip the Winter Blues

Don't let the cold weather get you down. Find ways to refresh your home and all your senses with color, sound and smell.

11 Things You Need to Keep in Your Car During the Winter

Here’s a run-down of the items to keep in your car in case of a winter-weather emergency.

12 Things to Know Before You Start Your Snow Blower

Check out these tips for using a snowblower so you'll be ready when the next storm hits.

On TV

Yard Crashers

7:30am | 6:30c

Yard Crashers

8:30am | 7:30c

Yard Crashers

9:30am | 8:30c

Yard Crashers

10am | 9c

Yard Crashers

10:30am | 9:30c

Yard Crashers

11am | 10c

Yard Crashers

11:30am | 10:30c

Yard Crashers

12pm | 11c

Yard Crashers

12:30pm | 11:30c

Mega Decks

1pm | 12c

Mega Decks

1:30pm | 12:30c

Mega Decks

2pm | 1c

Mega Decks

2:30pm | 1:30c

Mega Decks

3pm | 2c

Mega Decks

3:30pm | 2:30c

Mega Decks

4pm | 3c

Mega Decks

4:30pm | 3:30c

Mega Decks

5pm | 4c

Mega Decks

5:30pm | 4:30c

Mega Decks

6pm | 5c

Mega Decks

6:30pm | 5:30c

Desperate Landscapes

7:30pm | 6:30c
Tonight

Pool Kings

9pm | 8c

Pool Kings

9:30pm | 8:30c

Pool Kings

10pm | 9c

Pool Kings

10:30pm | 9:30c

Mega Decks

11pm | 10c

Mega Decks

11:30pm | 10:30c

Pool Kings

12am | 11c

Pool Kings

12:30am | 11:30c

Pool Kings

1am | 12c

Pool Kings

1:30am | 12:30c

Mega Decks

2am | 1c

Mega Decks

2:30am | 1:30c

Blog Cabin

4:30am | 3:30c

Stories We're Following

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Discover Made + Remade

See the latest DIY projects, catch up on trends and meet more cool people who love to create.

Make It. Fix It. Learn It. Find It.