Step-by-Step Guide to DIY Wheelchair Accessories

Create personalized, functional wheelchair accessories with our step-by-step DIY guide. Enhance mobility and comfort with practical tips and tools.


DIY wheelchair accessories offer a fantastic way to personalize and enhance the functionality of your wheelchair without breaking the bank. Whether you want to add a unique touch to your ride or make everyday tasks more manageable, there are plenty of creative approaches you can take.

Quick ideas for DIY wheelchair accessories:
– Custom trays
– Pushrim covers
– Light-up casters
– Unique cushion covers
– DIY cup holders

DIY culture embraces innovation and individuality, allowing wheelchair users to tailor their chairs to meet their personal needs and preferences. From practical solutions like storage pouches to fun enhancements like glow-in-the-dark wheels, the possibilities are endless!

Customization helps improve comfort, safety, and independence for wheelchair users. When you create your own accessories, you have the power to design something that fits your lifestyle perfectly. The end result is more than just a modified wheelchair; it’s a reflection of your personality.

DIY Wheelchair Accessories Infographic - diy wheelchair accessories infographic mindmap-5-items

Essential Tools and Materials for DIY Wheelchair Accessories

Creating DIY wheelchair accessories can be both fun and rewarding. To get started, you’ll need some essential tools and materials. Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll need and why they’re important.


A jigsaw is essential for cutting shapes out of plywood or other materials. It’s versatile and can handle both straight and curved cuts. Make sure to use a “fine” rated blade for smoother edges.

Sanding your cuts ensures smooth edges, reducing the risk of splinters. Fine sandpaper, like 220 grit, is ideal for this task. You can use a sanding block or a power orbital sander for larger areas.

Measuring Tape
Accurate measurements are crucial. A measuring tape helps you mark out precise dimensions for your DIY projects. A carpenter’s square can also help ensure your lines are straight.


Oak Plywood
For projects like making a wheelchair tray, oak plywood is a great choice. It’s sturdy and looks nice once finished. A 2-foot by 2-foot piece, 1/2-inch thick, is usually sufficient. Thinner plywood may warp over time, so stick with 1/2-inch or thicker.

Velcro straps are versatile and easy to use. They can be used to attach trays, bags, and other accessories to your wheelchair. Look for Velcro that can attach to itself for the best results.

Epoxy Adhesive
Epoxy adhesive is a very strong glue that can bond a variety of materials. It’s perfect for projects that need a durable, long-lasting hold. Use it to attach Velcro straps or other components to your DIY accessories.

By having these tools and materials on hand, you’ll be well-equipped to start crafting your own DIY wheelchair accessories.

Next, we’ll dive into how to create custom wheelchair trays, from design to finishing touches.

How to Create Custom Wheelchair Trays

Creating a custom wheelchair tray can be a rewarding project, offering a tailored solution that meets specific needs. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you design, cut, sand, finish, and attach Velcro to your tray.

Design Process

Start by deciding on the dimensions and shape of your tray. For reference, a typical child-sized tray might be 2 feet by 2 feet, while adult trays can be slightly larger.

Pro Tip: Use a carpenter’s square and tape measure to draw out a large rectangle on the underside of your plywood. This will be your tray’s base.

If you have an existing tray, simply trace its shape onto the plywood. Alternatively, place the plywood on the wheelchair armrests and mark out the desired width and depth.


Equip your jigsaw with a fine-rated blade for smoother cuts. Carefully cut along the lines you’ve marked out. Use the carpenter’s square to guide the jigsaw for straight cuts.

Safety Tip: Always wear safety goggles and work in a well-ventilated area.


Once the tray has been cut, it’s time to smooth out the edges. Use 220-grit sandpaper for a fine finish. Sand down all edges and corners to eliminate any rough spots.

Optional: A router can be used to round out the edges for a more professional look.


Apply a water-based polyurethane clear gloss to protect the wood and give it a polished appearance. Use foam brushes for even application. Let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply a second coat if necessary.

Tip: Place plastic sheeting or a garbage bag underneath to catch any drips and protect your work surface.

Attaching Velcro

Velcro straps are essential for securing the tray to the wheelchair. Use a strong epoxy adhesive to attach the Velcro to the underside of the tray.

1. Measure and cut the Velcro straps to the desired length.
2. Apply epoxy adhesive to one side of the Velcro and press it firmly onto the tray.
3. Allow the adhesive to cure fully as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Important: Ensure the Velcro straps are positioned to wrap around the wheelchair armrests securely.

By following these steps, you’ll create a custom wheelchair tray that fits perfectly and meets your specific needs.

Next, we’ll explore how to enhance mobility with DIY wheelchair add-ons like pushrim covers and light-up casters.

Enhancing Mobility with DIY Wheelchair Add-Ons

Enhancing your wheelchair with DIY wheelchair accessories can make a big difference in both functionality and style. Here’s how you can add some exciting and practical features to your chair:

Pushrim Covers

Pushrim covers are a fantastic way to improve grip and propulsion. They make it easier to push your wheelchair, especially in extreme weather conditions.

Steps to Create Custom Pushrim Covers:

  1. Materials Needed: Silicone tubing or fabric, adhesive.
  2. Measure and Cut: Measure the circumference of your pushrims and cut the material accordingly.
  3. Attach: Use adhesive to secure the material around the pushrim.

Tip: Choose colorful or patterned materials to add a personal touch.

Wheel Covers

Wheel covers can add a splash of personality to your wheelchair. They not only make your chair look cool but also protect the wheels from dirt and damage.

Steps to Design Custom Wheel Covers:

  1. Materials Needed: Lightweight plastic or vinyl, waterproof markers or paint, adhesive.
  2. Design: Sketch your design on paper first. Once satisfied, transfer it onto the material.
  3. Cut and Attach: Cut the material to fit your wheel size and use adhesive to secure it.

Fun Fact: Some wheel covers feature designs by famous artists, making your wheelchair a moving piece of art.

Light-Up Casters

Light-up casters are both fun and functional. They make your wheelchair more visible at night, adding an extra layer of safety.

How to Install Light-Up Casters:

  1. Purchase: Get light-up casters that fit your wheelchair’s specifications. These can be found on platforms like eBay.
  2. Replace: Remove the existing casters and replace them with the new light-up ones.
  3. Secure: Ensure they are securely attached and test them out.

Bonus: These casters use piezoelectric technology, meaning they light up as you move, without needing batteries.

Spoke Reflectors

If light-up casters aren’t your style, spoke reflectors are a great alternative for nighttime visibility.

Steps to Add Spoke Reflectors:

  1. Materials Needed: Reflective tape or pre-made spoke reflectors.
  2. Clean: Make sure the spokes are clean and dry.
  3. Attach: Wrap the reflective tape around the spokes or clip on the pre-made reflectors.

Tip: You can mix and match colors to create unique patterns that reflect your personality.

By enhancing your wheelchair with these DIY add-ons, you’ll not only improve its functionality but also make it truly your own.

Next, let’s dive into innovative storage solutions for wheelchairs, including wheelchair bags and under-seat pouches.

Innovative Storage Solutions for Wheelchairs

When it comes to DIY wheelchair accessories, storage solutions are both practical and essential. They help you carry your essentials conveniently. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Wheelchair Bags

Wheelchair bags are a must-have for carrying everyday items. You can make a simple and functional wheelchair bag using fabric, Velcro, and basic sewing skills. According to a Reddit user, the Kinetic Balance wheelchair bags are top-notch, but you can create your own version.

Steps to Create a Basic Wheelchair Bag:

  1. Materials Needed: Durable fabric, Velcro, sewing kit.
  2. Measure and Cut: Measure the back of your wheelchair and cut the fabric accordingly.
  3. Sew: Sew the edges to create a bag shape.
  4. Attach Velcro: Sew Velcro straps to the top corners so you can easily attach it to your wheelchair.

Tip: Add pockets inside the bag for better organization.

Cup Holders

Adding a cup holder to your wheelchair is a simple way to improve your daily routine. You can use a plastic or metal holder and some zip ties to secure it.

Steps to Create a DIY Cup Holder:

  1. Materials Needed: Plastic or metal cup holder, zip ties.
  2. Attach: Use zip ties to secure the cup holder to the armrest or side frame of the wheelchair.

Tip: Make sure the cup holder is at a convenient height and angle for easy access.

Under-Seat Pouch

An under-seat pouch is ideal for storing items discreetly. It’s also great for preventing theft or pick-pocketing, as noted by HelenBudniatsky on Etsy.

Steps to Create an Under-Seat Pouch:

  1. Materials Needed: Fabric, Velcro, sewing kit.
  2. Measure and Cut: Measure the space under your seat and cut the fabric to fit.
  3. Sew: Sew the edges to create a pouch.
  4. Attach Velcro: Sew Velcro straps to the corners and attach them under the seat.

Tip: Use durable, water-resistant fabric for longer-lasting use.

Backpack Adaptations

Adapting a regular backpack to fit your wheelchair can be a game-changer. According to Reddit users, a cross-body bag or backpack with multiple compartments is very useful.

Steps to Adapt a Backpack:

  1. Select a Backpack: Choose a backpack with multiple compartments for better organization.
  2. Attach Straps: Use Velcro or adjustable straps to secure the backpack to the back of your wheelchair.

Tip: Look for backpacks with bottle holders for added convenience.

By incorporating these DIY storage solutions, you can make your wheelchair more functional and personalized. Next, we’ll explore safety and comfort upgrades to further enhance your wheelchair experience.

Safety and Comfort Upgrades

Upgrading your wheelchair for safety and comfort can greatly enhance your daily experience. Here are some essential DIY wheelchair accessories that can make a big difference.

Grade Aids

Grade aids are essential for preventing your wheelchair from rolling backward on inclines. These can be especially helpful when you’re pushing yourself up ramps or slopes.

Why Use Grade Aids?
Using handrims to push yourself up an incline requires constant hand repositioning. If you let go for even a second, your wheelchair may roll backward. Grade aids prevent this by locking the wheels in place when necessary.

Installation Tips:
Choose the Right Type: Look for grade aids compatible with your specific wheelchair model.
Follow Instructions: Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation to ensure safety.

Custom Cushions

Custom cushions not only add style to your wheelchair but also provide much-needed comfort and support.

Types of Custom Cushions:
Pressure-relieving cushions: These are designed to alleviate pressure and pain from sores and bruises.
Decorative cushions: Available in various colors and patterns to match your personal style.

DIY Tips:
Choose the Right Material: Opt for high-quality foam or gel materials for maximum comfort.
Personalize Your Design: Use custom cushion covers to reflect your unique style. You can even swap designs to keep things fresh.

Wheelchair Ramps

Having a portable wheelchair ramp can make navigating different environments easier and safer.

Key Considerations:
Material: Aluminum ramps are lightweight and durable.
Size: Ensure the ramp is long enough to provide a gentle incline for easy access.

DIY Ramp Building:
Measure the Height: Calculate the height of the steps or curbs you need to navigate.
Cut the Material: Use a saw to cut the ramp material to the desired length.
Secure the Ramp: Attach non-slip tape to the surface for added safety.

Wheelchair Gloves

Wheelchair gloves are a must-have for protecting your hands from blisters and calluses caused by constant friction.

Benefits of Wheelchair Gloves:
Protection: Provide a buffer between your hands and the wheels.
Grip: Enhance your grip on the handrims, making it easier to maneuver.
Style: Available in various designs to suit your taste.

Choosing the Right Gloves:
Material: Look for gloves made from durable materials like leather or synthetic fabrics.
Fit: Ensure they fit snugly but comfortably.

wheelchair gloves - diy wheelchair accessories

With these safety and comfort upgrades, you can make your wheelchair experience more enjoyable and secure. Next, let’s dive into some frequently asked questions about DIY wheelchair accessories.

Frequently Asked Questions about DIY Wheelchair Accessories

What are the best materials for outdoor wheelchair accessories?

When creating DIY wheelchair accessories for outdoor use, choosing the right materials is crucial for durability and performance. Here are some top recommendations:

  • Aluminum: Lightweight and rust-resistant, ideal for frames and structural parts.
  • Polyurethane: Great for wheels and casters due to its resilience and smooth ride on various terrains.
  • Waterproof Fabrics: Use for bags and covers to protect your belongings from rain and moisture.

For example, using aluminum for a custom tray or polyurethane for light-up casters can significantly enhance both the functionality and longevity of your wheelchair accessories.

How can I ensure the durability of my DIY wheelchair accessories?

Ensuring the durability of your DIY wheelchair accessories involves a few key steps:

  1. Quality Materials: Start with high-quality materials as mentioned above.
  2. Proper Assembly: Follow instructions carefully and use strong adhesives like epoxy for bonding parts.
  3. Protective Finishes: Apply finishes such as polyurethane on wooden parts to protect against wear and tear.
  4. Regular Maintenance: Check for loose parts and wear regularly. Tighten screws and reapply adhesives as needed.

For example, when making a custom wheelchair tray, sand and finish the wood properly and secure the Velcro straps tightly to ensure it lasts.

Are there any legal considerations for modifying a wheelchair?

Yes, there are some legal considerations to keep in mind when modifying a wheelchair:

  • Safety Standards: Ensure that any modifications do not compromise the safety and structural integrity of the wheelchair.
  • Insurance: Check with your insurance provider to see if modifications affect your coverage.
  • Regulations: Some regions may have specific regulations regarding wheelchair modifications, especially if used in public spaces.

Always consult with a mobility specialist or healthcare provider to ensure that your modifications are safe and compliant with any relevant regulations.

By addressing these frequently asked questions, you can confidently embark on your DIY wheelchair accessory projects. Next, we’ll explore some innovative storage solutions for wheelchairs.


At Monty’s Home Medical, we believe that personalization is key to enhancing mobility and improving quality of life. Our wide range of products and resources empowers individuals to customize their wheelchairs, making them more functional and stylish.

Personalizing your wheelchair not only makes it more comfortable but also reflects your unique personality. From custom cushions to innovative storage solutions, the possibilities are endless. Simple DIY projects, like adding a cup holder or creating a custom tray, can significantly improve your daily experience.

We encourage our community to share their DIY projects and ideas. Your contributions can inspire others and help us all learn new ways to enhance our mobility. Whether it’s a new accessory or a clever modification, every idea counts.

For more information on wheelchair accessories and to explore our range of products, visit our Monty’s Home Medical store.

Feel free to share your DIY projects and join our community in making mobility better for everyone. Your creativity and innovation can make a big difference!