DIY Coffee Cup Holder

October 21, 2016

By: Eric, Mohawk Digital Marketing Intern

As Alissa finished her DIY Medal Rack (if you didn't see it, look here), I decided to try my hand at something DIY related.  My sister has an extremely chic and modern home, so I wanted to give her something that would be functional, yet stylish.  As I looked across Pinterest for inspiration, I ran across this picture

Wood Pallet Inspiration

I quickly realized that I could make something like that, but with my own personal touch.  So, with the help of a finishing expert in the family, I bought the needed supplies and started working. 


Items I used:

Solar Lux NGR Dye Stain Van Dyke Brown

Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint

Sand Paper (80 for the belt sander, 120 random orbital sander, and 220 grit to use afterwards)

Wood Filler 

Behlen Vinyl Sealer

Painting Tape

Liberty Single Prong Robe Hook 

Extra Heavy Duty 2 Hole D Ring / Triangle Picture Frame Hanger

Wood Pallet (we got ours from Hobby Lobby - see picture below)

Wood Pallet 1



The Process:

Step 1: Since board was extremely rough and needed to be sanded, we took 80 grit sanding belt and used a belt sander to remove a large majority of the rough characteristics of the wood.    

Wood Pallet 2


Step 2: After we ran the belt sander over the surface, we attached a 120 grit sandpaper to a random orbit sander to remove and smooth out the next layer of wood.  This tool enabled us to get the hard to reach regions of the wood that could not be reached with the belt sander.

Wood Pallet 3


Step 3: Finally, we took 220 grit sandpaper and finished off the sanding process.  We went with the grain and finished smoothing out the entire surface.  Pro-Tip: If you are unable to get 220 grit, rubbing 120 together gives you a make-shift 220 grit paper. 

Wood Pallet 4


Step 4: Tape off all of the areas that you do not want to get the Rust-Oleum Chalkboard spray on.  We were very thorough with the tape, and made sure that it only was shot on the top piece of wood.  Before we sprayed the Chalkboard spray, we went over the top piece of wood with wood filler to fill in the pores of the wood before applying the paint.  

Wood Pallet 5

Wood Pallet 6


Step 5: With the tape applied, we took our Rust-Oleum aerosol and began shaking.  We shook for around a minute to make sure all the content in the can activated.  We did a trial spray lower down on the body of the pallet to see how it sprayed.  You want to make sure you start to spray before you actually hit the wood.  This will ensure an even coat.  We did two coats since there was a nut in the top board (oops, poor planning). 

Wood Pallet 7


Step 6: Once your chalkboard spray has dried, it can be activated in 24 hours by rubbing the side of a chalk stick across the entire board.  Once it had dried, we masked off the chalkboard section. Apply stain.  We used the Solar Lux NGR Dye Stain in Van Dyke Brown.  The Solar Lux stain dries very quickly, and if you get it on your hands, it comes off with warm soapy water and a brillow pad (or the back of the sponge used in kitchens).  Make sure you start on the back first since stain will most likely transfer to the front.  Apply it quickly, and wipe off the remaining stain after applying with a paper towel.  

Wood Pallet 8


Step 7: After the wood has dried, we took our Behlen Vinyl Sealer and sprayed 5 thin coats on the front and back.  We did this to protect the stain and seal the color in.  The aerosol is great because it's one less brush you have to worry about cleaning. After each coat, we took 220 grit and gave it a light sanding.  The minimum amount of coats you want to do is between 4-5; however, the more the better. 

Wood Pallet 7


Step 8: We mounted our brackets for hanging this piece. We had a couple of mounting hooks leftover in the basement from previous projects, so we used those.  If you are not sure what to buy, we have something that looks like this. We made sure we had two points for mounting to make sure that the pallet wouldn't sway from side to side as a coffee cup was taken off. 

Final 2


Step 9: After the mounting brackets have been added, flip your pallet over and begin laying out your hooks.  I purchased some matte nickel Liberty Single Prong Robe Hooks for about $7.00. After I purchased the hooks, we set them out in the position we wanted and chose the appropriate screws.  We wanted to make sure the screws could not be seen from the opposite side.  We chose to have four of the five hooks line up with the support beams on the back, while the fifth was placed in the center.  


We had to pre-drill the holes with a small drill bit to ensure that the wood did not split.  As a general rule of thumb, do not tighten the screws all the way when you first screw them into the wood.  Go around to each and every hook, and progressively tighten each as you go. Below is how it ended up looking. 

Final 1


The Final Product:

After a total of 2-3 hours worth of actual working, I made my first "Pinterest" worthy DIY project.  The fact that I, a senior in college with no staining or sanding experience, could accomplish this, means that absolutely anyone can! If you have any questions, please, reach out to our Facebook or Twitter .

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