Make a Mug Holder

Project Guide:

Difficulty: Beginner/Novice
Estimated time: 3 hours
Cost: R50

What you will need:

  • Meranti:
    • square of 22x144x144;
    • one 22mm dowel – 380mm long;
    • 8mm dowels – one length of 913mm (you’ll have a lot left over but that’s the shortest length you can buy);
  • wood glue
  • finish of your choice – I chose a gloss varnish.

*All materials are available at Selected Mica Stores. To find your nearest Mica and to enquire about availability, please go to, to use our store locator. If your local Mica does not stock exactly what you need they will be able to order or suggest an alternative product or a reputable source.


  1. Cut the base. I made it 144×144.
  2. DIY Mug Holder Image 1

  3. A simple way to ensure a perfect square is to measure the diagonals and the tapes at the crossing point; the former should be the same, and the latter should be 90º.
  4. DIY Mug Holder Image 2

  5. With a rule placed corner to corner, mark off the centre point and drill through into a piece of scrap wood. The spade bit is of course, 22mm.
  6. DIY Mug Holder Image 3

  7. The view from the top…
  8. DIY Mug Holder Image 4

  9. And the bottom – drilling straight through into the scrap ensure there is no chipping or splintering of the hole.
  10. DIY Mug Holder Image 5

  11. Do a dry fit to ensure the main dowel sit snugly in its hole.
  12. DIY Mug Holder Image 6

  13. Only then did I trim the corners of the base at 45º, just to make the base a little less angular.
  14. DIY Mug Holder Image 7

  15. Now for the only difficult part… I wanted to angle the mug supports at 15º, so I cut a scrap template at that angle.
  16. DIY Mug Holder Image 8

  17. Clamp a couple of offcuts to the side of your template and drill 8mm holes about 18mm into the central dowel. The bottom one is positioned 120mm from the bottom of the dowel, then the dowel is rotated 90º and the next hole is drilled 40mm up from the first. Continue this and you end up with a progressive staircase of dowels progressing at 90º angles and 40mm intervals up the main dowel.
  18. DIY Mug Holder Image 9

  19. The pieces of the mug holder ready for assembly.
  20. DIY Mug Holder Image 10

  21. Apply glue to then of each dowel and tap it into its hole; each dowel is 85mm long.
  22. DIY Mug Holder Image 11

  23. The lowest dowel is about 105mm above the top surface of the base, so the lowest mug still hangs freely. Sand down all surfaces and apply the finish of your choice. Allow it to dry, sand lightly, and apply a second coat. And when that is dry, hang up your mugs…
  24. DIY Mug Holder Image 12

  25. The completed mug holder.
  26. DIY Mug Holder Finished