DIYdiy projects

diy project: tae’s cup holder coffee table

by Kate Pruitt

i’ve always wanted to live in a loft, not only for their airy spacious qualities, but also because i love industrial style furniture, and hard as i try, i cannot seem to make it work in my 1920’s apartment (blast those crooked lines and over abundant molding!).  i love tae’s cup holder coffee table because it’s a little taste of industrial chic that could work well in living spaces of all sizes. not too big, not too small, and (as you might have guessed from this) i am a sucker for using pipe and flange for just about anything around the house. awesome work, tae! –kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

this project was inspired by a cafe table spotted in kanazawa, japan, and fueled by the need for some kind of hard surface to prevent drink spillage while potato couching.  it’s the perfect fit for our tiny living room and l-shaped couch.  i love the mix of bright glossy paint and industrial pipe and flange. buddy seems to dig it too :) enjoy! -tae

– 1/2 inch black plumber’s pipe:
– flange, screw cap, tee, 5″ pipe, 6″ pipe (x 6 of each)
– 3″ pipe (x 3)
– white plasti dip ( you get find this here, or at some hardware stores)
– wood screws, #8 x 3/4″ (x 24)
– glossy paint (i used lagoon by martha stewart living for home depot)
– lumber, (1″ x 10″ x 5′, or whatever length you desire)
– drill
– 3″ diameter hole cutter (you can find these at hardware stores in various sizes. measure the cups you own to determine the best size – err on the small side)
– paint brush
– sand paper
– ruler/measuring tape


1. Drill cup holes in wood with holesaw, anywhere except where legs get attached.  Start drilling on one side until you’re about half way through.  Flip the wood over and finish drilling from the other side for a clean cut.  Sand and prime wood.  Paint edges and bottom half, let dry.

2. Clean black plumber’s pipe with soap and water.

3. Screw a black cap onto each 6″ pipe length.  Dip cap into white plasti dip (which also comes in yellow, red, blue, black and clear).  The plastic coating will protect floors and adds a pop of color.  Once dry, assemble pipe and fittings (as shown in the photo) to form table legs.

4. Attach table legs with wood screws to the painted bottom half.  Space evenly left, right, center.  Inset about 1 1/2 inches on the left and right.

5. Set table upright, paint top.  Once dry, you’re done!

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  • I absolutely love this! What a wonderful way to not only get creative, but this would be a perfect way for me to stop knocking my glass over in my clumsy hurry! Love the ice-blue too.

  • I love this! I’ve always wanted to do something like this, but also cut out a rectangle on one side or the other to insert a planter.

    Out of curiosity, do the glasses in the pictures have a two-tone finish, or are there cups inserted in the holes to hold glasses in place?

  • Very nice! Also, does anyone have any info on the couch? Exactly what I am looking for.

  • can you say genius?! this would be perfect for a kid’s area or playroom too. For their cups and paints. :)

  • I JUST had the idea for this last night….while I’m sure it’s nothing new, it was an epiphany for me that a built in cupholder would be the perfect addition to my nightstand!

  • Like to table, but I’m also curious as to where the couch is from. I would love to know!

  • No more knocked over drinks, but how about knocked over table? The legs look far to narrowly placed for it’s height. Great color though!

  • hey everyone- to answer some of your questions: there are two cups, i keep the white ones in to hold other cups; the couch is from inspiration interiors (in far away hawai’i); rug is from west elm. and my mom made the lion pillow!

  • Wow. I have that same tenigui (Japanese towel). I’ve had it for years; I bought it when I lived in Japan. It’s such a great pattern. That table is great. I think my hubby would be upset if cups became a permanent part of the living room decor ……

  • This is awesome! Perfect for people with dogs that like to bump into your side table and knock your drink over….aka my great dane. This is my next DIY project!

  • Great idea, making holes for cups/glasses.

    The cushion is so cute. Your Mom, like you, is very talented.

    Buddy looks happy.

  • Thanks for this post! I made a version of this after I saw it – no cup holders but similar piping and blue color. Thoughts?

  • Cool project I am trying to build a cupholder for my table next to my bed which led me here… I’m trying to find a household object that can hold a cup (a circular object, having trouble finding the right diameter object laying around though) any suggestions?

  • Rad project! Thanks for using Plasti Dip. We’re launching a new website to showcase our passionate (possibly rabid) fans. Or as we call them, Dip Heads. Would you be wiling to let us use your image? We’ll give you a shout out, and you could be in line for prizes in the future!