Introduction: Climbing Hold Mugs.

Picture of Climbing Hold Mugs.

My friend Likes rock climbing and he recently took me along with him, as i was climbing the wall i was looking at the climbing holds and thought to myself that i really wanted to do something with them.

So when i got home i ordered a set of small holds and started to think what to do with them.

I came up with the idea of making a set of mugs with climbing holds as the handles.

Step 1: Tools and Materials.

Picture of Tools and Materials.


- Hammer
- Chisel (it doesn't have to be rusty like mine.) 
- sander (i had a belt sander, i think that's best)
- An angle grinder would probably work well too (i don't have one.)
- Files and sand paper.


- Mugs
- Climbing holds (small)
- epoxy resin.
- screws or hex bolts

Step 2: Removing the Handles.

Picture of Removing the Handles.

Take a wide chisel (wider than the handle of the mug) and placed it at the top of the handle and struck it with a hammer.
Hit it forcefully but not too hard.

The handle will either break off nearly all the way to the bottom or somewhere in the middle of the handle.

Then turn the mug over and strike the handle with the chisel again to remove the bottom section of the handle. 

You may get some little bits left sticking out. You can try and remove it with the chisel until they are smaller.

Then get out your belt sander or angle grinder and remove the last little bits of the handle.
Be careful not to sand the glaze off the mug.

Step 3: Shaping the Holds

Picture of Shaping the Holds

Now shape the holds.

The climbing holds come flat (great for climbing walls, not so great for climbing mugs! ) so we need to curve the back side so it will match the curve of the mug.

I used the end of a belt sander (naturally curved) to carve out the curve in the back of the hold. (this gets very dusty and you really really need to wear a mask as anything that creates dust is not good for you!)

carve the holds until it matches the mug as closely as you can get.

Then wash the holds (and the mugs) so the dust gets cleaned away.

Leave the holds to dry completely, I left mine on a paper towel on top of a radiator for a few hours.

you know when they are dry when they turn back to the original colour.

Step 4: Attaching the Holds.

Picture of Attaching the Holds.

Once all the holds have dried out its now time to attach them to the mugs.

Take all the holds and arrange them on the mugs to cover up the handle marks.

Do this with out glue for the first time to make sure you work out where they fit best.

Once you know where your holds will go its time to start glueing.

Mix up a small amount of the epoxy glue. Its best to do it bit by bit as it gives you time to apply and place and tape with out you wasting glue as it might set before you get to glueing the second lot. 

Mix a small amount of glue and apply it to the back of the hold and then place it on the mug. use some tape to hold the holds in place while the glue sets.

repeat this until all the holds are in place.

Leave them to set for the required time (it will say it on the glue package.

Step 5: Attaching the Holds Part Two.

Picture of Attaching the Holds Part Two.

As i got a set of ten holds and have only used seven so far i decided to put three holds on the mugs that have a difficult grip to hold making it hard to drink from. So i worked out where the third grip would go to make it possible to hold the mug and sanded and scratched the surface of the glaze to give the glue something to hold onto, then mixed up a small amount and glued the hold on and held it in place with some tape. Repeat on the other mugs that need a third grip (or until you run out of holds) As well as making the mugs easier to hold putting the third hold on the mug makes the mugs look more like a climbing wall. (Well I think it does)

Step 6: Cutting the Heads Off the Bolts.

Picture of Cutting the Heads Off the Bolts.

***USE EYE PROTECTION AND A DUST MASK*** I put the head of the screw/bolt in a vice and used the cutting wheel on my rotary tool to cut off the threaded part of the screw. I tried to cut the threaded bar off as close as possible to the head to give it a flat base later on. **BE CAREFUL THE BOLTS AND HEADS WILL BE VERY HOT AFTER CUTTING**

Step 7: Glueing in the Bolt Heads.

Picture of Glueing in the Bolt Heads.

After I let all the bolt heads cool I took some more of the epoxy resin and glued the screw heads into the holes inside the holds to make it look like they are bolted onto the mug. I did this in stages , I glued one pair of bolts into one hold on a mug and moved onto another mug while leaving the first mug on its side so the bolt heads wouldn't fall out or slip. Once you have done each mug the first set would be dry so I did a second pair on the first mug. Repeat until all the bolt heads are glued into the holds.

Step 8: Finishing Up.

Picture of Finishing Up.

Once all the glue has set I gave the mugs a really good clean to remove any glue smudges. Then I made a brew and had a cup of tea in my new climbing mugs. If you have any questions or comments and suggestions please leave a comment below. If you try this out let me know how it went.


MigueA1 (author)2017-01-09

Cute, Greetings from Bogota-Colombia!

Is the climbing mug dishwasher safe?

I couldn't tell you I'm afraid as neither I nor the gift recipient have a dishwasher.

I would hazard a guess at no they are not dishwasher safe

NaohitoM made it! (author)2016-02-14

I made my own one! I used a wooden handle-less cup because I failed to remove handle of a china cup properly. A wooden one is also preferable to use in point of its weight.
The hold was too hard to be shaped by hands to match with the curve of the cup, and needed me to buy a small hand router.
I'd rather recommend you to find a cup with some flat faces if you don't have any kind of sanding tools.

backwards lamb (author)NaohitoM2016-02-15

AWESOME!! they look great, wooden mugs isnt a thing i had considered. the square or flat sides bit i did think of but i dont like drinking out of mugs that are square but it is an option if you dont mind the squareness of it all :)

Hemlock205 (author)2016-01-27

Great idea and great gifts for climbers! However, I would definitely make it before buying it from a shop. I bought one from Climber Goods and after a few months the handle fell off which resulted in the mug shattering. I even washed it correctly and barely used it, but it still broke.They did not offer a replacement or a refund. They told me I should buy my own mug and try to attach the handle to it. I'm now out over $40 for a shattered mug and a lonely handle. :/

nnacey1 (author)2015-10-05 has them also

backwards lamb (author)nnacey12015-10-05

Yup we know. Like you have said all the other times you have spammed the comments. I like your work it's really good. Thank you for sharing but could you stop commenting the same thing you commented 10months ago.

patrick.costelo (author)2015-05-07

What brand of epoxy resin did you use? And did you have problems with the holds falling after using the mugs for a certain period? I'll be working on these soon. Thanks! Awesome idea.

nnacey1 (author)2014-12-06

I actually make these: check them out at

nnacey1 (author)2014-12-06

I actually make these a different way and they are on my website:

kaydenleigh (author)2014-02-25

I attempted to break off the handle to the mug twice and both handles ripped out a portion of the cup where it was attached making it unusable. I tried two mug types the first being more expensive then next trying cheaper in hopes that the handle would break easier!!! NO luck... any suggestions? I think this is a great project and am trying to make it as a gift for a friend but cant seem to get past step one!

well, i did have one or two accidents of breaking the whole mug.

how are you breaking it? i hit it with a sharp chisel at the top. you have to be quite firm with the hit but not too hard.

if you gave access to an angle grinder maybe you could use that? other than that i cant think of any other ways to do it, sorry.

amackinnon2 (author)2013-09-10

yes good

looner80 (author)2013-04-26

Where did you find the set of holds, I'm looking for something small and cheap like those.

backwards lamb (author)looner802013-04-26

I found them on eBay. I just searched for climbing holds. There were loads of options.

Hope that helps.

ZaneEricB (author)2013-04-06

Very nice Idea!

Why not make your own grips?

backwards lamb (author)ZaneEricB2013-04-06

Because for me it was so much easier to do it this way.

Eh Lie Us! (author)2013-03-28

man, i'm not much of a crafter but this is a great gift project for anyone that climbs.

crashman77 (author)2013-03-26

Would there be a problem when washing the ceramic health wise?

In what way? Most mugs are ceramic. The grips are a polymer substance. And the inside of the mug have not been touched so is exactly the same as it was when it was new.

iromanova (author)2013-03-26

This is a great project! Thanks a lot for the cool gift idea :)

ethertree (author)2013-03-25

Be careful too when sanding ceramic - I don't think it will matter if you only do it once or twice (someone please correct me if I am wrong), but breathing in the dust consistently can lead to health hazards.

backwards lamb (author)ethertree2013-03-25

oh yes i know, that's why i wear a mask when ever i do something that would produce any dust at all.

Pattymouth (author)2013-03-24

As I looked through the first few photos, I was horrified that you used the screws to attach the handles. And that is why I should have listened to the teachers when they said to read the instructions first. Good job on a cool project!

Well that's what I was going for. I wanted them to look screwed on :D

manfredpw (author)2013-03-24


manfredpw (author)2013-03-24


nwlaurie (author)2013-03-24

... and then there's always Sugru!
(which was what I first thought these holds were made of)

backwards lamb (author)nwlaurie2013-03-24

What would you use the sugru for?

wombat7 (author)2013-03-24

where did you purchase the climbing holds?

backwards lamb (author)wombat72013-03-24

I got them on eBay. There are loads of different types on there.

MarkML (author)2013-03-24

Clever, out of the box idea.

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2013-03-24

Its a great great idea. I think it can be a great gift for rock climbers and hikers :)

gjchandler (author)2013-03-22

Wonderful idea! I Might have to give this a try!

SWV1787 (author)2013-03-21

but now how do you hang your mugs???

SWV1787 (author)SWV17872013-03-21

Now you will have to make a mug climbing harness to hang them on your mug tree

backwards lamb (author)SWV17872013-03-22

:) we don't hang our mugs we just keep them in the cupboard.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-03-21

That is an awesome idea! I know a few people who would get a kick out of these :)

Kiteman (author)2013-03-21

Cool - I rarely use the handle of a mug anyway.

About This Instructable




Bio: Im a model maker who makes film and game props in my spare time. If you like my work please visit my blog it has ... More »
More by backwards lamb:The Grail Diary From Indiana Jones and the Last CrusadeHow I made A Rogue One Stormtrooper Doll.First Order Stormtrooper Cuff Links.
Add instructable to: