Introduction: Cup Holders for Your Old Truck or Car

About: Lovin' DIY

The interwebs have far fewer make-your-own cup holders than I would have liked, so I decided to walk the aisles of the hardware store for inspiration since I’ve created other crazy things by doing that before. I was inspired by anon19523092’s “Unspillable Desk Cup Holder,” as he used a weight plate, lightbulb guard and cable (zip) ties. With the recent purchase of a 1995 Ford F-250 truck, you can imagine the modern-day luxuries I’m missing :-)

I MUST have my coffee, and it must be in my insulated 16 oz cup so that it can stay warm. So the holder had to be large enough in diameter and depth to accommodate that…plus when hubby or teen or other guest is riding along, it would just be rude to not have an option for their drink! I also believe the two holders together create better security to not spill.

The finished dual holders' total weight:

Empty: 5 lbs, 2.5 oz (2.3 kg)

w/2 empty double wall insulated 16 oz (473 ml) volume cups: 6 lbs, 8.5 oz (3 kg)

w/2 full double wall insulated 16 oz (473 ml) volume cups: 8 lbs, 8 oz (3.85 kg)

Step 1: Supplies

From the plumbing aisle:

2 - 3”x3” Flexible Coupling-Plastic to Plastic (P1056-33) ($7.09 ea)

2 - 3” ABS Fitting Cleanout Body (P/N 81629) ($5.69 ea)

2 - 1 ½” Galvanized Floor Flanges (should be about $2.50 ea – I had these already)

(Please note-my purchases came from a local, one-store hardware store so cost a bit more.You’ll likely find them cheaper)

From other parts of the hardware store:

7 - 8” regular Cable Ties (I accidentally used mounting cable ties and ended up cutting off the part used for mounting-more on that later)

Flathead screwdriver


Optional: Goo Gone, Metal file

Step 2: Clean the Goo

Clean up the parts, if such things are important to you. Use Goo Gone to remove all traces of stickers.

Step 3: Alignment of Seams

Look at your flexible coupling (the rubber holders) and decide what you want to look at when the cup holders are in the location you’re placing it. I’m placing it on the floor of a bench seat pickup truck. Move the metal adjusters to align with the seams, then face the holders in the direction you want. I’ve chosen to face the printing away from me. Be sure to move the screw fasteners to the outside seams.

Step 4: Add Plastic Inserts

Place the fitting cleanout bodies (the plastic holders) inside the flexible coupling (the rubber holders).

Step 5: Place on Flanges

Place each of the whole units on top of the galvanized floor flanges.

Step 6: Threading the Cable Ties

Use the screwdriver to loosen the metal band. Start placing the cable ties through the holes in the metal plate, up through the metal adjusters. Be sure the saw teeth are on the outside.

You’ll use 3 ties to secure the metal plate to the rubber holder. The 4th hole will be used to hold the two plates together, hence the double cup holder.

If you’re having trouble getting the zip tie through the metal adjuster, turn it upside down, and/or loosen the metal band. HINT-lift the flange a bit as you do it and it will go much easier.

Repeat on 2nd cupholder.

Step 7: Tighten It All Up

Pull everything through and tighten. Do a little at a time with each tie, then tighten the metal ring.

Before you tighten the tie connecting the two flanges together, be sure to see what lumps and bumps may be in the location you’re making it for. I’ve tightened mine all the way, but you may decide to make it a bit longer because of the where your floor is lumpy or bumpy.

Step 8: Snip

Because I bought cable ties that included a little round plastic bit for nailing, I needed to snip that part off (would have done so before using these had I realized my error). So that first photo shows the little round ring..pre-snipping. Then I snipped the ends of the ties off as well.

Be sure to have your best friend on hand for moral support.

At this point you should check to see if the cut ends are sharp and if so, use a metal file to smooth the sharp edges.

Step 9: Happy Cup Holders

I’m pretty happy with this first go at it…I’m sure I’ll think of ways to improve it after living with it for awhile, but for now, I’m excited to share! And definitely feel free to share anything you think might improve it!

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