Introduction: Repaired/Upgraded Mug Tree

My wife had this mug tree for over twenty years, and it served us well until the pine base split and cracked. She was going to throw it away, when my daughter said: "Daddy can fix that!" And she was right!;-)

This was a really simple weekend project, and it kept useful an object we've had in our home for many years, and hopefully will continue to use for many years to come.

So here's how I fixed it.


Broken Mug tree

Oak flooring off cuts

Place mat

Wood glue

Wood stain

Spray mount adhesive


Bench vise





Drill/screw gun

Step 1: Sand, Paint and Stain

First I gave the whole thing a quick sanding to remove the top coat of stain, and any loose paint.

Then I painted the the pegs which hold the mugs.

After the paint dried, I sanded off any stray paint marks from the "trunk", and gave it a coat of wood stain.

Step 2: Making a New Base

One of the reasons I think the old base split was because it was made from a piece of pine. I decided to give this "tree" an upgrade, with an oak base made from leftover flooring off-cuts.

First I cut two pieces of my oak flooring scrap to size on my new Miter Saw workstation. Then glued them up, and clamped them to let dry. I didn't want to them to dry with a bow in the middle, so I weighed them down with a toolbox.

Step 3: Routing and Staining

Once the glue dried, I routed the edges with my new router. This is only the second time I've used this router, and my first real project with it, but it was good practice and I was happy with the results.

I gave the edges a quick sanding, and then carved the my name and the year into the base. (I've taken to adding my name and the year to wood work projects I make or fix).

Then I applied a light coat of stain with a paper towel. (A job this small didn't warrant having a brush to clean;-)

Step 4: "Planting" a Tree

With the new base finished, it was time to add the "tree."

I marked out the dimensions of the "trunk" on the bottom, and drilled a few guide wholes.

Originally the plan was to add two screws, but the second screw started to split the base, and the first screw was holding the whole thing together pretty securely, so I decided to go with one screw.

Step 5: Protecting the Base

The other reason I think that the old base split is that it was frequently subject to water, as it sits next to our kitchen sink.

So to protect the new base from moisture, I decided to add a thin layer or protection. And an old place mat was the perfect material.

I sprayed a light coat of spray mount adhesive onto the bottom of the base and placed it on the place mat, and then trimmed to size.

Step 6: Done!

And it does waht it supposed to do... Hold coffee mugs;-)

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