Tea Light Cup Warmer





Introduction: Tea Light Cup Warmer

It does happen quite often that we forget time while working, while reading or while playing a game. You have a nice cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate to drink and suddenly you got a cold drink in your hands! The Cup Warmer provides a warm drink even when you are busy for hours. You simply put the cup or mug on the plate heated by a tea-light and your coffee, tea or hot chocolate stays nice and warm.

The Cup Warmer is easy to make and costs less than 10 $.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


Materials needed:

  • Wooden board (27 mm thick)
  • Aluminum rod (12 mm thick)
  • Aluminum plate (10 mm thick)
  • Four machine screws 4 mm

Tools needed:

  • Screw driver
  • Drill
  • Drill bit (3,5 mm, 12 mm, 39 mm)
  • Sanding paper
  • Bee wax
  • Jig saw

Step 2: Wood Work

Draw a 10 cm by 10 cm square on the wooden board.

Draw the diagonals within the square.

Measure 2 cm from each corner and drill a 1 cm hole with a 12 mm drill bit.

Drill a 1 cm hole in the center of the square with a 39 mm drill bit (slightly wider is even better).

Saw the square out whit a jig saw.

Step 3: Metal Work

Saw four pieces of 5 cm off the aluminum rod. Drill a 3,5 mm hole in the top of each piece.

Draw the diagonals on the 10 cm by 10 cm aluminum plate. Measure 2 cm from each corner and drill a hole using the 3,5 mm drill bit.

I had my aluminum plate precut by my local hardware store.

Step 4: Sand and Wax

Sand the wood and aluminum pieces.

Wax the wooden piece with bee wax.

Step 5: Putting It Together

Place the aluminum rods in the drilled holes of the wooden board.

Screw the aluminum plate on top of the rods.

The screws are 4 mm wide, therefore they are slightly bigger than the predrilled holes. You will need some force to get them in, but once in place it’s a strong fit.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee, which stays warm all evening.

A tea-light burns for approximately two and a half hour. The aluminum plate will remain hot for 15 minutes after the candle is out.



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74 Discussions

You can buy aluminum bushings at the hardware store, and they aren't expensive. That would seem to be a lot easier than drilling holes through aluminum rod...

7 replies

Thanks for the tip, but drilling through the aluminum rod was actually easy, drilling through steel is a different story.

It's not the aluminum part that makes it hard - aluminum is soft. I love working with it. But I don't have a drill press, and drilling a straight centered hole through a rod of anything (even balsa wood) is almost impossible. Just my 2 cents. If you have a good drill press, no reason not to do it your way, I suppose.

look up drill press on the instructables web site, I have seen several

here's an Instructable on making your own drill press:


there are TONS more I have found through GOOGLE.COM....

Hope this helps. :)

Q for JC.

can you build a drill press & then add whatever drill you have? I'm sure that there is an instructable on here somewhere that shows you how to build it...if not, try the net....I would REALLY be surprised if there was not something on the net about building one...

Not trying to tell you what to do with your life, just trying to help you out....

Could do, sure, but in this particular instance, it's so much easier to buy aluminum bushings than to build my own drill press just so I can drill through aluminum rod. Rod or bushings, either way, it's a trip to the hardware store . . . just sayin.


Drilling through steel can be a pain to say the least....and can also be dangerous.

Thanks for sharing this. This is going to be the base for a peltier generator I am building.

FINALLY somebody using proper measurements. But wouldnt it be better to only use a 1mm thick aluminium plate?

would it be better to just use metal for the whole thing? (Thinking about making a really nice one in my machine shop at school.)

alu heatsink, or harvested hddrive would work, once paint is removed.

Nice. I read the comments, and wouldn't change a thing. Good job.

I went to lowes and home depot and could not find any aluminum plates or anything to cut it from. where did you get yours and where can i get one?

6 replies

Try to find a shop where they sell steel for welding, the shop where i go to is "american legerstock" but i don't think you have them in your area. If you cant find a local shop you could order the aluminum online.
If you can't find anything, let me know, i can ship it to you.





thank your for the reply it is much appreciated. all i need to know now is which type of aluminum is best for this application? 2024, 5052, 6061, 7075, Cast? which did you use?

ANY grade would work the same. The different grades effect machinability and strength, not thermal properties.

Thank you very much for all your help, i have decided to go with 6061-T6 1/4" thick 4"x4". I have one last question(hopefully). Would it be a fire hazard if instead of using aluminum rod pieces could I use wood support the plate? Is that why you use the beeswax?

Personally i wouldn't use wood support, it just looks too dangerous. I used the beeswax just because i have plenty at home. You can use other finishes, just something to take care of the wood and make the grain pop. Do not use varnish because it can potentially deform and bubble by the heat.