Grab a scrap piece of 1×4 and assemble this simple drink holder in under 15 minutes! With an adjustable wing nut, the holder can clamp onto the arm of just about any chair, or onto a deck railing. Worried about using a hole saw? Check out my tool tutorial or make the cut using a jigsaw.


Pssst: Did you know you can click the image above to reveal Free Building Plans, or the “tabs” below to view the Tools, Materials and Cut Lists for this project? Try it!


Cost: $3

Time: 15 Minutes

Difficulty: Easy. Make three cuts, drill the holes, and then slide a bolt through the parts to hold them together.

Note: This list may contain affiliate links

3 1/8-inch Hole Saw (or jigsaw)

Miter saw (or hand saw)

Drill/Driver fitted with a 3/8-inch drill bit

Tape Measure (or ruler)

1 x 4  – Get a 2-foot board

3-inch 3/8-inch carriage bolt with Washer and Wing Nut

1¼-inch Finish Nails. You’ll only need four.

Top Board – 1 @ 8 ¾ inches

Spacer Block – 1 @ 4 ¾ inches

Bottom Board – 1 @ 8 ¾ inches




1. Prep the Parts


Using the cut list above, cut the pieces to size. On the Spacer Block, mark the location of the pilot 2-inches and 4¼-inches from the front edge of the board.

www.Build-Basic.com2. Drill the Pilot Holes


Clamp all the pieces together so that their front edges set flush. Using a drill/driver and a 3/8-inch drill bit, drill into the marks on the Spacer Block, and then through all three boards. (Note: While the Bottom Board doesn’t need a pilot hole for the hole saw, the 3/8-inch pilot hole works nicely as drainage.)

3. Cut the Hole in the Spacer Block


Using two clamps, secure the Spacer Block to the work surface on top of a scrap piece of wood. Place the hole saw’s drill bit into the pilot hole that’s 2 inches from the board’s front edge. Drill through the board, and then remove the cutout.

Tip: Check out my How to Use a Hole Saw tutorial. Alternatively, you could make this cut using a jigsaw.


4. Drill a Hole through the Top Board


Now clamp the Top Board in place on the scrap piece of wood. Place the hole saw’s drill bit into the pilot hole that’s 2 inches from the front edge of the board. Drill through the board, and then remove the cutout.

5. Attach the Spacer to the Bottom Board


Place the Spacer Block on the Bottom Board, flush with its front edge. Using a hammer, drive 1¼-inch finish nails through the corners of the Spacer Block and into the Bottom Board.

6. Insert the Carriage Bolt


Place the Top Board onto the assembled Spacer Block and Bottom Board. Push the carriage bolt through all three boards, as shown. The Top Board can now be lifted to accomodate the thickness of a chair arm or deck railing up to almost 1½-inches. If the surface is thicker, you can always swap in a longer carriage bolt.

7. Set the Carriage Bolt


Place the assembly on scrap blocks with the carriage bolt protruding beyond the Bottom Board. Using a hammer, pound the square section of the carriage bolt into the wood to set the bolt and prevent it from spinning.

8. Secure the Carriage Bolt


Place the washer and wing nut onto the end of the carriage bolt to finish the assembly.




14 thoughts on “Build a DIY Chair Drink Holder

  1. Pingback: 47 Easy Woodworking Projects

  2. Anonymous

    I’ve been looking for a non-permanent way to attach my deck flower boxes to the railing, so this will be perfect as the base! Thank you!


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