Picture this: You are sitting on your living room couch, watching television, and with a sudden move, the coffee mug that was placed on the couch armrest next to you spills. It likely ruined all of your furniture, clothes, and upholstery.
Or, you were smart enough not to place it on the armrest and placed your cup on the table instead. But since you were so engrossed in your show, you likely forgot about your coffee, and it got cold.
Either way, you don’t get to drink your coffee comfortably. So, what’s the solution?
Well, it is a wooden couch sleeve with a built-in cup holder. And the good news is that if you are an avid builder or fan of DIY projects, you can easily make it from scratch at home!
If this appeals to you, keep reading this thorough guide on a DIY couch cup holder. We will walk you through all the detailed steps you need to follow and all the tools and materials you will need to make this wooden sofa sleeve.
Why Make a Wooden Sofa Sleeve
Not only is a wooden sofa sleeve an extremely practical and useful addition to your living space, but a DIY couch cup holder is also an extremely easy and cost-effective project to take up. A couch sleeve adds an aesthetic touch to your couch as well. You can either enhance the natural wooden shade of the sleeve or paint it to match your couch’s design.
A wooden couch sleeve with a built-in cup holder will make your life more convenient as you no longer need to worry about spilled drinks or to have your coffee get cold. You can also use it to place your remote or set your book. With a couch cup holder, you won’t even feel the need to have a side table.
A DIY couch cup holder is an easy solution to your problems, and you can easily make it at home so that it is completely customized according to your sofa’s size. You only need a few materials, such as wood, wood glue, paint, etc. You can also get your wood cut professionally or do it yourself with a table saw.
Moreover, a DIY couch cup holder is also an excellent project if you have scrap wood lying around or wood with no purpose.
DIY Couch Cup Holder: Step-by-Step Guide
The exact measurements for the wood will vary depending on the size of your couch, which is why it is best that you measure your couch armrest and then determine the size of the wooden sofa sleeve.
Take a look at the list of all of the tools and materials you will need for this DIY woodworking project. Make sure that you gather all of them beforehand and then start working so that it is more convenient and less time-consuming. Here’s what you need:
Tools and Materials You Need
- 1×8 board of wood; this could be plywood, timber, or even scrap wood
- Table saw
- Miter saw
- 3.5″ hole saw
- Power drill
- Orbital sander
- Measuring tape
- Circular saw
- Wood glue
- Safety gear, such as gloves, mask, and hearing protection
- Wood conditioner
- Wood finish or stain
- Paint (optional)
Steps to Follow
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to build your own wooden sofa sleeve from scratch:
Step 1: Measure and Cut Pieces
The first thing you need to do is take measurements of your sofa to determine the size of your wooden sleeve. The sleeve is comprised of three wood panels; one for the top part that will cover the armrest and two for the sides of the armrest. The two panels for the sides need to be of the same size.
The top part should be a quarter of an inch larger in order for the sleeve to fit comfortably on top. However, at the same time, make sure it is not too wide because that will not allow the sleeve to be stable.
Hence, with a measuring tape, determine the perfect sizes. Once done, cut your wood according to the required size using a table saw.
Step 2: Cut the Hole for the Cup Holder
Now, it is time to cut the hole on the top wooden panel. For this, you will need a circular saw. Before making the hole, carefully mark the point where the drill will go in the center of the panel. Do this using a pencil.
Then, clamp the wooden panel together and begin drilling and cutting the hole with the saw. It will be quite difficult to cut the hole if you have not secured the panel first, as it will move around, which may lead to an irregular shape. Hence, you should either get a professional to do this part of the job if you have no prior experience using a circular saw and don’t have any clamps.
Step 3: Secure the Pieces Together
Once you have all of the pieces of wood together, it is time to assemble them. Apply a thin layer of wood glue on the corners and clamp the wood panels together to be in a U-shape. Use clamps to secure them, but be mindful of the placement to ensure they are in the right shape and are perfectly lined up. Let the glue dry completely.
Wipe away any of the excess glue using a damp cloth. Don’t wait until the glue dries because dried glue can be quite difficult to remove, even after sanding.
Step 4: Screw the Pieces Together
This step is optional because the glue is strong enough to allow the sleeve to retain its shape. However, in such a case, you must make sure to use the wooden sofa sleeve gently and not apply too much pressure on it.
If you want your wooden sleeve to be sturdier, you can use pocket screws to screw them in the corners using a drill. Follow this step when the glue has completely dried.
Step 5: Sand the Wooden Sleeve
When you have let the glue dry completely, it is time to sand the inner hole and the corners on the wooden sleeve thoroughly. For this, you should use 150-grit sandpaper. However, if you have softer wood, such as pine, it would be best to use 200-grit sandpaper to avoid any scratch marks. Once you have sanded the hole, wipe away the sawdust with a damp cloth.
Step 6: Apply Stain or Wood Finish
Your DIY couch cup holder will be used frequently and displayed on the couch at all times, which is why you should consider applying finishing touches, such as paint, wood finish, stain, or varnish. This will protect the wood from damage and make it look aesthetically appealing.
If you want to bring out the natural color of the wood, apply a wood stain. Generously apply one layer of the wood finish and let it dry for up to twelve hours. Then, buff away the roughness with steel wool. If you notice any finish chipping away after the buffing, you can apply a second layer of the finish.
You can also paint the wooden couch sleeve to match the design of your couch and living room. Make sure to get special paint that is suitable for wood. Moreover, apply a layer of primer first and then the paint.
Step 7: Secure the Bottom
Once the paint or the wood finish has dried, take a thin piece of plywood and attach it to the bottom of the hole on the sleeve. Make sure that you have applied the same color of paint or finish to this piece so that it matches the sleeve.
For this step, you will need to use wood glue. However, make sure that you only apply a thin layer of the glue and immediately wipe away any excess, or it will leave noticeable marks.
Step 8: Seal the Wooden Sleeve with Polyurethane
Since your wooden sleeve has a cup holder and will be frequently used to hold cups and cold drinks, it will be exposed to condensation and water. To protect it from damage through condensation and moisture, it is essential that you apply two coats of polyurethane.
The finished product, after following this DIY couch cup holder guide, will be a sleek and comfortable wooden sleeve that will add beauty to your sofa. It will not only look great but can serve a myriad of purposes besides holding your drinks.
You can also customize your couch sleeve however you want by adding ports to place your mobile phone in, a side pocket for your remotes, a hole in the panel for your laptop’s cord, and so much more.
Preparing and building this wooden sleeve will take you hardly an hour. The only time-consuming bit in this whole process is letting the finish and glue dry. Therefore, forget about stains, spills, and cold coffees, and say hello to this easy and practical DIY couch cup holder!