June 27, 2012

Outdoor Drink Holder Tutorial

PS Contributor Megan from The Homes I Have Made is here to share a new project that I firmly believe is absolutely brilliant, and I think y’all will too! Take it away, Megan!


Hello Positively Splendid readers! It’s Megan from The Homes I Have Made, and I am really excited to be back this month sharing another tutorial with you!

It’s officially summer, and now that my baby boy is no longer crawling around the ground but instead off and running, I am really excited to be able to spend a lot more time outside! We have a big front yard that we are currently outfitting with new chairs, a fire pit, outdoor poofs and other fun items in order to make this space the go-to spot for the whole family. While I was strolling through a local market recently, I stumbled upon the neatest idea for outdoor drink holders and knew they were just the thing for our outdoor seating area! Instead of buying them, I decided to give them the good ol’ DIY try, and here’s how mine turned out!

Let me show you how I did it!

Believe it or not, I started here…with a can of Progressive Soup!

Here’s what else you will need!

1. Clean the can. If you haven’t yet, empty the can of its soup or other contents (go ahead….go eat your soup…I’ll be here when you’re ready to get started!) Remove the label off your can by cutting a nice neat line down the side with a scissors, and set the label aside (you’ll see why in a bit). CAREFULLY wash out your can with soap and warm water (I say “carefully” because that inner edge is SHARP! Don’t worry, we’ll take care of that scary edge in a bit! For now, just be careful.)

2. Cut two fabric strips. You will need two strips of fabric for this project: one wider, one thinner, both the same length. I don’t have exact measurements for you…here’s why!

I used some of Amy Butler’s new Lark line for my project. One of the reasons I chose this fabric was that I wanted to use the alternating medallions on each of my cans. One can has the light blue medallions, while the other has dark blue (isn’t this fabric gorgeous?!?)

You may certainly measure your can and cut a fabric strip using a rotary cutter or scissors if you’d prefer, but I found it pretty quick and easy just to use my can label as a pattern! And since I wanted to fussy cut my fabric, this method helped me center my cutting just right.

When cutting your fabric strip for the outside of the can, cut it just wide enough for your can but add an extra inch or two in length for overlap around the circumference. My skinnier strip (shown above) is about 1.5″ thick and the same length as the wider strip.

3. Drill (or hammer) a hole into the bottom of the can. Flip your can over so that the base is facing you. Using a drill with a 1/4″ bit or a 1/4″ nail and hammer, put a hole in the bottom of your can.

4. Glue fabric to the outside of the can. Having worked with it in the past, I really wanted to use Outdoor Mod Podge for this project. Wouldn’t you know that EVERY craft store in my area is out of the stuff (and you know I checked them all!). What I did find was this cute little variety pack. It had just enough regular Mod Podge and Outdoor Mod Podge for this project (and now I can try the other kinds of Mod Podge that I’ve never had a reason to buy!)

Attaching your fabric to the outside of the can is pretty easy!
  • (a) Cover the outside of the can in Mod Podge (you can use the regular or the Outdoor stuff for this step!) 
  • (b) Slowly wrap your fabric around the can, smoothing air bubbles as you go.
  • (c) When you get back around, trim your fabric so you have a 1/2″ overlap and secure the end with more Mod Podge.

5. Prepare the skinny fabric strip. To take care of that scary edge on the inside top of the can, we are going to cover it with the smaller fabric strip.

  • (a) Brush Mod Podge along the entire back of the skinnier fabric strip.
  • (b) Fold in half (wrong sides together) and press flat.
  • (c) Snip small slits about every 1/2″ or so (this is because we didn’t cut our fabric on the bias. If you want to cut your fabric on the bias or use bias tape, then no snipping is required!)
6. Glue fabric to the top inside rim of the can. This is probably the trickiest part of the whole project! First, cover the top inside rim of your can with more Mod Podge.

Then working slowly (and patiently), press your fabric strip along the inside of the rim. You may need to go around a couple times to really get it to stick… (Note – in a moment of frustration, I almost pulled out my glue gun. If you can’t get your’s to stick just right…I suggest you use a glue gun or something that has quick drying power!)

But once you do, you will have a pretty (and safe) inside rim!

7. Seal the fabric strips with Outdoor Mod Podge. Here is where you really want to use the Outdoor Mod Podge (if you can find it!) or some other weather-proof sealer! Using a sponge, cover both the outer and inner fabric strips with (at least) two coats of the protective finish. Let dry.

So pretty and shiny! 

These would make great pencil cups too!

I digress…onward!

8. Assemble all hardware pieces. Once your can is dry to the touch, you can go ahead and assemble the whole thing! Here’s a quick snapshot of the hardware you are looking for when you’re at the hardware store!

And here’s how it goes together!
  • (a) Twist one bolt about 4″ down the threaded rod.
  • (b) Place one washer on top of the bolt.
  • (c) Place the can (bottom side down – that’s what the hole was for!) on top of the washer.
  • (d) Place the other washer and the other bolt on top of the threaded rod.
It is best to make sure the top bolt and washer are flush with the top of the rod. Here is what I mean:
  • (e) Then flip your can over and tighten the original bolt and washer toward the can. You should end up like this: bolt > washer > bottom of can < washer < bolt.
But wait! Before you tighten everything up!!
9. Glue outside washer with Gorilla Glue. Following manufacture’s instructions, put a little bit of water and then Gorilla Glue just under the flat washer on the OUTSIDE of the can. Then twist the bolt and make it as tight as you can!

10. Let glue dry. Let the glue dry for about an hour or so before proceeding by placing the cans on their tops.

11. Cover inside bolt and washer with resin. The last step is to pour resin inside the bottom of the can.

You can certainly skip this step if you’d like, but I wanted to smooth out the uneven surface on the inside of the can created by the washer and bolt. See what I mean?

The EnviroTex Lite is pretty easy to use, and I was able to mix just enough for this project! AND I was really pleased that it didn’t have a strong odor (so we could bring it in over night to dry!).

To pour it in:

  • (a) I stood my two drink holders up in a pot filled with sand and made sure they were as level as I could get them!
  • (b) I mixed the resin according to package directions and poured it in the bottoms of the cups…just high enough to cover the washer and bolt.

It takes about 5-6 hours to set and then 48 hours until you can put a drink in your can. See? Nice, pretty, smooth bottom! And it really helps to make the whole thing much sturdier!

Now you’re ready to drive your rod into the ground or sand near a comfy seat…insert a beverage, and relax! (NOTE – depending on the soil/sod in your yard, it might be tough to get it in the ground! If it hasn’t rained in a while or if you have really tightly packed soil, drive a garden stake or nail into the ground first, and then put your drink holder in!)
All ready to sit back and relax!

Hope everyone’s summer is off to a great start! If you haven’t yet, I’d love for you to come say “hi” over at The Homes I Have Made! Thanks again to Amy for having me, and I’ll see you back next month!


Megan is an exercise and nutrition professional turned stay-at-home mom and DIY blogger with the arrival of her baby boy in April of 2011. Married to a U.S. Marine, she is currently setting up her 5th home in 8 years! You can follow Megan’s decorating and crafting adventures over at The Homes I Have Made (and here on Pinterest and Facebook) and find lots of ideas, tips, and tricks for making any temporary space a cute, cozy and comfortable home!

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79 Responses to Outdoor Drink Holder Tutorial

  1. Jessica @ Sunny Tuesday June 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Megan – this is SUCH a cute idea! I love it! 🙂

  2. Angi June 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    Super fabulous idea. Will have to try this while I’m off this summer. 🙂

  3. Kelli W June 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    That is a genius idea! It would be especially great for the beach! I hate when my water bottle gets all sandy from sitting on the beach blanket.

  4. Jenny Yarbrough June 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    Totally awesome and PERFECT for the beach! I love it!

  5. Doreen June 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Megan, this is such an ingenious idea. L.o.v.e. it! We spend a week at the beach every summer, and I see this as a great craft idea for everyone to create the first day, and by the second day, it will be good to use! Thanks! Pinning it, and now going to visit your blog.


  6. Wnderlnd June 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    LOVE this idea!!! That said, I am now brainstorming ways to allow water to drain so I can leave them out by the chairs around our firepit, so they won’t become mosquito breeding grounds after it rains. Maybe drill a few holes in the bottom after the resin hardens so you get a smooth bottom AND drainage? Thoughts?

    • Linda January 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      How about holes in bottom and instead of resin, aquarium stones to even bottom and drainage. May have to use small screen circle to keep gravel from spilling out. Can’t wait to try this one!

    • Nanasand March 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

      I think if you can make horizontal slits above the bottom rim it will drain ok or put nail holes around the edge of the bottom rim…just a thought.

  7. Wnderlnd June 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    LOVE this idea!!! That said, I am now brainstorming ways to allow water to drain so I can leave them out by the chairs around our firepit, so they won’t become mosquito breeding grounds after it rains. Maybe drill a few holes in the bottom after the resin hardens so you get a smooth bottom AND drainage? Thoughts?

  8. Jen June 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    What a great idea! If you have the Pampered Chef can opener, it doesn’t leave the nasty inside edge, saving a step!

  9. Dawn June 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing

  10. Lori June 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    So fun and festive!!

  11. {northern cottage} June 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    what a completely darling project…off to try to find outdoor mod podge – you rock girl!!

  12. Vanessa June 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    That is such a fun easy idea! That would be perfect for the beach. And it’s great to recycle something that would have been thrown away.

  13. Connie June 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Love this project! Have you linked it up with me yet at Wow Us Wednesday?

  14. yard globes June 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    What fabulous directions! You did a good job with the photos. I feel like I can do this because of being able to SEE each step. I’m a very visual person. Thanks for the project directions!

    • Julie May 27, 2013 at 8:43 am #

      I agree!! The tutorial is outstanding!! The pictures with step by step directions make this very “user friendly” for someone like me that is new to modge podge, working with drills, and the other hardware used. I’m going to make these bc you made it so easy to follow. Thank you 🙂

  15. yard globes June 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    What fabulous directions! You did a good job with the photos. I feel like I can do this because of being able to SEE each step. I’m a very visual person. Thanks for the project directions!

  16. Stone Cottage Adventures June 27, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    How awesome is that! -Marci

  17. gabi June 28, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    I wonder how this would look using the cute decorative duct tape they have these days…no mod podge needed and it would cover the scary edge well too…love your idea about the resin to even out the bottom!!!

  18. RaDonna Murner June 28, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    What a great idea. Although I was confused there for awhile until I figured it out. What you are calling a bolt is actually a nut.

    • Margo December 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

      RaDonna, Thanks for clarifying that. I was about to tell her the same thing.

  19. Kimberly Cassie June 28, 2012 at 4:07 am #

    What a clever idea! I love it.

  20. 1194a1b0-c14a-11e1-8198-000bcdcb471e June 28, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    Great idea – I’d hot glue a koozie along the inside to keep it cool!

  21. Lindy@Itsy Bitsy Paper June 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    Brilliant!! I am so going to make some of these. We are heading to the beach next week and these will be perfect. Thank you for the great tutorial.

  22. Eleslie June 29, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Eleslie June 29, 2012 at 1:38 am #

    Where did you Get the resin?

  24. Sonya Sosa June 30, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    Megan, you.are.a.genius! Super cool and your tut makes it easy to follow.

  25. Stevie from GardenTherapy.ca June 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    Love this – I just found it on Pinterest. I just made citronella candles in cans and want to decorate them with fabric now. Thanks for the great idea.

    Here are my CANdles if you want another recycling project: http://gardentherapy.ca/diy-citronella-candles/

  26. Jessi W June 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    What a brilliant idea! And so crafty! Pouring resin in the bottom to make it flat is super smart too 🙂 I’d be thrilled if you want to share these over at my current link party so everyone can be inspired! http://practicallyfunctional.net/2012/06/the-fun-in-functional-link-party-5/

  27. me July 1, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    hmm left a comment last night and don’t see it today. may have done something wrong.

    anyhow i love love love the fabric. Where did you get it? great idea!

  28. Eva {Tales of the Scotts} July 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    What a really great idea!

  29. Nat and Holly July 2, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    These drink holders are darling!!

  30. Unknown July 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Just a thought about something that would work better than the resin. How about cutting the bottoms out of some cheap dollar store koozies. They have a hole already for the nut to nest into, and would create a smooth bottom. Just have to cut to size. You could hot glue it in also if you needed to.

  31. Jan C. Kidd-Dahn July 6, 2012 at 4:10 am #

    This is too nifty! Gteat idea! Dont know why I dint think of it…lol 😉 😉 Thank YOU for thinking of it! Luvit luvit

  32. swilliams July 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    thank you for this fantastic and such clear direction!

  33. CherieZ July 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Love this idea…I think I will try this but instead of the resin I am going to try a couple of circles of fun foam with a hole cut out where the nut is… cheaper quicker and less toxic…
    thanks for the tutorial!!

  34. Jeanne Medina July 17, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    Cool idea~ I think I’m gonna skip the smooth bottom part, because ’round these parts, we don’t want outdoor cups that can hold water, or we’d be breeding mosquitos in there. So, I’m thinking add extra nail holes to be sure it drains, and then maybe shove a plastic mesh bag from the tangerines I bought at the store. That would make a nice pillow effect for any sized drink, but still let the water drain out the bottom.

  35. Cassidy July 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    I saw this linked over on Pinterest and fell in love. I made a couple to take to the beach and they worked nicely. Instead of fabric on the outside I sprayed the can with primer, then painted my own designs. Currently working on one out of a tomato sauce can on a slightly larger steel rod. Going to give it to friends who always bring wine with them when they camp.

    • Kristen January 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

      Hi Cassidy, I was thinking about painting too. Was there a special paint that you used? Something that will hold up to the weather? I just know mine are going to be left outside all summer! 🙂

      Also, what about rust? Is there something I can spray to rust proof the whole thing?

  36. Rose Mitchell July 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Thanks so much for the awesome tutorial! I found this on Pinterest and I had to share it on my website. I run a coupon/frugal blog and I do a daily feature called “Frugal Pin of the Day” and today your drink holders were featured! Here’s a link to the post http://anexerciseinfrugality.com/frugal-pin-of-the-day-8/#more-677 thanks again for the awesome tutorial! Keep up the great work!

  37. Sherry September 5, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Awesme idea from such a creative person! I am going to make a set to give my brother to use at his new camp site in Delaware. It’s a great “new home” gift! Put a small tuna can on instead and you have a candle

    Thanks bunches
    Sherry Ash
    Blandon, PA

  38. Sharon November 18, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    I really liked your idea and the tutorial was very clear. Just an idea if you are going to the expense and time in putting the resin in yhebottom why not mix in some Colorado or maybe even some glitter and you wouldn’t even have yo see the nut and washer in the bottom

  39. kim November 23, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    so totaly cool

  40. Kristen January 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    ALso, just thought of something – a slice off of a pool noodle would probably work as a base in the can instead of the resin too! 🙂

  41. Claudia February 3, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    Making these with my Girl Scouts at out next campout!

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid February 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

      This will be a terrific project for that!

  42. beckyb71 February 11, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    Just found this on pinterest – awesome idea – since I use a side-cut can opener though, I get to skip the cloth on the inside 😉 It’s worth the investment – they are awesome can openers!

  43. nevadarn February 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    This is great – have some purchased ones, but these are much better. An idea for those for beach or leaving out in the rain – instead of resin – drill holes through the bottom and use the mesh for swamp coolers – cut to fit – scooch it to the bottom. Can be taken out and rinsed if need be and should keep the wine glass 🙂 from hitting the bolt/nut. Thanks for the inspiration. Now I gotta go dig into the trash for that can from lungh!!!

  44. Angus February 15, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    A friend of these makes these, out of steel at his fabrication plant, just for his friends.
    We call them “Beer Spears”!
    They’re less “pretty” but he can laser cut the steel how ever we want so a lot of us girls have intricate lace or chevron patterns, one of the guys has skull and cross bones and another has the Edmonton Oilers logo!
    He made his wives with their sons profile <3

  45. enne February 26, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    would clear nail polish work to seal the can rim?

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid February 28, 2013 at 6:04 am #

      I honestly am not entirely sure, Enne. The important part is making sure whatever is used is completely rust-resistant. Thanks for stopping in!

  46. Bent-Elizabeth March 16, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    I made 4 of these last night as a birthday present for a friend!! They turned out so cute! I can see what you mean about being frustrated with putting in the inner piece of fabric. I used clothes pins to clamp the fabric in place every inch or so. It worked out well. For my next set, though, I will probably be plugging in my glue gun before my hands get modge podge all over them!! Thanks for posting this!! I”ll be making more for our girls weekend at the beach next month.

  47. Cindy Laidlaw April 8, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    If you use pliers, you can flatten the inner ridge. If you have a can opener that leaves a sharp edge along the top, you can cut the fabric wide enough to go over the top and into the can a wee bit. Just cut your notches in the fabric beforehand. Marbles in the bottom will give you an even base and you can drill holes for drainage withouth losing your marbles…lol. What about an inch or so wide slot cut down one side to accommodate a mug? So many possibilities. Thankyou for your idea. Can you get steel rods that have pointy ends?

  48. Audrey April 8, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Excellent idea and great instructions! Can’t wait to try it!

  49. Desiree April 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    Pinning and sharing on my FB page! Awesome idea 🙂

  50. Kristy April 11, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    Oh MY GAWWSSHH!!! This is ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE! I am soo making these for our washer games in the back yard! GENIUS!!!

  51. west bend Electric can opener metallic April 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers
    and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  52. beth May 4, 2013 at 2:21 am #

    Thanks for the idea, great outdoor project 🙂

  53. Toya R May 4, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    When my friends see me buying fabric they are going to think I lost my mind as I have no sewing ability. These are awesome.

  54. Kay June 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    This is such a great idea!!! And love the idea of taking it to the beach. Think I would put a round of the fabric in the bottom inside of the can as well, just for extra effect!!!

  55. Lorena June 21, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    what a fantastic and fun activity for my next girly get-together! I have a bunch of fat quarts that I bought simply because I love the print, so this will be a great project to show those prints off. Thank you so much for the tutorial. found your blog via pinterest and will follow you!

  56. Beverly July 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    Great idea. Love the fabric, but I may try using the decorative duck tape that I already have on hand. Also, for the uneven bottoms, you could possibly use coasters? (also I have on hand). I guess I will see if it works? Thanks for sharing your great ideas. Found you Pinterest and will follow from now on!

  57. Jessica July 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Will these hold cans? Or only bottles?

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid July 15, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

      I would think these would hold cans with no problem, Jessica. Thanks for stopping in!

  58. Michele August 27, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    I made some today. Easy and I love how they turned out. Pretty inexpensive to make too. I even found large pineapple cans the same size as soup for only $1 each.

  59. Mary November 10, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    This is kinda dumb, but, when it rains it will fill up with water and if you leave them out who knows what might grow in them. Have you ever punched holes in the can? Or do you have a solution for the problem?

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