Conquering Cup Clutter

My kitchen looks like this on a daily basis.  I only have three kids.  (sigh)  Days like these make me feel like I am failing to teach my kids important lessons.  Lessons like, “Someday your roommate (or spouse) will not pick up after you like your mom (begrudgingly) has all your life.”  Or “Do you realize how much water we are wasting by washing 10,000,000 cups everyday?”  When I start into those little lessons, I see my children look up at me, blank stares in their eyes, as though I am speaking to them in Charlie Brown grown-up language.  “Wah-wah Wah-wah-wah-wah.”  (another big sigh)


So today, I decided to do something about it.  I was going to teach my kids a valuable lesson about organization.  I would teach them to conserve water and be considerate of others.  Crap!  Who am I kidding?  I would just be happy if they’d put their cups away…  Oh yeah, and I was going to get to be crafty, too.  Score!


I came across this fabulous idea from Bee in our Bonnet on Pinterest months ago, and had pinned it.  I knew I could make it work in my kitchen, and I already had enough scrap wood in the garage to build a mansion, so picked up a few .$14 tiles and got to work.

I used scrap 1×4’s and 1×6’s for this project, but really you could use any size boards.  The bottom is a 1×6 cut at 29″.  The sides are 1×4’s.  The long sides are cut at 29″ to match the bottom, and the short sides are cut at 7″.  After I made all my cuts, I drilled a few pocket holes in my bottom piece.  Then I used pocket hole screws and glue to make an open box.

Once I got my box built, I realized that it was a little plain for my taste.  I headed to Home Depot (so much for making this a free project) and picked up an 8′ length of trim.  I mitered the corners and glued it along the lip of the box.  Just to make sure the trim stayed put, I put a few brads in with my nail gun.

I used some wood putty to fill my nail holes and cracks, then I gave everything a good sand.  I followed it up with some Kilz primer and a coat of paint.  You could really use whatever paint or primer you have on hand.  I ended up using some black latex I had in the garage, but I kinda wish I’d spray painted the box.  I wasn’t crazy about the brush strokes I ended up with, and spray paint goes on so perfectly.

After my paint was all dry, I followed it up with some finishing wax.  I love this stuff.  You wipe in on with a cheesecloth, wait 15 minutes, and buff it out.  You end up with a hard wax finish that is so smooth and pretty.

After the finishing wax, I took an old sock and some antique gold Rub’n Buff and applied it the corners and trim.  I purchased handles at Hobby Lobby (50% off) and added a little Rub’n Buff to those as well.  This step was a little tricky.  I just wanted a hint of the antique gold, so I started with a very small dab of color.  It’s easier to apply more of this stuff than it is to get it off once it is on.

Then I attached my handles.  The Hobby Lobby handles didn’t come with screws, so I fished around in the garage and found some 1/2″ wood screws.  Make sure not to go much longer than that or you’ll risk the screw poking through the other side of the board.  Because my screws were silver, I just applied a few coats of black nail polish.  Worked like a charm!

For the tiles, I simply designed an initial on my Cricut and cut it out of vinyl.  I made a tile for each member of the family, plus a “G” tile for guests.  If you don’t have a Cricut or Silhouette, check out Your Thoughts Exactly.  My sister-in-law, Jody, can hook you up.

Once I got my tiles all finished, I simply glued them down with some E-6000.  This stuff is awesome.  I applied it to the back of the tiles, set a few heavy glasses on it, and let it sit over night.  My new tray was ready to use by morning.

Every member of the family has their own place to put the cup they are using.  No more excuses!

My counter top clutter is gone…  for now.  My husband (or as I like to call him, the dreamcrusher) thinks the kids won’t use it.  He thinks once the novelty wears off, my counters will be cluttered with cups once again.

But you wanna know a secret?  I’m not too broke up about it.  Because if the kids don’t use it for cups, I can always use it for…

Flowers, or…

…decorative accents, or…

…greenery, or… I just may need to make another for the dining room table.



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