Since this project requires only simple cutting and drilling, it’s one almost anyone can do. The fun is in sketching, sawing and painting the designs. Colorfully painted natural shapes—flowers, fish, birds and leaves—look great even when a beverage is nowhere near.
Keep in mind that the taller the stake, the thicker the dowel should be for stability. A 5/8-in. dowel works well when the stake is buried 8 in. and the exposed portion is 12 to 16 in. above ground level. You’ll want to upgrade to a 3/4- or even a 1-in. dowel for taller stakes.
1. Draw or trace the shapes
Sketch out the shapes that you want for the platforms onto your board. Then use a jigsaw, scroll saw or coping saw to cut out the shapes.
2. Wrap masking tape
Create a depth guide by wrapping tape near the tip of your drill bit. Drill a hole to that depth. Apply carpenter’s glue in the hole. Then firmly insert the dowel. Finish it off with paint!
Make a Few
I cut these drink holders out of a wide cedar board. If you want to make larger or smaller holders, use a different width of board; it’s a great way to use up scrap lumber. You can support really large boards with more than one dowel.
To make your own drink stand, follow these steps:
• Draw your shape or trace your pattern onto the board and cut it out with a jigsaw or scroll saw. If you don’t like using a jigsaw, use a coping saw; it will take longer, but a coping saw will cut through cedar like butter and is easy to control—even for children (under your supervising eye, of course).
• Drill a 5/8-in. hole, 1/2 in. deep, roughly centered on the underside. Wrap a short piece of masking tape about 1/2 in. from the bit tip to indicate when you’ve drilled the hole deep enough.
• Paint the pattern. When it has dried thoroughly, brush or spray on a couple of coats of clear wood sealer.
• Apply carpenter’s glue to the hole and insert the dowel. Rasp, sand or whittle a point on the “lawn end” of the dowel so it’s easy to push into the ground. Be sure the dowel is long enough to stake into the ground at least 8 inches. And be sure to stay clear of any in-ground wires, pipes or automatic-sprinkler components!
Now grab your favorite beverage, chair and drink holder and head for the backyard.
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