HI Friends!! So, after a year of hand turning my DIY glitter tumblers, I finally decided to build my own DIY cup turner! Now I’m wondering, why did I wait so long??? It was pretty easy and cheap to throw together and now I don’t have to sit by my personalized tumblers for hours watching and turning. Are you ready? Let me show you how to make a tumbler turner for under $25.
The price could actually be cheaper if you have some of these supplies around your house or if you get creative! If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I have a ton of scrap wood that I am always trying to use up. This was a perfect project for it! I grabbed a leftover scrap 2×6 and 2×4 from my huge DIY farmhouse table build (click here to check it out!) I’m sure you could scrounge some up or ask a friend for some small pieces!
If you’d like to check out my ultimate guide on how to make a bunch of different personalized tumblers, click here! For my step by step and video tutorial on how I apply epoxy to make DIY glitter tumblers click here!
Materials Needed for DIY Tumbler Turner
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from Amazon. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links.
- wood – I used a 2×6 that was 13 inches long and 2 2×4 pieces that are 6.5 inches long
- motor – This is one I bought from Amazon
- lamp cord with switch – I got mine from Amazon here
- PVC pipe, male and female adapters
- Pool Noodle – I got mine from Walmart
- Gorilla Glue
- screw on wire connectors
- wood rod – I had a rod from a wooden laundry rack that I used but you can find rods at craft or home stores.
- Drill and 1 inch drill bit ( I love my Ryobi cordless drill found here!)
How to Make a Tumbler Turner Tutorial
First thing you’ll want to do is drill 1 inch holes into your 2x4s. I put the center of the hole about 1.5 inches from the top. Clamp the wood to a side of the table. Drilling a 1 inch hole through a 2×4 takes a while! Wear some safety goggles and do it in a well ventilated area.
Once the first board was done, I clamped both boards together (perfectly aligned!) and started drilling my second hole. This way I knew they’d be the same height.
Once I drilled through a bit, I unclamped them and just did the one board now that I had a starter hole.
Then you’ll just need to attach the pieces together. You want some distance between the two so that it adds stability. I put mine at the ends of my 13 inch piece of wood.
I first drilled pilot holes with my countersink drill bit so that the screws wouldn’t stick out and make the bottom uneven.
I found it easiest to place the 2x4s on the ground and then drill the 2×6 on top. Make sure the 2x4s have the holes closest to the ground! I used 3 inch screws.
Now, onto the motor! Make sure you are doing all this BEFORE you plug anything in!!
You’ll need to twist the pigtail ends of the motor to the lamp cord. (If you have a lamp cord you are not using, my all means, use one you already have, save $$!!)
Once they are twisted together, attach the screw on connectors. Now, plug it in and see if it works. If the motor doesn’t turn, you might need to switch the wire connections. Make sure to UNPLUG it and then switch the wires, attach the screw ends, and then see if it works.
Cut the long PVC pipe in half. You will attach a noodle to one side and the motor to the other.
They will connect back together with male and female adapters.
Then you’re going to get one end of a PVC pipe a little wet and apply the gorilla glue all around it. The gorilla glue expands when it dries so it really adheres it!! I got this ideas from Mr. Coop on YouTube. You can watch his video on how to do this part here.
Let it dry! Once it’s hard, you can scrape off the extra if you want.
Now, use the other half of the PVC pipe. Attaching the motor to the PVC pipe was the hardest part for me! The first time I did it, it only spun for a few second and then kept stopping. They weren’t secure enough together.
At first, I was trying to get a cork to fit in the hole or something else that would sit securely in. I saw this other video from Mr. Coop (watch here) , so I decided to try it. I had an old rod lying around so I drilled a hole in it. I started off with a smaller drill bit size and worked my way up. 15/64 inch drill bit ended up being what worked for me. It wouldn’t go in easily so I had to use a mallet, but it’s secure.
The first time I made the hole, I went with a 1/4 inch drill bit and it fit easily (which meant not tight enough!). I tried to use the gorilla glue to secure it together but it didn’t work, so I had to start over!
After I drilled the hole with the 15/64 inch drill bit, I sanded down my rod so that it would securely fit in the PVC pipe. I stuck the small wood dowel on the other end of a drill bit and used 80 grit sandpaper to sand it while I rotated it around. You could also use an orbital sander, but mine was broken:(
Once I got it just small enough to fit in, I hammered it in with a mallet. If you end up getting it a little too small, you can add some gorilla glue on the wood piece, stick it in the PVC pipe and let it harden.
I put a little bit of the gorilla glue in the opening and squished the motor prong into it (by taking a mallet to it!) The motor is never coming off the PVC pipe now!
Make sure that the it works! Plug in the cord and turn it on. You should see the PVC pipe rotating.
Now you can stick the PVC pipe with the motor attached to it through the holes. Attach it to the outside of a 2×4 with screws.
Here is a tumbler I made using alcohol inks! Find out how to make your own custom tumbler with watercolor effect here!
That’s it! You should be good to! I made a short video to show you the setup since that’s sometimes easier for some (should be playing at top or on side of screen!)!
Thanks so much for stopping by! If you have any questions, please let me know!
Have a creative day!