Lap Desk Cup Holder


I have a lap desk that I use at night on my couch. Because I sit on a sectional couch, I can't reach the table to have a drink without moving the already unstable desk. I didn't like any of the cheap lap desks that have a cup holder in them, so I modified mine.


Bottles, mugs, and cups are all different sizes. The desk is unstable, so I can't make a cup holder big enough to fit everything; the bottles will spill. Rather than make an adjusting cup holder, I decided to make multiple holders that can be easily swapped. A simple nut and bolt is good enough for this purpose.

Cutting and Drilling

Cup Holder - Connector and Base
The desk connector (bolt) and cup holder base (nut)

Cup Holder - Dry Fit
The base would be flipped nut-side down, but you can see what I'm aiming for here.


Because of condensation, I need to seal the wood. If I'm going to do that, I may as well stain it, too.

I tried using masking tape to stop anything from getting on the end grain. It didn't work, and made things more difficult. The glue on the tape started smearing onto the face of the piece, and it wasn't a very effective blockade. However, it worked extremely well on the sides of the base and the wall face segments that would be glued to the face.

Cup Holder - Masking Tape

Cup Holder - First Stain Coat
Stain - First Coat

Cup Holder - Second Stain Coat
Stain - Second Coat


Cup Holder - First Polyurethane Coat
Polyurethane - First Coat

At this point I went to Home Depot for mineral spirits to clean out my brush. While I was there, I realized I could have just used paste wax and already been done instead of spending days waiting for coats of stain and polyurethane to dry.

Cup Holder - Second Polyurethane Coat
Polyurethane - Second Coat


It took a lot of sanding to get the end grain free of masking tape gunk, but the area to be glued to the base was relatively clean.

Cup Holder - Sanding

Putting It Together

Cup Holder - Gluing
I was interrupted and had to rush out the door mid-way through gluing. This ended up not being as square as it could have been.

Cup Holder - Base Gluing
I attached the desk connector using super glue.

Completed Cup Holder

I'd say the project was a success. Now I need to make some other attachments to fit a coffee mug or a glass. The beer bottle holder is done, though, and that's what is most important. :-P

Cup Holder - Action Shot 1 Cup Holder - Action Shot 2

I think it looks pretty good for some Ikea furniture scrap wood.