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How to Make a Tumbler Turner for Cheap!!

Learn how to make a tumbler turner for cheap with just a few supplies.

HI Friends!!  So, after a year of hand turning my DIY glitter epoxy tumblers, I finally decided to bite the bullet and 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!

how to make a tumbler turner pin

I grabbed a leftover scrap of a 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 a  DIY glitter tumbler, click on the link.

Materials Needed for DIY Tumbler Turner

diy cup 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.

****It seems like some PVC pipes are slightly different depending on the thickness of the walls.  Make sure to measure the outside diameter of your PVC pipe and use a drill bit that is slightly bigger.  Use corresponding adapters.****


How to Make a Tumbler Turner Tutorial (Single Cup Turner)

The 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.

diy cup turner
drilling 1 inch hole in wood
diy cup turner made out of wood

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.

diy cup turner leg bases
diy cup turner

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.

how to make a tumbler turner with wood

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.

how to make a tumbler turner
tumbler turner base out of wood

Now, onto the motor of the single cup turner!  Make sure you are doing all this BEFORE you plug anything in!!

Putting the DIY Glitter Tumbler Turner Together

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, by all means, use one you already have, save $$!!)

diy motorized turner

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.

attaching wires of motor

Cut the long PVC pipe in half.   You will attach a noodle to one side and the motor to the other.  The side I connected to the motor was 8 inches long.

how to make a tumbler turner with PVC pipe

They will connect back together with male and female adapters.

how to make a tumbler turner
diy cup turner with pool noodle

Cut a small piece of a pool noodle with a serrated knife (not the Dollar Store noodles, but the thicker ones from Walmart.  They fit more snug in the tumblers).

(I have made two PVC ends, one with a pool noodle and one with a foam football for smaller tumblers.  The pipes are 9-11 inches long.)

gluing foam noodle to PVC pipe

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 idea 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.


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Attaching The Motor to DIY Cup Turner

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 seconds 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 3/4″ 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:(

how to make a tumbler turner

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.

applying glue to wood rod for cup turner
inserting wood rod into PVC pipe

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!

how to make a tumbler turner
attaching PVC pipe to motor

Make sure that 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.

how to make a tumbler turner with motor
diy tumbler turner with motor and PVC pipe
diy tumbler turner

Here is a tumbler I made using alcohol inks and the DIY cup turner.  Find out how to make your own custom tumbler with watercolor effect here or how to hydro dip a tumbler here.

That’s it!  You should be good to go!  I made a short video to show you the setup of this single cup turner since that’s sometimes easier for some (should be playing here or at the top or on side of the screen make sure to turn on the volume!)!

Here are some printable directions!

diy tumbler turner

How to Make a Tumbler Turner for Cheap!!

Active Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Medium

Learn how to make a motorized tumbler turner out of a PVC pipe, wood, and a motor. A single cup turner is a must-have if you make a lot of tumblers with epoxy.

Materials

Tools

Instructions

  1. Cut the wood. I used 2 6.5 inch long 2x4s and a 13 inch long 2x6.
  2. Drill 1 inch holes into the 2x4s about 1.5 inch from the top.
  3. Attach the 2x4s to the 2x6 with countersunk holes and 3 inch screws.how to make a tumbler turner
  4. Attach the pigtail ends of the motor to the lamp cord (before it's plugged in!!) Screw on wire connectors.
  5. Cut a PVC pipe. I used a 8 inch piece to connect to the motor. Attach male and female connectors.
  6. Attach a 3-4 inch piece of a pool noodle or foam football to the end of a 9 inch PVC pipe with gorilla glue and let it dry (get the PVC pipe a little wet so the glue foams).
  7. Drill a hole in a wooden rod that fits very snug with the motor. I ended up using a 15/64 inch drill bit.
  8. Sand the wooden rod down until it just fits into the PVC pipe. It should be very snug. I added a little glue on the outside of the dowel and hammered it in. diy cup turner
  9. Attach the PVC pipe to the motor and slide the PVC pipe through one of the 2x4s. Screw in the motor to the outside of one of 2x4s.
  10. Push the other PVC pipe with the foam noodle into the male and female connectors and you're done!diy tumbler turner

Notes

Make sure to read the full step by step with pictures single cup turner tutorial on my blog post. Also, watch the video of how everything is connected on the tumbler turner at the end!

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Thanks so much for stopping by!  If you have any questions, please let me know!

If you’d like to save this cup turner tutorial for later, you can PIN the picture below!

how to make a cup turner pin

Have a creative day!

leap of faith crafting

Sharing is caring!

Julie

Sunday 18th of April 2021

Did you use the brass wheels over the motor shaft?

Robyn Daniels

Saturday 22nd of February 2020

This is great until you apply the epoxy mixture. The pool noodle sticks to the tumbler. Then you end up scraping pool noodle from the inside of your tumbler. I changed to a nerf football.

Mikki TerBush

Wednesday 16th of October 2019

Is that the big moter? We have the one from Michael's. And it won't hold the big mugs? More than 20 oz. TIA. Mikki

Leap of Faith Crafting

Monday 21st of October 2019

It's the one I linked off Amazon. I couldn't find a motor at the craft stores! I know they are starting to sell a turner at stores but from what I'm heard they only hold the 20 oz cups and tip over pretty easily.

Allison

Saturday 24th of August 2019

Thank you so much for the tutorial! I’ve been wanting to make these for a while now and am finally getting around to it! Initially i ran into the same problems others have been having and i think I’ve figured out some of the issues. You say you used 3/4” PVC pipe, is it labeled 3/4 inch pipe or does the outside diameter of the pipe measure 3/4”? What i have found is that 1/2” PVC pipe has an outer diameter of 3/4” and would absolutely be able to fit into a hole made from a 1” drill bit, whereas 3/4” PVC pipe has an outer diameter of 1.05” (as mentioned previously) and will require a larger drill bit to make a hole large enough for the PVC pipe to fit. Also, when using the 3/4” PVC pipe, the 3/4” wooden dowel is too small to fit tightly into the PVC, it rotates freely, whereas if the PVC pipe were 1/2” the 3/4” wooden dowel would have to be sanded down and hammered into the pipe in order for it to fit and it would be a snug fit. Just trying to shed some light and maybe fix issues others are having as well as myself? Luckily, i happened to have 1/2” and 3/4” PVC pipe lying around the house but i had already purchased everything else mentioned in your tutorial for the 3/4” PVC pipe, we learned quickly that we would have to use our witts to come up with something that we could make work. We finally were able to get everything together and working, i was just wondering about the size of your PVC pipe and if it is possible that it’s 1/2” instead of 3/4”? Thanks!

Krista Farnum

Saturday 5th of September 2020

Does the motor on yours get warm?? Or is that normal??

Phil Ellerbrock

Saturday 26th of October 2019

I see you have the threaded connectors inside of the tumbler. How does this come out to swap to a different rod holding say the football rather than the noodle? If it doesn’t come out, why out the cut and extra parts in there?

Leap of Faith Crafting

Tuesday 3rd of September 2019

Hi Allison, thanks for the info. I just used a pipe I had and I've used it so much now that the markings are worn off. The adapters I use that fit snugly are marked 3/4 inch adapters so I'm not sure! I looked some things up and it looks like it depends on the inside wall thickness too. I'm not sure if brands or age of pipe makes a difference. I'll update with the variations though! Thanks!

Stacy

Saturday 17th of August 2019

My 3/4” PVC pipe doesn’t fit in the 1 inch hole. I measured the hole and it’s exactly 1 inch. The PVC pipe diameter is ever so slightly larger. Is this a glitch? I’ll go back to the hardware store and measure other pipes. I’m wondering if I could use 1/2” PVC since I already cut the 2x4 and drilled the 1” holes. Any advice would be helpful.

Leap of Faith Crafting

Sunday 18th of August 2019

Oh no! That's weird! Do you have a bigger drill bit to make the hole slightly larger?

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