It finally happened. The DIY tumbler bug bit me. I was trying to avoid it, as I have a ton of other projects I am working on, but the tumblers are just so shiny and pretty, I caved. What I love most about this tumblers is they can be anything you want. Glitter, decoupage, paint, vinyl decaling, marbling, or a combination of them! The number of possibilities is insane. To be quite honest, I already had the materials on hand to try my hand at these.
Here are just a few of the glitter vendors I use.
Well, almost all. I didn’t have epoxy, or a fancy tumbler spinner and I didn’t want to invest in going all out and getting a rotisserie and building one. I know its not that complex but I just wanted to make a couple so I didn’t see the value there. So after hours and hours of researching online, watching YouTube, and reading blogs I discovered there are options. You really don’t 100% need a rotisserie-style spinner. I am sure it is helpful if you want to mass produce them, but for thrifty low-volume crafters there is an easier way.
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from: Creativebug LLC
First of all, epoxy is self-leveling, so it needs to be applied evenly; not gobbed all over. As long as it is smooth and you handle with care, it will be fine. What we are focusing on here is a hang method. I wanted to make a few shinies for myself and a few for friends, so I decided to rig up a drying rack with items from the Dollar Tree. This was my first try.
I went to the store with one idea and subsequently came up with a much better one. I got some of the paper towel stands/racks and the little foam footballs from the toy department (I got 2 small and 2 larger footballs) and that was basically it. I went back to my lair to start assembly. I got the two sizes because each cup is different and I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go at first.
I cut a slit in the end of each ball, and used E6000 to secure the ball in place over the paper towel stand. This worked extremely well, and will work just fine for you if you are only doing a few.
Well…when I say a few I really meant 6. For my first run of tumblers, I bought 4 30oz Ozark tumblers and 64oz and 32oz jugs from Home Depot. The jugs were tricky due to the lip on the top, but the cups were a breeze.
Since I began the process for the first wave, I have learned additional/alternative methods that will make the process smoother.
While researching alternative methods online, I saw an amazing PVC drying stand which is more rugged and sturdy then the quickie prototype I made on the fly.
Hence, the hang drying rig tutorial here. I saw one of these on YouTube and quickly ran off to tug on Joe’s sleeve and ask if he would build me one. I am of course perfectly capable of cutting PVC and attaching it together, but he really enjoys planning out and building designs for me to use.
He agreed, and between the two of us we came up with what we believe is a better model than many of the ones we saw online. He came up with the compact method which eliminated some extra parts and should help keep it tidy.
Since we are going to make more tumblers in the future, we decided that setting up a roller device would be faster. So we came up with a prototype that allows for the elements of the drying rack to become the roller in a compact style…without the need to remove the tumblers from their PVC perches!
I am not going into ALL of the details for making the tumblers, there are so many different methods and steps that you can try you kind of have to decide which way you want to go and see what works best for you. You can do the research, but you’ll also learn from trial and error. I saw scores of methods and they are all labor intensive, but the outcome is worth it.
It all depends on which glue, modpodge, glitter, epoxy etc. you use, and the compatibility and application of all the components. This is without even going into tack it method, which is a major time saver.
BUT…this post is meant to be about the hanging drying rack method so, back to that. The paper towel & football stand worked like a champ. The only issue I experienced was when I got epoxy on the stand and it stuck to the drip pan. The hang method does create a few drips if you have too much epoxy, but if you tape off the rim of the cup it is just fine. You are going to be removing/reapplying tape/sanding a few times anyway. Like I said, tumblers can be very labor-intensive projects.
The “Cliff’s-notes” version of what I did was: clean the tumblers, tape them off, paint, apply glue, glitter, dry, add another coat of both to get full coverage, dry, seal so glitter doesn’t fall off, two coats of epoxy, sand, epoxy, sand, decal, epoxy, clean any residue or uh-oh’s. It was A LOT of steps but I enjoyed it each step of the way.
I will say the outcome is amazing and worth it though.
Materials needed to build your own drying rack/roller combo
1x 10′ 1/2“ PVC (the project uses only about 7′ of pipe)
1x 1/2” “X” cross sections
4x 1/2” 90° elbow
4x 1/2” female adapter (“slip x FIP”)
4x 1/2” male adapter (“slip x MIP”)
PVC pipe glue
saw for cutting pipe
box or wood for stand
sand paper to smooth wood stand
E6000 or a really strong glue
Mini foam footballs or pool noodles; it depends on which cups you are working with. You can flip flop them out over time just cut them out-off and apply with new glue
First, we cut the PVC pipe into these lengths:
4x 6” for the “X” base
4x 3” – 4” for the short lower stems
4x 8” – 10” for the tall upright stems
You may want to adjust these dimensions depending upon the height of your workspace and size/depth of your project materials. These dimensions seem to work for sitting at a standard dining chair and table.
We strongly recommend dry fitting all of the parts together before gluing them together permanently.
The bottom of the stand
Attach the four 6” sections to each side of the cross section. Attach one elbow to the end of each 6” section.
At this point, you can choose to make a very compact portable version by NOT permanently gluing the 3” sections into the elbows. The fit of the PVC is tight enough that the rack can still be used in this manner without gluing the 3” sections into the elbows. If the longer upright sections are less than 9”, the complete rack can fit in a 12” x 12” x 2.5” Priority Mail box!
Attach one 3” section to each of the elbows (vertical).
To make the rack “roller-friendly”, attach 2 male adapters and 2 female adapters to the 3” uprights. You can locate them M-F-M-F or M-M-F-F, whichever you prefer.
The top sections of the stand
You should now have two each of the male and female connectors left. Attach each of the male and female connectors to an 8” – 10” section of pipe. These will then screw into the corresponding fittings in the lower section.
You now have a drying stand.
Building it this way will allow you to remove two upper sections (with tumblers attached) from the drying stand and connect the fitted ends to make an axle that drops into the roller stand. They can easily be detached from each other and be returned to the stand to dry. So you can apply paint on the roller, then transfer them to the drying stand as many times as needed without having to remove and replace the tumblers onto a fixture.
Finally, for stability and convenience, we attached our stand to an Ikea Lazy Susan with conduit clamps.
For the roller part for applying epoxy
Take opposite ends of the drying rack one each male/female end and attach them together to get one longer rod. Attach/place rod on your wood block/box whatever you choose and use it for hand turning.
You can apply glue, epoxy, paint, glitter, etc. (whichever method and step you are on) while it is set up on the roller box, then unscrew the two halves of the “axle” to place back on the drying rack to dry. Repeat as needed.
This makes for an extremely compact roller and hang dry rack in one that can help your toolbox stay condensed and not scattered to the wind.
Feel free to ask any questions on construction of the rack.
Insert big announcement here!
We are currently setting up an active store page in the next month or so. We have decided we will be making some tumblers to sell, along with other craft goods!
Details to come in the next few weeks. I hope to have the first wave of inventory ready to post soon.
I hope this helps your crafting!
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If this project inspires you to make your own please tag/share with me on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest. I would love to see what you come up with.