Seniors Mobility AidsWheelchairs

How To Make a Cup Holder for a Wheelchair (DIY Guide)

Written by Haley Burress
Last Updated :
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Why should you know how to make a cup holder for a wheelchair? Wheelchair users also need the chance to enjoy a drink with style while keeping their independence.

Have you ever tried to enjoy a coffee break, but your hot cup of coffee was burning your thighs? Me too. That’s why I’ll teach you the perfect step-by-step details for making your wheelchair cup holder.

Read on!

Making a Homemade Wheelchair Cup Holder (Step by Step)

A transport chair, or as we commonly call it, a wheelchair, doesn’t come with built-in water and coffee containers.

You must buy them separately or make one yourself, as I did. Of course, some wheelchairs might have the occasional simple storage accessory.

But of the many wheelchair accessories, drink holders are pretty expensive.

So I hopped onto YouTube and learned to make my beverage holder. It was straightforward, though I admit I had a lot of help from the net.

To make my removable wheelchair cup, I didn’t need many tools. Here is a breakdown of what I used.

  • Hacksaw
  • Black Mesh Pencil Holder
  • A Corner Brace (Doesn’t have to be stainless steel!)
  • An Open End Wrench
  • A File
  • Screwdriver
  • Mending Plate
  • Two M6 Bolts

You can grab these things at the nearest store. 

Now you’re ready to start. Here are some simple steps to make your wheelchair-compatible cup holder:

  1. Round up the edges of the mending plate to make them blunt. These edges are usually sharp and could cut you. I advise caution during this step.
  2. Use the bolts to secure the mending plate onto the underside of the wheelchair armrest. You’ll need to know or understand the wheelchair dimensions for this.
  3. Have one hole (usually the first) on the mending plate free for the holder. For this, your wheelchair armrest needs to have protruding screws on which you’ll attach the plate.
  4. Use the hacksaw to cut off one end of the corner brace to remain with only one hole.
  5. Blunt the edges of the corner brace before attaching them to the pencil holder with the bolts and nuts. You’ll now be ready to secure the drink holder onto the mending plate on the armrest.

After that, you’ll have successfully made a non-adjustable cup holder for different drink containers.

The pencil holder is large enough to hold most cups or act as a bottle holder.

The only problem is a bottle or a cup with a handle might have issues fitting into the holder.

I drew most of my inspiration from this video:

Also, the sizes of cups you can place in the holder will have to be specific. This DIY drink holder isn’t the adjustable cup holder you can buy.

I also found this video quite helpful:

The holder in the above video is perfect for riding on rough roads, where any universal cup holder will struggle to hold a drink steady.


Why Does a Wheelchair Need a Cup Holder?

A wheelchair isn’t your typical outdoor chair with a space for holding coffee cups. Neither is it a luxury seat with all the trappings for a comfortable sitting.

But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be more convenient to sit in a wheelchair by adding a compatible cup holder, right?

Any chair model needs a convenient location for a cold beverage or a drink. And this is why:

1. Cup Holders Make Life Easier

It’s hard to argue against how wheelchair cup holders make life easier for wheelchair users.

It could be a bottle of soda, a cup of tea, or even a bottle of water they hold, but someone will always have a drink in hand.

They can always reach out to get the drink and other goodies, especially if it’s an all-purpose wheelchair.

That reduces the chances of someone having to move around looking for a drink when they need it.

2. Improve a Wheelchair User’s Independence

With a drink right beside you on your armrest, you won’t have to call on a helper to offer your favorite beverage.

That boosts the user’s independence and makes it easier to help them. Once the caregiver provides them with the drink of their choice, they don’t have to help them get it off the table anytime they need it.

With the strain manual wheelchairs place on someone’s hands, holder attachments are must-have accessories.


1. Do they make cup holders for wheelchairs?

Yes, there are power chair cup holders for wheelchairs that you can buy from stores that will work for most armrests. Some are the type that snap the cushioned seat of your wheelchair.

2. Can a homemade holder for a power wheelchair carry multiple beverages?

Of course! Your homemade holder for your power wheelchair can carry almost any beverage. Why not? But you’ll need handy DIY skills to pull it off successfully.

3. Are there wheelchairs that come with built-in cup holders?

No wheelchair type comes with a built-in cup holder. Even leading-edge mobility-enhanced wheelchairs don’t. You need to add the cup holder yourself.


These steps will help you learn how to make a cup holder for a wheelchair.

Any universal plastic beverage drink cup should fit inside the makeshift cup holder. It won’t be a fancy and sturdy cup holder.

Still, it proves that a comfortable seat isn’t all you need to make power chairs perfect. Even insignificant details, such as a place to catch a coffee break, can make life easier on your mobility device.

And that’s what an excellent wheelchair cup holder will do. 

Try to make it, and let me know how it goes in the comments below.

lady in a wheelchair drinking a coffee

About Author

Haley Burress
Haley has been working with seniors and their caregivers for more than 17 years. She has held local and national leadership roles in a variety of senior services and senior care agencies. Today, she is a sought after writer specializing in topics for older adults, their family members, and professional caregivers. When she isn't at her computer sipping coffee, you can find her hiking with her husband, son, and dog or trying a new cookie recipe in the kitchen. Follow her on LINKEDIN. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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