20 DIYs To Show Off Your Coffee & Tea Cup Collection While Saving Cabinet Space

Mugs can be some of the easiest kitchen essentials to acquire and some of the most stubborn to get rid of. Whether it's a nostalgic childhood favorite cocoa mug or a fun novelty mug you received as a cherished gift, mugs have a way of building up in your cabinets until there is little room for anything else. If you have a prized collection, or are just looking to house a few adorable mugs with a creative display, there are many clever DIY solutions, including eco-conscious repurposing projects, stylish Dollar Tree how-tos, and easy carpentry builds that can not only store your mugs, but make them part of your kitchen design. 

Even better, most require minimal tools and hardware and are budget-friendly, incorporating inexpensive wood, vintage items, and natural materials. Most are also scalable to fit large and small collections alike. The best storage solutions hold your collection securely but also give you a chance to personalize your kitchen and show off what you have. These solutions free up valuable cabinet space when it's limited. 

1. Dollar Tree mug DIY

This cool Dollar Tree DIY coffee rack is very inexpensive and easy to assemble using some wire tool hooks, metal cooling racks, and long wooden stakes. Build a ladder format wood frame using the wood stakes. Screw the hooks into the cross-beams and attach the baking racks to the back of the ladder with nails or screws. The hooks allow you to hang mugs while the grid of the baking racks stabilizes the structure and adds some additional texture to finish off the rack. Use it for mugs and other decorative items.

2. Mug cubby shelves

This awesome DIY set of narrow shelves holds up to 45 mugs, but you can scale it smaller or larger to accommodate your space and needs. Build a simple frame using a miter saw to cut down 1 x 4 wood planks to create the outer frame. Add vertical dividers every 6 inches. Take smaller pieces of wood to create staggered shelves to hold the mugs. (You can use wood glue since mugs tend to be light, or reinforce them with nails.) Keep in mind the size of your mugs as you create your shelves, leaving some room for taller ones in your collection.

3. Simple wooden grid rack

This simple wood mug rack uses several 1 x 4  and 1 x 2 boards to create a grid. Just fasten the thinner segments to the back of the wider planks then add screw-in hooks to the front, spaced evenly to allow the mugs to hang without bumping into each other. Finish the wood framework in your desired stain or paint it a color that fits your kitchen style. If you need more space, increase the width or length of your rack to fit more mugs vertically or horizontally. Use a stud finder to hang it on the wall securely. 

4. DIY mug tree

This counter mug display costs only $10 to make and is a great alternative to store-bought similar ones. You will need two wooden 1-inch thick squares of plywood, one cut 7 x 7 inches and the other 6 x 6 inches to form the base. Use a 2 x 2 dowel as the upright portion, fastening it to the base and screwing through the bottom. Top it off with a decorative cabinet knob screwed or glued into a hole in the top of the dowel. Add hooks spaced evenly apart on all four sides of the rack. 

5. Chalkboard hook rack

Another clever Dollar Tree DIY, this decorative wall rack is easy to make and holds several mugs on display. Use two pieces of rectangular wooden word art glued together end to end. Paint the wood of each sign using spray chalkboard paint. Add a message using bistro chalk via hand lettering or creating a stencil. Use adhesive Dollar Tree or Command hooks on the front to hang several coffee mugs. You can create a permanent design on the boards, or use it as an ever-changing message board. 

6. Wood plank mug rack

This easy DIY coffee mug rack is a great scalable project that can accommodate as large a collection of mugs as you need it to. All you need are several wooden planks or pieces of trim in any size. Hang them on the wall using screws attached to the studs in the wall. These provide a base for simple inexpensive screw-in hooks that will hold the mugs spaced evenly across each piece of wood. For a larger number of mugs, simply increase the length of the boards or the number of boards attached down the length of the wall.

7. Shipping pallet rack

Salvaged wood from shipping palettes makes a great background for this easy rack, which affixes several pieces of evenly cut wood together that creates a strikingly rustic background for screw-in hooks. Paint them or stain them for a natural finish. Pallet wood tends to be treated and durable, so it makes a great ingredient for many DIYs. Begin by dismantling the pallet into pieces, then use wood glue to affix several pieces together until you get to your desired width of the rack. Space screw-in hooks along the surface at intervals large enough to accommodate your collection. 

8. Antler mug holder

If you are looking for a great way to display mugs and love taxidermy or woodland accents, using antlers (real or faux) can be a stylish alternative to a conventional mug tree. Even a partial antler can be hung on the wall or turned into a standing rack by affixing the bottom of the antler to some sort of heavy base. Taxidermy and science suppliers can be a great source of antlers, or you can create your own out of carved wood or several layers of papier-mâché. For an easy DIY, affix several small antler fragments to a wood pole with adhesive or rubber banding.

9. Towel rack mug storage

Metal towel racks are a great solution to getting some mug storage in smaller spaces like under a bank of cabinets. Just hang a towel rack or curtain rod to the wall under the cabinets or on a kitchen wall. Add large S-hooks for the mugs. With a long bar, you can accommodate a large collection of mugs without needing space for an entire rack. You can also use shorter curtain rods for tiny spaces. If you lack available wall space, try using a magnetic towel rack that sticks to your fridge for some out-of-the-way mug storage.

10. Peg board mug display

Peg boards are great for a variety of home uses, including providing a hanging and display spot for your mug collection. Peg boards are also very budget-friendly and come in a variety of finishes, including wood and metal in a variety of colors. Just use the specially designed hooks to hang your mugs on the board. A great scalable project is to use smaller squares of pegboard that you can add and remove as your collection changes size. The boards also make a great place to house utensils, towels, and potholders. 

11. Vintage hooks

Vintage or vintage-look coat hooks can be beautiful and rustic all on their own. For a striking minimalist mug display, simply fasten the old distressed hooks directly to your wall above your counter or coffee bar. Styles vary from rustic hardware you'd find in barns and stables to beautiful glass-knobbed and decorative hooks used in closets and cloakrooms. Great sources for vintage hooks are antique venues, salvage shops, and flea markets. This approach makes a great alternative to racks that take up a lot of space and attention, allowing the simplicity of your mug collection to shine. 

12. Vintage knick-knack shelves

Decorative shelves once meant for small knick-knacks or figurines are often compact and narrow enough to make excellent repurposed mug storage racks. Just paint or refinish the shelves to fit your kitchen aesthetic and add your mugs. You can also use the top or bottom to add other elements like plants or spice jars, or add a screw-in paper towel dispenser to the bottom of the shelf. These shelves are often beautifully designed with cutouts and decorative details that add endless charm to vintage and cottage-style kitchens. You can also build a knick-knack shelf from scratch. 

13. Shelf hooks

If you have stylish open shelving in your kitchen, you can make any shelf into a coffee mug rack by adding a few hooks on the underside of the shelf. This is an easy DIY if you do not have room on the walls or counter for storing your collection of mugs. Use simple screw-in hooks or heavy-duty command hooks. For a metal shelf, you can also use magnetic hooks that come in various sizes and can be easily moved around as your collection grows and changes. 

14. Vintage display racks

Vintage and antique retail display racks come in a variety of sizes and shapes, many of them perfect for using on a counter for storing and displaying a mug collection. Paint and refinish the rack to fit your kitchen style or leave it in a distressed, shabby state for a look that complements shabby-chic, rustic, and industrial kitchen designs. Standing floor displays like the one above can be great for large collections,but can be tough to find in antique venues. However, smaller ones occasionally turn up in places like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.

15. Wooden fruit crate

Another great repurposing DIY for mug storage is to use vintage fruit crates. These sturdy containers often sport shelves to keep fruit from bruising, most of which easily accommodate standard-sized mugs and teacups. Place them on your counter or hang them on the wall for easy storage and display. Other varieties of wooden crates can also be perfect for mugs, including wine and liquor crates. You can also build additional wooden shelves from pallet wood inside of larger fruit crates to house mugs or other kinds of decorative items.

16. Rustic sign mug rack

Wooden signs and word art can often be a great element to bring into any space for visual interest, often complementing vintage-inspired and rustic kitchens. Adding some simple screw-in hooks to the signs, however, immediately makes them an object that is both functional and beautiful at the same time. If you don't have an old sign or word art, you can create one from scratch with a piece of wood and some paint, then add your hooks spaced evenly across the bottom of the sign.

17. Wooden branch mug rack

For a rustic look, consider repurposing a branch or tree limb as an eco-friendly mug holder, using the natural growth of the branch as hooks for your mugs. Suspend a branch along the wall and hang the mugs from it, or use the trimmed-down trunk of your Christmas tree to create a floor rack by adding some stabilizing legs. Leave it unfinished for a more natural look, or paint it to fit your kitchen style. For a sleek finish, use white or matte black spray paint. 

18. Hanging mugs

For a great small-space solution, hang your mugs from a piece of wood above your counter or table using twine or rope. Stagger them at different heights for a display that looks like a glorious piece of functional art. This is a great DIY project if you have a collection of beautiful handmade pottery, since the rustic texture of the rope complements the mugs. While you can tie and untie the mugs when needed, you can also use small S-hooks at the bottom of each length of twine for easier access to the mugs. 

19. Tiered tray

Two-tiered trays can be perfect for storing a variety of kitchen essentials, including providing a compact and visible display for mugs. Larger tray sets can easily accommodate a dozen or so large mugs if you use all levels. You can also use one tier for mugs and the other for coffee supplies like sugar, creamers, and K-cups. The trays look beautiful when placed on a counter or tabletop and make them easy to reach for on groggy mornings. Some models even rotate for full access to all sides. This countertop display is a great solution for a small kitchen without much wall space.

20. Ladder rack

Another great repurposing DIY is to transform any old wooden ladder into a stylish mug rack. Just add screw-in hooks to the rungs or exterior legs of the ladder. Depending on available space, you can use the ladder vertically for a slender rack, or horizontally for a wider space. The ladder also provides an excellent berth for drying towels and hanging clip-on baskets or other decorative accents like word art and greenery to the rungs. The original rustic finish of an old ladder is a perfect addition to rustic and farmhouse-inspired spaces.