DIY FRIDAY: Coat Rack From old timber & doorknobs

ThornePic7There’s been a bit of extra time over the last week or so for DIY projects, with Easter holidays, Freedom Day & Worker’s Day clocking in.

And with winter approaching Cape Town, the coats are likely to come out of the cupboards & make a mess of our living space when I casually chuck it over a chair each time I come in from the cold.

There was a bit of leftover wood from some projects the previous tenant in my house got up to & I used it to make a base from which to hang coats. This project is very simple & cheap if you happen to have the right bits of things lying about.




Get printable patterns like this one from

Get printable patterns like this one from

  • Wood plank (mine was just long enough to support 3 hooks, which is a nice number & fits well into the space I had available).Drawer/cupboard door knobs with screw fittings. If you don’t have any of these, you can purchase them at a hardware store of many home decor stores. I picked mine up at Ikea for really cheap a few years ago while abroad & never found a use for them until now.
  • Mod podge (found at any craft store)
  • Foam brush (for the mod podge)
  • Decorative paper (or just print your own like I did)
  • Drill
  • 4mm drill bit (this is for drilling the holes which fit the doorknob handle screws. Size depends on how large these screws are)
  • Sandpaper

Step 1

Sand the plank you’re about to decorate









Step 2

Choose/print the paper you’d like to cover it with.

The PDF of the one I went with can be found at

Step 3

ThornePic11Coat the paper with a layer or two of mod podge & let dry. This is will help to prevent printed paper & thin paper from appearing see-through when varnished later. Coat it on both sides.

Step 4

ThornePic2Add a layer of mod podge to the side of the plank you’d like to cover & place the paper on top of it. This will stick the paper to the wood. Smooth out the paper immediately to remove any bubbles (I kind of botched this up a bit, so be careful).














Step 5

ThornePic4Add a few more layers of mod podge, allowing them to dry sufficiently between each coating. Each layer takes about 15 minutes to dry. Many people do about 3 layers, but you can decide for yourself. I did 5 because I liked the thick gloss & I assumed that the coats will be getting a lot of interaction with the paper, so didn’t want it to wear too quickly. But this may be overkill. Check out mod podge tutorials if you like, here and here.




Step 6

Mark with a pencil where you’d like to drill your holes for your doorknobs. If you’d like them even, measure out the space first & add the marks for the knobs at even intervals. Also try to ensure they’re all level. It’s not a big deal if they aren’t, though (unless you’re particularly pedantic about straight lines). Remember to leave enough space (at least 10cm) between each knob so you get your thickets coats up there side-by-side.

Step 7

ThornePic5Use your 4mm drill bit & drill the holes at the marks.







Step 8

Insert the screw for the doorknob through the back of the hole. Drawer-handle knobs are perfect because they can be adjusted to most drawer thicknesses & can fit a nice variety of plank thicknesses without exposing the screw. Now screw the doorknob onto your plank with your hand. Try to get it as tight as possible.

ThornePic7Now you’re ready to mount your coat rack! Check out this tutorial for mounting. Essentially, we used a 6mm drill bit, brown wall plugs (the anchors referred to in the tutorial), 4.8mm x 50mm screws & a screw gun. If you don’t have a screw gun, get a pozi drive for your drill. We also used a spirit level & sharp pencil.

This more rough/industrial look works in my home space, but choose a hidden mounting method or a more elegant pattern & colour scheme if it fits your room better.

Notes: Don’t use hooks/knobs with sharp edges as this will cut into your coats.



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