How to Build an Easy Clothing Rack

7 Materials
2 Hours
Since having our son, Bo, almost 2 years ago, I’ve been trying to get his room looking tip-top but that just hasn't happened. We live in a roughly 850 sq. ft. house with two rooms, so I’m constantly trying to think of ways to save space. Bo doesn’t have a closet, because I use the closet in his room for my clothes. I have a dresser in his room as well (Rob uses the dresser and closet in our room), so I’ve always used a little wicker basket cabinet/drawer thing for his folded clothes and a hand-me-down baker’s rack from my mom for his hanging clothes. It has worked for us for the past 2 years, but now he’s growing like a weed, which means his clothes are getting bigger and harder to stuff in the wicker drawers. Thus, this amazing clothing rack! Rob was the mastermind in coming up with the detailed plans and doing most of the carpentry work (because apparently I can’t cut the boards perfectly with the chop saw), so I helped as his assistant with this one.
Ok, I know, something is seriously wrong with me — I changed Bo's room around AGAIN. I think I'm done though; I love this new clothing rack and the fact that it can grow with him. This project was easier than I had expected, of course, with Rob's lead on this one, but I would love to do more of these when we have more room for them.

-common board [one piece of 1x3x6, six pieces of 1x4x6, and one piece of 1x6x6]

-wooden dowel [1-1/8”x48”]

-wood glue

-nails [for nail gun we used 1-1/4”]

-screws [1-1/4” deck or drywall screws]

-measuring tape

-hole saw/paddle bit/forstner bit (use size that’s slightly larger than your dowel)
STEP 1: Cut base frame boards

To start, we squared off our boards — all you need to do for this is cut the ends off at saw width just to get off any uneven edges. Then, we cut the boards to the following lengths:

-1x3 –cut 2 pieces at 33.5” each

-1x4 –cut 2 pieces at 24” each and 2 pieces at 33.5” each, then put 4 of these aside and DON’T CUT (these will be your legs)
STEP 2: Assemble base frame

Next, you’ll want to assemble the base frame for your clothing rack. First, glue one of the 1x3 pieces to one of the 1x4 pieces, ensuring that they are lined up on one side. Then, nail together. Repeat this process with a separate piece of 1x3 and a piece of 1x4. These two assembled boards will be the long sides of your base.

After the long sides of your base are assembled, glue and nail one piece of 1x4 to each end of your assembled long boards.
STEP 3: Assemble slats in base

After your base frame is assembled, it’s time to pop in the slats in order to sit shoes or baskets on the base your clothing rack. Measure the inside of the frame (top to bottom with your shorter sides being on your left and right), then cut your 1x6 board into 6 pieces (first though, it is recommended that you square off your board by cutting a saw-width piece off of each end) using the inside frame measurement — in our case we measured at 23 3/8. Line the inside of the frame with glue and pop your slats in snugly.
STEP 4: Make the legs

Next, it’s time to drill the hole for your dowel. Take your 4 uncut 1x4 pieces, stack them on top of each other and square off the ends by cutting a saw-width piece off of each end. Then, measure the width of the boards stacked and mark the center (this is where you will drill the hole for the dowel). Once you have marked your center, drill a hole using your bit of choice (in our case we used a forstner bit).

After you’ve drilled the hole at the top of the legs, cut a 9 angle at the bottom of the legs. Make sure all of the legs are the same length.
STEP 5: Assemble the legs

Now that your dowel hole is drilled, and your legs are cut, you’ll want to assemble the legs. First, arrange two legs so that the dowel holes are aligned. Then, using a straight edge, align the bottom of the legs so that the angle cuts will sit flush on the floor. Once you have your legs laid out, you can glue them and fasten them together. Repeat with the remaining two legs.
STEP 6: Attach base to legs

Next, we attached the base to the legs. We measured 16” up the legs to where the side of the base would fit, then attached the legs to the base ensuring that they were centered. We attached the base to the legs with glue and nails, however, we went back and used screws because we wanted to ensure that everything was sturdy. If you choose to use screws to begin with, obviously the nails would not be necessary.
I’m so in love with this clothing rack!!! I wasn’t expecting the base to sit so far up but, as soon as Rob and I flipped the rack right-side-up, Bo brought his trucks over and started playing on it. I decided to put his baskets on the floor underneath and sit some of his toys and books on the base, so he has a little activity spot in his room. If you’re using this clothing rack in a child’s room, you could always add another dowel so you can hang his or her tops/coats on the top dowel and pants on the bottom. Eventually, this rack may be used in another room, so I’m just sticking with one dowel for now.
Suggested materials:
  • Common board   (Home Depot)
  • Wooden dowel   (Home Depot)
  • Wood glue   (Home Depot)
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Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Shirley Headley Shirley Headley on Sep 27, 2016
    What is the purpose of all the panels hanging on the walls? They don't look like curtains over a window.
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3 of 22 comments
  • Lisa House Lisa House on Oct 15, 2016
    I also meant to did a fabulous job, may try something like this in my bedroom but will have to put on wheels so we can move it out of the room when we need to access the basement (the opening is in the floor at the foot of our bed)
  • Nancy Nancy on Jan 22, 2017
    I think this idea will be perfect for our summer cottage! The bedrooms have no closets so this idea is great! Family/guests can put their suitcase on the shelf. And if they want to hang up any of their clothes, there's a place for it. Thanks!!