DIY Kid's Coat Rack From Old Pallet Wood

5 Materials
2 Hours

I loved my face mask organizer made from pallet wood so much I decided to make something very similar as a kid’s coat rack for my front hall entryway.

My kids are always throwing their coats off in the middle of the floor!

We tried hanging them on the end of a radiator, but they didn’t really stay and the alternative is us hanging them up high around the corner where our big persons coat rack is.

So this little DIY Kid’s coat rack is all about getting something down at their level. 

Does it mean they always put their coats up there themselves? 

Of course not! 

But they do hang their coats up know occasionally and at least they can’t use the excuse that they can’t reach it!

Here is how I made my mini coat rack!

I cut my pallet wood to be 15” x 4”.

I used old knobs from my extensive stash instead of hooks.

Before drilling the holes for them I set some knobs on top of my pallet wood to get a rough idea where I wanted them and measure the distance before drilling my holes. 

The test knobs weren’t the ones I ended up using but they helped to get the spacing right.

Only after I had the placing decided did I actually drill my holes.

Sand your piece of pallet wood down using a mouse sander (the easiest way) or sand paper. Always going in the direction of the grain.

Okay so here is where I have to fess up that this is a short cut hack version of treating pallet wood for use.

In short I used one coat of wood varnish and nothing else!

The ‘experts’ say you should use wood conditioner, followed by stain and then wipe off the excess and add a second coat of stain if you want it darker.

Purists would also finish with a coat of polyurethane to protect your project. You don’t often see people recommending varnish instead.

I didn’t follow all that advice though as I was just pulling what I had out of my utility room – so no wood conditioner and no proper stain – just wood varnish – frankly much easier and it still looks great!

I only used one coat and I didn’t wipe anything off.

Both my sister and my husband remarked when it was finished “that was from a pallet?” in shocked astonishment so I’d say the finish is pretty good.

You can still see the wood grain and it is a rich dark walnut wood colour. I’m really happy with how it looks.

You can see from the photos that I actually added a hanging before I put on my varnish. 

It worked out fine. But in hindsight I guess it makes more sense to do it the other way around!

I used a sawtooth hanger for this because I had it already but it isn’t ideal for a coat rack as it is essentially like hanging a picture and so the rack tips a bit. 

It’s not a huge problem we just tip it back but it would be better to put a hanger of some kind on either end rather than the middle to make it more secure. 

Lastly of course you need to add your knobs. I used a mix of types.

The three metal ones are from an old dresser I think, and the green ones used to be on a cabinet in an old flat I lived in many years ago.

The metal ones just screwed in with an ordinary screwdriver from the other side.

The green ones were a bit bent and missing nuts and washers so I put some wood glue on their screws before twisting them in so they will stay in place.

Using glue will make it harder to take them out and reuse them somewhere else in future but it made them useable for this one!

This is the finished coat rack.

The kids were actually super excited to see this at their height and put their coats on it for the first time. 

It will be a work in progress to get them to put their coats back their every time!

Here is the coat rack in situ in our not so tidy entryway!

If you want more upcycling ideas for around your home check out the home decor section of my blog here.

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Kristen Hubert
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  • Ellen Ellen on Nov 28, 2020

    Cute idea! Bet they were happy to see something at their heights.