Garment Rack

I’ve always had a strong love for DIY projects, the really big kind you can sink your teeth into. Woodworking has always been a medium that I’ve really enjoyed creating with. I think a lot of that stems from the fact that my father was passionate about working with his hands and doing things himself. He’d never describe himself as a craftsman or a DIY guy, but it’s his mentality that helped shape the way I look at projects. I often have a hard time finding exactly what I want in the store, so I tell myself; why buy something not exactly what I want when I can probably make it myself? Not living remotely close to my father (an his expansive collection of woodworking tools) does limit what I can produce, but a garment rack seemed feasible.

I researched photos of other garment racks, looked at clothing/items I had I would want to be using it for, the space I had available in my room, etc. Then I began drawing up plans with exact dimensions. I try to draw to scale but am to lazy to use my scale ruler and instead usually use a ruled piece of paper and assign a specific length to one ruled line. In this case one ruled line equaled 3in. I like to spend a good deal of time planning ahead; I’d rather try and flush out all the possible problems in the planning process, rather than while I’m actually making it.

I wanted to use reclaimed wood for this project so I went to check out some places in the shipping districts of Gowanus/Red Hook area. And sure enough there were pallets galore so I got to be choosy. I found a huge pile of them and asked one of the workers if I could have some, he said to take them all. So I called up a friend, had him rent a ZipCar (I didn’t have an account at the time, but now I’m a loyal member!), and come help me take a bunch back to my apartment.

Taking apart pallets is easier said than done. The newer ones were the easiest, but I wanted the old beat up wood and of course the nails were gnarly and rusted and quite difficult to remove. And then began the other hard job, hand sawing. Every piece of wood in this project was hand cut to fit. I sanded each piece individually before putting it together. I ultimately decided to add some baseboards to sort of cap off the structure and give it more of a ‘finished’ look.

The black pipes are unbelievably dirty when you get them, and seeing as this rack was going to be covered in clothing, I didn’t want any of that rubbing off. Surprisingly enough the cleaning product I found to remove the black and the sticker residue without making the pipes look too ‘clean’ was Windex.

At this point it’s just a lot of piecing together and screwing things into place! This was one of the biggest projects I’ve ever tackled and it had the absolute BEST payoff. I love being able to display my clothes on such a pretty piece of furniture while getting to appreciate the fact that I made it with my own two hands.

Let me know what you think or if you have any more specific questions about the process! Happy woodworking!

Shopping List:

Floor Flange (15ct)

90° Elbow (14ct)

T-Shape (11ct)

2in Pipe (6ct)

3in Pipe (4ct)

5in Pipe (4ct)

6in Pipe (6ct)

8in Pipe (6ct)

12in Pipe (2ct)

18in Pipe (7ct)

Wheels (4ct)

1in Black Screws

1-5/8in Black Screws


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