Wooden plaque with robe hooks or any plain wooden plaque
Drawer pull knobs—enough to fill width of plaque, odd number
Drill and drill bits
Paint & paint brush
Wire cutter multi-tool
I started out with one of those wooden plaques with robe hooks on it. It was pretty old and beaten up, lots of scratches on the hooks and the finish was peeling off the wood.
First, I removed the robe hooks and set them aside with their hardware.
So, I taped over the holes on the back of the board, and filled in almost all of the holes with wood filler. I did leave the top two holes at the corners, so I would be able to hang it on the wall when I was done.
The next day, with the wood filler dry, I was ready to drill the new holes. First I needed to figure out the positions of the new knobs, so I taped a dressmaker's measuring tape to the board and played around with the spacing of the knobs until I came up with something I liked.
I knew I wanted the fleur-de-lis in the center, and the knobs with backing plates positioned on the bottom row. I also wanted 2 inches between knobs. I marked out the positions and got ready to drill the new holes.
The bolts that came with the knobs were 1/8" diameter, so I drilled the new holes with a 5/32" bit.
Once I was done sanding, I used a barely damp paper towel to wipe off the dust, and started painting. I used artist's acrylic paint from a tube - Cadmium Yellow - mixed with a bit of white and a tiny bit of water. Because I was painting raw wood, and I wanted a good opaque finish, I ended up applying four thin coats.
The light in my craft room is drastically different from the light in the bedroom where this would ultimately hang. Once the final coat of yellow was dry, I took it into the bedroom to get an idea of how it looked. It wasn't good - in fact, I hated it.
To remedy the situation, I went over the whole thing with one coat of the latex interior gloss paint that we used for the trim work throughout the house. Then I went over it lightly with a piece of sandpaper, to distress the piece, and remove some of the white to let the yellow show through.
My husband does a lot of electrical work, so he had a wire stripping tool that can also be used to cut screws. Using that, I was able to cut all of the bolts down to the length I needed. A word of warning though - because the knobs came from a variety of manufacturers, some of the bolts were easier to cut than others, and some I was not able to cut at all. It does require a lot of upper body/hand strength.
With the bolts cut, we decided to countersink the holes on the back of the board, using a countersink drill bit. We attached the knobs, tightening each bolt with a manual screwdriver.
Because all of the knobs I used were solid metal, the whole rack ended up being fairly heavy. We hung it on the wall using wall anchors, just to be on the safe side.
My older daughter has requested that I make her a hat rack using the discarded robe hooks, so stay tuned for my next project!