Introduction: How to Make a Pot Rack From an Antique Screen Door

About: I am a working single mom. Creativity and problem solving are stress relievers for me and so I often have projects were I make something from scratch.

I inherited many of her antiques when my mama died last year, including an antique screen door frame which she had used it to display pictures and other mementos on the porch. As I integrated her beloved possessions into my home, I thought that it would make an amazing pot rack over my kitchen island.

Part of the process of being creative is being adaptable and if the first idea doesn't work out, try something different. As part of this Instructable, I will share some of the hiccups as this project developed.


  • Antique door or frame
  • Imagination
  • Clothing display rack (5' x 2')
  • Metal (2 in. x 36 in.) Heavy Strap Ties
  • Eye bolts, washers, and nuts
  • Swivel pulleys
  • Nylon rope
  • Spray paint
  • Natural fiber rope
  • 3/16" Solid Braid Polyester Rope
  • 6' wooden board
  • Stain or paint
  • Drill
  • Ceiling mounted garage hoist system (I chose one rated to 100 lb. capacity and a locking mechanism built in)
  • S hooks

Step 1: Finding a Pre-made Metal Grid for the Pot Rack

The search started for the backbone of this project: a pre-made 3' x 6.5' (the door dimensions) wire grid sturdy enough to hang pots yet not too heavy. I had envisioned something that had 2"x2" grid squares. Alas, this is an item that is not pre-made.

Finally, I came across a 2'x6' retail fixture in black with 3"x3" grid squares...Bingo!

Wandering around home improvement stores turned up (2 in. x 36 in.) Strong-Tie Heavy Strap Ties with pre-drilled holes. These galvanized steel strap ties the building section weren't much to look at, but were the right size and shape. Four eye bolts, washers, nuts and two swivel pulleys rounded out the purchases.

Once home, the strap ties, eye bolts, nuts, washers and pulleys were spray painted a dark brown.

Note the pictures in this section are examples of the described parts purchased for the project.

Step 2: Assembling the Frame

The 36" strap ties slid perfectly through the two rows of wire on each side of the grid (picture 1). For the strap ties at the top and bottom of the rack, the eye bolts were inserted through the holes just outside the grid edge to keep them in place (pictures 1 and 2). Washers were used on both sides of the strip tie. to add stability. The frame was then placed on top of the screen door. The third strap was placed over the wooden cross piece of the door and the ends of the strap ties lashed to the door with a natural fiber rope (picture 3). A smaller natural fiber rope was used to lash the ends of the top and bottom pieces (picture 4).

Note: the grid system is what supports the weight of the pots, not the screen door frame.

Step 3: Pulley System

I wanted to hang the pot rack with a pulley system and found amazing pulleys in a steam punk style, Unfortunately, functionally they did not work and so I went with a ceiling mounted garage hoist that was rated for 100 lb. Each ceiling hoist bracket required the installation of 2 bolts about 4" apart. Murphy's Law meant that the studs in the ceiling were perpendicular to the direction I needed to hang the hoist and therefore only one bolt would be anchored in the stud.

Another trip to the home improvement store for a 6' board and stain. Once stained, the board was centered above the island and mounted to the ceiling (picture 1). The ceiling hoist brackets were installed using the manufacturer's instructions.

Now back to the pot rack....

Cut two 3-3.5' pieces of the 3/16" solid braid polyester rope. Tie the end of one rope to one eye bolt at the top of the door. (I chose to do with with a Angler's Loop Fishing Knot, picture 2.) Run the rope though the top of one of the swivel pulleys and secure to the eye bolt on the other side. (I must admit it was more challenging trying to tie the Angler's Loop in reverse order.) Repeat these steps for the bottom of the door, making sure that the finished ropes are the same length. When the swivel pulleys are held up, they form a triangle (picture 3).

Whew, this project is almost done!

The rope was installed through the pulley system following the manufacturer's instructions. The one adaption was that the line was ran through the swivel pulleys at each end of the pot rack instead of the hooks that came with the hoist system (picture 4).

A bracket was installed at the end of the island to tie off the hoist (picture 5). The rack was hoisted up and S hooks used to hang pots and other items from it. The top of the pot rack serves as a shelf for larger pots and other interesting items.

I loved the way that it turned out and hope this project inspires you to try something different.

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