Introduction: Vertical Scarf and Necktie Hanger

This is a scarf/necktie organizer that can be hung in a closet or on a doorknob. It's a quick and inexpensive project, made using a few pieces of scrap wood, drill press, and table router. I made two for my girlfriend (a scarf fiend), and fixed up the prototype to use for my neckties.

Storing scarves using holes or rings is pretty common (just search for "scarf organizer") but the advantage of this design is that the organizing holes are stacked vertically. Storing things vertically is a great way to maximize the use of space, especially in small bedrooms, and allows for more flexibility in the kinds of spaces you can hang the organizer.

This project is part of the Small Spaces contest, so if you like it, please vote for it!

Step 1: Prototype

I started by making a prototype hanger to test out the design and build process. When I get an idea, I often end up rushing through the project to bring it to fruition - but rushing when working with milling machines is a bad idea. As can be seen in second photo, starting on a prototype gave me the chance to calibrate the table router without ruining the final project.

At the end of the project, I was able to plane down the prototype, re-rout the mistakes, and end up with a hanger for myself. Very satisfying.

Step 2: Select and Prep Wood

I chose an workable piece of hardwood from the scrap bins at the TechShop in Pittsburgh. I cleaned up the edges of the scrap to end up with a board about 2"x3"x29" - the specific width and length don't really matter as long as it fits in the closet. 3" is fine for width, and you can use the length of your shirt as a rough estimate of what will hang comfortably in your closet.

I then resawed the board to create two 3/4"x3"x29" planks. Go slow and be careful when resawing on a table saw.

Step 3: Cut Hanger

I used a plain plastic clothes hanger as a guide for the size of the holes I'd need to drill to form the hanger. I measured about 1" from the top of the hanger - after finishing the project and testing it in my closet, I think starting at 1/2" to 3/4" from the top would have been fine.

I drew a centerline down the middle of the board for reference, and used the guide point on a 1 1/2" Forstner bit to mark the holes, then drilled them out with the drill press. First time using Forstner bits for me, and I was amazed. Goodbye, hole saw.

After drilling out two holes, I used the plastic hanger as a rough guide to mark parallel diagonal lines leading from the holes to the edge of the board. I used a bandsaw to cut along the lines and to cut out the bit of wood leftover from the drilling process, creating a smooth hanger shape.

Step 4: Drilling Scarf Holes

Using the biggest Forstner bit available (2 1/8"), I measured and marked as many holes as would fit, starting 1/2" from the bottom of the board and working up towards the hanger, leaving about 1/2" between each hole.

I drilled about 80% through on one side (enough so that the center guide point would penetrate the back side of the board), then flipped the wood over and drilled out the holes completely.

On both pieces, towards the bottom, I had some chipping on the wood surface between the holes, but I was able to fix it well enough with some coarse sandpaper.

Step 5: Rout It Out

I used a 1/4" roundover router bit with a guide to round all the edges, including the inside of the scarf holes and the hanger. The calibration of the router to make the final curve flush with the table made the prototyping process completely worth it.

Step 6: Sand, Finish, and Test

I sanded the faces and sides using a belt sander, then hand-sanded all the edges using progressively finer sandpaper (again, also including the insides of the holes. I also waxed the wood by following Mr. Balleng's fine instructions here, though the numerous edges made this a rather protracted process:

The final few pictures show the original board vs the mostly-completed hanger, the two scarf hangers and the prototype/tie hanger side-by-side, and a quick hanging test on a coat rack.

Step 7: Bring Order to a Small Space of Your Life

Feed the ties or scarves through, hang the hangers, and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes from well-utilized space!

As you can see from the photos, the vertical layout allows you to hang the organizer sideways on a closet rack or face-out over a doorknob, without blocking the door from swinging open.

Check out other Small Space projects in the contest, and please vote for this one if you find it useful!

Small Spaces Contest

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Small Spaces Contest