Clothes Drying Rack - Old Fashion Design Copy




Introduction: Clothes Drying Rack - Old Fashion Design Copy

It bothered me to see the wife having to work so hard to set up a collapsible drying rack to dry her's and the kids swim stuff so I started researching a wall mount setup that would fold flat against the wall.  Most designs I found were large lean out designs but I needed something with ends sticking out to hold swim caps open to dry. I came across one old antique design that was just what I needed so I took the idea and updated it to my situation. This was a one day construction and then a couple of days of polyurethane stain coats and I was in business.

Step 1: Supplies

The rack arms are made out of stair rail balusters cut down to fit the base board that keeps everything well attached to the wall.  While the base board protects the arms when you swing them back against the wall it also was sized to cross multiple wall studs for a secure base for the arm brackets to connect too. All components were from Lowes.

1 - 24"x10"x3/4" Red Oak Board Pre Cut (Lowes)
5 - Stair Balusters (Lowes) - EverTrue 38" Creative Stain Grade Red Oak Colonial Baluster
     Item #: 17036  |  Model #: 514138ETOAK 
1 - Section of 2" Steel Angle Iron
1 - 3/8"x8" Bolt
2 - 3/8" Steel Washers
2 - 3/8" Steel Lock Washers
2 - 3/8" Nylon Washers
6 - 1/4"x3.5" Lag Screws
2 - 1/4"x1" Lag Screws
8 - 1/4" Steel Washers
1 - Pecan Color Polyurethane Stain
6 - 1/4" Sheetrock Anchors If Needed Due To No Wall Studs To Hit In Your Mount Location.

Step 2: Cut Down Balusters to 24 Inches and Drill Pivot Hole.

I cut the balusters on both ends to get the 24" length needed. I cut non hinged end just where the wood turning created a break that made a "bat" end to hang the clothes on and then cut the other end 24 inches back into the squared area to create a good hinging surface to support the balusters when they are swung out to hold clothes.

I then drilled the 3/8" holes for the balusters to pivot on about 1" from the end.

Step 3: Cut and Drill Steel Angle Iron Brackets

I cut the two, 2" wide, angle iron brackets from the 2" angle iron using a reciprocating saw (Sawsall) with a metal blade.
I then drilled out the 3/8" hole for the pivot bolt and the two 1/4" holes for the wall / base board mounting screws. I used a file to smooth off all the rough edges and then put on two coats of a clear acrylic to seal them up but left them with original color finish.  You could paint them to a color of your choice if you want.

I then mounted everything up and secured the mounting brackets to the base plate to make sure everything fit.

The two 3/8" nylon washers go between the top and bottom brackets and the first and last balusters to keep the wood from rubbing the steel brackets.

On the brackets I used a 1/4"x3.5" on the left to sink into the stud in the wall and then used a 1" on the right to screw only into the base board.

Step 4: Finishing and Painting

I took everything back apart and then sanded all the wood down with a fine grain sandpaper and applied two coats of polyurethane stain with light sanding in-between coats. Let it all dry well and then reassemble.

Step 5: Attach to Wall

Re-assemble the rack and then place on wall by sinking the 6, 1/4"x3.5" lag screws into studs or use good sheetrock anchors for attachment.




  • Tiny Home Contest

    Tiny Home Contest
  • Fix It! Contest

    Fix It! Contest
  • Water Contest

    Water Contest

20 Discussions

This will make a great pantry behind door hanger for drying spagetti! thanks!

Old design from Grandma's day, excellently done today. Thanks.


it is so interesting and applicable.

i think if you make the wood hollow and apply inner woods inside them , then you could have longer space for hanging clothes in the same size. something like radio antenna.

I was working on a design for something similar using square oak dowels. Your idea is SO much better. Thanks for the idea and great work.

Very nice and a great idea for a birthday present.

Brilliant! Thanks for this. I need a smaller one in the kitchen and this is the perfect plan to design around.

We had one of these in the kitchen for the Tea Towels when I was growing up.

Great job! I picked up two of these at an estate sale and they didn't know what they were! Never really thought about some of the other suggestions!

In the Great White North these are useful for hats glove scarves mittens socks and coats after snow or rain. Some boots/shoes can hang on these too! Esp nice when hung by the wood stove or a heat source.

In the kitchen:::: Herbs; kitchen towels; re-cycle plastic bags and bottles ; aprons; pasta; dry foil;

Crafts room:::: hang fabric after ironing to prevent crumples and fold lines; wool in use or after dying and to work out color combos; ribbon; wrapping paper; pressing clothes---small sewing and craft items

Laundry::: delicate items and undergarments; things you need to check after washing for stain removal; home made fabric softener cloths dry rack; baby clothes; socks that might get lost; diapers;

Bedroom:::: small items like scarves; jewelry; hats; lingerie; hold clothes for packing or steaming; flip flop holder!

Look for the small cloths hanger/clothes pin clips--these have a hooked top like on a hanger and a clothes pin base---to clip together things like socks to hang on these--makes use of more space. Vermont Country Store sells them and some camping places.

Did I miss any rooms and uses????

1 reply

Thanks for the comment and I agree that this could be handy for many other situations. So far it appears to still be passing the "wife" test as I did want to make this regular chore easier for her to accomplish.


4 years ago

great job. I'll be building myself one.I think I'll replace the Steel angles with Home made Wood angles and use dowels instead of the 8 inch bolt. this way I can mount one outdoors as well

1 reply

The image I found on Google to model this on was built that way with wood angles and a dowel. It also had a small base plate that was only big enough to mount into one wall stud.

Nice job. I'm wondering if you think it would be strong enough to serve as a sweater drying rack as well.

1 reply

We have put some very large wet towels on it with no problems so I would say that it should handle it.

Well done! We had a metal one from IKEA that was extremely handy.

How clever and awesome! I hate those flimsy metal drying racks (for so many reasons -_-), and this is a much sturdier, more space effective option! Thanks!