This simple towel rack would be a great project for any bathroom. I custom fitted this rack to fit behind a door, however you could easily adjust the sizes to make it fit your space. It features three towel rods and two narrow shelves, with rope for a guard. This is a pretty quick and easy project, and great if you don't have too many tools on hand.
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Step 1: The Rods
I started with cutting up some dowels for the rods. And these are basic 3/4 inch, about 20 mm dowels. And to give the wood a little darker color, I'm using a gel stain here. This is red mahogany, and I think that contrasted against white always looks nice.
Once the stain had dried, so I sprayed the dowels with some spray lacquer for a quick and easy finish.
Step 2: The Frame
Next the wood for the frame and the shelves.
For the sides and the shelves I'm using basic cheap whitewood, and this one of those simple projects where you could use anything you have on hand, any scraps, whatever. I'm planning on painting this shelf anyway, so it doesn't really matter.
I'm ripping the wood down a touch so it will fit perfectly in the space in between the molding.
I figured a curve on the tops and the bottoms would make it a little smoother and less boxy looking, so I freehanded a curve and then cut it on the band saw.
Step 3: Assembly
Then here are all the pieces cut up and ready to be assembled. And I placed the holes for the dowels as far to the edge as I thought would be reasonable, to provide as much space behind for towels as possible. When drilling holes like this, it's definitely a good idea to keep a scrap piece of wood underneath to prevent blowout.
And I'm simply going to screw the shelves in from the sides.
To keep everything straight and square when assembling, it's really nice to have corner clamps like this, especially if you're building by yourself.
Step 4: Painting
I decided to run over all the edges with a plane, the block plane is nice for this, however for tighter spaces, I used a mini plane.
To assemble the rods, I took apart one of the sides and banged the dowels into the holes, and then screwed the side back in again.
And then I added a coat of white paint to protect the wood, and provide a nice, clean look.
Step 5: Rope
Also, on the sides of the shelves here I'm inserting some eyelet hooks. And that's because I thought the shelves are so narrow, and I'm picturing things falling off the shelves, which probably wouldn't happen, but I figured it would be nice to have some guards in place. And I decided to go with rope. This is natural Manilla rope, and I simply tied the ends to each hook, as tight as I could.
At this point, I screwed the shelf to the wall, and it was all ready to be used!
Step 6: Conclusion
For a much better perspective, make sure to watch the video that goes over all the steps in building the towel rack.