Introduction: DIY Kitchen Pot Rack
I like to cook, and when I am cooking, I HATE having to dig through cupboards hunting for whatever cooking implement I am in need of. I like to be able to reach out and grab whatever I need when I need it.
I have always wanted one of those "hang from the ceiling" type pot racks, but have never lived anywhere where I could have one. But I figured out a workaround. This is actually the third such pot rack I have constructed.
All of them have the same basic principle. Pegboard screwed onto a frame of 1 x 2's...that's pretty much it. I don't have step by step pictures of the process, but it is fairly simple. I will say this, you might want to use some glue or construction adhesive if you are going to be hanging heavy pots from this rack. I think you could probably use it with cast iron pots, just not too many.
Also, do NOT use 1/8 inch thick peg board, get the 1/4 inch, especially if you have a lot of heavy pots.
The other thing about this pot rack is where to put it. This is intended to be a sort of "vertical surface" pot rack, i.e., either hung from a wall or some other vertical face. The first one I made I did by having two pieces of peg board hanging on either side of a refrigerator, with a piece of 1/4 inch plywood going across the top of the fridge. The second was rather large and was hung underneath a shelf in the kitchen. The one shown in the pictures is hanging off the door of a closet in the kitchen of the small two bedroom apartment I live in. If you don't have a lot of space, or if you live somewhere that you can't make "heavy modifications" to your living space (like an apartment), you will likely need to figure out some "guerilla" methods to hang your pot rack.
You will need an appropriately sized piece of peg board. I won't tell you what size to use, but remember that you will be having a frame that goes around the edge, so you will need to take into account the fact that available area that you can actually insert hooks into will be somewhat smaller than the full area of your peg board.
About size. This is a question you will have to figure out for yourself. How many pots do you want to hang? Which ones need to be the most accessable? Do you want space for your pot lids? How can you arrange the pots to fit in the available space and still have them be easy to get to? You may want to get a large piece of paper and do a mock up. I didn't, I just did the best I could to fit what I needed to into the available space, sometimes that isn't enough, which is why I have three frying pans hanging from the very bottom of the rack.
You need the frame for two reasons:
1. To stiffen up the peg board so that the weight of the pots doesn't cause it to flex too much and look cheesy.
2. To offset the peg board from the wall or other surface so that you have room behind for the peg hooks to insert and to keep them from trashing the wall behind.
You will also want some drywall screws and some construction adhesive or other glue to glue the 1x2's to the back of the peg board.
You might consider painting your finished product. I didn't paint mine, I was in a hurry at the time, but it will look a lot better painted. The pegboard in the photos is white, that's because I scavenged mine from a department store display that was being thrown out. (I used to work for K-Mart, and the amount of perfectly good shelving, pegboard, etc. they threw away was phenomenal, no wonder they went bankrupt...)
You will also want a saw and a drill to cut your pieces to size and to drill holes for the screws. 1x2's are pretty thin, and will split if you don't pre-drill the holes for your screws. (or nails, if you are so inclined...I am fond of drywall screws for my projects and almost never use nails.) You might also want some sort of grommets or washers to go under the screws so they don't look so "rustic", but that isn't absolutely necessary. You will probably want some "C" clamps to clamp things together while you drill the holes into the 1x2's.
Cut the 1x2's to fit the back of your peg board. How you size these is up to you. I just did a butt joint at the corners, but you could get fancy and miter them. You could even miter them and then rout out a lip to "inset" your peg board into the frame.
If you make this thing quick and dirty, like I did, then cut two pieces that are as long as the narrow dimension of your peg board, then cut two more pieces that are as long as the longest dimension minus twice the thickness of a 1x2 (which would be nominally 1 1/2 inches--2 x 3/4 inch--for a store bought 1x2).
Once you have your pieces cut, clamp them in place around the edges of your peg board and drill through the peg board into the 1x2's with a bit that is appropriately sized for your screws (Screws have a major diameter and a minor diameter. The major diameter is the "outside" of the thread, and the minor diameter is down in the "trough" between threads. Your drill should be about the same size as the minor diameter.) I should point out that the 1x2's are attached "edge ways" to the peg board. This makes for a stiffer, stronger frame, and gives you more offset from the wall.
At this point you might want to mark what piece goes on what edge of the peg board, depending on what you do in the next step.
Okay, now that we have our pieces cut and drilled. They are still clamped to the peg board. From here, you can go one of two ways.
You could just go ahead and screw the peg board to the pieces without gluing. If you are confident that you aren't going to be putting a lot of heavy pots on your rack, you can probably do this.
If not, what I would do would be to take each piece off, put some glue or construction adhesive on it, clamp it back in place, and then put the screws in, adding grommets or washers as seemeth thee good.
Note: You may want to glue and screw the corners of the frame. I cheated and didn't do this, and my frame is separating where I have it hooked over the closet door. As you can see above. (Yup, the top of the door is very dusty.)
Once you have every thing glued, screwed and tattooed (allowing the glue and/or tattoo ink to dry), you can paint your pot rack. ...Or not...I didn't really paint mine. I was in a hurry, and figured the white peg board was good enough.
Hanging the pot rack.
How you hang your pot rack is a matter of personal preference. As I mentioned before, the first rack I did, I had a piece of 1/4 inch plywood that went over the top of my fridge and I attached the pot rack to that. I have also used screw eyes screwed into the top edge of the pot rack frame.
In the case of the pot rack shown, I got some sort of galvanized construction brace contraption at Home Depot, which I cut in half, drilled and bent. It is screwed into the top edge of the pot rack and into the top of the closet door (shh...don't tell the landlord).
You will notice the cutout in my pot rack to make room for the door knob of the closet. This rack has been through several moves and I simply cut a hole for the door knob to make the rack fit the situation.
A word on hooks. Don't get the ones made for 1/8 inch peg board, they will tend to fall out, get the heavier ones for 1/4.
If you look at the picture above, you can see my set up for my Revereware lids. These hooks probably aren't readily available to the public, but I bet you could perhaps improvise something similar. The KMart where I used to work threw out two cases of these and I glommed onto them. These are all I have left, the rest were donated to a thrift store. You might ask at a department store and see if they are throwing out any similar items (or other fixturing). The KMart I worked at threw out and entire industrial dumpster full of peg board, shelving, hooks and sundry other display hardware because they didn't have a place to store it.
I don't have just pots on my rack, I also have some other often used things, like my measuring cups. I also used to have a simple "hook bar" made from a single piece of 1x2 and some large cup hooks that I had screwed to the wall above the stove. I hung all my spatulas, and sundry other stirring implements from it. I also had a second one to hang the assorted beaters, dough hook, etc from my stand mixer. Both got lost in a move and I haven't bothered to replace them.
One of the benefits to having a rack like this is when you wash dishes. I don't have a dishwasher, so one of my pet peeves is the cheesy, postage stamp sized dish drainers for sale in the housewares section of most department stores. They are so small, that you put two or three plates in them, and a couple of bowls and some silverware and they are full.
...so you either dry stuff off, then wash another load...or you wash, wait for the stuff in the drainer to dry, then wash the next load. With my pot rack, I just wash a pot, then hang it right back up on the rack. Sure, it drips on the floor a little...but only a little, and the landlord, for whatever reason, has carpet in the kitchen, so there's no danger of any sort of slippery puddle on the floor to create a safety hazard. Now I can use my dish drainer for dishes. (I have a dish drainer made by Simple Human...this is the Cadillac of dish drainers...but cheap they ain't)
Anyway, that's the lot...the kit and the kaboodle...the whole schmear, the Full Monty. Hopefully someone will find this to be useful...butt ugly as it is.
For a prettier lookin' version of a similar rack (this one was devised for holding accessories for a wii gaming system), check out this instructable slide show.
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