Modern Coat Rack




Introduction: Modern Coat Rack

About: Husband, Father, Woodworker based in Wilmington, NC

This tutorial will show you how to build a modern coat rack. This modern coat rack design made from Black Walnut wood is both stylish and functional. Whether you’re looking for a coat rack in your foyer or mudroom and whether your interior design style is modern farmhouse or craftsman, this coat rack is sure to fit in just fine. When I was looking for different coat rack designs I ran across a few similar to this that I adapted into my own space and figured out how to build.

If you don't feel like building one I'm now accepting custom orders for these racks HERE

Check out the “How to Build a Modern Coat Rack” video here and don’t forget to Subscribe!

Step 1: Select Your Materials

I decided on some air-dried walnut that I had been holding onto for a long time. However, you could choose pretty much any wood for this project. Even plywood would probably make a great modern coat rack design.

Step 2: Cut and Dimension Lumber

If using rough lumber, cut it to the length you want your coat rack and proceed to joint and plane the wood. If you purchased pre-surfaced lumber than go ahead and cut to length and width. I made my coat racks 30″ long to fit in the space I had, but you could make them any length.

Step 3: Cut Boards Into Sections

I cut 2″ strips for the stationary pieces and 1″ strips for the moveable pieces that will be used for hanging. Again you could use a variety of different measurements for this, so don’t be hung up on the 1″ and 2″ strips. You can experiment here to see what works and looks best for your own modern coat rack.

Step 4: Cut Angles on the Moveable Pieces

Here is where you cut the angles on the pieces that will fold out to be the hangers in your modern coat rack. You don’t technically need the angle on the top but I think it helps and looks better. I cut 45 degree angles on both ends but ended up having to go back and trim a little more off the bottom so it could swing all the way down without rubbing the wall. Check out the video to see what I’m talking about.

Step 5: Drill Each Piece for the Dowel Rod

I used a 3/8″ Oak dowel rod to connect my modern coat racks. Again, this is up to you on what size and material you want to use for your dowel rod. You could match the material so it blends in or go with a contrasting color wood like I chose. I set-up stop blocks on my drill press to make the repeatable holes go a little quicker. To know where to drill I lined up the moveable piece against the side of one of the stationary pieces and traced where they met when the moveable piece was folded down. I then found the center of these marks that would serve as the axis for the dowel rod. Once you have this mark, just set-up stop blocks on a drill press or use a hand drill to drill all of your holes.

Step 6: Sand and Finish All of the Pieces

Next you want to sand each individual piece and finish them before assembling. I just put my random orbital sander in my bench vise and sanded each piece, you could do this by hand if needed. After sanding up to 220 grit, it was time to apply finish. I chose Minwax Wipe-on Poly, but would probably try simple Boiled Linseed Oil next time to avoid the film finish that I’m sure will show wear on these over time.

Step 7: Assemble the Coat Rack

After the finish dries you are ready to add all of the pieces for your modern wood coat rack to the dowel rod. This proved a little difficult for me until I used a little paste wax on the dowel to lube things up. After assemble it is a good ides to use a long clamp to apply some pressure to make sure all of the pieces are seated well. Next I removed the two end pieces, added some wood glue, and reinstalled them. That’s it, the other stationary pieces did not need glue because of the tight fit and the way they mount to the wall not allowing for any movement. Once the glue is dry, flush cut the dowel ends off. Then I figured out where I wanted my mounting locations and routed key hole slots into the backs of the coat racks. Be sure only to route these into the stationary pieces!

Step 8: Install and Enjoy the Coat Rack

I used a screw on each end and one in the middle to mount these with the key hole slots. These coat racks have proved to be even more functional and good looking than I originally pictured! I hope this helps you build a modern coat rack of your own!

If you enjoyed this tutorial, please share on Pinterest and other social media sites as well as subscribe to my YouTube Channel. You may also enjoy some of my other project tutorials and the list of Tools from my Shop.

Thank you!


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    24 Discussions

    Coat storage at my home has always been the boring metal hanger type that is still in a good condition even after so many years. For me, durability and practicality are what truly matter at the end of the day. However, it does no harm trying out new and creative ideas from time to time.

    Nice job! One other thought. If we were to replace the wooden dowel with a common unthreaded rod without adhesive we could then rotate each hook in or out of parallel to the wall as needed.


    2 months ago

    Two concerns - many of my coats do not have hanging loops big enough for 'pegs' like these. And then in my book, the 'pegs' should have well rounded edges to protect the loops.

    2 replies

    This design is more for hanging the coat on by the neck/collar rather than a loop.

    While the edges still look sharp, they were knocked down with some sandpaper so I don't see them cutting any loops. For my purpose these will mostly be used for backpacks, kids jackets with hoods, and hats, so the size of the hooks were not a concern.

    beautiful! But isn't this the weakest way to orient the grain? maybe walnut is way tougher than the wood I usually use, but I'd worry about one of the hooks splitting. It is the best way to show off the grain though, so I guess it's a tricky one...

    5 replies

    I totally agree. It was the first thing I noticed.

    However, you could strengthen it with a spline on the back side. Which wouldn't be seen unless you were above the rack.

    I agree with other comments that a 7/8" walnut should be strong enough but if you think you will need the additional strength (and a cool factor) you could drill out the center of each piece and glue in a a metal rod with epoxy (contemporary) or you could glue in a wooden dowel (traditional).

    We'll see, but 7/8" thick Walnut should be plenty strong for this purpose regardless of grain orientation.

    You might be right.

    However, my bet is that if it was going to break it will happen where the dowel is. Seeing that it is not 7/8" thick anymore because of the dowel.

    Granted if people only use it for hats and caps that's fine.

    This is a fine project and all credit to you.

    It is, but with the thickness of these pieces and the low weight of things being hung from it I do not see it becoming an issue. I guess another way would have been to glue up a panel with all of the grain oriented vertically and go from there. But that look of a continuous piece of wood was too much to resist, haha!


    Question 2 months ago

    Am I right that the only thing stopping the 'hooks' from rotating further down is the wall?

    If so this is a worry.. especially with something as soft as plasterboard. With heavy winter coats and bags and the massive mechanical advantage the leaver action gives, I have no doubt this would damage and potentially pierce the wall given enough use.

    3 more answers

    I was thinking the same thing. My thought on addressing this is to either add a piece of 1/8 hardboard to the back or you can add something that is thicker as desired.

    I think a strip of some metal at hook contact will help to save the wall and to hang some really heavy things on it. And at the same time it would be hidden.

    That was a consideration. I'll see over time, but there is a good amount of surface area that contacts the wall to spread the load so I'm optimistic that it will hold up.

    This is a very clean and modern project BorkWood! Any thought about inserting a small neodymium magnets to the stationary pieces and then to the adjacent pivot piece? Thought maybe that would be nice to keep them closed over time from normal wear or might not be needed at all. Great rack!

    1 more answer

    I did consider magnets, but once I saw how tight the fit was I didn't end up doing any. They could always be added later, but I think the reality in my house will be that they'll pretty much always be down and in use, haha!