If you’re looking for ways to save money, or working on shrinking your environmental footprint, air-drying your washing is a great place to start. Dryers, while they are handy, use a ton of energy to operate. Plus, you might own delicate clothes that aren’t suited for aggressive machine drying. A clothes drying rack is a must-have asset for your laundry room – and bonus, you can make your own.
I absolutely love how simple this clothes drying rack turned out. Because I live in a small space, I worried about it being to “visually bulky.” The copper fittings worked perfectly with the dowels – both the assembly and the final look. I’m a bit obsessed with it, to be honest. Watch the video below to see me in action putting this baby together, or keep reading for the full walkthrough!
- Ten 5/8″ x 48″ wooden dowels
- Four 1/2″ copper elbow joints
- Four 1/2″ copper caps
- Eight 1/2″ copper tee joints
- Two small hinges
- Additional 1/2″ screws
- Hand or table saw
- Polyurethane sealant and foam brush for application
- Wood glue
- String, rope, or strap
- Power drill
- Tape measure
Begin by measuring and cutting your dowels into the following number and sizes:
- Six (6) 36-inch pieces
- One (1) 35-inch piece
- Six (6) 12-inch pieces
- Four (4) 8-inch pieces
The 36-inch pieces will serve as crossbars. The smaller pieces will act as the legs/trunks. The 35-inch piece is the floating piece in the middle that will create additional hanging space.
Once your pieces are cut, sand any rough edges, especially along the length of the wood (you don’t want any clothing getting stuck on loose splinters!).
Start assembling one side of the rack from the top. Take a 36-inch piece, and glue elbow joints to each end using the wood glue. I found it was easiest to apply the glue to the inside of the joint, rather than applying it to the wood. Make sure you have a damp towel handy to clean up any excess glue before it dries. Glue two 8-inch dowel pieces in the other side of the elbow joints, creating a bracket shape.
Next, take two more 36-inch pieces, and glue tee-joints to both ends. Take two 12-inch pieces and attach two copper feet.
Glue the first crossbar (a 36-incher with attached tee-joints) to the first assembled piece. Attach two 12-inch pieces to the first crossbar, then attach the second crossbar below that. Finally, glue the capped legs in place. Let the entire thing dry on a very flat surface.
Repeat steps 2-4 to create the second half of the clothes drying rack.
Once both pieces have dried completely, lay them next to each other with the top bars touching. Measure about six inches in from the ends of the rack, and mark. This is where your hinges will go. Screw each hinge in place, joining the two pieces of the clothes drying rack at the top. When securing the hinge, leave a gap between the two sections, allowing the hinge to rotate.
Let’s move on to the floating dowel. This crossbar acts as additional hanging space in the middle of the clothes drying rack. The string prevents the drying rack from sliding completely open when in use.
Cut a piece of string measuring between 15-20 inches. Fold it in half, and tie a small loop in the middle. Next, wrap the loop around a screw, and drill the screw into the end of the dowel rod (a clamp can help to hold the dowel rod in place). Screw a second piece of string into the other side of the dowel as well.
Tie loops in each end of the string coming from the floating dowel. About mid-way up the drying rack, screw each loop to the inside legs of the rack. Repeat for the other side.
Finally, coat the exposed wood in a layer of polyurethane to protect it from any moisture. Done!
I usually don’t enjoy the chore of doing laundry, but now I’m excited to wash my next load!
Looking for more cost-effective alternatives for your home? Learn how to make your own all-purpose cleaner!