efore launching into “hardcore” renewing and recycling projects, I thought I’d share with you a project that was done almost from scratch – a coat hanger made with a piece of pine board, some twine, wood stain, and store-bought hooks. The coat rack was first designed to hold jackets and hats in our space-challenged entryway in North Carolina, but between the move and Mike’s graduation, I was only able to finish and hang it after we moved to Massachusetts. Here it is (above), gracing our entryway with its presence :)
Here’s how I made it:
1. Leftover piece of lumber – of the size that you want your hanger to be.
2. Water-based wood stain.
3. Thick thread, yarn, or twine of color that contrasts with the color of stain you will use.
4. School or wood glue.
5. Hook and screw kits available from major home improvement stores.
6. Your choice of varnish or polyurethane for finishing.
7. Your choice of woodworking tools to carve shallow grooves in the wood.
8. Mounting self-leveler aka sawtooth hanger, like this or any other mounting hardware.
1. I started with an unfinished pine board (it was a leftover piece from another project).
2. Using a pencil, I sketched out the design that I wanted to appear on the rack. Since I’ve never attempted anything of this kind, I opted for a simple geometric design because I thought it would be easier to work with.
3. Next, I followed the lines and cut shallow grooves in the wood. I used a Dremel rotary tool with emery cutting tip. It is certainly possible to embellish the coat hanger without cutting the grooves if you use high quality wood glue. I wanted to carve the grooves simply to practice using the rotary tool.
4. I then stained the board with two coats of cherry stain. So far, for all my woodworking projects I have been using various shades of Minwax water-based stain. I like that the cleanup is so easy and that there are no noxious fumes to contend with during application and drying.
5. For the next step, you can use rope, twine, yarn or even thin wire to fill the grooves that you’ve carved. I used off-white cotton string similar in weight to crochet yarn. After placing a dollop of white school glue on a piece of scrap paper, I dragged each length of the string through the glue and carefully pushed the string into the grooves. Pushpins were used to hold each piece of string in place as the glue dries and to define the corner in my geometric pattern.
6. My coat hanger was finished with two coats of polyurethane to give it a shiny finished look and to secure the string in case the glue alone wasn’t enough.
7. Finally, I attached chrome hooks into the center of each “square” design.
8. A note on mounting: I used sawtooth hangers to mount the coat rack. At Mike’s wise suggestion, we found the wall studs before attaching the screws on which the sawtooth hangers were to rest. That extra step was well worth the effort since the coat hanger now successfully supports the weight of all our heavy winter coats.