Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Upcycled coat rack


A couple of weeks ago, I shared some of the frustration I was feeling around this project. Let's just say that when I'm making it up as I go, my upcycles rarely go smoothly. But now you get to benefit (a little) from my mistakes! Full tutorial after the jump.

I've been known to upcycle just because. But my favorite projects involve making things I really need. In this case, a coat rack. Here's what the previous tenants generously left me:




Not very practical for heavy, wet Chicago coats. So I took them (there were two) off the wall, thinking I'd just replace the little knobs with more practical hooks. Guess what they were covering? Huge holes. And there was no easy way to put them back up and also cover all the holes. So I procrastinated. And I also kept forgetting to buy spackle (hole filler). Then a few weeks ago, I realized that the leftover vintage wood hangers from this project and the extra pallet wood from this project were begging to become my new, hole-covering coat rack! I went to the hardware store and bought the hole filler. 


If you're prepared, this really will be a quick project. Here's what you need: 

1. A drill that's ready to go (mine hadn't been charged in months)
2. The strength and patience needed to remove barbed nails from pallet wood
3. Screws and nails of different lengths
4. Pliers and more patience - turning the hanger hooks isn't hard. Not snapping them in the process is. 
5. Beer. Whisky. Coffee. Tea. Pick your poison
6. Sand paper and stain


Step 1: While your drill is charging (!), tackle the nails in the pallet wood. See those copper barbs? They work. These things were really hard to remove. 

Step 2. Sand the wood and, if you want to, stain or seal it. 


Step 3: Use a pair of plier to gently turn the hooks on the hangers

Step 4: If you've broken a hanger along they way, drink tea/coffee/wine/beer/vodka. Then drill holes through the hangers. Why bother? Because they are made of incredibly hard wood and they'll split if you just smash nails through them. Side note: Vintage = made to last.



Step 5: Now you're ready to put it all together. In my original plan, all the hangers would have been open like the one on the left. But I snapped the hook off the one in the middle. So I ultimately turned it and bent the broken hook so I could hang it back on the hanger frame. 

What happened with the one on the extreme right? Well, the hanger itself is constructed in a way that prevents it from opening all the way up. Sheesh! 

The two little wooden hooks were on the wall in one of the closets in my apartment. I've never used them, so I took them down and added them to my new coat rack.



And today it's up, just in time for the few inches of snow coming down. :)