3 Ways to Make Your Own Clothes Rack

Dress Shirts on Hangers.
  • 1 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Metal piping
Hanging rod
Wooden shelf

If you lack closet space but need a place to hang clothes, there’s no need to fork out the big bucks for prefabbed options. Instead, DIY a clothes rack that suits your needs, whether in the laundry room, kids’ room, spare room, sewing area, or bathroom. Work with the materials and skills you already have.

1. Wooden Teepee Style

wooden clothing rack

Balance is key to good support for your clothing rack. End caps that are wide at the bottom and meet or even overlap at the top provide this support and an interesting visual appeal too. Think of the overlapping poles of a teepee.

To build, use flat boards. Cut the bottoms on the diagonal so they sit flush with the ground at the angle you choose. Allow the tops to overlap, creating an “X”. Attach the two boards with the appropriate hardware through the middle of the “X”. Pre-drill to avoid cracking the wood.

With the ends built, choose a hanging rod. Wood rods are inexpensive and easy to source. Place the ends in the top of the “X” and secure with twine, wire, or rope. Alternately, drill into the end of the hanging rod with the hardware you put through the overlapping boards. Even better, push the ends of the hanging rod all the way through the ends, essentially sliding the “X” through the ends of the rods. This will provide the strength needed to hold the weight of the clothes.

Stabilize your wooden clothes rack with a shelf along the bottom, which doubles well for storing shoes. Attach it to both ends, making sure it is level when mounting to all four legs. You can use a single board or dress it up with slatted boards on top of a frame, similar to decking designs.

2. Metal Pipe Clothes Rack

metal clothing rack

For an industrial vibe, head to the metal pipe aisle at your local home improvement store. Better yet, hunt down steel pipes and fittings from a Habitat for Humanity reStore, garage sale, or online marketplace. Around 48” is a good length to consider for most uses.

You will need pipes and connectors that result in a functional height. Keep your audience in mind, making kids’ clothing racks lower to the ground than that needed for your six-foot son. You’ll need elbows for the top corners and pipes to go across the top. Where the pipes connect around the middle of the sides, you can add “T” fittings and straight or hooked sections for hanging jewelry, purses, or hats. Be sure to attach footings to the bottom of the vertical pipes. Mount those footings to a flat board using heavy-duty screws or bolts. When everything is tight, your clothing rack should be sturdy.

Create a personalized design with paint or stain on your board. You can also add casters to the bottom of the board so your clothes rack can easily move across the room and throughout the house. Similarly, you can create the initial frame with a “T” on the back side of the top. From there, straight pipes lead to footings mounted to the wall. Alternately, you can skip the legs altogether and simply mount a bar far enough from the wall for your clothing to hang freely. Other design options include two hanging racks--one higher and one lower--or a “T” rack with a simple center pole attached to a long horizontal pole that provides hanging space on both sides of it. Mount the vertical pole to a board using metal footing and heavy-duty hardware.

3. PVC Pipe Clothes Racks

pvc plumbing connectors

PVC is a strong and easy-to-use material. Using the same technique as the steel racks described above, plan your project. Source PVC pipes and fittings. You can easily cut PVC to size as needed.

PVC is typically less stable than metal so use a bottom shelf like the one described in the teepee style above. Drill holes the diameter of the PVC pipes you choose and put the bottom ⅓ of the vertical pipes through the board in all four corners.

To further ensure stability, create an entire three dimensional box with your PVC. To do this, make two equal squares and connect them to each other on the top and bottom with cross piping.

To dress up your PVC clothing rack, you can attach a curtain or tapestry to the frame.