How to Make a Garment Rack

Lead Image
What You'll Need
1-inch PVC pipe, 10 feet long (2)
1-inch, 4-way PVC joints (2)
1-inch PVC elbow joints (6)
Tape Measure
Miter saw or handsaw
PVC glue (optional)
Rubber mallet

Rather than buying a prefabricated garment rack, you can make your own out of compiled materials. Although they are sold in easy-to-install kits, you can put the pieces together yourself and build a rack that is just as sturdy and dependable. You have to first decide what type of garment rack you need and want. Will it be wall-mounted? Should it be on wheels for easy movement around a room or closet? For the purposes of this how-to, it is assumed that you will build a freestanding, portable garment rack. It requires the fewest tools and materials and can be completed in a short time. It can be placed in a bigger closet or moved to anywhere you need it.  

Step 1: Cut Pieces to Size

Set up the miter saw to make a straight 90 degree cut or prepare the vise for use with a handsaw. On each of the 2 10-foot lengths of 1-inch PVC, measure and mark 40 inches from one side, 80 inches and then 100 inches. After marking each length, make the cuts with one of the saws. Thus, you should end up with two 40-inch lengths and two 20-inch lengths from each 10-foot pipe, making a total of 4 of each. 

Step 2: Sand the Edges

The PVC, once cut will have rough edges from the saw blade. Take a few moments to sand off the bigger shards of plastic. It need not be smooth, just free of extra debris. 

Step 3: Assemble Square

Your garment rack will consist of a square with 40-inch sides and 4 legs. You have four 20-inch pieces of PVC. The legs do not need to be that long. You can cut them down to a length of 12 to 16 inches each. When assembling the square, use 2 of the elbow joints at the top of it. For the other 2 connections, use the 4-way joints. When the square is set upright, the 4-way joints should be at the feet with 2 remaining openings pointing out from either side. 

Step 4: Attach the Feet

Those 2 remaining openings on each side of the 4-way joints are where the feet will go. Once they are cut to between 12 and 16 inches and have had their edges sanded quickly, insert them into the 4 openings. Cap their ends with the 4 remaining elbow joints. Point the open end of each elbow joint to the floor. This will raise the garment rack off the ground slightly. 

Step 5: Glue (or not)

Gluing the pieces together is optional. You can simply use the mallet to tap each piece snugly into its joint or you can apply PVC glue and affix it permanently. PVC forms a strong connection even without glue, but if you want to be sure, remove each of the joints and apply glue to each connection. Make sure the square is straight, though, or the rack will dry askew. 

Your garment rack will be ready in a short amount of time. If you wish, it can be painted easily with spray paint to cover the plain white PVC or left as is. Simply hang clothes from the top bar like you would in a closet, giving you a portable clothes rack that can go anywhere.