D.I.Y. hat rack


Project Overview

Need a place to rest your hats, coats or bags? Follow our step-by-step guide on how to build your own hat rack using dowel rods.


Credit: Project and steps photography Natasha Dickins. Photography Sue Stubbs, stylist Tilly Roberts Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut the pine
2 Mark the pine
3 Drill the holes
4 Sand the pine
5 Join with adhesive
6 Drill in the screws
7 Paint each dowel
8 Attach hooks
9 Ready to use
  • Step 1. Cut the pine

    From the DAR pine, mark up and cut four pieces to 400mm long and four pieces to 221mm long. From the dowel, cut 10 pieces to 80mm long. Always measure then cut one piece at a time to allow for saw blade width.

  • Step 2. Mark the pine

    Use a combination square, set at 21mm, to mark up centred holes at the ends of all the pine pieces, and halfway along the 400mm pieces.

  • Step 3. Drill the holes

    For front rails, use a 25mm spade bit with a drill press to make the holes into two 400mm pieces and two 221mm pieces. Drill halfway then turn them over to finish from the back. For back rails, use a countersinking bit to drill holes in the remaining pieces.
  • Step 4. Sand the pine

    Sand the pine pieces to remove any breakout from around the holes. Tap the dowel into the front rails with a mallet then round over the ends of the dowel with the abrasive paper.

  • Step 5. Join with adhesive

    Turn the front rails over and set them out diagonally on the dowel, with the smaller pieces at the ends. Dry-fit back rails to front rails, matching the countersunk holes to the dowel and checking the ends are flush. Remove the back rails to run adhesive around the joints and the dowel endgrain.
  • Step 6. Drill in the screws

    Reposition the back rails over the adhesive and secure with 30mm screws, drilling the head below the surface. Hint: drill the screws halfway down, then reverse to bring the screw almost the full way out. Then drill right through. This helps the screw grab and pull the pine pieces together.

  • Step 7. Paint each dowel

    Working over a drop cloth, carefully dip each dowel end into the white paint pot to about 20mm, catching the drips with a small brush and setting the rack upside down on the offcuts of timber to dry.

  • Step 8. Attach hooks

    On the back of the rack, attach hooks either end to hang on screws installed into the wall. For a masonry wall, use screws with masonry anchors. For plasterboard walls, use screws with plasterboard anchors.

    Tip: If you don’t have a drill press, use a drill – but set up a mirror nearby so you can check you’re holding the drill straight, to ensure the holes fit the dowel.

  • Step 9. Ready to use

    Now you've got a rack to hang your hats, coats and bags that is both practical and stylish. 

Tools and Materials


  • Safety equipment
  • Measuring tape
  • Fine-tip marker
  • 210mm compound mitre saw
  • Combination square
  • 16mm drill press
  • 25mm spade drill bit
  • 18V drill
  • 8g countersinking bit
  • White rubber mallet
  • Small paintbrush


  • Sanding block with 180-grit abrasive paper
  • Two 1.8m lengths 42mm x 19mm DAR pine
  • 1.2m x 25.4mm clear pine dowel
  • Timber adhesive
  • 30mm bugle head screws
  • White Knight Paints Strokes oil-based enamel 100ml
  • Two 90mm timber offcuts
  • Two keyhole plates with screws

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