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Hat rack.


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


1Cut 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.

Pine boards and dowel cut to various lengths

2Mark 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.

Lengths of pine board with measurements marked and a set square and pencil

3Drill 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.
A hole being drilled in a piece of pine timber using a spade bit

4Sand 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.

A mallet being used to knock a length of dowel into a hole in a pine board

5Join 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.
Glue being applied around a piece of dowel fitted into a pine board

6Drill 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.

Pine timber joined in a criss-cross pattern

7Paint 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.

A piece of dowel that has been dipped in a small tin of paint

8Attach 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.

A metal keyhole plate attached to a timber frame with screws

9Ready to use

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

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.