DIY Rustic Towel Rack

Learn how to make a gorgeous, heavy-duty, rustic towel rack with this step-by-step tutorial.  It would make a beautiful coat rack or decorative piece, too!

______________

Today’s project is brought to you by get-‘er-done… Otherwise know as Rachel’s VERY delayed motivation to finally finish that half bath she started months ago!

This DIY towel rack is gorgeous! The rustic finish and strong, sturdy hooks make this a perfect coat or towel rack for any space. Great step-by-step tutorial, too! maisondepax.com

I jest… sort of.  For some reason I was stuck on the finishing touches of this half bath.  I shared more about it a couple of weeks ago with the reveal of my DIY triptych

This DIY towel rack is gorgeous! The rustic finish and strong, sturdy hooks make this a perfect coat or towel rack for any space. Great step-by-step tutorial, too! maisondepax.com

But suffice it to say that procrastination had set in.  I think this DIY towel rack was worth the wait, though.

This DIY towel rack is gorgeous! The rustic finish and strong, sturdy hooks make this a perfect coat or towel rack for any space. Great step-by-step tutorial, too! maisondepax.com

How to make a large, rustic towel rack (or coat rack!):

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Materials needed:

I have seen similar ones for sale, sure, but they were all at least $60 for one this large.  Making this myself cost $30 for eight of these hooks, and I had two left over for our mini mudroom.  I already had the wood and the stain, but even those would not have been expensive.  Plus, by making it myself, I got it the exact size I wanted and was able to stain it exactly the color I wanted.

This DIY towel rack is gorgeous! The rustic finish and strong, sturdy hooks make this a perfect coat or towel rack for any space. Great step-by-step tutorial, too! maisondepax.com

It was so easy to build.  Here’s how to make your own rustic towel or coat rack:

This DIY towel rack is gorgeous! The rustic finish and strong, sturdy hooks make this a perfect coat or towel rack for any space. Great step-by-step tutorial, too! maisondepax.com

  1. (not pictured) cut board to desired size
  2. sand rough edges (tip: for a more rustic look, sand the edges to look worn)
  3. measure to evenly space your hooks (for an added adventure, be sure your one year old is there to keep moving the hooks you are trying to place)
  4. use pencil to mark your screw holes (tip: the hooks are NOT exactly the same, so put the hooks in whatever order you intend to use and mark the holes accordingly… then keep track of what order you put them in!)
  5. drill pilot holes

Now comes the fun part: giving it that gorgeous distressed finish.

This DIY towel rack is gorgeous! The rustic finish and strong, sturdy hooks make this a perfect coat or towel rack for any space. Great step-by-step tutorial, too! maisondepax.com

  1. hire a 3 and 5 year old (preferably ones wearing knight costumes, of course) and give them hammers… tell them to go to town
  2. use a sharp instrument (I used a wood chisel) to gauge out sections – both in the center and on the edges
  3. lightly sand the rough places by hand… you don’t want to smooth it out, just remove the splinters
  4. stain to your liking, attach hooks, and finish with a light coat of wax or poly

Can you see how the gauges from the hammer (use both ends!) and the chips from the chisel took the stain differently?  I love how it adds so much dimension.

This DIY towel rack is gorgeous! The rustic finish and strong, sturdy hooks make this a perfect coat or towel rack for any space. Great step-by-step tutorial, too! maisondepax.com

And these hooks are just perfect: rustic iron, heavy duty, old school.

This DIY towel rack is gorgeous! The rustic finish and strong, sturdy hooks make this a perfect coat or towel rack for any space. Great step-by-step tutorial, too! maisondepax.com

I think this would be just perfect near the front or back door to hold coats and bags, in the kitchen for aprons and towels, or even in the family rooms just for decorative purposes.

This DIY towel rack is gorgeous! The rustic finish and strong, sturdy hooks make this a perfect coat or towel rack for any space. Great step-by-step tutorial, too! maisondepax.com

Where could you use one of these?

pin it image

This DIY rustic towel rack is gorgeous! The rustic finish and strong, sturdy hooks make this a perfect coat or towel rack for any space. Great step-by-step tutorial, too! maisondepax.com

Sources:
wall color | trim color | wall art | wreath | grain sack baghamper (in store several years ago)

 MORE DIY PROJECTS:

Giant Vintage Paris Map

Clear step-by-step instructions to create your own Restoration Hardware inspired vintage Paris map at maisondepax.com

Industrial Spool Clock

so cool! how to make a clock from an industrial spool via maisondepax.com #industrial #diy

Did you enjoy that?

Have my best tips on home decor, DIY, and life delivered directly to your inbox.

Powered by ConvertKit

Comments

  1. LOOKS FANTASTIC!!! :)

  2. Gorgeous!! Plus, those hooks! Definitely lovin’ on them :)

  3. Super Super Cute! I love how you have kids helping too!

    Holly @ Creatively Living

  4. L o v e l y. Just lovely. Thank you for sharing and the inspiration! I have some driftwood that I’m dying to turn into a towel rack for our bathroom. We’ll see….

  5. Super nice coat/towel hanger. How did you attach it to the wall?

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Thank you, Jackee! I used two large D-rings from the hardware store and lined them up with the studs in the wall so I could hang them on simple screws. I hope this helps!

  6. Where did you find the screws to match the hooks? I am ordering the hooks and it says does not come with screws. Yours match perfectly! Excited to take an old board from our old house & make a master bath towel rack for our new house.

    ~Karen

    • Also, how far apart did you space the hooks?

      • Rachel Paxton says:

        I’m so glad you like it, Karen! I spaced my hooks 6″ apart. As for the screws, I lucked out. I have a jar full of old mismatched screws left over from various hardware and projects, and those fit perfectly. I’m sure you could find some black screws at any hardware store that would work, too. You’ll definitely want to avoid shiny silver ones. Hope this helps! :)

  7. Hello! I know you posted this awhile ago, but I’m just happening on it now. My husband and I just bought our first home and I’m channeling my inner Joanna Gaines on it somethin’ fierce. I would like to do something like this for bathroom towels; however, like I said, I’m so new at this! Would a cast iron wall hook OR a stained board end up leaving marks on a damp towel? If so, do you know what kind of metal finish would be safe – just stainless? I also like the wire hooks I’ve been seeing, but wondering if the same issue might be at hand. Thanks for your advice!

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Hi Amy, that’s a great question! I have had mine now for at least 6 months, and we haven’t had any issues. While it is only our half bath, we do hang our white towels that we use for our pool and hot tub on the hooks pretty regularly. I can’t promise that every day use with damp towels might not be a bigger problem, but we haven’t seen any issues with ours. I think that ultimately you’re probably right: stainless is about the only thing you can really trust. That said, almost none of the towel racks you see are stainless, and most seem to protect towels without any problem. I’m not sure what color towels you plan to use either, but that might help you decide… White might be more of a risk, but a dark gray or navy wouldn’t be an issue at all, I’m sure. I hope this helps! And congrats on your first home!

  8. What kind of wood did you use?

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      I’m sorry, Stacey, I don’t remember! I’m pretty sure it was just what they called “white board” – which is usually poplar.

  9. Rebecca says:

    Hello,

    This is BEAUTIFUL. What color/brand of stain did you use?

  10. So excited to replicate this project next weekend!! Exactly what I’ve been looking for!

    Couple of questions:
    -What kind of wax did you use to finish? I’ve never used wax before so it’ll be a new concept for me!

    -You said blend of special walnut and dark walnut…did you blend the stains before staining or have a process for the stain? I love the color and already had these two colors on hand!

    Thanks! Can’t wait to see how

    • Can’t wait to see how it turns out!!

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      How wonderful! I used Fusion’s hemp oil and beeswax mixture – I love using it on raw wood as I think it really hydrates the wood as well as giving it a nice, warm finish. However, I’ve had great luck with different brands of plain ‘ol paste wax, too, if you’re looking for a more affordable option. Regarding the stain, I think I blended them together in a cup (a little of the dark goes a long way!), but I also may have just dipped my brush back and forth a bit… I’ve been known to do both and I confess I can’t remember which I did on this particular project. I hope you love it!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *