Friday, November 15, 2013

Mr. M Builds a Coat Rack

For years Mr. M has been wanting a new coat rack.

We used to hang our coats on a bland wall-mounted affair - a glorified 2x4 with wooden pegs. But when we painted the kitchen this had to come down, and Mr. M was determined not to put it back up. He wanted to build something better.

We Googled "do-it-yourself coat racks", but somehow none of the results fit our aesthetic. For a few weeks we tossed ideas back and forth until one day I said, "What about a ladder?" and Mr. M said "Yes! With hooks down the sides."

Mr. M sketched out some plans, went shopping for a bit of lumber and paint, and got to work.

 And here is what he made....

Mr. M gets all the credit for design, labour, and finishing. He cut the feet and the top at proper angles for leaning the ladder against the wall, and replaced the top and bottom rungs with shelves for extra storage. The top shelf holds a basket for gloves and mittens:

And though he didn't plan for it, we were tickled to find that our kitchen radio fits perfectly onto the bottom shelf:

Since I wanted very much to include something upcycled in our project, we decided to use charity-shop forks as hooks:

On bending stainless steel flatware: it's harder than you might think, and turning the forks into hooks cost Mr. M quite a bit of effort and sweat. He also (very carefully) drilled between the tines to make room for the screws which would hold them to the wood (breaking a drillbit or two in the process until he figured out the best method).

I think the forks look very appropriate on a kitchen coat rack. :)

Between the shelves, Mr. M built flat, offset rungs for draping scarves and other cold-weather impedimenta:

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A note for the sake of honesty: when people blog about their coat racks, they usually post photos of a rack hung with one elegantly-draped coat or scarf, and perhaps a pair of shoes beneath. (Witness my photos above.)

But here's the cluttered reality:

Guess which side is mine?

A month or two from now, and it will be even more covered with coats and scarves as our Wisconsin winter gets into full swing.

But thanks to Mr. M's hard work and skill, I think our new coat rack can take anything we hang on it.


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  1. What a very very creative coat rack. Hugs Judy

  2. I like it!!! Your husband did a really good job on it and I LOVE THE HOOKS...hum...forks! great idea!
    xx Shari

  3. Oh that's genius! And it looks great :-). I love that you include a normal usage picture :-D.

  4. What a great rack ! Bent fork looks cool.

  5. That Mr. M is a handy one! Wonderful idea1

  6. O O O - love it - very nice idea and great looking work! I have a small rustic ladder made from old barn wood that has been used for various purposes over the years. I may have to eat a little more pumpkin pie so I will have a fork or two and superhuman strength to bend and use like you have! Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  7. The forks really got me! What a brilliant idea!

    Our coat rack consists of one three-way hook. So guess how bad IT looks in winter...

    This is an awesome project. And I'm green with envy because I've been wanting a ladder bookcase for years...

  8. it fits perfectly in the space and I would never have thought of turning forks into hooks....a great way to recycle.

  9. I love it.. He is very clever, especially the fork hooks. Love the 'posed' photo as well as the 'real' photo! juliex

  10. Wow, that is too brilliant Sue. What a clever, handy man you have there :o) Love that you showed us the real vs. posed version. Too true of all the photos we use in blog land xox Happy weekending x Penny

  11. Very cleverly done!

  12. He is definitely a genius! I want one too.

  13. How very innovative your hubby is, and what a great finished product - I love the fork hooks and can imagine how much work and effort it must have taken to fashion those! I had to laugh on seeing everything hanging there - that's real life isn't it - and as you say, honest! Joy x

  14. That came out great! I love the shelves for more storage. The bent forks for coat hooks in the kitchen...brillant!

  15. I like your "new to me" header. :) The coat rack is great! We don't need them much around here. Though if the predicted storms arrive, we may need rain slickers. I sure hope not. This country is not built for rain. The never ending problem of keeping things tidy. I'm having a hard time getting all my stuff organized at the moment. Hope you have a great day. Tammy

  16. Mr. M nailed it! I've never seen such coat rack, and the fact that you included up cycled forks makes it one of a kind! No problem. your rack looks perfect with so many coats on it, in the end you have to use it!

  17. What a great idea for a coat rack! The thrift store forks are the perfect touch. And I like that you posted an "honest" picture. I fear any coat rack in our house would be far worse than yours with clutter. :-)

  18. Great coat rack, love the two colour woods...your husband is a craftsman quite clearly....we have a bit of a porch/boot room which desperately needs a coat rack, the kids just dump boots and coats and where ever they land is where they stay. Do you ship to the UK? ;-)

  19. What a great idea! Your hubby did a fantastic job designing and building this nifty coat rack. I love those fork hangers and how he added some shelves. It's perfect! xo


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