Since we use cloth diapers (not me personally), and otherwise wear clothes that sometime require air-drying, there’s always a lot of stuff hanging in the laundry room. We had some space underneath a shelf, but we also had plenty of empty wall space, and I wanted to rig up something more efficient.
Enter the homemade drying rack. This easy project can be put together over a weekend, and doesn’t require anything more than a few simple cuts, a couple well-placed nails, and a coat of paint. The way I show here is not the only way to do it – if you have a little woodworking aptitude and some creativity, you can modify it as you see fit.
What You’ll Need for Your Drying Rack
Materials:– Bead board (approximately 20″ x 28″) – the only bead board I could find was in 4′ x 8′ sheets that I didn’t feel like lugging home, so I actually used a few pieces of tongue-and-groove wood flooring; I like the way it turned out
– 8 feet of 1″ x 2″ (for the outer frame)
– 6 feet of 1″ x 1″ (for the hanging frame)
– Three 3/8″ round dowels (36″ each)
– Small hinges
– Window sash lock
– A couple feet of fine chain
– Picture frame hangers (or something similar that’ll hold a bit of weight)
– Miter saw
– Wood glue
1. Cut the wood flooring into 28″ lengths, cutting six in total. My flooring pieces are just under 4″ in width, so the total width is about 22″, but since yours may vary, I won’t use exact measurements in the instructions. If you happen to have actual bead board, cut that into a roughly 28″ x 22″ piece, and skip step 2. This will be the back of the drying rack.
2. Apply a thin line of wood glue on the tongue of each piece, sliding it into the groove of the next piece, hammering gently if needed to get a snug fit.
3. Cut two pieces of 1″ x 2″ equal to the height of the back. Cut two more pieces equal to the width of the back + the width of the two 1″ x 2″ pieces. Put a couple dabs of glue around the edge of the back and fit the pieces of the outer frame. When assembled completely, pop a nail into each corner of the frame for some added stability.
4. For the drying frame, cut two pieces of 1″ x 1″ about two inches less than the height of the back, and another piece about an inch less than the width of the back (this is where your hinges will attach to the outer frame). Also cut 5-6 pieces of the dowel, about an inch less than the width of the drying frame. Sorry if this all sounds confusing. It’s intuitive when you’re working with it but hard to explain without using hard measurements.
5. Drill 3/8″ holes about 1/2″ deep and 5-6″ apart into each side of the drying frame. Make sure you start your measurements from the same spot on each side, or your dowels aren’t going to line up, and will look pretty goofy!
6. Put a dollop of glue onto each end of a dowel, then insert the ends into the (matching) holes in either side piece. Repeat for the remaining dowels. Hopefully you end up with no leftover holes or dowels… When the dowels are all put together, attach the bottom piece to the two side pieces with more glue and another small nail.
7. At this point you should probably paint each piece (the back and the drying frame) separately. You can paint when it’s fully assembled, but it may be a little messier.
8. Attach the hinges to the bottom of the drying frame and the inside of the outer frame, so the frame swings out.
9. Using a few small screws, attach a length of chain (about a foot is fine) to either side of the frame. Open the frame as far as you’ll want it to hang, then screw in the chain so it’s taut.
10. Attach the sash lock to the top or side, allowing you to keep the drying rack closed when not in use.
11. Stick a couple of hangers onto the back, find some wall studs, and get that thing mounted so you can start drying!
Now that you see how easy it is to make your own drying rack, what are you waiting for? Why spend $200 online when you can put this together for about $25 and a few hours of work?
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