FROM READERS: Make your own schoolroom hook rack

Saturday, May 11, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Christa DeMarke is the creator and author of c. jane create, a lifestyle blog with recipes, creative crafting, DIY projects, sewing, inspiration and sometimes just personal stories. This story was originally posted on her blog in November.

I was browsing Anthropologie for wedding registry items and dream-home furnishings and came across the schoolroom hook rack. I thought it would be the perfect "storage" solution for our jackets and coats because right now they end up hanging on the dining room chairs. The only problem — it's selling for $88!

After examining all the pictures, I decided that I could my own version to exactly fit the space I had in mind. I headed to the hardware store to pick up the supplies. Here is what I used to make my rack:

  • two 8 foot long 3/4 x 3/4 inch unfinished pine trim boards — $4.69 each
  • six 8 x 2.5 steel wood screws - $0.24 each
  • four coat/hat hooks - about $3 to $4 each
  • two picture hangers with teeth — $0.40 each
  • brown paint/stain — free (hand on hand)

TOTAL: $25.62 (before tax)

SAVINGS: $62.38 (before tax)


I apologize for not providing step-by-step pictures. It was a gloomy day, and I had horrible lighting. If you have a question about the process, please comment or email me, and I'll further explain.

I had the friendly guy at Lowe's cut the trim for me. I told him to cut one piece in 32-ish inch sections and the other in 31-ish inch sections. I specifically said "I don't want them to be perfect, so a quarter of an inch one way or the other is great." He did exactly as I asked. :)

When I got them home, I sanded down the edges and mixed up a paint-stain. That's a technical term. :) I used acrylic paint and a little water to stain my wood. I had the brown paint on hand, and I didn't want to spend money on a stain that I might not use again. I used a brush to spread a layer of paint on, then a damp paper towel to even it out and create more of a stain-like quality. 

Once all the pieces were paint-stained and dried, I stacked them on top of each other in staggered order that I liked, and I used painters tape to keep them all together. I drilled three pilot holes across the top and three across the bottom, one on each end and one in the center.

I used screws that were long enough to go through three and a half boards, so I made sure that the pilot holes were off-set so the screws wouldn't bump in the middle. Then I used a drill bit the size of the head of the screw to make a little divot so the screw sat flush against the wood.

Once the base was all screwed together, I measured and marked where my hooks would go. I drilled more pilot holes and then screwed each hook to the board. You may need to use different screws than the ones that came with the hooks — mine were too long and would have stuck out the back.

I used four different hooks because I liked that about the anthro version. I got the three plain black ones at Lowe's and the one with the ceramic details at hobby lobby. As the final touch — my screws were silver, so I painted them black or brown, depending on where they were screwed into, to help them blend in.

It was pretty simple, I completed it in an afternoon — most of that was drying time!

xoxo, christa

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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