DIY Clothing Rack

Make your own clothing rack (, ABM readers! It’s Rubyellen again, and I’m here to share a really easy clothing rack you can make to display some overflow or maybe some of your favorite pieces for the season. And when you don’t need it, it can easily be taken apart and stored away. 

Make your own clothing rack ( Make your own clothing rack ( Supplies:
four 1 3/8″ x 72″ poplar dowels
-one 7/8″ x 48″ poplar dowel
-measuring tape
-7/8″ drill bit
-5/32″ drill bit
-two 23″ x 0.125″ leather cording
-two 50″ x 0.125″ leather cording
-wood glue (optional)

DIY clothing rack step 1Step One: Measure and mark 15 1/2″ down from the top of each of your four 1 3/8″ x 72″ dowels. This mark will be the center of the hole. Using the 7/8″ drill bit, drill a hole on each mark, all the way through the dowel. Make sure to keep your hole straight as you drill through; if you drill through the dowel at an angle, your clothing bar won’t be level. Lightly sand the hole opening to remove any roughness.

DIY clothing rack step 2Step Two: Measure and mark 8″ up from the bottom of your four dowels, but you will want to make sure that this mark is 90 degrees from the top hole. Using the 5/32″ drill bit, drill a hole on each mark, all the way through the dowel, making sure to keep your hole straight as you drill through. Lightly sand the hole opening to remove any roughness. Gather two dowels together to form one end of the rack, and insert the 23″ leather cording through the 5/32″ holes; then, knot the ends. Knotting helps prevent the dowel legs from sliding open and falling flat on the floor. Repeat for the remaining 23″ cording and two dowels.

DIY clothing rack step3Step Three: Insert the 7/8″ x 48″ dowel through the top holes of one side of the rack, allowing about 1 1/2″ to protrude from the end, and then insert the other end through the other remaining pair of dowels, in the same way. Open the rack to the point where the 23″ leather cording on both sides is fully extended.

DIY clothing rack step 4Step Four: Center the 50″ leather cording around where the three dowels meet together, and wrap around twice diagonally, and then wrap around twice the opposite way diagonally, so that it creates an “X” of sorts. Double knot together the ends and bury the tails within the cording. Repeat for the opposite side. You could do without the leather cording and just use wood glue to secure the dowels together to prevent the horizontal dowel from slipping out. 

Make your own clothing rack ( If you do without the wood glue, it makes it much easier to take the rack apart and store when you need it out of the way. You probably won’t want to overload the rack, but I think if you need some extra space and want to display some of your favorite pieces, this is a good option. For styling, I only put eight hangers with clothes on the rack, but it could take double that amount (maybe even triple, depending what it is you want to hang). I even did pull-ups on it to see if it would hold me, and it did (but I don’t recommend using it as an exercising device!). You can even hang on some of your purses and hats. And if you have little ones like me, you can drape fabric on it, and it becomes theatre curtains and sets the stage area for some little performances. This simple dowel clothing rack can have many uses. Happy crafting! xo. Rubyellen

Credits // Author and Photography by: Rubyellen Bratcher.

  • Anyone who has used it outside, does it blow over in the wind? I’m considering using it as a way to dry clothes in the backyard instead of a clothes line.

  • I love the idea of a pop-up garment rack for craft shows, street festivals, and even my down sized sewing room! Maybe an older post, but an on-time idea!
    Thanks, Karen

  • This is very nice. I’m thinking of making it for a community space as an extra clothes rack (we will have a more permanent one as well.) Can it be easily folded to hang on the wall, for instance? (i.e. without untying the leather straps).

  • this is AMAZING! i want to get back into doing craft fairs this summer with my clothing line, and this rack is PERFECT!

  • I loved this idea so much I ran straight to the hardware store and bought everything to make it! Turns out I cant calculate inches into centimeters very well. I got the dowel pieces a tad too small and when I went to drill them they all split 🙁

    Tip- If you cant calculate inches to centimeters.. google is your bestfriend!

  • Definitely trying this out! Such a beautiful way to display clothing.

  • I have a photo with the one I made here:
    I used it as a display rack at a at a pop up sale!

  • I ended up making this over the weekend and it was so easy and turned out perfect! Thanks so much for creating this diy…I’m totally obsessed with mine 🙂

  • I love this – it looks relatively simple and straightforward for a woodworking novice like me to put together! Thanks Ruby Ellen!

  • Such a cool and simple DIY.

    Makes for a cozy tent/reading nook as well 😉

  • gaaaaahhh… thats looks easy but lovely. Nice DIY, amazing as always. This is one of my reason why I love ABC so much, The DIY part. Thank you for sharing ABM..

    big hug.

  • Nice!! I really like the idea!! :)))))

  • Best. Idea. Ever.!!!!!
    We live in a studio with nothing to hang coats/handbags – in winter the sofa is covered with humid coats and scarves, it’s horrible. I’ve thought about a rolling rack but the problem is that they ALWAYS break with weight and get super small. This might be the perfect solution, as the height is fixed.
    Do you think it could support a few coats (let’s say 6)?

  • This is so nice. Maybe I will try it later.

  • This is such a great idea! I’d love to hang up and display some of my favorite fashion pieces 🙂

  • this is beautiful!! such a great DIY.


  • This is adorable! I bought a couple clothing racks last year when I just had a teeny tiny closet, but now I have a much bigger one in my new apartment (which, I love!). The only thing I’m bummed about, is that I wasn’t able to take the awesome clothing racks with me because, even though I have more closet space, I don’t have much room to store the racks themselves, so this is a great idea! Also, wonderful to having winter get-togethers so that everyone can hang up their coats!


  • Love this! So useful for a student with limited space!

  • Oh I love this! Very different and much better looking than those metal ones. 😉

    x Sarie from

  • Love this! Perfect DIY for someone like me, we’re currently renting a TINY house with even tinier closets…yikes.

  • Such a pretty and unique clothing rack!

  • So easy and so lovely!! Perfect for jackets in the hall 🙂

  • Super cute and I love that it doesn’t have that “stolen from Ross” look like a lot of clothing racks do!!!

  • Great idea! I need this SO much! I really do.
    Jasmine xo |

  • I wouldn’t overload it, but I did hang on it to do pull-ups, kick it (to test out strength), “accidentally” bumped into it, pushed it, and it stayed standing upright and never fell. It is pretty stable with just one crossbar.

  • I just bought them at my local Lowes, so I’m sure Home Depot or other hardware stores like that would have something similar and in similar measurements.

  • Good catch! It’s 1 3/8″ that 1 went missing. We will add that in now. Thanks for the catch!

  • Looks great! I’d love to make one, but I’m not awesome with a drill. Any tips on how to drill straight through the dowel without accidentally going at an angle?

  • SO cute! i need to make this for my new (very tiny) apartment!!


  • i like this, it’s really lovely. and lots of potential for customization with staining the dowels, etc. my only question is if it was stable enough with only the one cross bar?

  • I can’t wait to make this! It will be great for displaying clothes at yard sales, hanging clothes to dry, use as closet in a guest bedroom, and just for looking cute!

    I’m having trouble finding dowel rods of those dimensions- any recommendations?

  • Great idea, and looks easy enough! Also, love that bag hanging there 😉

  • This is actually really cool. And is perfect for when I am having a yard sale and what to display clothes better than just folded up on the table. So cute and seems totally do-able.

  • This looks so great! I love it! Good idea for in my new hallway 🙂

    X Sara

  • Make it so you can remove/adjust the bottom tie and you could also have a tent!

  • Love it! But I think the dowel diameters are switched. Drilling a 7/8″ hole in a 3/8″ dowel would cut it completely! I think the four support field are supposed to be 7/8″ and the horizontal clothes rail would be smaller, 3/8″.

  • Love this! I’m going to make a mini one for my toddler x

  • Wow- this is supercool. I have the tiniest closet imaginable and this might be the solution!

    Thanks so much and have a wonderful weekend:


  • I LOVE this. It’s so much nicer looking than the standard metal rolling racks.

  • Wow! Very useful! Thank you a lot

  • The idea is so simple but genius! And I really love the clean “Scandinavian” look of the rack.
    Rubyellen is one of the most creative women I’ve ever seen (with Elsie and Emma of course! 😉 ). 🙂

  • This is a great DIY, nicely done! Can’t wait to try this out once we move into a smaller space 🙂
    Katelyn // Relatively Offbeat

  • Wow! Love this! Absolutely going to try this!

  • That’s a super easy and practical idea. I will need to try this. I have too many clothes to fit in my closet, so half of my bed is covered in clothing!

  • I love this rack! It looks much better than the clothing racks which are usually can bought in the building center 🙂

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  • Gorgeously simple! I especially like that is can be taken apart for ease of use. I’m totally trying this!

  • this looks absolutely amazing! i really want to try making it for my bedroom – the display looks so nice as well! xx Emily

  • Adorable, seems like a fun weekend project. Thank you! 🙂 Happy Friday.

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