Magazine Rack DIY

DIY Magazine RackWant to learn to make your own modern magazine rack? Today's your lucky day! Husband and wife team Josh and Sarah are here to teach you how…

Materials1Supplies Needed: one 2x3x96" stud, 14' of electrical cord (just like you see on a lamp cord). You'll have to ask an employee at a hardware store to cut it for you. four 3" screws, 2 shades of paint, sandpaper, two pieces of galvanized plumber's tape, with 2-3 holes in each.

Tools needed: a saw, a drill, a ruler

Step1-2Step 1. Measure and cut your stud into two 16" long pieces, and two 29" pieces. The width of your magazine rack is going to be 16", but you can adjust the height however you like – it doesn't have to be 29"! After you cut, line them up to make sure they are even.  (*Note – to those of you that don't have a saw, did you know that if you go to Lowes or Home Depot to purchase your supplies, you can have them cut your stud for you there for a few extra cents? Just give them your measurements.) Step 2. Taking your four pieces, arrange them on the ground. Begin pre-drilling and then screwing in each side. 

Magazinerack-1928Once all the sides are screwed together, we need to mark where our holes are going to be. Decide which end is going to be the top of your magazine rack, and start from there. For this tutorial, we're going to have 8 rungs on our magazine rack.

Step3-6Step 3. For both the top and the bottom, measure where the middle is on your stud. Step 4. Using a ruler, draw a line down the middle connecting your two marks, so that your holes will be centered. Step 5. For the first rung, mark 4 inches down from the top of your rack, and then mark every two inches until you have 8 marks. Repeat your measurements exactly on the other side. Step 6. Drill a hole each place where you've marked. After you're done, sand down your holes and sweep the sawdust away. Step 7. Lay your magazine rack down onto some old cardboard or newspaper. Time to paint! We decided to go with two different summery shades. I love that you can get small portions of paint now.

Magazinerack-1964Paint your inside one color, and then your outside your other color! Afterwards, while the paint is still wet, use a toothpick to make sure your drilled holes are clear of paint on both the inside and the outside. Let it dry overnight!

Magazinerack-1976Now, the fun part!Take your electrical cord and pull it in half down the middle. You're only going to use half of your cording, so save the other half for later in case you make another one! 

ThreadingAffix one end of your cord to the top outside of your rack using screws and something to hold it down. (We used pieces of galvanized plumber's tape, or you can knot the end for a different look.) begin threading your cord through the holes. (If the metal piece bugs you, you can paint over it.)

As you're threading, pull it as tight as you can! Make sure it doesn't sag or dip anywhere. After you're done threading, double check to make sure that each rung is as tight as it can possibly be. Affix the last end to your rack just like you did the first end, and chop off the remaining part of your cord. 

*A note on our electrical cord choice – you can try to use something different if you would rather, but we experimented with twine and with metal wire cording. Metal wire cording was really difficult to work with as you thread it through the holes – it unravels, bends, and shows kinks easily. Twine tends to stretch and would give you saggy magazine rungs. If a magazine rack is something you hope to have last you for awhile, the electrical cord is durable and easy to work with.

How To Build A Magazine RackThere you have it! It's ready to hang magazines on! You can make several in different sizes, as long as the width is the same, and you allow an extra 20" of cord for each additional rung. 

Thanks so much Josh and Sarah! This project is the perfect mix of modern and handmade.

  • This is such a simple but awesome way to display magazines! We have featured it on our 5 amazing diy magazine rack article.

  • In the words of my three year old granddaughter “Nank You!!”. I love this. I’m a jewelry designer that has a boat load of jewelry making mags, and I’ve an idea for a magazine rack headboard using a 6′ wooden rod, jewelry wire, and chain link. However, using the electrical cord is a much more cost effective choice. I tip my hat to you.

  • Hope you don’t mind, I shared this post on my blog yesterday! Love the idea:) So excited to try it!

    <3 Leney

  • What a fabulous idea! I love the rustic look of the unpainted wood on front contrasted with the painted finish on the inside and outside. Perfect. 🙂

    – Jennifer @ JennJill Designs

  • Love it! Would be good for me, course I always throw them in a corner and never find anything again..Xx

  • sweet! I’m really digging the shade of blue paint they used! I’ll need to remember that the next time I have something that needs paintin’


  • I absolutely adore this! As an owner of one VERY small apartment, we are always seeking small and slim pieces that are functional: you nailed it!

  • Wauw, such a creative idea!
    A while ago I saw another idea like this, a magazine rack made with a tray and a small pipe through the handle!

  • so cute and looks easy ! i have to try it !

  • Adorable- I think I’ll add this to my office for my nutrition clients!

  • Another WONDERFUL idea! That’s why I always come back, and I mean every day. I love love your website!!

  • Great ideas and inspiration!!! Love your blog 😀

  • I’m so thankful for the existence of crafty people – each day, with even the simplest of projects, they leave me amazed at what people can do.

  • Wow Elsie, it is perfect! And those colors that you choosed are so beautiful together… I want to put it in my dream office. Yay!

  • Adorable! I’ll have to convince my new roommate that we NEED to make this for our dorm 🙂
    xo Heather

  • you guys always have the best ideas! 🙂 I love this!

    I featured you girls today on my blog! Thanks for always being so inspiring!

    xo, Kristi

  • Such a good idea and it looks so lovely in your room!

  • Like it a lot!
    Also: your blog is awesome, I love it!

    x Lonneke

  • Too perfect. love this! it’s good for apt decor too.

  • It shouldn’t seem like such a single-purpose idea!

    This abacus-like shape is perfect for hanging up some inspirational pieces (including magazines, of course), such as favorite jewelry items, postcards, photos and anything else that can be attached with a laundry clip, dried flowers and much more. And if you hang it on the wall, it can serve as a new-style moodboard!

  • I really need a magazine rack…if I could just convince my boyfriend to help me make it…

  • what a great idea,easy and can be personalized too!thanks for sharing x

  • This is quite a cute idea! I have SO MANY MAGAZINES it’s not even funny. It’s a struggle to get rid of them too….

    This would really help my couple of stacks on top of the magazing basket. ha!



  • Better than my idea of throwing my magazines and notebooks in a messy pile in my room. – And I love the combo of paint color and raw wood. – Maybe I’ll attempt to build this …

  • great idea, this would also work great with some old frames.

  • I like reading various sites when I am bored or have a free time. Nowadays there are a lot of such sources but many of them don’t have such detailed articles as yours do.

  • such a brilliant idea! love it

    ~ Jillian

  • I like reading various sites when I am bored or have a free time. Nowadays there are a lot of such sources but many of them don’t have such detailed articles as yours do.

  • I love how they built this together! And it turned out so well! 🙂

  • This is awesome. Not only for the home, but also great for start up business too!

    – Sarah

  • Love this DIY!


  • Cute! Unfortunately I read all my mags online now…though I may pick up a few just to justify building one of these!

  • Such a good idea!! Thanks i will be trying this!

  • Brilliant! Freaking brilliant!

  • That is such a good idea. I need one of those.

  • How clever!! I love how with this rack you can still display your magazine covers.

  • Cute! I also love the yellow on the inside!

    xoxo Sarah

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