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DIY Clothes Drying Rack: Folding Door-Mounted Drying Rack

This post shares my DIY clothes drying rack, and bonus, it’s mounted to a wall and folds up!

DIY Clothes Drying Rack

Hey all! Today I’m sharing my last $100 Room Challenge project, and it’s one I’m pretty excited about.

100 makeover challenge graphic

If you’re just joining me for this challenge, you can see my last three updates here:

tiny laundry nook

Before pics, patching, & painting // Update #1

Open Shelving Using Stair Treads

Cheap DIY open shelving using stair treads // Update #2

tiny laundry nook

DIY Ironing Supplies Shelf: Update #3

Okay, back to this week’s project. Have you ever started a project and thought to yourself, “yeah, this will be a good thing.” But then you finish it and are actually like, “wow, this actually looks pretty damn good.” That’s kind of how I feel about my door-mounted, pull-down drying rack with a sweater station. 🙂

We had a cheap plastic drying rack that could be collapsed for storage, and it was an awesome solution for many years. Then it broke, so I decided to DIY something to replace it. As you know by know, our laundry nook isn’t exactly a room, so I also wanted to make something that I could mount to the back of the laundry door. Oh, and I wanted it to match the light pine/black combo I now have going on in the laundry nook.

What do you think?

DIY pull-down, door-mounted drying rack

Here’s what I used:

(This post contains affiliate links. You can read more about that here.)

Lumber

Hardware

Tools

  • Drill
  • Miter saw
  • Orbital sander, I love mine
  • Kregjig and clamp

Miscellaneous

Cut list

  • (1) 4’x8′ sheet of plywood
  • (4) 21″ 1″x2″ pine
  • (2) 24″ 1″x2″ pine
  • (2) 22″ 1″x2″ pine
  • (3) 22″ 3/8″ dowels

I know, that’s kind of a scary big supply list, but this project wasn’t actually that difficult. It just too me a while—and admittedly a few trips back and forth to Lowe’s.

And here’s how I made my DIY clothes drying rack!

Always take the proper precautions and safety measures before working with any tools or materials. Wear safety equipment and work with a professional to complete projects when necessary. Read my full terms of use and disclosure for more. Happy building and stay safe!

PART 1: CONSTRUCT THE FRAMES

Step 1: I cut all pieces according to the cut list above. Use medium- and fine-grit sandpaper to polish each piece, paying extra attention to any splintery edges.

pieces of wood

Step 2: Use your tape measure and pencil to make ticks down the 24″ pieces to mark where the dowels will go. Use your drill and a drill bit that is about the same size as your dowels to drill holes where each of the marks are. Make sure you don’t drill all the way through!

holes drilled in pieces of wood

Step 3: Use your Kregjig to drill two pocket holes in each end of the 21″ 1×2 pieces. These are two attach the pieces. Use your drill and pocket hole screws to attach (2) of the 21″ pieces to (1) of the 24″ pieces like so.

assembling a frame for a DIY pull-down drying rack
assembling a frame for a DIY pull-down drying rack

Step 4: Dab a bit of wood glue into the dowel holes you drilled and pop the dowels in. If it’s a tight fit, you can use a rubber mallet to get them in there. Then use pocket hole screws to attach the other 24″ piece to complete this rack.

DIY Pull-Down, Door-Mounted Drying Rack

Step 5: The hard part is over—the bottom rack for drying sweaters is easier! Using pocket hole screws, attach the (2) 24″ pieces to the (2) 22″ pieces to form a square.

PART 2: PAINT AND STAIN

Step 1: Now that everything is assembled, it’s time to paint and stain. You’ll be working with all three pieces: the two racks you made in part 1, as well as the plywood backer.

If you haven’t already done so, sand your piece of plywood. Then clean it off and stain or paint it. I stained mine using Minwax Natural and two coats of polyurethane in semigloss. Here it is drying on the right.

pieces of plywood

Step 2: Paint or stain your two racks. I chose to paint mine using Valspar black spray paint in gloss. I love the contrast of the black against the light pine!

PART 3: BUILD OUT THE ENTIRE RACK

Step 1: Attach the rack with dowels to the top of the plywood backing using (2) narrow hinges. Then, attach the sweater drying portion below it. The hinges are what will allow the racks to fold down and back up.

Top rack screwed into place:

assembling the DIY pull-down wall-mounted drying rack

Bottom screwed into place!

assembling the DIY pull-down wall-mounted drying rack

Step 2: To hold the racks in place when you fold them up, you can use picture-hanging strips or magnets. I originally purchased two sash locks to use but realized they wouldn’t work for the way I had constructed the piece. Then I used 3M picture-hanging strips for the top rack and magnets for the bottom.

I used Loctite on the backs of the picture-hanging strips and magnets to ensure they stayed put. The magnets also have a nifty little screw hole.

Then use your drill and pocket hole screws to attach (2) of the 21" pieces to (1) of the 24" pieces like so:
adding magnets to the rack
adding hook and loop to the drying rack

Step 3: To ensure that you’re not putting the full weight of the racks on the narrow hinges when you pull the racks down, you need to add a side support. I used some black powder-coated chain I had left over from my DIY hanging planters project. Just drill it into place using screws.

assembling the DIY pull-down wall-mounted drying rack

Construct the folding sweater station…

Step 4: Use fabric glue to glue a piece of tulle over the opening on the bottom sweater-drying portion of the rack. I used black tulle so it would blend in with the frame. The tulle will allow you to lay your sweaters or other delicate items out to dry while allowing them to get air from all sides.

assembling the DIY pull-down wall-mounted drying rack

Step 5: Last step—now we just need a way to hang this piece! Since I hung mine from a hollow core door, I couldn’t mount it directly to the door. FYI, drywall anchors won’t work, at least they won’t work on a door like mine.

Instead, I opted to hang it over the door. After some Googling, I found this nifty little door hanger from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft. I used a 60% off coupon and was able to bring it home for around $2. Perfect!

hook for a door

What do you think of the finished product? I love it and have already used it a few times! I love being able to fold up the racks and shut the door when I’m not using it.

DIY pull-down wall-mounted drying rack
DIY pull-down wall-mounted drying rack
DIY pull-down wall-mounted drying rack

And here’s my to-do list with a predicted/actual budget for each:

  • Remove wire shelving and bring to ReStore ($0)
  • Patch drywall ($0)
  • Paint walls and ceiling ($0)
  • DIY shelving—cut, stain, finish, and mount (Actual cost: $26.69 for lumber, $27.56 for brackets)
  • Iron board/iron hanger (Actual cost: $3.03)
  • DIY drying rack for sweaters/delicates (Actual: $32.99 for lumber, $10.52 for hinges, $2 for door hangers, $1 for tulle)
  • Misc room in the budget ($0)

Total money spent: $103.79

Share my DIY clothes drying rack on Pinterest!

image collage of door mounted clothes drying rack with text overlay DIY Folding Clothes Drying Rack
  1. Iris Nacole says:

    Brittany, this is awesome! I need to make one of these four our laundry room too! Our old one just broke about a month ago, and I have to admit, it was about the second time I had used it since hanging it up on the wall. Haha! Thanks for sharing this with us at The Creative Circle Link Party! I’ll be featuring it on this week’s post!

  2. Lauren says:

    I love your drying rack! I’d love to add one to my home’s laundry room! Great job.

  3. Leanna says:

    Thank you thank you and thank you again. We needed a thorough tutorial of how to put one of these together. You helped me out immensely. We are about 80% finished a laundry room that we moved downstairs from a silly closet that didn’t fit the modern washers. A rack and a shelf to hang the ironing board from are my two last wants. Pinning of course.

    Have a wonderful week.

  4. Sammi Ricke says:

    I would love to do this in our new house! I don’t think we have much room to hang clothes, so this idea is perfect and space saving. Thank you!!

  5. Love this DIY Brittany! The contrast between the black and light wood looks amazing! Cannot wait to see the full room reveal next week!

  6. Linda says:

    Wow Brittany such a clever DIY! I can’t wait to see it in the reveal!

  7. This is such a fantastic tutorial Brittany! I need to make one of these, so clever!!

  8. It looks so cool

  9. Kati says:

    I can see why you were so excited when it was done! I love that it hangs over the door.

  10. I *need* one of these drying racks! Thanks so much for the DIY inspiration and for the great tutorial.

  11. Tracy says:

    So cool!!! What a great idea!

  12. Liz says:

    Amazing! So creative and it looks great!

  13. This is soooooo clever and it looks amazing!! I really need one of these for our bathroom. Love the light wood with the black!

  14. morgan says:

    this is so smart and turned out so nice!

  15. Great job on the drying rack! That is going to be very useful for you! Love it!

  16. Amanda says:

    Such a great idea! I definitely need something like this in my laundry room!

  17. Love this! Seriously so cool!

  18. Cindy says:

    This is a seriously sweet project!

  19. Colleen says:

    Wow – I think your drying rack is wonderful! My brain would not be able to make that happen. And the colors are great in that space, you wouldn’t be able to find the perfect size and color, so a DIY is perfect! Awesome job!

  20. Allison says:

    This is AWESOME! Pinned for later for when (if!) I ever get around to doing our laundry room!

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