DIY Pull-Down, Door-Mounted Drying Rack
Hey all! Today I’m sharing my last $100 Room Challenge project, and it’s one I’m pretty excited about.
If you’re just joining me for this challenge, you can see my last three updates here:
Update #1 // Before pics, patching, & painting
Update #2 // Cheap DIY open shelving using stair treads
Update #3 // DIY Ironing Supplies Shelf
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?
Without further ado, here’s what I used to make it:
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- (4) narrow hinges
- (4) magnets or 3M picture-hanging strips
- (2) small chains measuring XX” each
- (2) over-the-door hangers
- 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
- Assorted wood screws in various lengths
- Medium- and fine-grit sandpaper
- Wood glue
- Minwax woodstain in Natural
- Minwax polyurethane in semigloss
- Valspar black spray paint in gloss
- Tape measure and pencil
- Tulle, iron, scissors, fabric glue
- (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.
Make a door-mounted, pull-down drying rack with a sweater drying station
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.
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!
Step 3: Use your Kregjig to drill two pocket holes in each end of the 21″ 1×2 pieces.
Step 4: Then use your drill and pocket hole screws to attach (2) of the 21″ pieces to (1) of the 24″ pieces like so:
Step 5: 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.
Step 6: 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.
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:
Bottom screwed into place!
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. I used 3M picture-hanging strips for the top rack and magnets for the bottom. (I didn’t have enough in my stock to use all picture-hanging strips or all magnets, and I didn’t want to buy anything else.)
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.
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.
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.
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. (Ask me how I know! I know because I tried it and now have a big hole in my door that I need to patch.)
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! I just used the shortest wood screws I had to drill it into the back of the back of the drying rack.
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. And of course I love that it matches the rest of the nook 😉
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) DIY 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
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And make sure to check out the rest of the $100 Room Challenge Participants!