Transform Simple Wooden Dowel Rods Into a Sleek Scarf Stand

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As we slide into the cooler months of the year, scarves often emerge as a seasonal style staple. Whether tossed on quickly before running out to grab the mail or wrapped on thoughtfully for a formal night out on the town, this fashion statement is sure to be indulged in by much of the country through March!

To simplify the process of my own fall and wintertime outfit planning to come, I created a sleek wooden stand to keep my scarves always at the ready.

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Things You’ll Need

  • 2 dowel rods: 1-inch diameter, 48 inches long; 3/8-inch diameter, 36 inches long
  • Vinyl measuring tape
  • Hacksaw
  • Paint and primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Medium-sized wooden tabletop (mine was 18 inches in diameter)
  • Drill and set of drill bits
  • Wood glue
  • Rag
  • Stain
  • Mallet
  • Patch Plus Primer
  • Metal trowel
  • Sanding block
  • Cardboard box

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Begin by painting your smaller dowel rod. I chose a simple white color in a chalk-paint finish so that I could skip the priming step. Paint on two coats, and then set the dowel aside to dry for an hour. Then, use a measuring tape to mark every 13 inches, and cut the dowel down to size using a hacksaw. These pieces will be the scarf pegs.

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Next, set the small dowels aside and pick up the larger dowel rod. Use a 3/8-inch bit to drill holes into the large dowel rod perpendicular to one another and about 5 inches apart. These holes will serve as the location for the stand’s pegs during the final stage of the project.

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Now, grab your tabletop piece and set it on a level surface to calculate the center point. Find the circumference of your piece with the flexible measuring tape, and divide that number by 4. In my case, the circumference equaled roughly 56 inches, so I divided that by 4 and measured and marked every 14 inches on the outer edge of my circle.

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With the quarters marked, use the measuring tape to mark a straight line between the perpendicular points. The resulting “X” will reveal the center of your circle. Test by measuring the distance from the center point out to the edge on all four sides of the X. The numbers should all be the same (or very nearly).

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Now it’s time to make the hole for your larger, central dowel. Select a spade bit that’s slightly larger than the diameter of your dowel rod. Connect it to a power drill, and carefully bore a hole in the center of the wood. Although demonstrated here on a solid surface with no braces, you’ll want to use clamps to adhere your wood securely to a worktable to practice proper safety.

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Finish the stand’s general construction by running a bead of wood glue along the inside of the hole. Evenly disperse it with your finger, and then insert the large dowel rod into the hole. If there are any gaps, fill those with additional wood glue, and then use a rag to clean up any seepage. If needed, allow the glue to dry for 30 minutes before adding more to finish filling any gaps.

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As you can see, I also took this time to stain the large wooden dowel rod in between wood glue application and drying times. For this step, I chose a rich “Dark Walnut” stain. I wiped a liberal amount of the stain onto the wood with a rag and then wiped it off after allowing the stain to sit for about five minutes. The longer you leave the stain on, the darker the wood will get. I ultimately added two coats to achieve an ultra-dark finish.

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Allow the stain to dry overnight, and then pick up the cut pieces of 3/8-inch dowel rod that you painted the day before. Using a rubber mallet, gently hammer the dowels through the stained central dowel into the holes you drilled earlier. If the ends of these small dowels become damaged in any way by the mallet, simply course correct by using a sanding block. Then, finish by touching up any of the white paint that may have gotten scuffed.

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Now onto the base. For this step, I chose to balance out the contrasting finishes by painting the bottom a crisp white, matching the scarf pegs above. Before I could begin with my paint, though, I needed to even out the surface of the hole. To do so, I used a trowel to add Patch Plus Primer and, using the manufacturer’s instructions as a guide, allowed the patch to dry for 30 minutes before sanding down flat with my block.

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After dusting off the sanding debris, I went ahead with painting the base of the stand a bright white. To make it easier for me to paint the sides, I set the entire piece on a small cardboard box. I also added a bit of painter’s tape about 5 inches from the bottom of the stand. By taking the white paint up onto the stand’s central dowel, I was able to cover up imperfections left behind by the wood glue and sanding.

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Four coats of white paint and two hours of drying time later, I removed the painter’s tape to reveal a crisp line and promptly set the stand up in our master bedroom by the closet. Now that I’ve had a chance to load it up with my favorite fall and wintertime scarves, I already can tell that it will be a go-to spot to grab from as I get ready for the day.

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Carrie Waller is the writer, designer and stylist behind the blog Dream Green DIY. Photos courtesy of Carrie Waller.

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