How to Build a Freestanding Coat Rack

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Creating an freestanding coat rack is as simple as screwing a few pieces of pipe together. It's easy to do because pipe fittings and pipe lengths come pre-threaded, and the variety of fittings and lengths make any project easily customizable. This industrial drop spot for jackets and other items is not only functional but also eye-catching.

Use pipe to create an industrial coat rack.
Use pipe to create an industrial coat rack. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)

Things You'll Need

  • Two-by-four board (standard is 8 feet long), 2
  • Stain-grade 4-by-2-foot piece of plywood (1/2-inch thick), 1
  • Premium-grade one-by-four boards (standard is 8 feet long), 2
  • Framing nailer (if you don't have one, a drill will suffice)
  • Nails (if using a drill, screws will work)
  • Wood glue
  • Measuring tape
  • Drill
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • 1-inch screws (number 8 gauge)
  • 1/2-inch galvanized floor flange, 1
  • 1/2-inch galvanized pipe (36 inches in length), 1
  • 1/2-inch 4-way galvanized connector, 1
  • 1/2-inch galvanized pipe nipples ( 4.5-inches in length), 6
  • 1/2-inch galvanized 90-degree elbows, 4
  • 1/2-inch close nipple, 1
  • 1/2-inch 3-way galvanized tee, 1
  • 1/2-inch galvanized pipe nipples (8 inches in length), 2
  • Stain or paint to finish your coat rack (optional)
  • Painter's tape (optional)

Tip

  • A framing nailer was used to put the base together. If you don't have a framing nailer, screws will work. However, you will need to putty and sand the screw holes, as they are much larger than the tiny holes left by a framing nailer.

Cut Boards to Size

Cut the two-by-four boards. You should have two boards that are 7 inches long, two that are 10 inches long, two that are 11 inches long, and two that are 14 inches long.

Cut the stain-grade plywood into squares that will be the top of the platforms. One square should be 10 inches. The other should be 14 inches.

Cut the one-by-four board into smaller boards with a 45-degree angle on each end. You should have four boards that are 14 inches long (from end to end at the shortest point of the angle). You should have four boards that are 10 inches long (from end to end at the shortest point of the angle).

Cut the one-by-four boards with a 45-degree angle on each end.
Cut the one-by-four boards with a 45-degree angle on each end. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)

Build the Base Platforms

The base of the coat rack is made up of two boxes: one larger on the bottom and a smaller on top.

Build the bottom of the platform by creating a box with the two-by-four pieces. The 14-inch boards should go across from each other and the 11-inch boards go inside those boards, completing the box. Nail or screw these boards together.

Put 2-inch by 4-inch boards together to make a box.
Put 2-inch by 4-inch boards together to make a box. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)

Put the 14-inch piece of plywood on top of the box, ensuring all corners are flush. Use nails or screws to secure the top to the box.

Place plywood piece on top of the box frame and nail.
Place plywood piece on top of the box frame and nail. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)

Surround your current platform with the four 14-inch one-by-four boards. Match up the 45-degree angles on the corners. They should be flush. Nail or screw these boards into the box.

Nail angled trim pieces around the existing box.
Nail angled trim pieces around the existing box. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)

Repeat these same steps with the smaller set of boards to build the top platform.

Attach the Two Bases

Place the smaller platform centered on the larger platform. There should be 2 inches all the way around.

Place the smaller box centered on the larger box.
Place the smaller box centered on the larger box. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)

Using wood glue, attach the two bases. Let glue dry.

After the glue has dried, flip the platform over and secure with nails or screws. For a very secure base, nail at all four corners and in between each corner (eight screws needed).

Nail the boxes together from the bottom.
Nail the boxes together from the bottom. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)

The base needs to be wide enough to support the thin pipe structure above, so these dimensions were planned accordingly. With this base, the coat rack should be sturdy and easy to use.

Put Together the Pipe Structure

Putting the pipe structure together is simple because all of the pipe comes pre-threaded and you just have to screw the structure together. The best part is that you can completely customize how many arms you want the coat rack to have and where those arms are placed.

First, find the center of the top platform with the measuring tape and make a cross using a pencil. Put the floor flange over the cross, centering it. Drill holes for the screws that will attach the floor flange. Then, screw the floor flange into the base.

Find the center of the top box and attach the floor flange.
Find the center of the top box and attach the floor flange. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)

Screw the 36-inch pipe into the floor flange.

Screw the long piece of pipe into the floor flange.
Screw the long piece of pipe into the floor flange. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)

Screw the four-way connector onto the top of the pipe.

Screw an 8-inch pipe nipple into the left side of the connector. Attach a 90-degree elbow to that piece.

Build an arm of the coat rack with pipe and a 90-degree elbow.
Build an arm of the coat rack with pipe and a 90-degree elbow. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)

Attach a 4.5-inch pipe nipple to the top of the elbow.

Repeat this process on the other side of the four-way connector.

Screw the close nipple into the top of the connector.

Screw the close nipple into the 4-way connector.
Screw the close nipple into the 4-way connector. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)

Attach the three-way connector to that. You want the arms that will come out of this connector to run perpendicular to those below so that garments can be hung from all four arms. Adjust the three-way connector so that the attached arms will run in this direction.

3-way connector should run perpendicular to the 4-way connector.
3-way connector should run perpendicular to the 4-way connector. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)

Screw a 4.5-inch pipe nipple to the left side of the three-way connector. Attach a 90-degree elbow to that, and a 4.5-inch pipe nipple out of the other side.

Repeat this process on the other side of the three-way connector.

Customize your coat rack with different pipe fittings.
Customize your coat rack with different pipe fittings. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)

Stain or Paint the Base

You can create a lot of different looks by how you finish this coat rack. Stain your base or paint it a color. You can even prime and spray paint the pipe, if you like. Tape off the edge of the floor flange prior to staining.

Stain the base of the coat rack.
Stain the base of the coat rack. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)

Now that you understand how this pipe structure is built and the needed components, customization is easy. You can adjust the lengths of the arms, how many arms, and their placements based on your needs.

Build a free-standing coat rack with wood and pipe.
Build a free-standing coat rack with wood and pipe. (Image: Lindsay Jackman)
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