Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hanging it up: DIY dress-up clothes rack

My kids love to dress up, but I was getting tired of looking at the growing heap of dress-up clothes crammed into our toy box:

The clothes were getting ruined, and it was impossible to find anything in that mess. So yesterday I decided to do something about it—by building a miniature garment rack!

Not being a handy person, I wasn't exactly sure how to go about this, but a quick Google search led me to an eHow tutorial that seemed doable. Armed with my step-by-step instructions, I confidently headed to Home Depot to get my supplies, only to learn (after I'd already had the guy cut my PVC pipe) that home-improvement stores don't even carry the 4-way connectors that the tutorial requires (apparently they were used only in a type of boiler that is no longer in production). Miraculously, however, my non-engineer brain was able to quickly come up with a simple work-around. Here's my revised list of supplies:

  • 2 36-inch lengths of 1-inch PVC pipe
  • 2 30-inch lengths of 1-inch PVC pipe
  • 4 12-inch lengths of 1-inch PVC pipe
  • 2 6-inch lengths of 1-inch PVC pipe
  • 6 90-degree elbow joints for 1-inch PVC pipe
  • 4 tee connectors for 1-inch PVC pipe
  • All-purpose cement for PVC

Using the eHow tutorial as my guide, putting the rack together took mere minutes:

Here's what you do for my version:
  1. Join two 12-inch lengths of pipe horizontally with a tee connector. Place an elbow joint on each end to create your first foot. Repeat for the other foot.
  2. Join a 6-inch and 30-inch length of pipe with a tee connector. Put the other end of the 6-inch piece into the top of one foot, with remaining tee opening positioned perpendicular to the foot, to create one leg. Place an elbow joint on the other end of the 30-inch piece, facing the same direction as the tee opening, to finish your first leg. Repeat steps with the other foot to create the other leg.
  3. Now place each length of 36-inch pipe into the elbow joint at the top of one leg and the remaining tee opening toward the bottom of that leg. Connect the legs by placing the other ends of the 36-inch pipes into the elbow joint and tee connector on the other leg. 
  4. Once you've dry-fitted the rack, take apart and reassemble using all-purpose cement to glue the pieces together. When the glue is dry, hang your clothes on the rack. 

The kids love it, and so do I! It's the perfect size for preschoolers, and even once it's outlived its current purpose, I can still see myself using it to hang clothes in the laundry room or even at a yard sale. Cheap, easy, and super-useful ... that's my kind of project!

**Update: After just a few days of use, I didn't like the way the feet were sagging in the middle, where the two 12-inch pieces are inserted in the tee connector. So, since I hadn't glued the elbows on the ends of the feet yet, I decided to turn them inward for the time being. I plan to replace these elbows with caps and will post updated pictures when I do.


Bethany said...

Oh my gosh, I have been wanting to do something similar, I LOVE this!!!!

Anonymous said...

How much did it cost?

Suzy said...

Can't remember how much it cost. Less than $15.

Anonymous said...

This design can be made much stronger by inserting a wooden dow into the horizontal bars. I have real clothes hanging on mine in a converted attic bedroom.

Lsg Industrial said...

OMG this pipe rack is two thumbs up. Pipe Rack System Supplies Philippines

Anonymous said...

Wonderful!! Could you maybe strengthen the pieces that bend by putting a dowel inside them? They're cheap, & Lowes sells them in many diameters. Solid wood.

odms said...

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Ruchi Nanda said...

Good site and very useful for people and good blog


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