Written by contributor Josiah Lowe from The Burlap Bag
Hi there Simple Design readers. I’m Josiah. I’d like to start off by saying yes, my wife Lauren wrote the Simple Design tutorial on how to make a necklace branch holder and yes, I’m about to teach you how to make a branch clothing rack. We like natural materials, ‘kay?
This tutorial will show you to how to make a tree branch clothing rack for under $10 dollars. It’s cheap, it’s portable and it looks pretty dang cool.
First go outside and find a branch. This is my favorite part. I love going to the woods and rooting around like a crazy person. Go to a nature trail or park and embrace the fact that everyone will look at you like you are crazy while you crawl around picking up branches off the ground trying to find the perfect one. You are going to want to get a branch that is relatively thin so a hanger can hang on it but also thick enough so that it wont break under the weight of your clothes. After you goldielocks it up it’s time to get the rest of your structure pieces from the hardware store or from your scrap pile.
(the non-tools altogether cost us less than $10!)
-2 wood pieces for vertical supports (mine were 5 feet cedar 1x4s)
-2 wood pieces for feet (mine were 1 foot 1x4s, cheapo wood)
-6 2-inch lag bolts (longer if you use 2×4′s)
-3/16 drill bit
-1 inch spade bit (optional)
-socket wrench or crescent wrench
- You will need to decide how long you want your clothing rack/branch to be. Cut it to that length. You want the ends to be vertically flat so that when you connect everything later they will be flush.
- Next drill a hole 1ish inch deep in the center of each branch end with a 3/16 of an inch drill bit. (sidenote: we scraped the bark off our branch so we wouldn’t get bark scraps all over the place every time we used it)
The vertical supports:
- Decide how high off the ground you want your clothing rack/branch to be. Get one of your supports. Drill holes with your 3/16 drill bit in the center of the board at that height. The total height of our clothing rack is 54 inches and we drilled the holes for the branch at 51 ( we wanted a little extra space at the top). Do this to both of your vertical supports.
- Your bases need to be long enough to provide stability for the clothing rack. Ours are 12 inches long.
- Here’s the tricky part to explain, not hard to do: (look at our pictures for some help) you need to install lag bolts by drilling 2 holes completely through one base. Then you need to drill 2 holes through those base holes into one of the vertical supports. The holes need to line up so that you can install the lag bolts through both the base and vertical supports. Use a crescent wrench/socket wrench to screw in the lag bolts.
- Then repeat all this with your other base and other vertical supports. Now you should have 2 separate t-pieces.
- You may notice now that your lag bolts are sticking out in the center. This will definitely be a problem if you are putting this on hardwood floors/tile. There’s a couple solutions: You can counter sink the holes (I don’t have an actual countersink bit so instead I used a 1 inch spade bit and drilled around the hole making my own countersink. I had to take out the lag bolts to do this). Or you could attach two blocks on either end of each foot – raising it up a little.
Bringing it all together:
- Now it’s time to attach the vertical supports to the branch. You do this by inserting one lag bolt through the holes we screwed earlier in the vertical support and the branch. Tighten them with your wrench.
- Do this with the other lag bolt and vertical support at the other end of the branch.
- After everything is connected you might notice that the structure is a bit crooked. This is because of the natural and organic shape of the branch. You can alter this by loosening the lag bolts and twisting the branch. I didn’t mind the wonk too much because it goes along with the whole organic feel of having a branch clothing rack.
Here’s an image of the clothing rack in our retail store, The Buralp Bag! No, we don’t sell high-quality handmade cardigans, we just used Lauren’s plethora for the photo-op. You could use this as a guest coat rack, if you don’t have a closet, as cool decor, etc.
Feel free when you’re doing this to explore different materials, lengths, staining, etc. And shoot me any questions in the comments and I’ll respond.
I know certain steps might sound confusing but the whole project can be done in under 30 minutes and will cost less than $10! Will you give it a try?