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Dowel Coat Rack

One board plus one dowel equals an attractive wall-mounted coat rack that’s easy to make in a day.

Dowel coat rack on a yellow wall

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Miter box and saw or miter saw
  • Jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade
  • Drill
  • 1-1/4-in hole saw bit
  • Squeeze-grip clamps or C-clamps
  • Measuring tape
  • Small square
  • Straightedge
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Wood glue


  • 1 x 6 x 36 pine board, #50262
  • 1-1/4-in x 48-in poplar dowel, #19414
  • Large D-ring hangers, #264575
  • #8 x 2-in wood screws (optional)
  • Valspar Signature paint, 8 ounces: Vivid Orange (#2011-3), Ripe Pomegranate (#2009-3), Can’t Miss Lime (#6011-10), Chickadee (#3002-1B), Rushing Stream (#5005-10B)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources


Step 1

Cut the 1 x 6 board to 27 inches long (Dowel Coat Rack Project Diagram). On the 1-1/4-inch dowel, cut a 45-degree miter on one end.

Good to Know

To keep the dowel from accidentally rolling when using a miter box and handsaw, clamp it in place before cutting.

Step 2

Miter saw cutting dowel to length

If your miter saw or miter box doesn’t have built-in ruler, measure 4 inches from the saw blade (the 90-degree cutting slots on a miter box) and clamp a stop block of scrap wood, such as a piece of 2 x 4, to the miter box or miter saw table. Place the mitered end against the stop block and make a 90-degree cut to trim the dowel to length. Repeat for the remaining four dowels starting with a miter and following with a straight cut. Sand both ends of each dowel.

Good to Know

If this coat rack will be used to hold heavy garments, plan to reinforce the glue joints with #8 x 2-in wood screws. On the top of each peg, 3/8 from the square-cut end, drill a 1/8-in countersunk pilot hole through the dowel.

Step 3

On the 1 x 6 board, measure and mark a light pencil line 1-7/8 inches from the bottom. Along that line, measure from left to right and mark the line at 3-1/2, 8-1/2, 13-1/2, 18-1/2, and 23-1/2 inches. At each mark, drill a 1-1/4-inch hole.

Good to Know

With a hole saw bit, it’s easy to tell if you’re drilling a true 90-degree hole. Watch as the saw teeth touch the wood. If they begin to cut in one location around the circle, angle the bit slightly until all of the teeth cut at once.

Step 4

Marking lines to be cut

Place a small square on the top edge of 1 x 6 and slide it into position with the blade of the square even with one edge of a hole. Mark from the top edge down to the hole and repeat for the other side of the hole. Do the same for the other four holes.

Step 5

Jigsaw cutting notches in the rack

Use a jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade to cut from the top edge down to the hole on both sides. Cut slowly and carefully to make straight lines and repeat for the remaining holes. Sand the cut edges smooth, but avoid widening the bottom of the slot. Sand the faces and edges of the 1 x 6.

Step 6

Clamping glued dowels in place

Check the fit of the dowels in the holes before adding glue. Lay the 1 x 6 on a flat work surface, apply glue to the rounded area at the bottom of a slot and clamp a dowel in place. The bevel should angle down toward the bottom edge of the 1 x 6. Repeat for the other four dowels and allow the assembled coat rack to dry overnight before using.

Step 7

Finishing options include painting the entire coat rack, painting accent colors on the beveled ends of the dowels, or applying a clear finish such as a satin spray acrylic.

Good to Know

If you drilled pilot holes to reinforce the glue joints with screws, extend the pilot holes into the back of the coat rack. Then drive the screws.

Step 8

Wall-mounted coat rack

On the back of the coat rack, measure in 6 inches from each end and screw D-ring hangers with the wire tips about 1/2 inch from the top edge. Use drywall anchors to mount the coat rack on a wall.