How to make a standing coat rack

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Make a standing coat rack out of PVC pipes and bamboo dim sum trays

Here’s a fun, easy, and useful weekend project: a DIY standing coat rack made mostly from items you can find in any hardware store.

Place it by an entryway to hold your coats and hats, hang your umbrella from one of the hooks, or drop your keys or IDs in the upper tray and your bag in the lower one.

You can even use it as a planter by placing your favourite indoor plants in the trays. And when guests ask where you got it, you can tell them that you made it yourself!

Here are the materials you will need for your DIY standing coat rack:

  • 3 Plastic PVC pipes (6 feet long)
  • Adhesive vinyl/ Vinyl sticker paper
  • Cable ties
  • 2 Dim sum trays: one large, one small
  • 6 Screw hooks
  • Rope
  • 6 Rubber leg tips
  • S-Hooks
  • Soldering iron or drill
  • Glue gun

1. Gather Your Materials

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Most of the materials for this project can be found at hardware stores. PVC pipes usually come at a standard 10 feet long, but you can request for them to be cut into 6 foot lengths (sometimes for a small fee).

Otherwise, you can cut them yourself with a pipe cutter or a small hand saw.

For the rubber tips (usually used for stools or crutches) make sure they’re the same width as your PVC pipes. The bamboo dim sum steamer trays can be found in your local wet market, from specialty stores that sell Chinese cooking supplies, and even online from sites like Lazada.com.

If you have a hard time finding them, you can substitute them with round metal or wooden trays.

2. Prepping the Pipes

Cut the vinyl sticker paper about 1 inch wider than the diameter of your pipe.

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Peel off a few inches first, then stick it to the end of the pipe, making sure it’s centred. Don’t stick the sides down yet, just the centre.

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When you’ve stuck it down the whole length of the pipe, you can begin sticking down one side. Do this by smoothing the sticker down from the centre, all the way down the pipe, until one side is stuck down completely. Remember to do this bit by bit, all the way down the pipe, so the sticker will stick smoothly with no wrinkles. Then, do the same with the other side of the sticker until the pipe is completely covered.

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Then repeat with the remaining two pipes.

Slip on the Tips

Now we're going to cover the ends with the rubber tips for a more finished look, and for better grip. Apply some hot glue to the end of the pipe and screw on the rubber tip.

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Do this to all the ends of all three pipes (6 in all).

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3. Make a Tripod

Now it's time to make your DIY standing coat rack, well, stand! Gather up the pipes near the top.  Secure it with a zip tie, by first inserting the pointed tip of the zip tie into the other square end, smooth side facing out, then pulling it.

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Pull it as tightly as you can.

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Cut off the excess. Then repeat this with another zip tie for added stability.

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Fan out the bottom of the pipes so they stand on their own.

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4. Attach the Dim Sum Trays

Now that the pipes are done, it's time for the trays!

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First, we need to mark three equilateral points on the dim sum trays.

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We can do this by measuring the diameter (all the way around the outside circle) of the trays, using measuring tape, then dividing that measurement by three on a calculator.

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Then you can mark the three points on the trays.

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Next, place the large tray near the bottom of the pipes, lining the pipes up with the three equilateral marks on the tray.

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Then mark on one of the pipes where the bottom of the tray hits. (Just on one pipe, not all three.)

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Now, remove the tray, then lay the pipes flat on the floor and lined up at the bottom. Then you can mark the three pipes at the same point.

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Then take your soldering iron (or hand drill if you have one) and carefully use the tip to melt (or drill) a hole at the marks.

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Quickly insert a hook screw into the hole before it hardens.

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Repeat on the other pipes.

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Now it's time to stand the pipes back up.

DIY Standing coat rack: placing the tray on the hooks

Insert the the bottom of the larger dim sum tray into the hooks. Now you can determine where to place the smaller dim sum tray. Mark where the bottom of the smaller tray hits the pipes. Mark only one of the pipes.

DIY Standing coat rack: marking the smaller tray

Repeat the whole process of marking, making holes, screwing in the hooks, and inserting the smaller dim sum tray.

5. Wrapping it Up

Now it's time for the finishing touches. First, slide the zip ties down towards the trays, as this makes the coat rack more stable. Once you're done with adjusting it, we can cover the zip ties. First, apply some hot glue to the back of the pipes. Then stick on the end of the rope and hold it in place until the glue cools and dries.

DIY Standing coat rack: applying hot glue

Wrap the rope around the zip ties to cover them. Cut off the excess rope.

DIY Standing coat rack: wrapping with rope

Now, apply some hot glue in a hidden spot between the pipes.

DIY Standing coat rack: applying hot glue

Insert the end of the rope and hold it in place until the glue dries.

DIY Standing coat rack: inserting rope end

Slip on some S-hooks, hooking them onto the cable ties under the rope, for added stability.

DIY Standing coat rack: inserting S-hooks

DIY Standing coat rack: inserting S-hooks

Your DIY standing coat rack is now ready to use!

DIY Standing coat rack: finished product

Now you've made a useful DIY standing coat rack at a fraction of the cost. Keep it by an entryway as a catch-all for all your stuff, or even use it as a planter. Enjoy!

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