A Fashionista’s Perfect DIY Garment Rack

18 Aug

I love my vintage clothes and I simply can’t part with such one-of-a-kind pieces. Naturally, I did what any fashionista would do when the wardrobe has outgrown the closet: I built my own closeting solution!

{A Fashionista’s Perfect DIY Garment Rack}

Having a friend for more than 20 years — and being a constant part of each others’ lives for that whole time — becomes staggeringly more remarkable every time I think about it.Best Friends

Meet Gerold. He is an artist, vintage lover, thrift-shopping guru and a co-founding designer of Dorothy June Jewelry.

So who better to spend an afternoon with, elbow-deep in a DIY project?

For less than $100, we picked up all the supplies needed to create a garment rack fit for a fashionista.

And, the process was surprisingly simple — no hack saws or special tools or extra muscles necessary!

Here’s the photo story of my DIY garment rack & how you can build your own!

Sketch your design but be flexible at the store for adopting new ideas based on the actual supplies available. Having detailed measurements of the space the garment rack will fit into helps this process.
Garment Rack Sketch

Although beautiful, copper pipe is too costly for a sensible budget. Opt for industrial black plumbing pipe and consider finishing with a meddled copper spray paint.

Be creative in finding ways to create finishing details. Here, I found two copper drawer pulls/cabinet hardware to act as decorative finials for the upright piping.
Knob details

Prep the pipe! Peel off pricing stickers.
helpful friend
And, use a straight blade for extra stubborn adhesives.
Scraping the industrial tagging off!
Once at home, I opted to keep the gun-metal look, instead of spray painting it with a copper finish. But that meant I had to get rid of factory printed product numbers. Thankfully, the pipes were rubbed nice and smooth with the help of steel wool.
Steel Wool got rid of this printed lettering.
One upright pole & base assembled!
Upright Pole
Now, adding the cross bar!
Upright & crossbar
And, a little trial run, before moving the garment rack into my bedroom.
Garment Rack -- holds garments!

Before & After

The details!
Vintage Rainbow
Lush with Color
Cross Bar Details
The Garment Rack - After

What’s the Take-Away?

The best thing about my DIY Garment Rack is: It’s Moving-Friendly! Simply unscrew each pipe from the other and wahla! this closet-solution takes up minimal packing space!

So for all you who are heading off to college and  have chosen the off-campus housing option (where closets don’t often exist in living rooms-turned-bedrooms) then this is your answer!

But if you don’t have time for going DIY**, then here’s a commercial grade (ie it’s not going to fall apart after one semester, and you can pack it full with tons of clothes!) for $99 AND it collapses!

Picture 2

**This DIY-project took about 6 hours to complete, including: shopping for the supplies, travel time, assembly, details and wardrobe hanging!


21 Responses to “A Fashionista’s Perfect DIY Garment Rack”

  1. Dawn August 18, 2011 at 6:19 PM #

    Totally creative and clever and, most of all, USEFUL! Beauty and function is a ~perfect~ relationship~ Can I borrow that idea???


  2. kris August 21, 2011 at 11:02 PM #

    I’m in absolute need of a garment rack, but not because I lack closet space — I simply want my pretty finds out in the room with me, so I can enjoy the view. Nice DIY and I do like the commercial grade rack too. What a great friend you have!


  3. Dawn August 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM #

    Thanks, Robin! I’ve got it on the “honey-do” list, lol. This could take a while…but will do if and when it gets built. You rock and rock totally!


  4. Louis Eaglin November 27, 2011 at 1:11 AM #

    Thanks Robin

    I am going to use your design to make myself one of these. It’s just what I need.



  5. wayne December 16, 2011 at 4:38 AM #

    Hi, Nice rack (haha). I am hoping you can help me figure out how to find pipes with the “gun metal” finish instead of black. When I look at your parts photo, I prefer the look of the long and short pipes, not the medium length pipe. Every time I enter a plumbing supply place and ask for gum metal finish, the clerk looks at me like I have three heads.



  6. R.Ellis February 25, 2012 at 12:21 PM #

    About how much did creating your garment rack cost? Just wondering because I am looking for one that is sturdy and not outrageously priced! Great post, by the way!


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic February 25, 2012 at 7:47 PM #

      Thank you!!! So it was about $80 … So, it’s not “Target-cheap”, nor is it “industry-expensive”, however, it is a solid rack that you can load up with TONS of items and never have to worry about it … and, my favorite thing about it: You can dis-assemble it very easily if you need to move or store it!


  7. Erica Wright March 11, 2012 at 10:13 PM #

    Thank you so very much for the instructions. We built two today and plan on building a few more for out shop. So helpful!!!


  8. Sara April 8, 2012 at 2:34 PM #

    I was wondering if anyone knows how to put wheels on the bottoms? In serious need of a rack and this one is absolutely gorgeous, i have seen some very similar being sold for close to $400


  9. Michael May 6, 2012 at 5:08 PM #

    What size pipe did you use for this project? Half-inch pipe? This has given me some ideas, though I think I would want dual racks and wheels (casters) to make it more portable.


  10. Patrick July 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM #

    Hi Thrifty. I’m currently trying to make a clothing rack from old reclaimed scaffolding planks and pipes/fittings just like the ones you have used. Found your site and thought I’d say I like your work, lovely.


  11. lauryn May 29, 2013 at 4:02 PM #

    This is a great idea, and oh so creative! I stumbled upon your blog via Pinterest, by the way. Awesome!!!


  12. Andrea Bykovsky October 13, 2013 at 10:53 AM #

    This design was the winner and totally saved my life. I moved into a tiny studio with my partner and the closet walls are drywall. Absolutely useless when it comes to hanging things from it. Everything we nailed/drilled/screwed on could be taken off by just pulling it with one hand. After 3 months of closetless living, I was ready to have a pro fix this for me. When I found your rack design, we went straight to home depot and that very night we had a custom made, super sturdy, BIG closet rack. I wanted to add a tip here, because our closet is shallow, we screwed the feet at an angle. This means that instead of running parallel, they face out in the shape of a / \. This is a fantastic idea if you want to put this inside a space where it is too narrow, you still need long feet because it creates stability but can tuck them in the way we did and have it fit ergonomically. We are in NYC, and I have to say this ran us a bill of 130$. If you go to a plumbing supply store you will get a much better price tag anywhere. We did it last minute, even at 130$ it is a LOT cheaper than the 300+ tag for an industrial rack this size and those are not nearly as stable, customizable, nor moving friendly. Awesome!


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic April 2, 2014 at 5:16 AM #

      AH-mazing!! So glad my design was helpful to you!! It totally is a space saver and in the NYC-metro area where closet space is sparse, or for those living in old, historic homes, this is the perfect thing to save the day!! 🙂 Please post a picture of your inspired rack, I would LOVE to see it! ~Robin


  13. チャンルー 伊勢丹 October 22, 2013 at 6:29 PM #

    メンズ ブレスレット ブランド


  14. Diana November 10, 2013 at 10:17 AM #

    I’ve been dying to do this and I am finally gearing up to tackle it but I have a very small space to work with. It looks like you made each base 18-19 inches wide – do you think a narrower base would work? I only have 14.5 inches to work with. My rack will only be 3 feet wide rather than your 4 feet so it will overall hold less clothes/weight. I just want to make sure I don’t get it all built, load it up, and then have it tip forward or backward due to a too-narrow base. =/


  15. Jim November 4, 2015 at 12:00 PM #

    info yang sangat menarik, sepertinya harus dicoba 🙂 , Aerilyn


  16. x1fh3re627 January 15, 2016 at 6:47 AM #


    エルメス ケリー激安}}}}



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