Below I will share a tutorial of how I made this awesome rustic coastal towel rack using Wood and Boat Cleats! It can also serve as a coat rack, hat rack, or even a laundry drying rack! Or mount it outdoors for a fun towel rack for the pool!
This is a fun and quirky way to add some rustic personality and function to your home in a fun boho coastal way!
This DIY project was born out of my need for something to hang ALL THE THINGS on in my laundry room.
We had just gotten settled into our new come and there was literally nothing in the laundry room but my washer and dryer. So I needed something that would not only add personality but could function as a coat hanger and/or a drying rack when needed.
I resolved to DIY it!
Rustic Coastal Towel Rack DIY Instructions – Life is Better in Flip Flops
I am in love with the saying “Life is better in flip flops” for obvious reasons.. and I knew I wanted it to look rustic but Boho Beachy. I had seen previous DIY tutorials on making towel racks out of old cabinet doors and knobs, so added my twist on it and used boat cleats instead.
Materials to make this DIY Coastal Towel Rack
The links will take you to the item in Amazon for convenience.
- Decorative wood board or cabinet door
- Boat Cleats
- Paint (Your choice of color of course, this link will take you to Mint Julep)
- Chalky Finish Paint
- 3 Paintbrushes
- 6 Screws
- Power Drill
- Cricut (optional) and “Life is a Beach” Cartridge (I used the Cricut Air when I made this, but I now have a Cricut Maker – its AH-MAZING)
Step 1: Sand and paint a base coat of your color to the wood
Lightly sand your wood piece, depending on the material you are using. For example, I used a wood sign from the craft store that was already pretty smooth so it didn’t need much sanding. However if you are using a scrap piece you may need more sanding, or if you are re-purposing cabinet doors, maybe none at all (if you like the color).
Then paint the wood a color of your liking. I mixed some a blue, a white and a dab of green to make this minty color. Let it dry.
Step 2: Print out your letters and mock-up your look
While your wood is drying, decide how you will make a template for your letters.
I used my Cricut to create a template for the letters, using the “Life is a Beach” cartridge (you bet, its my Fav!).
Using the letters arrange the placement of the words and the cleats to visualize the end look. Do NOT throw away the “template” paper, that’s the paper that is left after you pop-out the individuals letters.
Step 3: Trace your letters onto the wood and paint them
Using the paper template from the letters, trace the letters onto the wood with a pencil, then carefully paint in the lines using a smaller brush for better precision.
Alternatively, you can free-hand with a pencil or use stickers applied right to the wood and trace them.
Step 4: Add the rustic finish
Once that’s dry, if you want the rustic look, take some finishing paint of your choice (I used this Chalky finish decor paint), and lightly dip a rough brush into the paint, and wipe the excess off on the side of the bowl then braze the edges and the center of the wood sparingly.
You can also take a paper towel and rub it a bit to help work in the paint. This gives it a naturally rustic look.
You can also take an extra step and seal it with some Minwax polishing wax. If you plan on using it outdoors I definitely recommend sealing it.
Step 5: Mark the placement of your cleats and drill pilot holes
Once the paint is dry again, its time to drill your holes. Start by lining up the cleats where you want them, then stick a skinny pencil through the holes to make tiny circles where you will need to drill.
Next drill 3 pilot holes, which are smaller holes than you need, but they help you to line up where the real screws need to go, and also help to prevent the wood from splitting. 2 holes for the cleats and one in the middle for your screw that will secure it to the wall (unless you plan on using a hanging kit, then you don’t need the 3rd hole.).
Step 6: Screw cleats into the wood and the wall
First, screw the rack to the wall using the middle holes. Then screw your cleats on, therefore hiding the 3rd hole for a clean look. And your done!!
Today, mine is still in my laundry room and is now where hubby hangs his hats on one side and I hang my purse on the other…well, the times I actually remember to hang it up that is.. usually I dump it and run to catch up with little miss E. It also doubles as an extra drying rack when I need more hooks – LOL. Very functional, I’m telling you!
I hope you enjoyed these instructions and are inspired to create your very own DIY Towel Rack!
What fun quote would you put on yours?