making an “antique” hook rail

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Decorating, home improvement, Organizing, Tutorials37 Comments

I think one of the hardest areas in a house to keep clean and tidy, aside from the kitchen and bathrooms, is the foyer.  It’s natural to walk in and dump everything that your carrying, kick off your shoes, and then go about your business.  Our foyer, even though it’s two stories, is relatively small as far as square footage on the floor is concerned.  There is just a small space by the door and, of course, a pile of shoes quickly collects there and it gets even more out of control over the winter with all of the wet and salty boots!

There also wasn’t a place to hang purses, coats, hats, and Sebastian’s leash, so the doorknobs in the foyer (to my office and the coat closet) were always engaged as hangers for those items.  I’ve been looking around for an antique-style hook rail that would fit next to the door.  I just wasn’t finding anything that I really loved and, when I did find one that was amazing and perfect, it was over $200.  Yeah…I don’t mind splurges, but not for a hook rail.

Yesterday, I got it in my mind that I was tired of looking and waiting and I bet I already had all of the components to make a pretty cool hook rail.  I knew I had some brass hooks I bought a few years ago, so I located those.  While searching, I found some brass label-holders that I removed from a piece of furniture.  I went in search of a board and found a piece of a broken table leaf.  When gathered together, I could see the makings of the hook rail I had been looking for!

Isn’t it funny how we sometimes get so caught up with hunting something down to buy, that we forget to look through the things we already have?  When I arranged it all on the studio floor, I could see it was perfect.

I cut the board down to size using the mitre saw and then measured and attached the hooks and label-holders.

Before hanging it up on the wall, I slathered the whole thing with MMS Hemp Oil.  It just hydrated the wood, bringing out its warmth and patina.

I hate using wall anchors if it can be avoided.  Especially with something like coat racks, because it’s inevitable that one day a heavy backpack will take them down, ripping a hole in the drywall in the process.  So, I used a stud finder to locate the studs and inserted screws directly through the wood into the studs.  That hook rail isn’t going anywhere!  You can see the screws if you’re really looking for them, but you can get away with random screws in an antique things!

And, it’s perfect!  I’m so happy I finally figured out that I already had what I needed, but I’m also kicking myself for not realizing it sooner.

I found the bench on clearance at Target and it provides some storage for shoes (quite a bit, since you can put them on the shelf and under the bench) and a place to set stuff down or sit to put on shoes.  It’s the perfect size.

I made labels for each hook using watercolor paper…

Since it’s right by the front door, this isn’t going to be a hook rail to load up with backpacks and winter coats, but just a spot for the leash, my purse, and the coat of a guest, etc.  We installed a large hook rail in the garage for snow pants and wet winter gear and we’ll also have one in the mudroom for backpacks, hats, coats, etc.

Ha, of course, now I want to paint the foyer as soon as possible!  Since it’s two stories, it’s a project we have to hire out, so I just need to be patient…

So, what do you have sitting around your house that could become something you have been hunting for?

making an “antique” hook rail

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37 Comments on “making an “antique” hook rail”

  1. I have a bench in several pieces that I want to make into a coat rack. I am just trying to figure out exactly were I want to put it.

  2. This is exactly what we want for the front entryway of our new house! 🙂 Now to figure out where we can find all of the cool bits to make it…
    Thanks for the continued inspiration!!
    Really glad you all are settling in so well. Adams County misses you!!

  3. I have been looking all over for something similar for keys and sunglasses in the rv. Now I know what I’m going to make! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. great idea! my mudroom has the same problem…plus my husband is always forgetting where he puts his stuff…I am thinking a hook with his name on it might help. thanks!

  5. Serendipity! That is so Miss Mustard Seed creativity right there 😀 I love this and it is a great reminder to rustle around in the workshop for raw materials.

  6. The scrap of wood really suits that project.. The dings and scrapes give the rack the look of an antique. The hardware reinforces that. Now anyone who enters through that door will get a glimpse of what awaits inside: clever, one-a-kind items that suit the space perfectly, made by a clever, one-of-a-kind lady.

  7. Total awesomeness! I love it. I’ve never heard of MMS Hemp Oil but I’ll be checking it out soon. I’ve got some things in mind for it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Well, Ding! I’m headed out to the garage to solve a few things I’ve been searching to buy. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Re: Foyer , Can you go as high as you are comfortable , hire the remainder?
    The coat rack is killer , my favorite kind of project , ingenuity and no money.

  10. I don’t have your talent (or eye or color…) but I have done a few projects using random bits and bobs (as our British friends would say). It feels really good, doesn’t it?
    You could add Sebastian’s name to the label :-). That isn’t just any old leash, you know.

  11. My husband made a coat rack like this for our back hallway. He, too, was concerned about it being pulled from the wall at some point. He screwed it to the studs before he put the hooks on. Once screwed to the wall, he covered the screws with the hook body and then screwed the hook to the wood. You had no idea how this was attached to the wall, all the screws were covered! One smart man I’m married to!!

  12. I’ve got the paint splattered little red step-stool that was my Grandma Shady’s. It’s too rickety to serve its original purpose but I’m trying to figure how to reclaim it as a French laundry rack to hang from the ceiling of the laundry room in my new house!

  13. Marian, I need to know about that green bag! It’s fantastic & I love it! Do you know what it says?

    1. It’s a Swedish brand that is sold at a sporting goods store here and I just loved it! It’s a great size and a well-made bag. You can find them online, if you search the brand name.

  14. You’ve set my imagination on fire! I have an ugly bench in the laundry room that needs paint stripped and made to look old. And I have a very old table leaf (belonged to my grandfather, at least 100 years old, I have the table, too) that would make a perfect start to a project like this. I, too, covet your handwriting.

  15. I’ve seen hooks like that and wondered how they were originally used. Since one side of the hook would always be facing down if you used it for hats or clothing, it didn’t seem like you would screw it to a vertical surface. Were they originally supposed to be screwed into a ceiling or under a table or shelf?

    I used a vintage narrow footboard for a full-sized bed to make a coat rack. The main body was less than a foot wide and I when I cut off the legs it was a perfect shape. The long size meant I could screw in nine hooks! Since it’s solid cherry wood, it’s holding up well.

    1. It’s the laundry room/mudroom combo and it’s very small, so there isn’t much to see! I am going to be giving it a makeover over the next couple of weeks, though.

  16. Painting tip: I used to think that I couldn’t paint the 2-storey parts of the house either, until I learned that you can get telescoping poles that you can attach rollers to!! I used a tiny fluffy microfiber roller (5″) that I could use for both cutting in and painting the wall and ceiling at the same time. Of course, this only works if you use the same color for walls and ceiling, but it is a fantastic way of painting without using any kinds of ladders, hired out people, etc. I was doing a 2-storey stairwell also. They make the poles in different lengths. You will need a shorter one than you think! Good lighting helps too.

    1. Yes, I actually have a large telescoping pole, but I still couldn’t reach the top of this foyer. It’s about 18-19′ high, since we have 9′ ceilings on both levels. There is also a window up there that needs to be painted and cut around. It’s definitely a job I need to hire out!

  17. Hi Marian, Love your creativity and imagination! When did you buy that bench from Target, I tried it on their website I couldn’t see it. Could you please share the exact name so I can ask different stores around the town. Thanks

  18. Great idea … EXCEPT I read somewhere to never, ever ever ever keep your purse by the door – especially if the door has a window. It’s a very easy smash and grab and they’re outta there. But I love your purse and how it looks up there.

  19. Great idea!!

    P.s. I hope with your purse right at the front door that you keep your door locked. I had a sister-in-law who had someone steal hers that way…..

  20. I LOVE hooks! My husband says I have a hook fetish. I proudly wear this label. The thing about a hook is they are so handy/useful and can be quite stylish if carefully chosen and placed. We recently went on a trip through Nova Scotia, Canada. I found several that I plan to hang out on our screened-in back porch where I have an eclectic collection of them. Shush! Don’t tell my husband. I carefully tucked them into my carry-on. He doesn’t know I have them. Now I’ve decided that when we travel, I’ll begin collecting them so that when I look at them I’m reminded of our adventures. Your blog has me thinking about my next project…which I am sure is right around the corner.

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