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Jan 6, 2014

DIY Vintage Book Coat Rack



The worst thing about DIYing gifts for your family is that you can't show them off on the blog until after Christmas. So much for giving other people ideas for their own gifts, right?

My aunt is a bit of a book lover. Family members who read here are laughing right now at the "bit" part. She has a used bookstore in our home town that is stuffed to the gills with books of every genre. So what better gift to give her than a wall-mounted coat rack made from vintage books?


I first saw this idea on the Knick of Time Interiors website and pinned it to my "Future Projects" Pinterest board for later. Isn't her coat rack cute?  I loved the different-sized hooks and the off-kilter books and knew it would be the perfect gift for my aunt.

The original instructions involve screwing the wood to the back of the books, the books to each other, and then the hooks to the front of the books, but we thought it might be easier - and stronger - if we ran long machine bolts straight through from front to back, locking them in with nuts. This method requires you to have a selection of drill bits and other tools, so if you're workshop is limited you might want to use the other instructions.

Tom & I have a bad habit of leaving building handmade gifts until the last minute, but I knew this one was going to take some time, so I got right on it. I headed to the local used bookstore to get some vintage books in varying sizes and colours. Just imagine how much I was cringing when I told the lady at the bookstore that I was looking for cheap hardcover books that I could drill holes into. But she was actually kind of excited when I explained the project and asked if I would make one for her too!

I didn't really choose the books according to author, I was looking mostly at colour and size, but I still got a good variety with some classics mixed in. There is some Hemingway, some Shaw, and a couple of books from series' that my aunt already had. For a minute she thought I'd used books from her shop!


The hooks came from Canadian Tire, except the second one which is from Lee Valley Tools. That one is my favourite - made of hand-forged iron. I was hoping to find some authentic vintage hooks in local resale stores but I couldn't find a single one. Still, I think these ones have an old vibe.


To put it together you'll need long machine bolts with tapered heads, matching nuts, and a piece of plywood as a backing board. Make sure the bolts are longer than you'll need - you'll be cutting the excess off later. You'll also need black paint if you want the bolt heads to blend in with the hooks. We spray painted the heads ahead of time to keep from getting paint on the hooks.


Here's where Tom took over. First, he cut three keyholes into the back of the board to make it easy to hang. All you need to do to hang it is insert three screws (with anchors) into the wall the same distance apart as the holes and slip the coat rack onto the screws.


He even built a template for my aunt. It's a board with three screws through it with the same spacing as the rack. The screws stick out through the back, so she just has to press it against the wall to make marks, and then she knows exactly where to put the screws to have it line up. My husband is such a smartie!

I arranged the books on the board and then the hooks on the books in the exact pattern I wanted them. Tom  then drilled small guide holes into the covers of the books where the bolts would go.



He put the hooks to the side, placed scrap boards over the books, and clamped them to the work table, squeezing the books down tightly in between. If you don't have clamps, you could have someone hold the boards in place for you.


He drilled holes down through the books and the plywood using the guide holes from before. Once the holes are drilled, you can remove the clamps as you can now use the holes to line everything back up if something gets moved around.



He then put the hooks back in place and screwed the bolts through the holes to test the setup. We both had a laugh when one of the bolts went right through the books, the board, and the worktable, locking the whole thing down.



You'll now remove the mounting board so you can widen the holes at the back. You want the nuts to sink down flush with the board. Tom used a cone-shaped tapered bit to widen the holes to the right size.


Then you put the board back on and thread the nuts onto the bolts, tightening them right down until they disappear into the holes.



Now you'll want to cut off the excess rod on the bolts. Tom used the Dremel with a cutoff wheel, but you could also snip them off with vise grips and then sand down the sharp edges.




The final step was to fill in the bolt holes at the back with wood putty and sand it smooth when dry.

Here she is, all ready to go. 


This is one of my favourite things we've ever built. It makes me want to run out and buy more books and start a coat rack-building business.



Are you a bibliophile? Do you know someone who is? 
Do you think this is something you'd ever make?








24 comments:

Barb said...

Love your book coat rack! Such a cute, creative idea! Maybe I'll give it a try for my husbands office! Thanks for sharing.

Barb said...

Thank you! I'd love to see what yours looks like if you make one!

Barb said...

I want one! I'd love it if you'd link this up at my very first linky party!

http://accidentallywonderful.blogspot.com/2014/01/accidentally-wonderful-wednesday-1.html

Barb said...

Awesome! I think we need to make one of these...

Barb said...

as a librarian I both love it and am cringing at the loss of fabulous vintage titles. but there are too many unloved books in need of a second life so yay they have one!

Marie @
In Our Happy Place

Barb said...

Congratulations! You've been featured on Wicked Awesome Wednesday! What a different type of book rack! Please feel free to stop by the website and pick up your "I've Been Featured!" button!

Barb said...

Genius!! I need to do this for our family - seriously gushing over this project!!! If you're interested, I'd love to have you link up to the link party going on right now at Gingerly Made. http://www.gingerlymade.com/2014/01/show-tell-59.html

Barb said...

This is a great project!!!

Barb said...

I LOVE this so much! Fantastic tutorial and very creative! You were featured today from the Create Link Inspire linky party!
http://www.marvelousmommy.com/2014/01/5-diy-projects-youll-want-try-for-your-home/

Barb said...

Hi thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays, I love this idea :) pinned and featured this week at the hop ...

Barb said...

I absolutely love this. I am definitely making one of these racks. Thanks for sharing your ".how to".
Pinning also.
Thanks
Angel

Barb said...

Hi - visiting from Salt Tree Social. Great project - thanks for the details photos too.

Barb said...

Very Cool & clever! Thanks so much for linking up on Made in a Day!
Kim

Barb said...

What an amazing project. I love this. Thanks for sharing!

Barb said...

SUCH a cool idea!! Totally pinning!!

Barb said...

I love this idea! I'm a real book junkie myself. I am featuring you on Show Off Friday this week! Have a fantastic weekend!

Barb said...

Thanks, Nicole!

Barb said...

Thank you!

Barb said...

Email me when you do - I'd love to see it!

Barb said...

Thank you!

Barb said...

Thank you!

Barb said...

Yes, I know! I felt bad drilling the holes. But I love how it turned out!

Barb said...

Yes, you do!

Barb said...

Thank you!