Claire here, with this week’s DIY transformation…and I’m seeing a little shopping in my weekend’s future since I’m now the proud owner of a super chic garment rack! If you recall, two weeks ago I collected a few images of unique clothing racks and used them as inspiration for creating a design of my own. After reading through all of your amazing feedback and ideas, I decided to create the rack out of metal to ensure stability…then the real challenge became making the rack stylish enough to display in my home. Want to see the final product? We’ve got the instructions just after the jump. 

I’m a sucker for stripes of any kind and am especially drawn to the uneven lines of a barcode, so to add a decorative element to this rack, I combined design elements from my fence headboard design with the colors of my antler rack project. I love the way the gold and mint add a touch of glam to an otherwise utilitarian piece. Think about what patterns inspire you – and then find a way to incorporate them into your next DIY to make it totally personalized!

I painted a few pieces of pipe gold to tie in the upper part of the garment rack with the base. A “hook” on one side provides a handy place to store accessories.

DIY Steel Garment Rack

  • (2) 1/2″ x 48″ black steel pipe
  • (1) 1/2″ x 36″ black steel pipe
  • (1) 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ black steel nipple
  • (4) 1/2″ x 4″ black steel nipple
  • (4) 1/2″ x close black steel nipple
  • (6) 1/2″ 90° black steel elbow
  • (3) 1/2″ black steel tee
  • (4) 1/2″ black steel floor flange
  • 1/2″ 2×4′ Birch handy panel (I used the saw at Home Depot to cut the piece to 15 1/4″” x 36″)
  • (4) 2″ poly swivel industrial casters
  • (32) #8 1/2″ wood screws
  • drill
  • painters tape
  • clear primer spray paint
  • gold spray paint
  • gloss white spray paint
  • acrylic paint (Martha Stewart, mint)
  • paintbrush
  • pencil
  • ruler
  1. First begin by building the feet.
  2. Screw 2 of the 1/2″ x close steel pieces into 2 of the floor flanges.
  3. Attach a 90° elbow onto the top of each of the 1/2″ x close pieces and screw a 4″ nipple into the other end of the elbow.
  4. Connect these two pieces with an upside down “T” (steel tee).
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for the other foot.
  6. Into the top of the top hole of the tee attach a 48″ pipe for the first leg support.
  7. Screw a 90° elbow onto the top of the 48″ pipe .
  8. Connect this with a 36″ pipe to create the horizontal bar.
  9. On the other end of the horizontal 36″ pipe attach a steel tee (position so that the “T” is facing right side up…like the letter “T”).
  10. Connect a 90° elbow onto the 3 1/2″ steel nipple and screw it horizontally into the opposite socket of the steel tee to create hook for scarves and purses.
  11. Attach the other 48″ pipe onto the hole of the steel tee that is facing the ground to create the other support leg.
  12. Screw the other foot onto the bottom of the second 48″ pipe to complete the frame. Set aside.
  13. Spray the entire frame with two coats of primer, once dry spray with glossy white spray paint. (spray the pieces for the hook as well as the two horizontal nipples that create the feet with gold).
  14. Spray the screws for the frame white and the screws for the casters + the casters gold.
  15. Choose a pattern for the birch board (I chose stripes), tape off accordingly (make sure to tape edges!) and spray.
  16. Once dry remove tape, and add any additional details (I taped off and handed painted some mint stripes for a pop).
  17. Mark out and drill in the casters onto the under side of the board.
  18. Set metal pipe frame on top of board and screw in tightly.
  19. Hang clothes and enjoy! Another closet was just added to your house!

*photos by Kate Stafford, styled by Claire Zinnecker and Kate Stafford for

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Comments (46)
  1. 1
    Heath July 12, 2012 at 8:40 am

    How much did the supplies for this DIY cost? Just curious in comparison to similar items for sale at retail value…

    • Claire Zinnecker July 16, 2012 at 9:14 am

      Hey Heath,

      I added up my supply cost and it ended up being between $50-60. The least expensive rack I’ve found was at Ikea for $10, but it did not have casters or a shoe rack, and was not nearly as sturdy as my pipe garment rack. I owned one from Target that cost $50. It had casters but no shoe rack, and it also began to break (which is why I decided to make my own 🙂 ). I was fortunate enough to find inexpensive piping at a local plumbing store in Austin which lessened some costs. Another way to cut down on cost is to use reclaimed wood for the shoe rack instead of a new piece of birch! It wasn’t the least expensive rack but I think it is relatively price comparable, and it is stable and customized. Hope this helps!

      • Rebecca May 9, 2013 at 3:24 pm

        I’m moving to Austin in the fall for college, and this will be perfect for my dorm! I’ve been having such a hard time trying to figure out how to make my clothes fit in that tiny closet. Do you mind saying where you found the cheaper supplies? Or would that be too much like invading your privacy?

        • clairezinnecker May 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm

          I went to Crumps Plumbing Supply off of north Burnet! Hope that helps! Congrats on college, Austin is an amazing city!

  2. 2
    Sarah Sarna July 12, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Claire, I LOVE this industrial meets glam look – the gold detailing makes it so feminine and chic, too. And Kate, beautifully shot!

  3. 3
    Elizabeth July 12, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Oh my goodness- this looks so great! I was really looking forward to seeing this. Love it!

    Cheers, Elizabeth of The Corner Apartment

    • Claire Zinnecker July 16, 2012 at 9:14 am

      Great! So glad you like it, Elizabeth! Have a wonderful week!

  4. 4
    Molly July 12, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Claire, you are SO talented! Can you come make one for me?! 🙂

    • Claire Zinnecker July 16, 2012 at 9:16 am

      I’d love to! (Although I have a feeling you have some talent yourself 🙂 ) and could make one that is amazing!

  5. 5
    Lindsey July 12, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I’m loving the clothes modeled on the rack! And the rack itself, of course. 🙂

    Et tu, tutu?

    • Claire Zinnecker July 16, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Thanks! Fortunately my friend, Kate, and myself have a love for soft pastels and neutrals so our wardrobes blended perfectly!

  6. 6
    Ashley @ Any Lovely Thing July 12, 2012 at 11:59 am

    You are amazing, Claire! Looks fabulous 🙂


    • Claire Zinnecker July 16, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Aww shucks, thanks Ashley you are too kind!! Have a great week!

  7. 7
    Cristina | FUJI FILES July 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I second Lindsey’s comment, I’m loving the clothes on the rack! Pretty color palette, love your special striped touches, and of course the rack is brilliant.

    • Claire Zinnecker July 16, 2012 at 9:23 am

      Thanks, lady! Can’t wait to see your flower headband DIY!

  8. 8
    Kate July 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Very nice, Claire! It looks great.

    • clairezinnecker July 16, 2012 at 7:45 pm


  9. 9
    Alex July 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Where did the dresses come from? I love the striped dress in the front.

    • Claire Zinnecker July 16, 2012 at 9:21 am

      The dresses are a mix of my friend (and the photographer), Kate’s closet as well as my own! They are from a variety of stores, which in particular are you wanting to know about and I will try to help!

      • Alex July 16, 2012 at 6:32 pm

        The striped one in the front and the patterned one in the middle! You’re clothing rack is so perfect!

        • clairezinnecker July 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm

          Thanks! The striped one is a brand Cotton Candy and is from Maya Star in Austin. The blue patterned one is Anthropologie I believe and the cream patterned one is Urban Outfitters.

  10. 10
    Henry September 5, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Where did you get the hangers?

    • clairezinnecker September 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      I got them at Ikea but Target should have some like as well!

  11. 11
    ivy adams September 13, 2012 at 6:28 am

    I think I need one of those nice racks for my clothes. It really looks neat. I think my dresses will look good if I put it in racks.

  12. 12
    wunderklee October 23, 2012 at 4:03 am

    This looks so great! Your Blog inspire me I have also a hanging rail – look 🙂

  13. 13
    Kelli November 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Hi I love your post! I actually already built pipe racks for my little clothing store but I just recently decided I want to paint them GOLD to fem it up a little more. What brand of gold paint did you use? I’m terrified of them turning out a horrible fake yellow gold! And since this is an old post, have you noticed any chipping where the hangers move back and forth? I think the primer should help that? You’re project turned out so great that I’m really excited to start mine!

  14. 14
    Karen March 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Hi, i just built this and the spray paint is scraping off is thee a way to seal the primer spray paint I used?

  15. 15
    Tiffany June 13, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Hi! I absolutely love this DIY.

    My only question: how easy is this to dismantle and reassemble? Is it even possible to dismantle it?

  16. 16
    Tara June 23, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Can’t wait to build one of my own Claire! Awesome idea.

  17. 17
    Brittany Brown August 13, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    just wondering how much weight can this hold? 🙂

  18. 18
    Brittany Brown August 13, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    also, how tall does it end up being ?