Home Hacks

How to Build a Copper Clothing Rack at Home

January 28, 2015

As satisfying as a well-written recipe, a smart and thoughtful DIY is our kind of lunch break reading. Bonus points if it's an easy project AND teaches us how to make something beautiful.

Today: Madelynn Hackwith Furlong of Wide Eyed Legless shares her incredibly luxe-looking clothing rack that can be put together without power tools -- all you need is a little glue.

A DIY Copper Clothing Rack

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When my husband and I moved into our first apartment, one of my first priorities was to design a beautiful clothing rack. I couldn't find the type I wanted for sale, so I designed this one to drop from the ceiling, creating a beautiful visual display in our bedroom in addition to doubling our much-needed extra storage. Working with copper piping was easier than I thought, and a relatively cost-effective way to build a simple, attractive piece. 

What You'll Need:

Two 24-inch copper pipes (the ones I used were 5/8-inch wide)
Two 9-inch copper pipes of the same width
Two 14 1/2-inch copper pipes of the same width
2 copper pipe tees (T-shaped connective units with 3 openings) of the same width
2 copper pipe elbows (macaroni-shaped connective units with 2 openings) of the same width
2 copper pipe caps (end pieces) of the same width, with a 1/8-inch hole drilled through the end of each
One 1/8-inch thick cotton rope, long enough to attach to your ceiling on either side of the hanger so that it is suspended at eye-level (I used a 14-meter piece)
All-purpose cement glue
2 ceiling hooks

Materials for Copper Clothing Rack

How to Build It:

1. Start by laying everything out in the order pictured below: with your 24-inch pipes placed horizontally, the 9-inch pipes placed vertically and in between them, the 14 1/2-inch pipes placed vertically and nearest the top, and with the tees and elbows acting as connectors. Visualizing it this way will give you confidence and ensures that you can accurately put the hanger together on the first try. 

Layout of Copper Clothing Rack 

2. To begin, take one of the copper pipe caps and string one end of the rope through the hole, and then through the first 14 1/2-inch piece of copper pipe. Glue the two pieces of copper together so the cap fits on the pipe. Congrats! You can build things.

Step 1: thread rope through pipe end and pipe

3. Thread and glue the copper tee to the open end of the pipe, making sure to face the trunk of the T inward, and pull the rope through. Satisfying, no?

Step 2: Thread rope through copper tee

4. On the open end of the tee, add and glue a 9-inch copper pipe.

5. Next, add a copper elbow, turned inward, and the first 24-inch copper pipe, gluing the copper pieces together and pulling the rope through as you go. You're halfway there.

Step 5: add the copper elbow and the first long pipe

6. Now work your way through the other side, starting with the other elbow and ending with the second copper cap, pulling the rope completely through.

7. Once you have the outside frame complete, glue the other 24-inch copper piece into place between the two tees. Let the glue set if it isn't already dry -- this requires patience, but it's important!

Step 6: Thread and glue the other side

8. Voilà! Your very own handmade clothing rack. Attach your hanger to the ceiling by knotting the rope to sturdy hooks that have been installed with anchors (or any exposed beams that can bear weight), and you’re good to start hanging and displaying your prettiest clothing. 

Step 8: Voila! Now hang it.

Do you love to DIY? Tell us in the comments what other projects you'd like to see here. Tag your favorites on Instagram with the hashtag #F52home.

Photos by Madelynn Hackwith Furlong

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Madelynn Hackwith Furlong is an art director, designer, stylist, creative consultant, and the woman behind Wide Eyed Legless -- a space for creation, observation, and inspiration.


Catherine August 19, 2020
Hello, I'm wondering if anyone has had any experience with Copper pipe hangers in a laundry. Does the copper patina from the humidity caused by the dryer?
Thanks :)
Mallory W. June 27, 2019
Random question... Does this rack sway? Im wanting to make a bigger one for my clothing store but dont want it moving!
Noel M. December 7, 2015
Hey, I found a version of this for sale on etsy here:

AntoniaJames February 7, 2015
I'd want to make sure, if I were renting an apartment, that the installation of sturdy hooks in the ceiling did not constitute a breach of my lease agreement, and what the cost of having the ceiling repaired would be when I moved (if I didn't care about my security deposit). To bear much weight, you need a large hooks. Before starting the project I'd also use a stud-finder to make sure that the studs needed for those large hooks were positioned in a place where it made sense to hang the rack. ;o) P.S. Using as a rack for holding pots would require even larger hooks and a lot of confidence in the size of the studs into which they were screwed. Also, I'm not at all convinced that a single, swinging rail is stable enough to be safe.
Rhonda35 January 12, 2016
Using common sense is a good rule of thumb for all things. I believe the Food52 community is a smart and sensible bunch. I love this idea - I also love the suspended clothing rack available in the Food52 shop.
Stephanie February 7, 2015
Beautiful! Could also maybe use as a pot rack if you secured it well. Do you know about how much it cost to make?
lora789 January 30, 2015
The tips on saving space http://househint.com/economy-the-space-with-the-smartstore-wall/
Lauren K. January 29, 2015
Love love love love love x twenty.
Amanda S. January 29, 2015
Beautiful, awesome project. Thanks, Madelynn!
Caitlin January 28, 2015
Totally gorgeous! Looking forward to a copy cat project :)
Kenzi W. January 28, 2015
Thank you for planning my Saturday morning! V v excited about this.
C January 28, 2015
i love this!
molly Y. January 28, 2015
ahh this is soo pretty!!!