My aim with DIY projects around the home is to look for innovative space-saving ideas and save costs on materials by recycling.
Simple to Make Wooden Hairbrush Rack in 4 Easy Steps
How to Guide in Four Simple Steps to handcrafting your own Bespoke Designed Hairbrush Rack from a piece of wood and a wire coat hanger. In this article I demonstrate how making something as simple as this can be done on a shoestring budget; and how it can easily be made in one afternoon. In making this you don’t require much in the way of tools, materials, skills, cost or time
How does your loved one keep hers hairbrushes, cluttering-up the dressing table or taking up valuable space in the bathroom; or does she already have them neatly hanging-up tidy and to hand. This how-to crafts article is about space saving ideas that are particle, easy to do and doesn't cost the earth to make, and for this project is a guide in four easy steps.
If you have a spacious bedroom and a large dressing table then you may be happy to have half a dozen of your hairbrushes scattered around on the dressing table or shoved in its drawer. If however space is of a premium then the ideal solution maybe to better utilise the space for by making a bespoke rack or buying a suitable tidy, caddy or organiser.
1. Design and Selecting Your Materials
Deciding on your design and sourcing your materials
The first step to making her a bespoke Designer Hairbrush Rack is to decide on your design; the Décor of her bedroom or bathroom and where it will hang may have a major influence on this. The materials you have to hand and materials you intend buying to make the hairbrush rack and how much you wish to spend on making it will be other factors in your design and build for your personalised bespoke hairbrush rack for her. Cost shouldn't be a limiting factor as the materials you need is minimal and shouldn't cost much to buy anyway; even if you bought everything you needed from your local DIY store. So the main factor will most likely be designing and making of your handcrafted hairbrush rack that's befitting of her bedroom or bathroom dcor.
The main theme in our house is natural wood so for me I was looking for something made with natural wood that's simple and functional but not tacky. As I have lots of scrap wood my shed I intended to make my bespoke hairbrush rack from reclaimed and recycled materials, and therefore make it on a nil budget.
The first task was to go through the selection of scrap wood and other materials I had in the shed picking out some suitable pieces that would be ideal for this DIY project. Selecting suitable wood is easy in that any piece of wood between 1 ft (30 cm) and 18 inches (45 cm) long and about 10mm (1/2 inch) to 20mm (3/4 inch) deep would be ideal. The exact thickness and length is not critical. Any piece of softwood, hardwood or plywood would be fine, but not contiBoard as it wolldn't have the strength to support the pegs. For this DIY project I found a piece of scrap wood in the shed that once was a back divider (20mm depth) that once supported thin plywood backing to a cupboard. The divider had 4mm grooves on either side in which the cupboard's plywood backing once slotted into.
The difficult decision was the pegs; they need to be strong and thin but not tacky. Most hairbrushes have a 6mm (1/4 inch) hole in the handle for hanging so you could use wood or metal slightly smaller but with not much leeway it would be difficult getting the hair brushes on and off the hooks and in such cases people wouldn't use it. For the hairbrush rack to be functional it has to be easy to use, therefore the pegs have to be significantly smaller so that the handles slip over them easily. In rooting around the shed I found 5mm dowel, an iron rod (from an old clotheshorse) 4mm and a 3mm steel rod. The 5mm dowel would have only given 1mm leeway and made it very difficult to get the hairbrushes on and off the rack; the 4mm iron rod wasn't too bad but the 3mm steel rod was ideal so I opted to use this.
If you don't have a piece of metal at a suitable thickness, rather than buying something from a DIY store or an Ironmongers you could use oval nails but that would be rather tacky. A much better solution would be to cut the heads off of ordinary nails that's long enough and of a suitable thickness or use an old wire coat hanger and using a hacksaw cut the pieces of metal to length for the pegs.
If you decide to use nails or bits of metal cut from a wire coat hanger, as the source material for your pegs, to reduce the risk of the nails or wire splitting the wood, that they line up correctly and there are no sharp edges that would scratch or cut somebody you'll need to follow the instructions given below.
2. Measure and Cutting Your Materials
Think twice and cut once
You can never be too careful when measuring and cutting so it pays to make all the calculations carefully, double checking all your measurements before you make your cuts. You need to establish how much space is available in the bedroom or bathroom for your bespoke handcrafted hairbrush rack, what length (in your mind's eye) would look right, how many hairbrushes the rack needs to support (allowing for expansion) and the optimum distance between each peg; usually 3 inches (75mm). I always have a cup of coffee at this point, before I start cutting anything, so that I can go over all the points in my mind and ensure I haven't missed anything.
For this DIY project I had four hairbrushes, one hair comb and a shoehorn to accommodate. The shoe horn is an optional in that if she acquires another hairbrush in the future we can easily find a new home for the shoe horn; however in the meantime it gives a good home for it. Therefore, as the optimum distance for the pegs is 3 inches (75mm) and allowing half that distance at each end then 18 inches (45 cm) is the ideal length for six pegs. Also, as a bonus the 4mm groove along the top of the wood I chose proved ideal for keeping hair combs, as shown in the photos; although if you wanted to (as part of your design) you could cut your own slots or grooves for sitting your hair combs in.
Having cut the wood to length, drawing a pencil line down the centre of the whole length of the wood and marking the centre line at 3 inch (75mm) intervals for the pegs (with 1.5 inches at either end) I was ready to drill the peg holes.
So the hairbrushes don't slip off the pegs they need to be at a slight upward angle, and for the hairbrush rack not to look tacky all the pegs need to be perfectly lined at the same angle and at the same distance from each other; and the ends of each peg properly smoothed and rounded. To best achieve this a bench drill is ideal, and to get a consistent angle for the holes place a thin piece of wood underneath the wood you're drilling, at the top end, to raise the wood at a slight and uniform angle, as shown in the photo below. The drilled holes should be slightly smaller than the thickness of the wire; but not too small so that you don't split the wood when you hammer the steel pegs home. As I was using 4mm steel rod a 4mm drill bit was just right to give a tight fit, but if you're using a 4mm nail (with the head cut off as described earlier) you may need to take the drill bit down to 3mm.
The pegs should protrude from the rack by 1 inch (25mm) so as the wood I was using was 20mm thick I cut the steel rod into 45mm lengths, and then used the electric grinder to take off the burrs and smooth the ends. Gripping each peg in a vice and using a hand file would be just as effective.
Making the Pieces to Fit - Drilling, Cutting and Grinding
3. Assembly and Finishing
No gluing and few tools required
Once the holes are drilled in the wood and the pegs are ready I just simply tapped each peg into the holes using a light hammer.
Both ends of the rack was smoothed and rounded using an electric sander, although again this could easily be done by hand with a sanding block and a piece of coarse sandpaper.
As the scrap wood I was using was salvaged from redundant furniture it was already lacquered so didn't need any further finishing other than perhaps a wipe with a little teak oil at both ends to heel the fresh cuts. If the wood was otherwise bare you would want to varnish, wood stain or paint the hairbrush rack before assembly and fitting; matching or complementing the dcor of the bedroom or bathroom.
And finally, before fitting your 'bespoke handcrafted designer hairbrush rack' to the wall in her bedroom or bathroom all that's left to do is drill one hole at either end, slightly smaller than the screws you intend to use, so that the hairbrush rack can be securely screwed to the wall.
Pegging the Hooks - Aligning All the Pegs in a Row
4. Fitting and Testing
Hair today, hairbrush tomorrow
With her permission, fitting your bespoke handcrafted hairbrush rack to the wall is simpler than putting up shelves. The only important things to ensure is that it's straight and level, that the screws go far enough into the wall with the correct wall plugs to ensure a good solid fit and that you don't drill through any hidden pipes or cables in the wall. So all you need to complete this personalised Valentine's Day DIY job for the one you love are two screws, two suitable wall plugs, a spirit level and a screwdriver.
Once fitted and tested, and she's given her approval, just sit back with a bottle of wine together and have a wonderful hair day. Although for best effect don't spring the surprise on her, sound her out before hand and if the feedback is positive wrap your bespoke gift up with chocolate for the day and offer to install it soon after (or on the day); and good luck to a good job done.
Final Fit and Display - A Few Simple Tools and the Job is Done
Where to Keep Them
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Arthur Russ
Place your hair-raising comments here
Arthur Russ (author) from England on June 16, 2017:
Thanks all for your greatly appreciated comments.
Andrea on February 07, 2015:
This is perfect I am culrentry trying to declutter my home and I am really enjoying how much calmer I am when our closets and drawers are not filled with rarely (if ever) used crap. Great blog!
VspaBotanicals on April 19, 2014:
getmoreinfo on January 20, 2013:
This Handcrafted Hairbrush Rack is really cool.