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DIY Fold Down Drying Rack

I’m Zoe.
My mission is to teach you to  confidently build magazine-worthy DIYs. I used to be terrified of power tools, which is why I'm a firm believer that ANYONE can DIY.
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Price

$25-$75

Time

1 Day

Difficulty

Medium

Make this wall-mounted DIY drying rack to dry clothes, even in small spaces.

DIY fold down drying rack

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Trying to figure out how to dry clothes in a small space? Look no further than this practical DIY drying rack. This wall mounted laundry drying rack is the perfect solution to add more drying space to your laundry room.

Since it folds down, this drying rack takes up minimal room, especially when it’s not in use.

We’ve had leftover beadboard sitting in our house for over a year between our simple drop zone update and powder room transformation. When we started working on the laundry room, I knew it was time to put the scraps to good use. 

Our biggest focus for the laundry room was organization and function (making it pretty was an added bonus 😉). We hang air dry almost everything so the more drying space the better. 

Alright, let’s start DIYing! 

P.S. If you have a little more space and want to add some lay-flat drying drawers to your laundry room, check out our tutorial for the ultimate laundry folding station. Yes, it’s complete with 6 drying drawers!

Tools

What You’ll Need

Get the exact quantities and cut list in the printable plans

How to make a homemade drying rack 

New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!

STEP 1: CUT YOUR 1x2s AND DOWELS FOR THE DRYING RACK

Get the cut list in the full printable plans (complete with 3D renderings and a visual cut list). 

You should end up with a total of (5) 1x2s pieces and 8 dowels. The extra 1×2 is to make a guide for the holes you’ll be drilling in the sides. 

STEP 2: Make a guide 

Even though it’s just two pieces, making a guide for your holes will reduce your risk of error. The holes on either side need to be right in line with one another or the dowels will bend or not fit. 

To make the guide, space out your dowels according to the plans and mark where each dowel should go. 

Drill all the way through the 1×2, making sure to keep the drill straight. 

STEP 3: Drill holes for your dowels 

If you don’t have a drill stop bit kit, you’ll want to mark your drill bit with tape how far down you want to drill. Make sure to account for the entire depth of your guide 1×2. 

Marking your drill bit will ensure you don’t drill all the way through.

Once your drill bit is marked, line your guide up with one of your sides and clamp it into place to ensure it doesn’t move while you’re drilling. 

Drill your holes through the guide and repeat on the second 1×2. 

drilling holes for dowels

STEP 4: Assemble your drying rack 

Drill two pocket holes on either side of your short 1x2s. 

Use glue and pocket hole screws to attach the front and back to one of the sides. Then place a drop of glue in each of the holes and insert the dowels. 

You might need to hit a few of the dowels with a rubber mallet to get them in all the way.

making a drying rack with dowels

Once your dowels are mostly in and even, add glue to the holes in the other 1×2 and line the dowels up with the holes. Use the mallet to get them fully in place. 

Once the dowels are secure, finish your drying rack by securing the front and back to the second side using Kreg screws. 

STEP 5: Make the frame 

The outside of your assembled frame should be approximately 2.25″ wider and 2″ taller than your drying rack. Exact dimensions and cuts are available in the PDF plans

Cut your 1x2s and 1x3s. Then assemble your 1×2 frame using glue and nails. 

Assemble your 1×3 frame around the 1x2s using glue and nails. 

make a frame using 1x3s and dowels

Step 6: Add your beadboard 

Using your circular saw or table saw, cut your beadboard down to the size you need.

Once your beadboard is the right size, glue it to your 1x2s and add a few nails. 

Finish off your drying rack by adding a frame with .75″ dowels on top of the beadboard using glue and a few nails. 

add beadboard to drying rack frame

Step 7: Sand and prep 

Before painting, we prepped the drying rack by filling any nail holes and seams with spackle. We also filled all the pocket holes with a few coats of spackle. Check out this post for better ways to fill pocket holes. I’m definitely not saying that spackle is the best or even a good way to fill them. 

Once the spackle dried, we sanded everything with a 120 and 220 sanding block and then caulked where the beadboard met the wood. 

Step 8: Prime and paint 

When you’re painting wood, you always want to prime first. Since we were planning to paint a light color, we just used white primer

If you are planning on painting your fold-down drying rack a dark color, it’s good to prime with a gray primer (this is our favorite)

Step 9: Add the hinges

Start by attaching the hinges to the drying rack and then position your drying rack in the frame and attach the hinges to the frame. Exact measurements for placement can be found in the premium plans.

add hinges to drying rack

Step 10: Add the eye hooks

Add eye hooks in the locations shown in the picture. When you shut the drying rack, the eye hooks should be close, but not touching.

wall mounted drying rack folding down with eye hooks and chain

Step 11: Add the magnets

For the magnets, drill a hole on both your frame and drying rack. Add a dab of superglue into the holes and add your magnets. 

Make sure that you put your magnets in the correct way so that they attract, not repel 😉 

add magnet

Note: we used a door catch for the magnet on the drying rack itself. You can use either method, but you’ll still want to countersink the little magnet so that it’s flush with the frame.

Step 12: Add the chain

For the chain, open up one of the hooks with a small pair of pliers and loop it onto the eye hook on the frame. Then open your drying rack to your desired position. 

Cut the chain, open up the last link with your pliers, and secure it around your eye hook. Make sure the link it fully closed again. 

For the second side, you can either count the links or eyeball it and adjust as needed. 

Step 13: Hang your fold-down drying rack 

To hang our drying rack on the wall, we used a french cleat and followed the instructions on the packaging for installation on both the wall and drying rack. 

Overall, we’re happy with the french cleat, but I’d recommend also putting a command strip or two at the bottom so that you can pull down the drying rack without it moving away from the wall at all. 

DIY drying rack

There you have it! Now you know how to make a fold-down drying rack that’s both functional and requires very little space.

Don’t forget to grab the full printable plans for the detailed cut list, step-by-step instructions, and 3D renderings of each step. 

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