Home

PVC Pipe Clothes Rack

Finished Product

Build a durable dual rail clothes rack from PVC pipe, some MDF and assorted hardware store parts. My goal was to build something functional from readily available and cheap supplies. The clothes rack consists of a PVC frame attached to an MDF base using pipe saddles. This base will have swivel castors, allowing the rack to move around easily.

Materials:

  • 9.08m total of PVC Pipe. I bought 10x 1m lengths.
  • 8x PVC elbow
  • 8x PVC tee
  • 8x Pipe saddle
  • PVC Cement
  • MDF
  • 4x Swivel castors
  • Spray paint suitable for plastics
  • Nuts, bolts and washers suitable to attach castors. Screws to secure pipe saddles.

Tools:

  • Pipe cutters or hacksaw
  • Tape measure
  • Drill
  • Circular saw or jigsaw. Alternatively, ask for the MDF to be cut to size at a hardware store.

3D Model created in Google Sketchup using Mintaka'sPVC pipe, PVC tee and PVC elbow models.

My girlfriend owns a fair amount of clothes, so much so that her clothes rack decided it wasn't up to the task and fell into a giant heap. I thought I'd have a crack at building one strong enough to stay upright using cheap and readily available hardware store parts. After a couple of quick sketches I drew up the 3d model shown below:

3d Model and Basic Materials

This design uses 25mm PVC pipe and fittings. You can muck around with the measurements to suit your requirements but remember you'll lose 15mm of pipe length when inserted into a fitting. It's worth soaking the fittings in water to remove any labels before you get started, otherwise you'll end up scraping them off with a steel rule later on like I did.

Cutting Pipe to Length

Cut all the pipe to length. I used some cheap pipe cutters ($8 AUD) to keep the cuts straight however a hacksaw will also work. It helps to label them with their length to make life a bit easier during assembly. File down the edges after cutting as rough edges can prevent the pipe from securing properly to the fittings.

Pipe Lengths Cut

Run some PVC cement around the inside of the fitting and the outside edge of the pipe.

Apply PVC Cement

Once connected, you wont have too long to adjust the orientation.

Attaching Joiner

Quickly wipe off any excess PVC cement, this will save you sanding time when preparing for paint.

Removing Excess

Secure the elbows to the 1000mm lengths to create the horizontal rails.

Horizontal Rails Complete

Create the uprights using the 514mm pipe, 313mm pipe and tee pieces. Two should be shorter for the front frame and two longer for the rear frame.

Upright Sections

Connect them to create the front and rear frames.

Front and Rear Frame

Attach the front and rear frames using the 230mm lengths to create the finished PVC frame.

Frame Complete

Cut the base board to size using a circular saw. If you don't have the tools to cut the base board, many hardware stores will cut material for you if you ask someone nicely.

MDF Base

The base board was then primed and painted matt black. A few coats of clear will help keep the paint looking fresh. Lightly sand the frame. If you want the best possible finish, pay some more attention to the excess PVC cement around the joints. Several coats of a plastic suitable spray paint were then applied. Use a castor as a template to mark the mounting holes in each corner and drill.

Castor Holes

Secure the castors with nuts and bolts. Using washers looks neat and prevents damage to the board. Tighten with a spanner until firm.

Castor Attached

Turn the base over and place the frame on the base. Ensure the frame is in the center and mark the screw holes on the underside of the base to attach the pipe saddles.

Marking Saddle Location

I pre-drilled the screw holes a couple of millimeters to help get the screw started. Secure all the pipe saddles to connect the base to the frame.

Saddles and Castors Attached

A couple of hooks were added on either side for some extra storage. They're mounted to the tee fittings as they have a thicker wall than the pipe.

Robe Hooks Added

It's now ready for some abuse.

Finished with Clothes