Artist Dorothy Spencer makes functional art from vintage finds. Here she turns yardsticks into a useful coat rack.

Updated: February 17, 2017

What You Need

  • 1-inch plywood, cut to 6 x 24 inches
  • Five wood yardsticks
  • Wood glue
  • Wood stain
  • Polyurethane, matte or gloss
  • Three metal hooks with screws
  • Metal straightedge
  • Pencil
  • Coping saw
  • Cotton rag
  • Paintbrush
  • Drill/Driver

How to Make It

1. Lay the yardsticks on the plywood base, creating a pleasing arrangement. Use the straightedge and pencil to mark trim lines, making sure the yardsticks cover the face of the plywood. Trim the yardsticks to size with the coping saw.

2. Starting at the top edge of the plywood face, squeeze a bead of wood glue onto the base of the first yardstick. Press the yardstick in place, making sure to align its edges with the base. Repeat for the four remaining yardsticks, butting the edges.

3. Dip the cotton rag into wood stain (we used a golden oak finish) and rub onto the yardsticks to tint. Allow to dry.

4. Brush on two coats of clear polyurethane. Allow to dry for two hours between coats.

6. Mark the position of the screws, spacing the hooks evenly across the face of the piece. Drill a pilot hole for each screw and then drive the screws. To mount the coat rack, drill pilot holes through the face at the four corners and use screws and wall anchors to attach it to the wall. Or place picture fasteners or wire on the back.



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