Learn how to build a coat hanger using vintage shutters and hooks. Add storage and function to your small entryway or mudroom with ease.
As we begin a new year, I thought I’d share a fun organizing project for the entryway or mudroom. Could you use a coat hanger or rack? I’ll show you how easy it is to make your own repurposing vintage shutters.
When we tackled our main floor renovation a while ago, adding more function and storage to our small entryway was a priority. (You can see what it looked like before and why it needed a makeover.) Fortunately we had a pretty good-sized closet, but quick access was difficult, and there wasn’t anywhere to hang a bag or jacket when entering.
At first I considered mounting hooks on a board and calling it a day. However, our entryway sees a lot of wear and tear, so some sort of backing on the wall is ideal. I didn’t want to go to the lengths of installing board and batten or bead board (for now). When I spotted two vintage shutters at a salvage shop, I knew they were a quick fix.
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How to Make a Coat Hanger Using Shutters
Supplies and Tools
- 2 shutters (ours measure 12×70″ each)
- 3 mending plates (2″) and screws
- French cleat hanger kit with level (we used two 5″ cleats rated up to 60 lbs. each)
- 3 coat hooks with screws (ours measure 5.75″ in matte black)
- tape measure
- stud finder, painter’s tape and pencil
- power drill with drill and driver bits
- optional- scrap wood and wood screws
Note: For shutters, choose something sturdy enough to hold hooks. Also, be sure to consider the weight of shutters, plus what you will be hanging on your coat rack when selecting your French cleat(s).
This project was easy to complete in under 30 minutes with 2 people.
Step 1: Join shutters together (side-by-side) using 3 mending plates and wood screws along the back (at top, middle and bottom).
Tip: Ensure you line up top and bottom before securing and check to make sure your screws aren’t too deep.
Step 2: Attach French cleat top piece to back of each shutter (along the top). We used two 5″ cleats but you could use one longer cleat.
Note: We had to add wood to back section first to make it flush with the sides (see below). Only do this if the back of your shutter isn’t even across.
Step 3: Hold shutters up to wall where you want them to hang. Mark outside top corners along top and side.
Tip: Use painter’s tape, then pencil to keep wall clean.
Step 4: Using back of shutter as your guide, measure down and in from top to where French cleat sits. Transfer measurements to wall and mark. This is where your bottom cleat will be mounted to the wall.
Step 5: Use a stud finder to locate and mark studs. Hold up bracket and adjust to hit at least one stud (on each side). Mount bottom cleat(s) starting in the center using supplied anchorless fasteners. Slide on level and use as your guide to add remaining screws.
Tip: If you don’t hit studs on each side or your shutters are heavy, use wall anchors.
Step 6: Mount shutters so the brackets interlock creating a tight and flush bond. Adjust right or left until desired position is reached.
Video Tutorial: You may want to watch this video before installing your French cleat.
Step 7: Hold up hooks where you want to mount them and mark holes with pencil. Pre-drill holes using drill and small bit (smaller than screws). Secure using supplied screws.
Tip: Be sure to fasten hooks to sturdy parts of shutters.
I love how the shutter coat rack adds a bit of character to our entryway. And, because we installed it using French cleats, it can easily be moved. It has definitely been put to use!
For now, I left the vintage shutters how I found them (chippy paint and all). I have considered painting them a different colour (maybe grey) for a bit more contrast against the Benjamin Moore Baby Fawn walls. What do you think? Perhaps I’ll paint the doors first and make my decision from there.
In the meantime, see how I styled a salvaged bench next to our entryway. Fun, right?
Have you repurposed old shutters in your home? Thinking about creating an entryway coat hanger too? Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below!
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Enjoy your day!