Bring the outside in with this latest DIY project from Home and Decorating Magazine. You may have seen these fascinating log/tree coat racks before, The one pictured above is available online at Uncommon Goods.
But you could also make your own. Obviously you may not have ready access to Mangosteen wood direct from Thailand, but you must have access to trees. There’s quite a lot of them about! So have a wander into the local woodland, or along the shoreline, and find yourself a long log with enough interesting branches to allow for you to hang your coats and hats on.
The tree/log needs to be long enough to provide you with a coat stand of sufficient stature, so we’d recommend one of at least 5 foot long. It should also be as straight as you can find as it will need to stand up, preferably without any supports. The main limit on size and length of your log is what you can carry or fit into your car boot!
Next step is to find somewhere for the log to dry out. If it’s been outside for a while then the chances are it will still contain a lot of moisture. We need to dry it out as much as possible, which will also have the benefit of making the coat stand a lot lighter. If you have a garage, porch, or an airing cupboard (and a very understanding partner/housemate) – then remove any bark that comes off easily and put the log away for a while until it starts to dry.
Next step is to trim the branches and remove the bark. Lay the log out across a couple of trestles or sawhorses. Make sure it’s not going to roll about or slip off – you may need to clamp it down. Using a hand saw or electric saw, cut the branches so that they are a couple of inches long, enough to ensure you can easily hang a coat or hat, but not so long that someone is likely to lose an eye.
Next take a hand plane or electric planer and working along the length of the log, start to shave off the bark until you reveal the flesh of the wood underneath.
For the base you will want to get hold of a piece of wood (or a paving slab) that’s large enough to provide a stable base, solid enough for the log to be secured to it, and heavy enough to prevent the coat stand falling over even if the coats are all placed on one side causing it to be unbalanced.
Cut your base to size and then depending on the diameter of the cross section of your log, drill at least three holes if possible. Line the base up to the bottom end of your log, making sure the log is lined up to the centre of the base.
Using as long a screws as possible, feed them through the holes in the base, using a couple of washers to provide extra grip. Screw these into the log to fix the base to the log. You may want to drill pilot holes into the log at a slightly smaller gauge to help prevent the log from splitting (or you have to go back to the start and not pass go, and not collect £200).
Now stand the coat stand up, make sure it’s straight and the the base is firmly fixed. Stand back, admire how wonderfully creative you are, throw your hat across the room so it lands smartly on one of the branches, take lots of pictures, instagram and pinterest it straight away 🙂