Do it yourself: crafting a coat rack from boards and forks

Interested in constructing a quirky coat rack? If you follow our simple instructions, it’s really easy to do.

In the third part of our series on DIY projects, we’re showing you how a trainee at Hamberger was able to transform a few offcuts of flooring and some old pieces of cutlery into a trendy coat rack.

The idea

No, Magdalena Kaiser wasn’t inspired by Uri Geller, the 1970s TV magician who claimed to be able to bend spoons simply with the power of his mind – at just 18 years of age, the office management trainee is much too young to remember the famed Israeli illusionist. Instead, she got her idea from a picture she saw on the Pinterest website – coat hooks made from old forks. “We’ve got a few old forks at home”, thought Magdalena, and immediately decided to combine this cutlery with left-over pieces of flooring to build a coat rack. It’s a straightforward upcycling project that basically anyone can replicate. A few prongs broke off while Magdalena was bending her forks, therefore she recommends keeping a number of forks in reserve. If you don’t already have pieces of old cutlery at home, flea markets are a great place to buy some for next to nothing.

You will need the following:

  • 1 floorboard (light or dark)
  • 4 forks (plus 2-4 in reserve)
  • Adhesive tape
  • 8 screws
  • Tools: tape measure, drill, saws, hammer, vice and/or pliers

Step 1: Cutting the board

Measure the board and then saw it into four equally long pieces.

Step 2: Bending the forks

Now the next step is to bend the forks into the shape you want. To bend the prongs, first clamp the forks in a vice and then use the strength of your fingers or a hammer. If the vice leaves indentations on the metal, you can smooth these out later with a hammer. Alternatively, you can bend the prongs using a pair of pliers. Now, let’s move on to the fork handle. Magdalena bent her forks into hooks around a piece of iron pipe, but, of course, you can use any other accessory that is round, robust and of suitable size.

It’s a good idea to heat the forks (with a Bunsen burner, for example) before shaping them, as this makes the bending process easier and reduces the chances of forks breaking.

Step 3: Attaching the hooks

You need to screw the hooks onto the uppermost piece of board. Measure the board first and use a pencil to mark the positions where you want to attach the forks. Fasten the forks using two screws per fork. You’ll find it easier to drill through the metal if you mark the position of the drill holes beforehand using a centre punch. A light tap of the hammer should suffice. The small indentation in the metal prevents the drill bit from slipping. Once drilled, smooth the holes with sand paper to remove any metal particles.

Step 4: Assembling the boards into a wall panel

Slot the four pieces of board together, making sure the piece with the hooks is at the top. If you want, you can now saw the resulting panel into a design of your choice – our example is in the shape of a dress. First, draw the shape you want to create. Then take the boards apart and cut them individually using a jigsaw or a normal saw.

Step 5: Sanding off and drilling the wall attachment holes

Smooth off all the outer sides with sandpaper. On the right and left side of the top board, drill two holes for attaching the coat rack to the wall.

Step 6: Reassembling and taping the boards

As the final step in the project, slot the boards together again and reinforce them with lengths of strong adhesive tape on the reverse side.

The resulting coat rack is quirky, stylish and highly functional. Unsurprisingly, it’s been given a place of honour in the Hamberger office and is used on a daily basis.

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