Projects / Shelving / Storage & Organization

Baby Clothes Rack

We built a vertical baby clothes rack to store baby clothes in our nursery because the room does not have a closet.

Baby Clothes Rack

You know the proverb, “necessity is the mother of invention”? Well, Brent and I found ourselves needing to apply this saying to our baby clothes storage situation in the nursery.

The problem: The nursery does not have a closet therefore there was no designated space to store and organize baby clothes.

And since it is necessary for a babies to wear their cute little clothes (at least some of the time) we had to come up with a solution for clothes storage in our nursery.

I can’t tell you how long I would sit in the nursery and just stare at the area we designated for clothes storage and try and brainstorm ideas for how to store the clothes. I was stumped and frustrated because I knew I wanted something specific I just didn’t know what yet.

We could have used a dresser but with the crib, changing table and a huge teepee shelf we are building, I didn’t want another large piece of furniture taking away from those pieces. I spent hours searching for ideas everywhere but everything I could find would take up too much floor real estate.

I had two criteria in mind: I didn’t want it to take up a lot of space and I wanted it to look like a display you would see in a store since the clothes were going to be out in the open and not behind closet doors.

Baby Clothes Rack

And then I came across an image of dowel rods holding a sack of potatoes and a light bulb went off. Seriously, inspiration can come from the strangest of places. Since starting Gray House Studio I have come a long way in my ability to visualize designs and concepts and the fact that I could see a baby clothes rack from this idea makes me pretty proud. Ha.

I explained to Brent my vision and he executed my idea perfectly and even threw in a few other great suggestions because he is awesome like that and thus our vertical baby clothes rack was made!

Baby Clothes Rack
On the top dowel rods we are hanging shirts, pants and some of my favorite onesies. I ordered wood hangers to make it look more like a display. Plus, is there anything cuter than baby wood hangers? They are so tiny!

Baby Clothes Rack
We purchased these metal wire baskets from Target. We actually bought them first so we could build the width of the baby clothes rack frame around them so they would fit perfectly. They had gold handles which were not the style we were going for and would not hang on the dowel rods anyway so Brent removed them.

Baby Clothes Rack
Brent had the great idea to create leather straps to hang the baskets on the dowel rods. This worked really well and tied the look to the nursery wall storage bar on the opposite wall.

Baby Clothes Rack
We added a shelf at the top to add a few decor items. I stole the fox artwork from the gym shelves but it fits with this room better anyway because we are incorporating little foxes here and there throughout the room.

To see how we built our baby clothes rack, check out the video or follow along with the steps below.


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  • (2) pine 2×2″s
  • (2) Round poplar dowels (48-in L x 1-in dia)
  • Wood glue
  • 1 ½” finishing nails
  • 3” decking screws
  • Sherwin-Williams ProClassic® Waterbased Paint in Dovetail
  • Sherwin-Williams ProClassic® Waterbased Paint in Bright White
  • Heavy leather scraps
  • Embroidery floss

  • Miter saw
  • Framing square
  • Drill press + 1” forstner bit
  • Nail gun
  • Nap roller + small paintbrush
  • Rubber mallet
  • Drill + level

How We Made Our Baby Clothes Rack

Baby Clothes Rack
1. To start the baby clothes rack, we cut two pine 2×2”s into four pieces. Two long pieces for the sides of the rack and two short pieces for the top and bottom of the rack.

Baby Clothes Rack
2. On the two side pieces we used a framing square to make marks six inches apart where we needed to make the holes for our dowel rods.

We used a drill press with a 1” forstner bit to drill the holes in the side pieces but stopped each hole ¼” shy of going all the way through the board.

Baby Clothes Rack
3. Next, we attached the four pieces of the frame together using wood glue and 1 ½” finishing nails.

Baby Clothes Rack
4. To provide extra strength and support, we came back and drilled pilot holes and secured the pieces of the frame together using 3” decking screws.

Baby Clothes Rack
5. Once the frame was assembled we took our two dowel rods and cut them down to 12” pieces using the miter saw.

Baby Clothes Rack
6. We used a nap roller to paint the frame of the baby clothes rack with Sherwin-Williams ProClassic® waterbased paint in Dovetail, the same color as the wall in the nursery. We used a smaller paintbrush to paint in the holes of the frame.

Baby Clothes Rack
7. Then we painted all the dowel rods with Sherwin-Williams ProClassic® waterbased paint in Bright White with a smaller paintbrush.

Baby Clothes Rack
8. We inserted the dowel rods into the holes of the clothes rack frame with a few taps of a rubber mallet.

Baby Clothes Rack
9. We installed the frame in the nursery by screwing the rack into the wall studs and used a level to make sure it was straight on the wall.

Baby Clothes Rack
10. Finally, we removed the handles that came on the baskets and used embroidery floss to sew 1” wide leather loops onto the metal baskets so they would hang from the dowel rods.

Baby Clothes Rack
The baskets work so well. They are the perfect depth for storing lots of onesies, hats, socks, etc. and are really easy to grab but still look nice and organized.

Baby Clothes Rack

Baby Clothes Rack

We will probably store shoes on the bottom shelf once he has shoes but for now it is holding extra blankets.

I love all of the nursery projects we have made so far but the baby clothes rack is definitely one of my favorites because I think it is unique and Brent really made my idea come to life.

By being vertical and hanging on the wall it takes up no floor space but has plenty of storage space to keep baby clothes organized.

Plus, it looks nice enough to be out in the open displaying clothes.


Baby Clothes Rack

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