Home improvements: How to make a rustic hanging rail

The rustic hanging rail

The rustic hanging rail - Credit: PA Images

Fancy getting stuck into a creative project? Try your hand at woodworking and hang your coats on this minimalist marvel.

What you'll need to make a rustic hanging rail

What you'll need to make a rustic hanging rail - Credit: PA

When was the last time you worked with wood? For many of us, it was back at school, but don’t let that put you off.

Working on a relatively simple and crafty home project can be massively rewarding. Not only will you learn new skills, enjoy being hands-on and busy creating something brand new, but you’ll also have an amazing new piece of homeware to showcase - and it’s guaranteed to earn you compliments.

Andrea Brugi and Samina Langholz, authors of new book Woodworking, have been restoring a 17th century home and were asked to design a built-in wardrobe in the bedroom. But after working so hard on this home, they couldn’t bear to hide the ancient and beautiful walls.

So, what they came up with instead is this stylish, alternative clothing rail.

The rail can be used to hang outdoor coats

The rail can be used to hang outdoor coats - Credit: PA

Tools and materials you will need:

2 pieces of leather, approx. 3cm wide and 5m long (the length will depend on the height of your ceiling). Natural leather is hard to cut, but you can ask a local leather merchant to cut it for you

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1 piece of driftwood, approx. 140cm in length. Consider the thickness of the stick, as it must be suitable for your chosen hangers.


Sandpaper (150 grit)

Leather hole punch

2 x 1cm copper or brass nails/studs for each strap

Hand saw

2 x strong screws (for attaching to the ceiling)



Step one:

Comb your nearest beach for a suitable piece of driftwood, then leave your chosen wood to dry out in the sun.

Step two:

Use the sandpaper to clean and polish the rough edges. Run the sandpaper along the stick to make sure there are no splinters or small, rough knots.

Step three:

Using the saw, cut the stick to your desired length. The maximum length should be 150cm, to ensure the stick is strong enough.

Step four:

Using the leather hole punch, prepare two holes in the leather, around 1cm inside the edge of the strap and 25cm from the end. You could even ask your leather merchant to cut the holes. Hammer the copper or brass nails (or studs) into place.

Step five:

Loop the leather straps around each end of your chosen branch.

Step six:

Check the exact measurement between the two leather straps and mark the two spots on the ceiling where the straps will be attached. Drill holes in the ceiling for the screws and attach the straps to the ceiling.

The branch could literally be hung using any material; rope, rough twine, coarse fabric, even an old, fine, silk scarf. You can hang it next to a wall, but it also works beautifully as a room divider. And while it’s perfect for holding your clothes in the bedroom, you could also use it as an installation for pots and pans over your kitchen sink, swapping the clothes hangers with some beautiful, vintage meat hooks from a butcher.

Woodworking by Andrea Brugi and Samina Langholz is published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group (£20). Available now.