How to Make a DIY Accordion Coat Rack

With Christmas right around the corner, I’ve got seasonal decorating on the brain.  So I originally designed this DIY accordion coat rack as a stocking hanger…but obviously it’s a versatile piece, so you can use it as a stocking hanging, coat hanger, hat hanger, dog leash hanger…whatever floats your boat.

DIY Accordion Coat Rack for Winter Coats and Hats

It’s a super simple build that only requires a saw, a drill, and a few small boards. AND, the cool thing…well, one of the many cool things (HA!), it actually moves like an accordion, so its width is adjustable. Fancy 😉 Check out the video to see it in action!

Let’s get building 🙂 Here’s what you need:

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1x2x10 board (or if you couldn’t get 10′ boards, two 8 foot boards would work…you’ll just have a lot leftover)

7/8″ poplar dowel

(10) 2 1/2″ wood screws

Drill OR Drill & Driver Kit

Various Drill Bit sizes

Miter Saw

Wood Glue

Wall Hangers

Beeswax (or finish of your choice)

Step 1: Cut 1×2 Accordion Rack Pieces

First, I cut down my 1×2 pieces on my miter saw to four 16” pieces and four 8 3/4” pieces.  Then I laid them out on my workbench to get a visual of where I was headed with this project.  I laid out two long and two short pieces on the bottom, then the other two long and two short pieces on top going perpendicular to those. 

Measure and mark pilot hole locations for DIY accordion coat rack

I separated this project into two SETS of boards…each set consists of two long and two short boards. One set goes on the top and one set goes on the bottom of the rack.

Step 2: Measure, Mark, Drill Pilot Holes in Bottom Set of Boards

I measured and marked ¾” in from the end and ¾” in from the edges on the 1x2s in one set.  Then I marked the center of the long 1x2s in that same set.

Hole locations for DIY accordion coat rack

I was attaching everything in the end with 2 ½” wood screws.  So I found a drill bit JUST SLIGHTLY larger than the screws I was using so that the screws would be able to drop through the hole.

Drill holes into boards for accordion coat rack

Then I drilled holes on the marks I made on the ends and the middle of the first set of boards.  These holes should be just large enough to allow the screw to drop in like shown.  These will be the BACK pieces on the rack when it’s assembled. Then, I set them aside.

Step 3: Attach Pegs to DIY Accordion Coat Rack

Then I measured and marked the same locations on the second set of boards and drilled a hole just SMALLER than the screw (so I was just predrilling) in them.  But, I ended up having to redo all these holes later when I assembled it, so this isn’t actually necessary. Just simply measure and mark the same locations, but skip drilling the holes.


Next, I trimmed my dowel rod down to ten pieces 3” long. 

Cut pegs for DIY accordion coat rack

You can leave these as is, but I spray painted them black because I really like the walnut and black combination 😊

Spray paint pegs for DIY coat rack

Once the paint was dry, I applied wood glue and glued these onto the marks on this second set of boards.

Glue pegs onto DIY Accordion coat rack boards

Step 4: Assemble DIY Accordion Coat Rack

After allowing the glue to dry completely, it was time to put it all together.  I laid the rack out on my workbench to make sure I was attaching everything like it was supposed to be. This design was confusing to me throughout this project and I had to keep laying it back out to get a visual haha.

Lay out pieces of DIY Accordion coat rack on workbench

Then I screwed the rack together with 2 ½” wood screws through the holes I drilled earlier in the back. 


Remember me talking about in step 3 how I had to redrill all the holes in the second set of boards, so don’t bother with it before? This is why…Many of these holes didn’t line up perfect as you can see.

So I ended up placing these boards so the edges were flush and predrilled the small holes through the back boards and into the front boards where they should have been.  Then I drove the screws.

I drove the screws tight, then backed it out JUST ENOUGH so that it would still move a little since it was an accordion rack. Since the holes in the back are larger than the screw, it allows the screw to move freely, but still keep the pieces fairly tight together.


I continued along the rack predilling and driving the screws until I had the entire thing together. 

Drive screws to attach DIY accordion coat rack

I was careful to drive the screws tight, then slightly back each screw out so that when I got finished, it would move like an accordion. See the video here 😉

Step 5: Finish as Desired

Once I was happy with the assembly, I finished it with a beeswax.  I quickly realized it would have been ten times easier to finish this BEFORE putting it together but at this point I wasn’t going to take it apart haha.  So I just powered through it.

Finish accordion coat rack with furniture wax

In order to hang this on the wall, I used a few of those teeth looking wall hangers…I don’t know what they’re called.  I installed these on the outer two top corners like shown. 

Hammer wall hanger hardware into DIY Accordion Coat Rack

Also, the nails that come with these are TINY and I always smash my fingers holding them to get them started with a hammer.  So I found that using these needle nose pliers can save your fingers and make this SO MUCH EASIER.  Just a helpful tip 😉

DIY Accordion Coat Hanger for Winter Coats and Hats

Then I used a couple of nails in the wall to hang it.  Because it’s an accordion, I can adjust as needed and install wall anchors, or adjust it to where it will hit a stud on both hangers.  It fits perfect right here next to the front door and will be cute for stockings this Christmas and coats all winter long.  And in the summer, I can swap it out for hats, or umbrellas, or whatever I can find to hang here haha.

DIY Accordion Rack as a Christmas Stocking Hanger
DIY Accordion Coat Rack as a Summer Umbrella and Jacket Hanger

If you’d like to make one for yourself, be sure to check out the video tutorial before you get started to see how it all came together. And if you aren’t already subscribed to my YouTube Channel, be sure to head over and subscribe so you don’t miss out on whats’s coming next 🙂


And if you liked this project and want to save it for later, be sure to pin it!

How to Build a DIY Accordion Coat Rack with Two Tools and One Board!

Until next time, happy building 🙂

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2 Comment

  1. Alan
    November 14, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Corny joke, what’s black and blue and very sore……… fingers after trying to hold Brad nails without using needles nose pliers !😂😂✌🏻️

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      January 30, 2020 at 6:42 am

      True Story! HAHA

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