My family finds ourselves situated in a foggy climate near the coast, with a chicken coop nestled our urban garden. Therefore, having boots has been necessary, and keeping them dry outdoors has been a challenge even when it isn’t raining. I was inspired to borrow the concept of a boot rack during a tour of a Waldorf school a year or so ago and my family recently made the idea a reality.
This project was fun to do as a family. We all participated in creating a simple, solid boot rack made to hold our rubber boots upside down outside. The mud stays outside the house and the damp and rain stay outside of our boots. We created ours using all recycled or scrap materials and in doing so, the style of the resulting rack is unique.
Below are photos of our process as well as directions for how we made ours, as well as how you can make an even simpler one (in parentheses) if you have the appropriate materials.
Two 2×3 boards, each 12 inches long
Two 2×3 boards, each 24 inches long
(Alternatively, you could use a single sheet of plywood, 12×24, as your base. I prefer our rack, though, as less material is touching the ground.)
Eight 3” deck screws plus 1 screw per dowel – so we used 6 additional screws
¾ inch diameter dowels, 8.5 inches long for most children’s boots, 12 inches long for most adult boots
Tools: A triangle, measuring tape, screw driver, drill (optional), ¾” spade drill bit (~$5 bit)
Our final product was 12 inches by 24 inches in size. We installed dowels to hold 3 sets of boots, but the frame is big enough to install dowels for 2 additional sets if we need to add.
Using a triangle to measure and mark each corner as square, create a rectangle by attaching the two long boards parallel to one another on top of the two short boards. The long boards should be spaced about 5 inches apart from one another and the short boards should be about an inch in from the ends of the long boards.
From the top, screw 2 screws at each intersection, to secure the long and short boards. Screwing from the top eliminates the worry of having screws rust against your deck or patio. You now have a secured rectangle. (If you are using a single plywood board, you can skip this first set of instructions completely. From this point forward, all instructions are the same, whether using a plywood rectangle or wood scraps.)
Next, if you have the tools, you want to drill out a little bit of wood in which to set your dowels. (If you don’t, don’t worry!) To do this, measure where you want your boot dowels to be. Ours three sets of boot dowels are 1, 12, and 23 inches from the left side of the rack to the right, so on the 24 inch length of the rack, on both sides, we made markings 1 inch in, 12 inches in, and 23 inches in from the left (which is the same as 1 inch from the right!).
Now you are ready to set in your dowels. One at a time, apply a little wood glue to the end of a dowel, set it in the hole (or on top of your marking), hold it in place, and from the bottom of your rack, screw the dowel in place. Repeat this for each of your dowels.
With a little bit of sanding to take off the rough edges, your boot rack is ready to go!
Nicola Alesandrini lives in urban, coastal Northern California with her husband and two young children. She creatively lives lightly with less as a means to creating balance and simplicity. She spends her days chasing kids, enjoying bits of nature, avoiding laundry, and nourishing simple dreams. She writes and crafts anywhere she can weave it in and blogs about it all at Creative.Light.Less.
Rhythm of the Home is an online magazine for families that focuses on creating with children, nature explorations, seasonal celebrations, conscious parenting, and mindfulness in all that we do.