DIY Luggage Rack on Thou Swell

The theme for this week’s DIY project was a fun one – thrifting. It sounds so easy, right? There’s so much you can dig out of a thrift store… But to be quite honest I had so much trouble with this one! I went to about six thrift stores, before finally coming across a piece that I could really reimagine. This old luggage rack was in sad shape (pale yellow paint!). It needed a little makeover, and so with some high gloss black spray paint and rope, I gave it new life!

Luggage racks are fun because they are kind of old-fashioned and be used many ways. The first use is obvious: for luggage (especially perfect for a guest bedroom), but it can also hold a tray and be used as a side table! I went with a high gloss paint because it looks really great with the natural fibers of the rope, and it adds a little drama to the piece. A tip for spray painting: after removing the old fabric holding the rack open, use rubber bands to hold it while you paint. Painting was the fun part – getting the rope right was a bit more of a challenge.

DIY Luggage Rack on Thou SwellI had another (smaller) luggage rack at home, so I decided to give them matching facelifts. I think they’ll go at the ends of the beds in the girls’ bedroom at Tye Street! To secure the rope, I used a staple gun (this one at Home Depot is SO comfortable)! Again, I used rubber bands to hold it open while I figured out the perfect width for the rack, then I measured from one side to the other, all the way under to where the rope would be stapled. It ended up being around 20 inches for both racks.

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I divided the width of the rack up and used chalk to mark where each piece would staple on both sides, then started cutting and stapling the pieces of rope, making sure they are the same length and stapled around the same place for each piece of rope so that they all have the same tension when it opens up. I did have to adjust a few, but the rope gives a little so you don’t have to be precise. Once I was finished, I put a ton of heavy books in the tray to stretch out the rack and adjusted the piece of rope to make sure they stretched straight out, and voila!

This DIY rope luggage rack is perfect for holding a suitcase, or even a tray as a bedside table! This DIY rope luggage rack is perfect for holding a suitcase, or even a tray as a bedside table!



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  1. Taylor Greenwalt wrote:

    I some how stumbled onto your blog and love it!

    Posted 6.18.15 Reply
  2. Beth @ designPOST interiors wrote:

    I would kill to find a luggage rack at our thrift store! I love the simplicity of using rope and your styling is spot on as always!

    Posted 6.18.15 Reply