Thursday, September 10, 2015

Explosively Cool Industrial Backpack Rack

Its time for another rousing game of KICK THAT CLUTTER!  More specifically kid clutter.  What is it about children the just seems to make your house resemble a ticker tape parade just went through.  EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  I swear my kids are brilliant a hiding clutter.  

School is the biggest clutter creator on the planet.  They bring home so much paper its not even funny.  Its definitely contributing to our ticker-tape-parade-iness.  So instead of getting use to the steady twitch that I get every time I see my kids backpacks on the floor, Señor Hotness and I moved up the backpack rack on our overall priority list.

I was all for just throwing some hooks up on the wall.  I had even suggested using command strip hooks (which work awesome, but can be pricey for the big metal ones), but Señor Hotness wasn't having it.  Mostly because he had something cooler and sturdier in mind.  I didn't think sturdiness was a huge issue.  Clearly I had forgotten that I'm now a mother to a teen and a tween, and with that comes books...lots and lots of books.

I suggested that we do a wooden board with wooden pegs.  It has a very functional old school feel to it, but he loved his industrial bathroom shelf so much that he wanted to try and marry my peg board idea with his industrial touch.  So the idea for the industrial metal peg hanger was born.

Psst.  (Spoiler Alert) We totally pulled it off.

Crazy lucky for us we had just the right length of board left over from a previous project.  I love when I don't have to spend money.

Pretty Miss P demanded I snap her picture when I grabbed my camera to document the build.  Things after this quickly spiraled into bum shaking territory (which I have chosen NOT to share with you all fair people.  There are just some things a mother just keeps off the internet.)

So while Pretty Miss P and I were indulging in an impromptu photoshoot, Señor Hotness was down stairs, marking the board with the studs, and measuring out to pre-drill the holes on the board.

This is what I like to call a snub nose bit, but Señor Hotness has assured me that its really called a forstner bit.  I still think snub-nose sounds better, but I digress.  Back to the point of this picture.  If you look closely you will see that there is a faint mark on the bit.  That was the smarty pants idea that Señor Hotness had so as not to drill further than was needed.  He wanted the mounting screws to be down in the wood itself, and not just screws flush with the surface.  I was totally fine with seeing the screws used for mounting, but when I said that Señor Hotness looked at me like I had just suggested taking a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood wearing neon hot pants.

He obviously won that argument, and this is him pre-boring out shallow holes for the mounting screws to sink into.

They came out so nice and clean. 

After that he measured out where we would mount our metal pegs where they didn't look stupid because lets be honest nobody wants stupid looking peg placement.

On the first hole he used a regular bit to drill out the hole since this one was going to go all the way through the board.

It made a bit of a mess with the wood however.  So he took more care with the 4 remaining holes.

He predrilled them using the snub nose bit.  Before fully drilling them with a regular bit.

The end result was nice neat precise holes.

Then we put in the pronged T-Nuts.  We got these at Lowe's in the section where they sell all the loose screws of assorted sizes.

He put these on the back side of the board on the receiving end of the five holes we were going to use for the 5 metal pegs.

He beat them in gently using a rubber mallet so as to not scar the wood.

We decided to use black iron pipe again for this project.  Its cheaper than your standard galvanized pipe, and I personally prefer the color.  Señor Hotness steared clear of any kind of floor flange on this project.  I was all for it, but he wanted it to appear that the peg was just suspended off of the board, as though if by magic.  Okay I added the magic part, but that does sound sort of magical doesn't it?

So using 1/2 end cap he drilled a hole in the middle of it.

Then using crazy heavy duty screws he was able to attach the drilled out end caps to the board.  They threaded into the pronged t-nut that we hammered into the back of the board earlier.

Like so.

At this point I said we should scrap the how project, and just find a batch of ridiculously skinny candles, and call it a day.  He was not amused.

He only attached these temporarily to double check spacing, and just to get an idea of how it would look overall.  Then he removed them to finish prepping the board for stain.

Using my sander he sanded down all the rough edges of the board.

Which elicited some attention from Pretty Miss P.

Then it was time to attach the board to the wall.  We used a Minwax stain in Dark Walnut (my favorite) to stain the board.  The installation photos aren't great, or plentiful since I was the only other big person here at the time.

Okay so what I don't have a picture of is him putting the blue painters tape on the mounting holes.  Apparently when I left to help Pretty Miss P get down for a nap, he didn't feel the same need to take a siesta, and decided instead to get some extra work done.  He's such an over achiever.

And while Pretty Miss J is cute, in that janky old Cleopatra Halloween head dress, she possessed neither the height or the motivation to help.

Yesssss!  Its LEVEL!

Then using his trusty rubber hammer he knocked in red oak plugs that we also bought at Lowe's.  So that he could truly hide the mounting screws.  

If you look at the wood plugs they seem to kind of bell from the bottom to the top, little to big.  So when using these, knock them in as far as you can, and then use the super flexible saw to trim the excess off flush with the board.

Also I'm pretty sure that this sucker isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

He put the tape on there so as not to scratch his finish when he was cutting off the excess.

After removing the tape he used a q-tip to stain the wood plugs.

Then after attaching the drilled out end caps he finished it up with what is technically called a nipple, but, since I apparently have the maturity level of a 10 year old boy, the word nipple makes me want to giggle uncomfortably.  So for our purposes I'm just going to tell you that he finished it off with a 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch "pipe", and then another end cap.  

After we were done not only did I think it looked cool, but it really does look like its floating there on the board.  I also think it looks like we've decided to use small pipe bombs to hang our children's school bags from.  I jokingly told them that the way to keep them from exploding is to make sure you never hang up your back pack with homework undone, but since they didn't grow up amongst the scare of the uni-bomber they didn't really get my humor.

This is what it actually usually looks like. (See? Sturdy?)  My favorite backpack is Pretty Miss P's.  She loves Twilight Sparkle (girls moms will get the reference), but when she says it, it comes out sounding more like 'Devry Popsicle".  

I loved how our "explosively" cool industrial metal peg backpack rack (I dare you to say backpack rack 5 times fast) turned out.  Thanks to a handy husband, and mostly leftover scraps we were able to pull together not only a super awesome, but also incredibly strong piece to hang our backpacks on.


  1. Looks fantastic with the brick flooring. And great tutorial, too.

  2. That's really clever Sarah! Thanks for sharing at Five Star Frugal. Love, Mimi xxx

  3. This turned out GREAT! I love how it looks!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  4. Really cute! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

  5. GREAT tutorial. great pictures. Thanks for the complete how-to!!! Linda @Crafts a la mode

  6. Guess what! I loved this post so much that I chose it to be featured for this week's The Beautifully Creative Inspired Link Party. :) Go grab a button you deserve it!

  7. I'm always so amazed by you! This looks so good! Pinned and tweeted. I appreciate you taking the time to party with us. I hope to see you on Monday at 7. Happy Saturday! Lou Lou Girls

  8. Fabulous industrial look Sarah! Functional and beauty. It's a win, win! Thanks for sharing with SYC.