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A Beachcomber’s Rustic Towel Rack

What to do when you find a large, beautiful piece of white washed driftwood? Transform it into useful DIY rustic coat rack or towel hooks for your home or cottage.

Rustic wall mounted towel rack made from driftwood

During one of our afternoons at the beach with the kids, we discovered a large uniquely shaped piece of driftwood. We put it aside figuring we would eventually find a good use for it. And then recently, the perfect use came to mind. We decided to turn it into a contemporary wall mount towel rack for our parents’ cottage bathroom.

A Coastal DIY Towel Rack

I should add here that our parents are pretty traditional so this idea didn’t go over that well at first (I recall some comment from my dad about it belonging in a barn). However, they changed their tune once they saw the finished product! It is quite rustic, very beachy with a modern twist. While we made it for their bathroom it would look great as a pool towel rack, rustic coat rack or even as a unique DIY hat rack idea.

And if you’re a driftwood hoarder like we are, you might find another project in this collection of over 20 driftwood crafts to make!

Materials Needed for this Coastal Towel Rack Idea:

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How to Make a Rustic Towel Rack:

Step 1: Prepare the driftwood

To start, we cleaned the driftwood in water with a brush to remove all dirt and sand. We then placed it in the sun to dry for several days.

Step 2: Add the wall mounting hardware

Since the underside of the driftwood was uneven and rough we decided to fasten a 1”x2” piece of wood to the backside. This piece of wood would lay flush against the wall and hold the wall mounting hardware.

We painted the 1″x2″ wood white and let it dry completely before attaching the keyhole hangers to mount on the wall.

Mounting hardware for a DIY towel rack

We marked the drilling spots for the keyhole hangers towards the top edge of the wood, about 4″ from each end. Next, we used the markings to drill small pilot holes into the 1″x2″ wood piece.

Prior to affixing the keyhole hangers, we put a bit of wood glue into the pilot holes.

The 1″x2″ backing piece is now ready to be mounted to the driftwood.

Step 3: Mount the backing to the driftwood

Again, drill a pilot hole, this time all the way through the wood backing into the backside of the driftwood piece. Be careful not to drill completely through to the front side of the driftwood. Before screwing the pieces together add a generous amount of wood glue into the pilot holes for extra adhesion.

Secure the backing to the driftwood with three screws: one on each end and one in the middle.

Step 4: Add the towel hooks

Now for the fun part…on the right side of the driftwood, we determined the positioning for the hooks so they would all be evenly spaced apart. We pre-marked the drill holes with a pencil and then drilled all the holes. The final step was to add the brass towel/coat hooks. Using compatible screws and a screwdriver we securely attached each of the hooks.

It was a simple and inexpensive project (we only paid for the coat hooks and keyhole hangers) and we’re left with a unique piece of functional art! We were thinking to use it in our cottage’s beach themed bathroom as a DIY towel rack. However, we’ve decided to save it for the entryway for a rustic coat rack idea.

We hope you’ve found this DIY towel rack tutorial helpful. If you’re looking for a farmhouse style towel rack check out this DIY towel rack made from wood pallets. And if you enjoy making things with driftwood, you make also like our painted driftwood wall art, DIY driftwood mirror or how to make a driftwood wreath tutorials as well.

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Rustic DIY towel rack made with driftwood

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Saturday 28th of November 2020

Ty for such a thorough, clear explanation, and the pictures to go along! One of the best I've seen I promise you ????! I'm a very visual learner so I love it!

Jane and Sonja

Saturday 28th of November 2020

Hi Lily. Our pleasure! So glad you found it helpful. Kind regards, Jane


Monday 11th of February 2019

Hi. I have a question. Do you find the openings on the back are sufficient to hang the driftwood securely?. I have a piece I have been planning to use for the same purpose but had not decided how to hang it. Thanks!


Thursday 28th of December 2017

Can you share the paint color (& brand)?. Looks amazing with the driftwoid.


Tuesday 18th of April 2017

So pretty! Do you mind if I include a photo and link to your instructions in a blog post I'm writing about ideas for decorating RV's with a beach theme?


Wednesday 5th of April 2017

I love this and want to try it! How do I attach the 1x2 to the wall? Thank you!!


Friday 28th of July 2017

I have the same question as Christy. How did you attach the 1 X 2 to wall without visible screws on the driftwood?


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