Make your own garden tool rack

A rack hung just outside the back door provides a convenient place for all your gardening necessities, leaving them at the ready for quick jobs like weeding or trimming. You can make your own hanging tool rack, without breaking the bank. Here's how.

Make your own garden tool rack

What you need

  • 8 m (27 ft) of lattice strips
  • 1 L (1 qt) exterior stain or paint in the colour of your choice
  • Paintbrush, about 5 cm (2 in) wide
  • Half sheet 0.5 cm (1/4 in) plywood
  • One packet 2.5 cm (1 in) roofing nails
  • 4 screw-in coat hooks
  • 2 screws, 5 cm (2 in) to attach rack to wall
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Square
  • Small handsaw
  • Electric drill
  • Hammer
  • Steel block (or a second hammer)
  • Sandpaper


  1. Apply stain or two coats of paint to all the lattice.
  2. Cut the stained or painted strips to the lengths spelled out below; the horizontal pieces are of different lengths because the rack tapers slightly from bottom to top, which gives it a graceful appearance. For the horizontal pieces, cut two strips at 58 centimetres (23 inches), one strip at 60 centimetres (23.5 inches), and one strip at 61 centimetres (24 inches). For the vertical pieces, cut four strips at 50 centimetres (19.5 inches) and three strips at 61 centimetres (24 inches). For the diagonal pieces, cut four strips at 48 centimetres (19 inches).
  3. Lay the plywood on a flat surface. Place the horizontal pieces on it, with the shortest at the top and longest at the bottom; then place the vertical pieces over them. Arrange all these pieces by eye. Overhanging end pieces can be trimmed off later, if you like. Although most pieces don't meet at a right angle because of the taper, the central vertical piece does cross each of the horizontal pieces at a right angle. Use a square to align this piece with each of the horizontal pieces. Mark each juncture with a pencil; this alignment is the key to the whole design.
  4. Drill holes for the nails with a bit slightly smaller than the nails at each of the intersecting points. Hammer in a nail at each hole; the nail points should slightly pierce the surface of the plywood board.
  5. When the pieces are nailed together, turn the rack over and remove the plywood board — it should come away easily. Place the steel block (or the head of another hammer) under the rack so that the flat head of one nail is on a steel block. Bend down the point of the nail and hammer it flat (the steel block supports the nail as you do this). This is known as "clinching." Repeat this step for each of the nails.
  6. Turn the rack back over, then lay down the diagonal pieces. To secure the diagonals in place, drill holes for the nails at the intersecting points. Then hammer in the nails and clinch them.
  7. Trim overhanging strips to make neat edges for the rack.
  8. Sand any rough edges. Stain all raw surfaces. For a painted rack, paint over nails and any raw surfaces, such as the trimmed ends.
  9. To install the coat hooks, drill holes at the four points where the diagonals cross each other, making sure you are not too close to the nails. Screw in the coat hooks.
  10. To mount the rack, drill two holes in the second horizontal from the top, between the first two and last two vertical strips. Then attach the rack to the side of your house or shed by driving a screw through each hole. Give the screws a coat of stain or paint.
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