Towel rack tutorial

As promised we are sharing how we made our customized Towel Rack as part of our Lowe’s Creative Ideas Blogger challenge last month.  The tutorial is fairly involved but hopefully if you are interested in making one for yourself you can follow along fairly easily.


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We began our cabinet design with basic sketch of what we wanted it to look like. We then measured the space of where the cabinet was to go and also measured the cabinet door (we had previously bought.  From that information, we figured out the dimensions of the cabinet.

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For instance, the door was 20 inches tall and 24 inches wide and we wanted 3 inches of face frame around the door (and also needed to allow for a 1/8 inch space/gap between the door and the frame). So…the bottom portion of the cabinet ended up being 26 1/4 inches tall, 30 1/4 inches wide, and 8 inches deep.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 5/8 inch furniture grade piece of plywood (4×8 feet)
  • 2 eight foot pieces of 3.5 inch x 3/4 inch MDF boards
  • 1 four foot length of crown molding
  • 30 feet of door jamb molding
  • 2 hooks for towels
  • 2 zinc narrow hinges
  • 2 friction lid supports
  • 1 cabinet door pull
  • 4 finial feet
  • gorilla wood glue
  • wood filler
  • sanding block
  • painter’s caulk
  • primer
  • paint
    • pre-made cabinet door (ours was 20 x 24 inches) OR make your own with a piece of wood and some decorative trim

We started with a 5/8 inch furniture grade piece of plywood (4×8 feet). The first cut was for the back (29 inches wide by 60 inches tall). So when you attached the 5/8 side panels, the total width was needed 30 ¼ inches. I then cut the other parts of the bottom cabinet (leaving the upper portion for later once I could see what remained to be cut).

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I added an extra layer of plywood on the interior of the cabinet (sides and bottom) to make it sturdier and to allow for the attaching of hinges (you will notice that on the extra piece on the sides is slightly shorter than the piece we attached it to because we only had that length of wood piece remaining from 4×8 foot sheet we originally started with…and the gap would not be seen at the top of that section).

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Top of Cabinet – I cut 3/8” wider than the width and depth to allow for the 3/8” molding (which will be attached later to frame the cabinet) to be flush on the sides and front.

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Attach the face frame to the front of the cabinet. 

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Cut outside edge of molding at a 45 degree angle so that the edges will be flush with the sides.

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We used 3 ½ inch wide MDF boards to construct the sides and top of the upper section.

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We added a second piece of MDF on the top to allow for a better place to attach the moldings. Cut molding to size once the sides and top had been glued and nailed (most of the moldings covered the nail holes).

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Determined where to put the towel hooks, and then put a cross piece of MDF to allow for more wood to screw the hooks into.

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We attached the second strip of wood behind the face frame so that it would drop down and provide a place for the cabinet door to rest and close on (see second picture below).  We just used a left over piece of wood and extended it down an inch.  We attached the wood with gorilla wood glue and used some clamps to hold it in place while it dried.

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Then measured and cut decorative moldings to size (attached these molding with only wood glue since the back was only 5/8 inches thick and nails would have protruded through the back of the cabinet. All other molding were attached with glue and nails).

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Then we attached some decorative trim moldings to cover up the plywood edges and to give the cabinet a nice finished look.  These were glued on as well.

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We then attached the hinges and friction support.  You can see that were the friction support attaches to the interior of the cabinet, we had to add a 1 1/2 inch thick piece of wood (with wood glue and clamps) to the back of the face frame.

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To attach the finial feet, we drilled pilot holes into the four corners of the bottom of the cabinet.  The holes were slightly smaller than the finial feet screw but allowed for a secure fit once we screwed in the feet.  One suggestion, to allow for starting the screw into the smaller holes, we rotated the drill in a circular pattern as we pulled the drill bit back out of the finished pilot hole.  This created a little bigger opening at the start of the pilot hole and allowed for an easier screwing-in process.





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And…to answer your questions…you can find all of the following here:

Update Builder Grade Cabinets with finial feet.

Painting Bathroom cabinets white tutorial.

The yellow rug was painted by me…Painted Rug tutorial!

DIY Trumeau Mirror (not pictured)

Framed in Builder’s Grade Mirror

Original Customized Towel Rack post.

Towels are from Anhropologie.

Hair Appliance Tool Holder purchased here.

Hair Appliance Cabinet Tutorial

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  1. kelly says

    that is so cute! wondering where you got the towels and rug, and is there a shower curtain to go with them. i’m looking for something just like that but cannot find it!

  2. Carol says

    Hi there, lovely furniture, your bathroom looks great, the rag you paint looks pretty too! You have a pretty family too, I have seen in your other posts :)

  3. says

    Oh my WOW!!! So fabulous! I want one and I have the same exact bath layout as you with that wall. Great instructions. Thank you so much for sharing your project and I’m off to pin it! Great job!

  4. Kalie says

    Love this! But instead of for my bathroom,, I want it for my foyer. Where did you purchase your decorative moulding at?


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