Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The little black.... towel hanger

We have a tiny little "galley style" bathroom with an almost non-existent square footage. As you enter there's a little path for you to make it to the toilet at the far end of the space. This scenic route will take you past a door to the bathroom closet on your immediate right, then the ravishing view of the sink on your left hand side and afford you the breathtaking panorama of the bathtub/shower combo on your right. To make going to the bathroom even more interesting you have the luxury of peering over the edge of the bathtub while seated on the facilities. Ok, all this to prove that the space is small :)You can see some pics at the end of my previous post.

There's two towel bars in there - one for me and one for the house band (kids aren't quite old enough to need one of their own yet). But overnight guests have nowhere to put their towels and there's just no extra hanging space for anything. So we needed some towel hangers. 

Previous owners had left little screw holes in the closet door which made me think of putting the hanger up there, right on the door. I even went so far as to buy a beautiful hanger from Target in dark brown with oil rubbed bronze hooks only to find when I got home that it was too long and therefore wouldn't fit on the door. Too beautiful to part with it went into the bedroom instead where it's doing a wonderful job of keeping our odds and ends off the floor. Later trips to both Target and Walmart revealed that the ready made hangers they had were indeed to long or way to short for what I needed. Too bad since they were both beautiful and inexpensive.

So, I had to make something myself. Luckily I had my beloved pallets in the garage to use for the materials. I got two boards off and cut them to size, about 22 inches long to correspond with the screw holes in the door where I wanted it to go, without interfering with the opening and closing of said door. For the design I knew I wanted something Moroccan/Indian looking since that is what I love, but with a twist.

I found a design I liked on my Tazo tea box (tea packaging have a lot of great designs, make sure to keep your eyes open for inspiration while you sip) so after ripping the box apart and cutting out the part I wanted I stuck it in the scanner to get a digital replica. This is what I got. I liked the curvy top part of this design, it struck me as Indian looking.

I use Blockposters' excellent and free services to blow up my designs to the right size (as you can read more about here and here). The two boards I had were about 3.5 inches wide and since I was going to attach them together to make one 7 inch wide board I kept these measurements in mind as I was fiddling on the Blockposter website. After printing, piecing together my design and cutting it out I was ready to start working on the boards.

I put my boards down in front of me, scooted them together to make one piece measuring about 7 inches wide by 22 inches long and traced along my template on top of the wood. I then cut the design out with a jig saw and decided to add a little curved design to the bottom corners of the whole thing (as you'll see in the pics in just a bit). Sanded a little just to take the worst off, but I wanted the wood to look kind of rough and beat up to imitate the kind of wood you'd see on an old handmade Indian item (nothing like pallet wood to play that part for you :)). I left all the nail holes and knots etc the way they were.This is what they looked like laid out together. I had to work fast to avoid getting too much help from the little "helper". And the pic is sideways.

I had to come up with a way to stick the two boards together. I had no dowel rods to make the joint between the boards like you're supposed to so I just used small nails like you would dowels (it's not the most secure way to fasten them together but I knew the top part of this hanger would get little to no abuse and would just be a decoration).

Anyway, I laid out the two boards lengthwise in front of me, marked four places to put the joining nails on both of them and stood the bottom board on it's side. I nailed four little nails halfway down and made sure to put them right on the markings. I then used wire cutters to cut off the heads of the nails. On the topper board I pre-drilled tiny holes where I had put the marks, slathered the part where the two boards would be touching with wood glue and stuck them together, securing with duct tape and left it to dry overnight.

Next step was paint. I spray painted the whole thing black and let it dry. By the way, I could have filled the little line between the two boards with wood putty and sanded it smooth before painting. I didn't want to, though. I've seen some pics of cool old Moroccan/Indian carved wood doors and arches where they were clearly pieced together from several pieces of wood and stuck together to form one large piece. And they weren't trying to hide it. And it was beautiful. So I left mine the way it was to get some of that ancient Indian handmade feeling to my project.

As for the hooks that needed to go on there I did buy them at Walmart. They have these vintage looking oil rubbed bronze double hooks sold in singles for about $3 each. I got three of those and attached them onto the bottom board evenly spaced out. And the towel hanger was done! Here it is in action in our bathroom. I do apologize for the lousy pics and I'm not really expecting that to improve much. Most of my crafting takes place after dark when I have an extra pair of hands to look after the wildies and thus most of my pics are taken at night which equals bad pics. Hopefully you get the idea anyway. I still need to color the screws used to attach the hanger to the door black but I won't worry about it just now.

There! A nice, simple little project that turned out really well. I'm very happy with it there in the bathroom, adding a nice black touch to that sea of white (which is going to change soon, I'm most determined to paint at least the bathroom in the coming months). It didn't turn out a whole lot cheaper than the ready made variety, but at least I got something that fit the space perfectly as well as my style. All is well that ends well.

Ps. I'm linking to the below parties.
Blue Cricket Design

Beyond The Picket Fence

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Between Naps On The Porch
A Soft Place To Land
Someday Crafts
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  1. What a smart idea to find the pattern you wanted--very creative. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I really liked the arabian-styled mirror... Good work Sis!
    Plus you gotta come decorate my new apt... Fast! Take a sabbatical year and come fix it! :D
    /Brotha T

  3. I love all the unique ideas you have. This one is cool too! Thanks for linking up to Whatever Goes Wednesday at

  4. I just saw this post~
    I think your towel hook looks great!
    I love TAZO Tea... I like the Big Peach in a bottle, from the convenience store!

    You really can find inspiration in the most unusual places.



I really appreciate you taking the time to comment because I know you didn't have to. Additional ideas or related techniques are always welcome, the more we brainstorm the better all of our end products will be.
While I try to answer all comments I sometimes don't make it or have your contact info. If you don't hear back from me it doesn't mean I hate you, I just ran out of time (or simply had no way of contacting you).
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