plant next to wooden clothes drying rack with blouse and dress hanging

How to Make a Fold-up Clothes Drying Rack

Week 27

This week, while researching the environmental impact of our electricity system, I learned that my clothes dryer is the second highest energy consuming appliance in my home, after the refrigerator. I found 15 ways to cut back on my electricity usage at home, one of them being to air dry my laundry. So, I asked my Dad to help me figure out a simple way to DIY a compact clothes drying rack that could easily hang on my wall and fold up out of the way.

Beyond saving electricity, this drying rack will help cut down my electricity bill and help my clothes last longer! This is a very easy and cost-effective project. I spent about $16 and was able to build and install it while six months pregnant.

What you'll need:


  • 2 6ft 1x4 boards. I used common wood from Home Depot, which cost roughly $3 per board.
  • 3 6ft 3/8" dowel rods
  • 4 1 1/2" corner braces with screws
  • 2 1 1/2" hinges with screws
  • 2 #10 hooks
  • 2 #210 eyes
  • 2 lengths of 2ft chain
  • 6 1 1/4" screws to attach frame
  • 2 2" screws to attach drying rack to wall
chain, screw hooks, screw eyes, and corner braces on a table


  • Drill
  • 3/8" drill bit
  • Phillips bit
  • Pliars
  • Hammer
  • Sandpaper or sanding block
  • Saw. Most home improvement stores will cut the boards for you, and offer the use of a hand saw for dowel rods.
  1. various boards cut and stacked on a table

    Cut your 1x4s into two 3' pieces and three 2' pieces. Cut each dowel in half, making six 2' pieces.

  2. measuring tape on board with hand using pencil to mark length

    On the wide side of one of your 3' boards, measure about 5 1/16" from one end.

  3. evenly spaced markings on board

    Continue to measure and mark every 5 1/16" down the length of the board. You should have a total of six marks. This will not be a perfectly even split, but as long as your dowels are evenly spaced, it's fine.

  4. 2 boards stacked and drill going through both

    Stack your 3' boards and using a 3/8" drill bit, drill holes at every mark.

  5. hand using sanding block on board with holes

    Give everything a quick sanding, especially where you've just drilled the holes.

  6. drill attaching two boards at 90 degree angle

    Attach the end of one 3' side board to the side of one 2' board at a 90 degree angle. The screws should go into the 2' board. This will be the bottom.

  7. hand holding screwin place for corner brace

    As you attach the boards, add your corner braces.

  8. three boards attached in u shape

    Attach the next 2' board to the other end of your 3' board. Add corner brace. This will be the top.

  9. boards attached to make rectangle frame with various tools in the background

    Make sure your holes align properly, then attach the other 3' side board, completing the frame. Your frame should not be wider that 2'. Add corner braces

  10. board with holes on table next to board with corner brace

    Unscrew and detach the 3' board you just added, leaving the corner braces attached to the top and bottom pieces.

  11. u shaped frame with dowel rods placed in holes

    Insert a dowel into each hole. You may need to tap them with a hammer.

  12. side board attached to frame and dowel rods

    Reattach the other 3' side piece, carefully lining up each dowel and tapping into place.

  13. hand using drill to screw in corner braces

    Reattach the corner braces.

  14. hinges attaching two boards together

    Line up your final 2' board with the bottom 2' frame piece and attach with hinges.

  15. screw eye inserted into frame with pliars

    On your top piece, add a screw eye just inside the frame. Use pliers to tighten.

  16. hand holding chain that has been attached to screw eyes

    Add one length of chain to screw eye. You may need pliers to loosen and tighten the screw eye.

  17. frame with dowels and two chains attached and hanging down

    Repeat steps 15 and 16 on the other end of your top board.

  18. close up of screw hooks in wall with chain hooked on

    Now your drying rack is ready to be mounted. Attach your screw eyes to the wall, making sure you drill into the studs. They should be level. The top of your drying rack will rest on these screw eyes when folded up.

  19. close up of board screw to wall

    Center and rest the top of your frame on the screw hooks, then screw the bottom-most 2' panel into the wall. Again, making sure you are drilling into studs.

  20. drying rack hanging on wall at angle

    Your drying rack is now complete and can be let down at various angles by adjusting the chain.

drying rack hanging on wall next to plant

I'm extremely pleased with how my drying rack turned out and how many garments I can hang to dry.

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