'' Ruffles & Rust Vintage: Yes, Another Headboard Turned Coatrack

Yes, Another Headboard Turned Coatrack

While I love hunting down unique vintage and antique items, I don't usually buy things for myself that are decorative only.  If they don't have a use in my home, I try to see the possibilities of repurposing items to become useful again. 

There  are a few things that are guaranteed to grab my attention at thrift stores, estate sales and even side-of-road drive-bys:  Headboards, doorknobs and anything typographical (letters and numbers).  This coat rack happily combines all three and was pretty easy to put together.  The hardest part was putting up with the stinky epoxy stuff.

Supply list:

Old headboard - this is a twin-sized one that I rescued. It has great curvy lines, doesn't it?  I cut the legs off and added a 1 x 2 strip across the bottom to give it a more finished look.  I'm pretty sure this one was a freebie, but they are easy to find for less than $10 at Goodwill or Salvation Army stores.

Headboard Primed with knobs laid out for positioning

Various doorknobs, as many as you need.  There are five of us in my family, so that's what I went with, and the spacing worked for the headboard that I had.  You can find these at salvage places, antique stores or thrift shops.

Although I show a variety of knobs, I ended up using all black porcelain ones. I found a great one at my next-door-neighbor Cisco Diaz' shop, Restore and Rework. Another one came from my other neighbor Arnie of AJ's Attic.  Aren't I lucky to have such great neighbors?

Matched pairs cost way more than orphan ones, so deals can be had if you're not looking for perfection.  Expect to pay around $3 - $5 or so for not-perfect ones.

Pot Holder, just in case ~ see the note below.... *

Brass or other type of house numbers, I had a bunch of different numbers that I've collected over the past couple of years (I'm a letter and number freak, you'll see). You can buy these at hardware stores if you can't find them at estate/garage sales or thrift stores - I just like the mismatched look.

Two-Part Epoxy, this is for filling in the holes of the doorknobs so that the fasteners can be attached. Stinky stuff, so be prepared to open doors or windows. Or you can work outside, get some great fresh air.

Hanger Bolts or Screws/Nuts~ I use these because sometimes the hole in the doorknob is very small, and bolts with big heads are hard to fit into them.  There's a joke there somewhere...  I also like them because you get to pick whether or not you want to end up with a screw-in or a bolt-and-nut fastener for your projects. 

Since each knob is different, be sure to buy the size bolt that works with your doorknob, with about 1-1/2 to 2 inches sticking out.  These ones are 2-1/2 inches long, and cost just a couple of dollars for a package of four.

D-Ring Hangers, for hanging up your coat rack (towel rack?) when you're all done!

Here goes:
Prepare, prime and paint your headboard.  Play with your doorknobs to find the spacing that works for you.  When you're happy with how it looks, lightly mark the spots where the knobs will be placed.  Ditto for the house numbers.

Remove any extra bits
that came with your doorknobs - posts, screws, etc.  Then tape off the little screw holes with duct tape or even painters' tape will work.  This will also protect the outside of the knob from epoxy overflow - wait until it dries and just peel the tape off.

Mix the epoxy according to the package directions. Stink Alert! It smells horrible, but it's well worth putting up with for a few minutes.  Make sure to read the directions and use adequate ventilation ~

I use disposable plates and plastic knives for this part.  When you have a good amount mixed up, carefully scoop the mixture into each doorknob - leaving room for your hanger bolt. 

It can take more than you think for some knobs, so don't be discouraged!  When it's mostly full, carefully push the screw-end of the hanger bolt into the opening.  The epoxy dries quickly, so you shouldn't have to hold the bolt in place for more than a minute or two.

*NOTE:  A curious thing happened when I filled a couple of brass knobs for another project - the knobs got really really HOT.  So hot that I had to put them on a potholder and wait about 15 minutes. It must've been a reaction between whatever is in the epoxy and the brass.  The porcelain and wood knobs I've done haven't gotten hot, but just be aware that it's a possibility.

The fun part ~ putting them together:

Drill holes where you previously marked the headboard to accommodate the bolts in your door knobs. Thread the knobs in and secure them in the back with the nuts.  Nail or screw in your house numbers in the order you want and attach the D-Rings to the back for hanging. 

Now you have a unique coat rack that successfully combines several different kinds of vintage parts into one beautiful (and useful) item!

  See ya later ~

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