Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2005

Introduction

In fall, sunny days combined with cool weather make yard work and gardening especially pleasurable. Still, once the work is done, it's time to relax -- the last thing you need is another mess to clean up. Muddy shoes and boots should be left at the door, and having a boot rack at the entrance to your home or mud room can help. Not only will it keep the dirt out of the house, but it will also keep your boots and shoes organized.

You can make your own boot rack without nails, screws, or even glue. This rack is made from pine boards and wooden dowels that are pieced together using nothing more than a rubber mallet.

materials

  • 2 pieces of 2-by-2-inch pine, cut to 28-inch lengths

  • Yard stick or ruler

  • Pencil

  • Cordless drill

  • 13/16 spade bit or bore drill bit

  • Coarse sandpaper

  • 5 dowels, each 3 feet long and 7/8 inch thick

  • Rubber mallet

steps

  1. Mark the center point of one side of each of your 2-by-2s; the mark will be 14 inches from each end. Then measure 5 inches from the center in either direction, and mark these points. Measure and mark 5 inches from each of the outermost marks. You should end up with 5 marks on each piece, and 4 inches remaining on each end.

  2. Turn the boards on their sides, and measure in 6 inches from each end; mark.

  3. At all your marks, drill holes 2/3 of the way through the 2-by-2s. Sand the drilled areas until smooth.

  4. Cut 4 of your 3-foot dowels in half. Then cut the fifth dowel into quarters; you should end up with 12 dowels. Eight of them will be 18 inches long, and 4 of them will be 9 inches long.

  5. Sand the dowels so they'll fit neatly and snugly into the 2-by-2s. Take 2 of the short dowels and insert them into one of the 2-by-2s on the side with only 2 holes. This may require considerable banging (use your rubber mallet, as a hammer will split the wood). Now match up the other 2-by-2 and fit its holes over the dowels, banging it in with the mallet. Make sure that the sides of the 2-by-2s with 5 holes in them are facing up. You will have created something that looks like a ladder with 2 rungs.

  6. Stain or paint the rack.

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