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Project

Boot Rack

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. Step 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. Step 2

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

  3. Step 3

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

  4. Step 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. Step 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. Step 6

    Stain or paint the rack.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, November 2005

Reviews (10)

  • 8 Feb, 2009

    I have to say that this doesn't seem too practical. The wet and mud will go down, dirtying the rest of the boot. I find that a tray and an old towel work best. If the boots are just wet, then setting them on or by a heat vent will be quicker.

  • 7 Feb, 2009

    I run a home daycare, and have kids in and out daily. I found the best thing for wet, muddy or snowy shoes and boots is old bath towels. I have plastic boot trays, and I lay a folded towel over each one to catch the muck. Easy to throw in the washer. I have a console humidifier in the entry, wet mittens and hats are hung over it on a bungee cord with clothespins so the circulating air dries them. Wet coats and snow pants go in the dryer. Each child has a double hook for bookbag and coat.

  • 7 Feb, 2009

    i HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR ANOTHER IDEAL TO DRY MY WET BOOTS, ANY WET APPAREL QUICKLY. i HAVE A WOOD RACK I DRY TEE SHIRTS ETC. ON AFTER WASHING THEM.......BUT DON'T WANT DIRTY GLOVES LOCATED BY CLEAN TEE'S. I AM WILLING TO TRY THIS METHOD, PLUS I WAS THINKING THIS MAY VERY WELL KEEP FIELD MICE FROM ENTERING THE SOFT INTERIOR OF BOOTS BEING UPSIDE DOWN. THANKS.

  • 7 Feb, 2009

    I have a boot tray I got at a dollar store. I can put this on that tray, if I can get my husband to put his shoes on the dowels.

  • 7 Feb, 2009

    Here in Northern Illinois where we have a ton of snow and salty gravel, I used an old cookei sheet with a lipped edge and a grate used for grilling worked great for dripping wet boots although it only holds 2 pair at a time. The grate fits upside in the cookie sheet perfectly and catches all the salt and gravel. You could also use maybe a disposable paint tray.

  • 7 Feb, 2009

    I just imagine all the watery mud and guck running down (up) the length of my furry boots... I don't think storing boots upside down is a good idea for the winter/spring seasons, unless they're rubber but even then you'll have to wash them before you take them out again :/

  • 7 Feb, 2009

    Markey, I sympathize---I used to live in Buffalo, NY, with similar winter weather; none of the places where I lived had "entry ways," either. But the boots have to go somewhere, so this little contraption would be handy, especially if it stood on some sort of absorbant/quick-drying surface...old towels, reserved just for this, might work, and could be changed-out every few days or so.

  • 7 Feb, 2009

    One could also utilize the 'old' crib railing, trimming to size.

  • 6 Jan, 2008

    I would like to see a real entry way. In Northern MN the older homes have small if any entry way, and an array of boots ranging from sz 5 to 14, Heavy winter coats for the -80 wind-chill not to mention hats, mitts etc need to dry before they can be tosses into a basket. ...and then there is the recycling. None of the examples I have seen over the years, though full of great ideas, are at all realistic.

  • 6 Jan, 2008

    I would like to see a real entry way. In Northern MN the older homes have small if any entry way, and an array of boots ranging from sz 5 to 14, Heavy winter coats for the -80 wind-chill not to mention hats, mitts etc need to dry before they can be tosses into a basket. ...and then there is the recycling. None of the examples I have seen over the years, though full of great ideas, are at all realistic.