A Coat Tree for Under $10

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 02/11/2011 - 05:55
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A modern style wood coat tree that most anyone can build. Features varying height branches, suitable for hats, coats, and then backpacks and umbrellas.

For about the cost of lunch, you can freshen up your entryway just in time for spring.  This simple coat tree is solid wood, and can be easily customized to fit different needs.  Featuring nine total hooks, the hooks are smartly placed allowing each side of the coat tree to have a hat hook, coat hook, and one side has a third hook for umbrellas, dog leashes, or even reuseable shopping bags.

Don't get hung up (pun intended) on the entryway.  Think damp towels, laundry drying rack or even dress up clothes, Christmas ornaments or even pretty jewelery.  This coat tree can work throughout your home.

If you have a Kreg Jig and a miter saw, this project can be completed in an hour.  If you have a can of spray paint, that puts your build time into the minutes.  And for those of you who do not, don't despair.  This project can still be made, it's just going to take more patience and probably a split board or two.

Dimensions are shown above. You could easily make this tree smaller (say 48″ for a children’s tree or a jewelery tree that sits on a desktop. Do not make the branches any longer, as the leverage on the joint becomes greater with the length of the branches.


Shopping List

2 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×1 @ 8 feet long (check the moulding aisle for trim 3/4″ x 3/4″ or rip 1x2s in half with a table saw – that’s what I did)
2 1/2″ pocket hole screws or finish nails
1 1/4″ pocket hole screws or finish nails
wood glue, 120 grit sandpaper and finishing supplies

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

1 – 2×2 @ 65″ (Tree Trunk)
4 – 2×2 @ 10″, ends cut at 45 degrees NOT parallel, long point to long point (Roots)
6 – 1×1 @ 4 1/2″, one end cut at 30 degrees off square (Short Limbs)
6 – 1×1 @ 6 1/2″, one end cut at 30 degrees off square (Long Limbs)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander


Step 1

Screw the Roots to the Tree

The best way I found to attach the roots was pocket holes or a countersunk screw right through the top face of each root. Use glue and two screws. The challenge here is going to be placing the roots in the exact same location around the trunk so that your tree doesn’t wobble or lean. Check your tree for level and adjust as necessary.

Step 2

Small Limbs

Now this really is the fun part . . . if you have the right tools. I tried to do this with a countersink bit, and found myself splitting boards repeatedly. A finish nailer and lots of really strong glue would probably been better. I’m not saying you can’t, just saying that I was splitting probably every second board.

Part of the beauty and interest of this piece is the random placement of branches. Place yours where they would work for your application – if you have kids, lower hooks might work better. Build to suit your needs.

For those of you with a Kreg Jig™, I simply pretended that the end cut at a 30 degree angle was NOT cut at an angle (when clamping in your jig), and drilled a single pocket hole set on the 3/4″ setting right smack in the center of the hook as shown above. Then it was not trouble screwing the limb on.

Step 3

Branch Limbs

Build your branch limbs first. In fact, I would suggest building your branches before anything else to get some practice. Then attach your branch limbs to the trunk.

Step 4

Long Limbs

And the final long limbs should get placed about halfway down the tree.

Step 5


christy panzarella (not verified)

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 06:24

Ana I love you. When I did the closet organizer a couple weeks ago I found this heavy metal black hanger. My husband wanted to oss it & I said not it would like nice as a decorative item on a coat rack. He replied "Does Ana have a coat rack", and I sighed with my head down as I said No. And tada, now you have plans for a coat rack.

loriinvegas (not verified)

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 10:30

I love this tree and I love that it is so functional. I would love to learn how to create miters in sketchup. I posted a plan a week ago or so and wanted to miter the top frame piece but couldn't get it. You are soooo amazing!!!!!

Brooklyns_Mama (not verified)

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 11:11

I giggle a lil Ana. because you have typos in the plans. I didnt notice till I corrected myself, and then I though, Pfffft.. Ana won't judge me lol. And you're welcome.

Anne M (not verified)

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 12:28

This is super cute! We really need something like this because coats for our 3 kids are taking over my entryway. This is seriously an answer to my prayers. Can't wait to make it!

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