Do It Yourself – Plumbers Pipe Towel Rack


I love plumbers pipe.  It adds an industrial twist to my farmhouse style.  It is strong and easy to use.  The problem is it’s not super cheap, I am still trying to find someone who has invented a lighter, more inexpensive decor plumbers pipe – any tips?  It still is a great DIY product and less costly than department store products.

I needed somewhere to hang my towels in the kitchen so they would stop ending up on the oven door handle.  I came up with this and was positive it would be the easiest DIY ever.  Boy I was wrong!  Apparently I needed my mathematical brain on and totally left it somewhere else.  Thankfully my teenage smarty pants came to my rescue to help me finish the job.  And now I want to share with you how to do it and bypass the mistakes I made!

As always, I have made a 60 second video tutorial for you to get the down low and see if it’s a project you would like to try.  For more specific details keep on reading!

Supplies needed:

  • One 1/2 inch x 10 inch Black Iron Plumbers Pipe (galvanized steel if you like that look & there is 8 inch and 12 inch if you prefer)
  • Two 1/2 inch Black Iron Floor Flange
  • Two 1/2 inch Black Iron 90 Degree Street Elbows
  • Eight 1/4 in-20 x 1-1/4 in Oval Heal Phillip Machine Screws
  • Eight 1/4 in-20 Jam Nuts


Tools needed:

  • Level
  • Power Drill (I use a 18-Volt Ridgid)
  • Drill Bit Set
  • 7/16 size wrench

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All of these items can be bought in store or online at The Home Depot here.  We use affiliate links with companies that we trust and use ourselves.  We hope this helps and takes the guesswork out of it for you.  We are compensated for any purchase you make from these links, but this in no way compromises our recommendations to our readers. 

Step 1:

DO NOT INSTALL THE FLANGES FIRST LIKE I DID.  IT DOESN’T WORK!  You will create the entire project and realize at the very end that you can not get the last street elbow on.  Why on earth did I not see that before?  Regardless, my mistake is a gift to you – your welcome!


Here is the REAL Step 1:

Clean your pipe pieces.  They make them greasy on purpose and you will want it all off. You can use Acetone, but it takes some of the dark black look off the pipe and I wanted to preserve that.  But if you don’t care, it’s faster (and does have extra cost – they sell it at The Home Depot as well).  I used soap and water and an old rag.  And LOTS of elbow grease.


Step 2:

Put together your pipe shelf.  I would recommend after doing it to make sure your screw holes on your flanges are in the 10 and 2 o’clock position.  Mine were in the 12 and 6 o’clock position and it made it harder to drill the screws in later.


Step 3:

Measure your placement.  Use a level to double check your lines and a sharpie to mark the placement.


Step 4:

You will use your drill to make pre-made holes.  Make sure your drill is on safety, then attach a 1/4 inch drill bit.  Put your drill setting onto high speed (mine is #2) and twist the adjustable clutch into the drilling position (most have a drill image – see mine below).



Step 5:

You are ready to make your holes.  Reattach your screw head and change your settings back to slower speeds.  Double check to make sure you are not hitting anything behind the wall you are drilling.  I had to take out my drawer.  Aline your drill with your marks and go ahead and make your holes.



Step 6:

Place your towel rack onto the holes and insert your screws.  If your holes are perfect they will slide right in.  If you are off a little you can screw them in with your drill.  If you are off a lot you will need to re-drill larger holes.



Step 7:

Add your jam nuts onto the back of each screw.  This will hold it into place.  Twist them on as much as you can manually, then you will use your 7/16 inch wrench to make it tighter.



Step 8:

Clean your surface and add your towel.  It is strong and will add a great look to your kitchen or bathroom.


And aren’t these towels darling?  You can find them here on Etsy, handmade by my darling friend Joey in Washington (you won’t be disappointed I send you here!).

And there you have it!  A inexpensive towel rack!  Let us know how yours turns out. If you have any questions or would like to see a particular DIY done our blog, leave us a message!  Happy Building!



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