Designing a coat stand

Woodwork and metalwork ideas


Hi and welcome to Bootkidz, a small furniture design company based in London. This page has ideas for designing your own coat stand.

Also see

Victorian Reproduction Bentwood Hat, Coat & Umbrella Stand Victorian Reproduction Coat Stand 4 Star
Sweetheart Clothes Rail
Sweetheart Clothes Rail at 5 Star

Coat Stand Trifles

History of the Coat Stand History of the Coat Stand
Designing a coat stand Designing a coat stand
Classic Coat Stands Classic Coat Stands
Coat stand auctions Coat stand auctions

Why design your own coat stand?

Designing a coat stand is a great metalwork or woodwork project. Coat stands are often used to teach design students in their first or second year of engineering or design school about the nuances of engineering design.

A coat stand may appear simple, but great care needs to be taken in its design.

See this great idea for a simple and effective concrete stand and wooden sticks coat rack (

Design Considerations

Designing and Building Cabinets
Designing and Building Cabinets

There are few initial design considerations:

  • What type of coat stand are you designing? A traditional victorian style coat stand (2), garment rail, coat tree, coat hook (2), clothes pegs on a pole, or a valet.
  • What materials will you use? Wood, metal, plastic.
  • What colours and shapes will be a part of your final design.
  • Who is it for? Child, adult, men, women, unisex, universal - pets!?
  • What is the target environment - office or home - what is the expected number of people that will likely use your coat stand at any time.
  • Think about winter and summer - winter requires heavy coats, whereas summer requires lighter sweaters and jackets.
  • What about storage for related clothing: umbrellas, scarves, gloves, and hats. Valets, because they are more personal sometimes have storage space for cufflinks and ties.
  • Balance - will it topple over when one heavy coat is placed on it
  • Height of hooks - vertically challenged people can't hang their clothes!
  • Matt or glossy?
  • Clean steel or grungy wood?
  • Wear and tear - will it break. Will the legs fall off when it is moved - a common problem
  • Will it be invisible when there are a few clothes on it. Maybe this is what you want - maybe you want it to stand out even when there are clothes hanging on it
  • What equipment will you need? What about mass-production? Cost of materials? Self-assembly?
  • Delivery, packaging, weight...


Some coat stand designs stand out from the rest. See this amazing Salvador Dali coat stand by Lorna Wilby (1 February 2010). Also see this simple functional coat stand designed by Peter Marigold.

Designing Books

Designing and Building a Horizontal/Vertical Metal Cutting Band saw
Designing and Building a Horizontal/Vertical Metal Cutting Band saw
Designing A Home with Wood
Designing A Home with Wood
Designing and Detailing of Simple Steel Structures
Designing and Detailing of Simple Steel Structures
A Visual Introduction to AutoCAD and 3D Designing
A Visual Introduction to AutoCAD and 3D Designing

How to Make a Coat Rack (video)

This is a great series of videos from Expert - see the list of videos below.

Videos in this series

From Designing to Building (MIT course)

Following the design process is what this course is about. The idea is to choose a simple idea - a coat stand - and follow the design process from concept to manufacturing.

The very first lucy coat stand
The first lucy coat stand prototype


  • Choose a goal related to your coat stand - what is it you want to achieve - E.g. dominate the coat stand world, appeal to parents, emphasis on function and ease of use, or a trendy fashionable coat stand
  • Choose a set of design rules (formulae) that you want your prototype designs to adhere to. E.g. Must be designed for children, must support 10 kgs/lbs of clothes, must fall over if person puts a jacket on it
  • Think of 3-5 different coat stand designs - use sketches
  • Spend some time refining all the designs
  • Choose the best design that will help you achieve your goal
  • Refine the best design
  • Perform calculations and rationalise your design. Ensure it meets quality and safety standards. For example, what effect will it have if you place a 10 kg/lb weight on the end of the coat stand to unbalance it?
  • Build a small prototype in cheap materials (wood/glue)
  • Decide what materials are to be used for the finished product
  • Purchase the materials
  • Build it

Also see this powder-coated metal coat stand "jimi 2"

Construction Materials

Build a prototype. Research and choose the materials that will help you convert the prototype into a finished product. Use metal pipe bending equipment if needed (as used on the Boot Kidz coat stands).
Metal pipe bending equipment


You can use software e.g. Autocad(TM), 3d studio Max(TM), to design the coat stand. Base the design around your initial goals and design rules.

AMSES Frame2D 2.0
Showing AMSES Frame2D 2.0 software to design a bridge - download

Examples of Designer Coat stands

Arts & Crafts Woodworking Projects: 11 New Designs in the Stickley Tradition

Arts & Crafts Woodworking Projects: 11 New Designs in the Stickley Tradition
Arts & Crafts Woodworking Projects: 11 New Designs in the Stickley Tradition (see UK or USA)

Step-by-step plans to build your own design. The projects include:
  • Desk Box
  • Room Divider
  • CD Holder
  • Revolving Bookrack
  • Coatrack
  • Coffee Table
  • Valet Stand
  • Sofa Table
  • Cheval Mirror
  • Bunk Bed
  • Morris Chair
  • Footstool

Further info >>>

External links

MIT designing a coat stand
Victorian decoration

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