DIY rustic, modern towel hook

This is a super simple DIY project that’s inexpensive, easy, and functional (aka: the holy trifecta of DIY projects).    I’ve seen different versions of this all over the internet and decided to give it a go since I already had all of the materials on hand.   The room in question for this project is our pool bath.   I’ve wanted to add a towel hook behind the door since we moved in as I figured it’d be the perfect place to hang damp pool towels in the summer.

Now, if there’s one thing you may not know about me, it’s this:  I’m a hoarder hooks.  Allllll the hooks.  Seriously, whenever I see them on clearance, I buy them.   I literally have a drawer full of hooks still in their original packaging.   I figure that they’ll all be used eventually somewhere.  Ya know, if I’d just get on that already.

So, anyways, here are my hap-hazardly-placed materials for this project…

A piece of scrap wood that just happened to be the exact length I needed

2 – 3″ wood screws (not shown)

3 – Young House Love hooks that I found at Target for (drum roll please)….

$1.18 (Woot!)

To get started, I decided to determine placement of my hooks and pre-drill my holes prior to sanding.  This way, if any splinters were created by my drill, the sander would quickly bid them adios.

I began by measuring three even distances across the board with my yardstick.  I placed my hooks on the plank at these designated locations and marked the holes with a pen.  Human note: I actually think this was the most time-consuming part.  Not because it was hard, but because 1. I’m clumsy… several times, I got the hook placement right, only to accidentally nudge the board and shift everything, which resulted in overly-dramatic-fake-ugly-cry-face.  Sorry, neighbors.   B. I’m the parent of a 4-year-old… who “helped” by “cleaning up my project mess”. #thanksbutnothanks #ugh

Once I finally managed to control both my child and my own appendages, I got my holes marked, and used a drill bit slightly smaller than my screws to drill pilot holes…

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As you can see in the shot above, I also drilled screw holes that would be used to attach my board to the wall.   I don’t have pictures for this part, as the process took both hands to complete, but allow me to explain…

I wanted at least one of the wood screws to hit a stud, so I used my trusty stud-finder to locate said stud.   I held my board up and marked the stud placement on the board.   Then, I simply measured in the same distance on the other side of my board to determine where the second hole would be located.  This way, both screw holes would be evenly placed on the board.  I wanted a rustic flare, so the screw heads will be visible using this method.

Once all of my pilot holes were drilled, I used my orbital sander to remove any splinters and dirty spots.  Next, I stained my plank with the same grey stain that I used on my industrial pipe shelf

I used the same technique as I did on that project.  Wax-on/wax-off with zero time to allow the stain to penetrate, which left a nice, light grey tone with lots of sandy wood-grain showing through.

And then I accidentally took a random shot of the ground…

Which coincidentally is clearer and more artsy than the shots I mean to take most of the time.  #youarewelcome

Next, I screwed the board to the wall behind the door in our pool bath, using a level to verify correct placement…

As mentioned previously, one screw went into a stud and the other went into a drywall anchor.   And, I attached my hooks…

Because I’d pre-drilled pilot holes for the hooks, attaching them to the board after the fact was a piece of cake.   I find that when it comes to glossy hooks like this, it’s better to use a screwdriver than a drill to avoid accidental scrapes or marring of the hooks.

Now, for a wider shot…

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I have to say that I’m totally digging the contrast of the rustic wood next to the more graphic print…

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As well as the glossy hooks against the rough, greyed wood…

Not too shabby for a project that literally cost me $3.54 (plus tax) (since I already owned the wood, stain, and screws).   Plus, now we have a place to hang our pool towels to dry once the warmer weather comes.  One small step towards a more functional home.  Music to my ears.

TDC Before and After

Details, Details

So, our guest bathroom makeover is moving right along.  We’ve had a little faucet snafu that still needs to be squared away, and then I’ll be ready to post some reveal pics.   In the meantime, I’ve been working on some of the smaller details.  And as I installed them, I realized that hanging them posed a few minor challenges.  So, I thought I’d post about how I dealt with them.  Again, I’m no professional (clearly… keep reading), but it ended up working out in the end.

First, our towel hooks.  We went with the Blecka hooks from Ikea because they’re modern and simple.  

I wanted to hang them side by side, which meant that they needed to be perfectly level and straight or else they’d look slightly off thanks to their linear shape.   I started by using a level to make two marks on the wall with a pencil to ensure that my top screws were inserted at exactly the same height.

Then, I held the level perpendicular to my first pencil marks and basically drew a” T” shape…

The top hole in my hook would be mounted at the cross of my “T”…

Now, I’m fully aware that I take the long route when installing anchors… I screw the nail in and unscrew it, leaving my pilot hole (I know, I know.  Just use a drill, right?  I think about it every time. But. never. do. it. Don’t ask me why.).

In this case, once I had my pilot hole created for the top screw, I laid my hook over it with the bottom hole lined up with the bottom line of my “T”.  I marked it with a pencil and created my bottom pilot hole.   I forgot to take pictures of this whole part.  I was way too enthusiastic about this project apparently.  Next, I screwed in my anchors into my pilot holes…

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And after lining up my hook, I installed my screws into my anchors…

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Tah-dah!   The lighting and angle of this shot makes them look a little off, but they’re actually straight and even.

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I also changed out this more ornate toilet paper dispenser….

…with the Grundtal model from Ikea for a sleeker vibe.  The challenge I faced here was this…

The previous toilet paper dispenser left quite the impression.   I simply used our Minwax Ebony stain pen (which I posted an ode to here), to cover up the blemishes….

Which left this…

Then, I lined up the new dispenser over the existing holes, drilled pilot holes for my screws (See?? I’ll do it here, but not for an anchor.  I’m so weird.) and screwed this puppy in place….

Easy fix.  The new dispenser completely hides the holes and looks like it’s always been there.

Lastly, I purchased a little wall rack from the kitchen section of Ikea to hang next to the sink.  It’s the Grundtal rail, Grundtal S hooks and Bygel wire basket.  Joey was sleeping when I wanted to install it and I was impatient and wanted it done since I was on a roll.  So, I used thumbtacks and my camera to determine placement all on my lonesome.   I know this method isn’t for everyone since it requires putting holes in the wall.  But, they’re small holes.  And I already had a few holes to patch and touch up anyways, so I figured, “Hey, what’s a few more?”

I wanted to figure out a good height and whether to center the rack on the wall, or on the countertop.  So, I played.  And used my pictures as a guide to determine what I liked best.

Higher…

But this was at face level (for me) and felt too cluttered.  Lower, centered on the counter…

This was okay.  Lower, centered-ish on the wall…

But, I realized with this placement that I couldn’t completely center the rack on the wall without crowding the light switch.  And if the rack couldn’t be perfectly centered on the wall, I might as well center it with the counter.   So, lower, centered on the counter won out.   And you’ll see the final result in my reveal post.  🙂

So, there you have three smaller installation projects.   I’m crossing my fingers that the part that we’re waiting on for the faucet arrives soon so I can show ya’ll the entire room.   Soon.