Help for the easily lost.

As I recently discussed in my pallet table article, inspiration for furniture can strike at any time and the most obscure things can be the source. This week however its the elemental combined with the prosaic that has founded a project, that is, the changing of the seasons and the extra children’s clothing and accessories that colder weather brings.


“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks


This item just so happens to be for sale in our etsy shop.

Thats right, autumn brings many heartening and invigorating changes, but as the fruit ripens, the leaves change and the wind hardens there is but one issue on any parents mind. Where to put (and retain) all those extra things…

It will start with the addition of just a jumper, then perhaps maybe a hat on especially windy days, as the season progresses boots will be added until the grim totality of winter dress arrives. Hats, scarves, gloves, boots, jumpers and coats. To allow kids to go without a single item is a crime and for some reason it is intolerable for them to be more than 5 foot into the house without taking them off and throwing or stuffing them somewhere.

Smells like an opportunity for a reclaimed storage solution.

Help is at the door.

Over the years I’ve toyed with a few different methods for storing all the bits & bobs that a family requires. Boxes, cupboards, drawers, bags and the trouble is that they all either require too much disciple to maintain or are too far away from the epicenter of the chaos, the back door.

Knowing this and having long believed that the humble coat rack is a much under developed piece of household real estate, with this project I’ve tried to keep all the benefits of hanging space for things like coats and scarves, add some shelf space for stuff like boots but also sneak in some space for all those little bits that don’t hang well but must be kept secure and are needed alongside the coats.

Pallets, pegs and paints.

Whilst most of the reclaimed timber we have laying around could do the job for this project, a nice long plasterboard carrying pallet came through the door the other day and these usually include some nice 150mm slats on them, perfect for the shelf and back. Whilst the rest of the slats had taken a beating we only needed small lengths for the hanging boxes so the whole project is built from a single recycled pallet.

For pegs I wanted something robust and workmanlike, I like using nails for pegs but this piece has quite a chunky feel to it and sometimes nail hangers can appear a little thin. So inspired having just been to look over some 800! year old pews, I thought I’d take a leaf out the medieval carpenters handbook and make some wooden nails.

Quickly buzzed to shape on the bandsaw these square pegs are then bashed into….ahem….round holes, this pun filled method has the pleasing effect of seating each peg at a slightly different angle to the last which, I hope, adds to the cheerful feel of the piece.

The hanging boxes are nailed together using the original pallet nails and fitted with a back baton to push them flush with the shelf, into this baton one more oak peg is driven allowing for still yet more hanging.

The back and shelf are finished with a hand rubbed whitewash & varnish to protect but still allow the tarnished glory of the wood to shine through. This same concoction is then mixed with artists paints to achieve a totally original colour for each hanging box. In spite of the autumnal inspiration for this I opted for muted versions of sky, flora & soil I do intend to try out a few other colours as I play around with different versions of the hanging boxes.

All in all from five feet of hanging and shelving space we got 22 pegs, 6 cubby holes and 3 extra mini hangers. Will this bring an abrupt halt to all the additional clutter that the season brings? No, to do that you need the quintessential autumnal experience, a bon fire.

sotto voce…..

If you live in St neots, Hail Weston, Huntingdon or anywhere in PE19 click here to get a discount on any carpentry, joinery, building or custom woodwork project we complete for you.

If you’d like one of these shelving units they are for sale on our etsy shop visit it here, or for a modified version to fit your specific needs contact us via phone, email or social media and we’ll happily accommodate. NATIONWIDE!