Curbly Original
How to: Repurpose an Old Drying Rack into a Stylish Magazine Rack

by Jennifer Farley

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

I love to read magazine and so does my family. Long live the paper subscription! So, I wanted magazine storage for our living room to keep them all in one place. So, let's get to it: how to make a simple and stylish wood and leather magazine rack. 

 First the research: I am really drawn leather and brass/gold magazine racks like this one.

DIY Leather Luggage Rack
AEMCateer.com

I was originally going to attempt this with a vintage folding tray table but realized quickly a folding tray table is too tall for magazine rack. My second thought was a luggage rack, but they also weren't the right height or width.

But then! I pulled into a garage sale and found the below clothes drying rack and thought, hmm.... this thing actually might work.

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

The funny thing is this drying rack (I think) is the cheapest one you can by at a discount store. I got lucky with a garage sale price but I will link to a new option in the materials list.

materials

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Here is what you need:

  • Wooden clothes drying rack. Here is a great one from Amazon
  • leather, vinyl, or upholstery fabric. I chose this faux leather from Joann's
  • hot glue gun or sewing machine
  • gold spray paint
  • hand saw or multi tool
  • chain or string
  • cutting pliers (optional)
  • thumbtacks
  • scissors (not pictured)
  • ruler 

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Take apart your drying rack and set the aside the dowels. Now, we need to cut it up. There are many ways to do this, but through trial and error (and a few mistakes) this is how I did it:

The bottom half of the rack would become the side pieces of the rack. It is hard to tell in pictures but we cut underneath the grommet at a 90 degree angle. To truly get a 90 degree angle we needed a little more freedom of movement from the accordion rack. To get this we FIRST cut the rack where you see the pink Xs. 

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

After you have made the cuts to give the rack freedom you can adjust the piece of wood you are cutting of to make a nice clean 90 degree cut under the grommet. Cut one side, then flip it over and cut the other side.

 I originally tried to keep the grommets since the dowel rods where made to fit in them, but it was hard because the grommets went through both pieces of wood. The dowel rods are made to be smaller where they are to be inserted. I decided I could drill holes in faster time than to figure out how to remove/cut the grommet and sand down the freshly cut dowel rods to fit.

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Here is what one side should look like when it is cut. You will need two of these. The middle grommet is your connecting point. Since we cut of the top grommets the distance from the grommet to the end of the wood is not the same on this side. This was actually better for the structure of the magazine rack. Use the longer side to be the base of the magazine rack and the shorter side to be the top. This will allow the leather/fabric of the magazine rack to hang down a little more.

Step

Repeat Steps 1-2 on the opposite side of the drying rack. Make sure both sides are the same length.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

You now have two Xs which are the two sides of your magazine rack. Drill holes in each end of one side of the magazine rack. To make sure they match, stack them and drill both at the same time.  Then lay the side with drilled holes on top of the side with no holes and mark where the holes should be drilled (not pictured). Drill the holes on the second side of the magazine rack.  It is important to measure well so your dowel rods will be level when inserted.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Now it is time to measure the dowel rods. I used a magazine to estimate my length. I wanted it to be a bit larger than the magazine just in case I wanted to store big coffee table books as well. 

The length is up to you, but I wanted my magazine rack (the exposed part) to be 17 inches wide. In measuring, I had to take into consideration that I would cut off the sanded ends.  I cut off the grommets in Step 2 so I needed both sides of the dowel to be the same thickness. Before measured, I cut these off. (not pictured)

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Your two dowel rods will be different lengths due to one being inserted into the inside of the rack and one being inserted into the outside of the rack. I wanted my dowel rods to be inserted all the way through the wood to be flush with the outside of the rack. The depth of my wood was 1/4 inch. The bottom dowel was easy. I needed to cut the dowel 17.5 inches.

The top dowel had to be 1 inch longer because it had to extend the length of two of the .25 inch deep pieces on each side totaling .5 inches more on each side.  I cut it 18 inches. [17inches + .5 + .5 = 18 inches]

Summary: Whatever your measurement cut one dowel 1/2 inch longer than the other.

 

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Cut your dowel rods. The picture shows me cutting three rods, but I learned later that you only need to cut two. Use a clamp to tighten them down. I used my multi-tool to cut them down. You could use a hacksaw or chop saw.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

To keep the magazine rack from closing you need to secure the sides. I used my snippers to cut an old necklace I had.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

I used thumb tacks to secure the chain. Any chain would work or you could also use a small strip of your leather/fabric or string.

To make sure each side opens the same measure where you place the thumb tacks from the grommet.

Step

 

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

Insert your dowel rods and secure them with glue. I squeezed a little hot glue in the hole before I inserted the dowel rod. 

I added thumbtacks to the outside of my rack where the dowel was showing to get it a more finished look.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Spray paint your magazine rack.

Note: You can spray paint your parts separately and install the finished rack after the leather/fabric part is sewn.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Now, it is time to cut your leather.  I couldn't find a large enough piece of cognac leather in the remnant pile at our local leather store so I chose to use vinyl faux leather in a caramel color. I am always amazed at how far vinyl has come in looking like leather. I found mine at Joann Fabric.

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Cut the fabric into two pieces. I noticed my inspiration piece had the finished side of the leather on both sides of the magazine rack. If you are using real leather this step is optional. You might like the look of your magazine rack to have the softer side of the leather on the inside. If you want the finished side seen on the outside and inside then cut two pieces. I had to use two pieces because the unfinished side of faux leather is not pretty. Your measurements will depend on the size of your magazine rack. Here are the sizes of the two pieces I cut.

The exposed part of my inserted dowel is 17 inches. I wanted the dowel to have 1/4 inch on each side of exposed dowel. The smaller piece will be cut the exact width of the finished product. You will fold the sizes of the larger piece over this smaller piece.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Place the the two "wrong sides" of the fabric/leather together. Place the smaller piece in the middle. There should be two inches of leather to fold on the top and the bottom. There should be one inch to fold on each side.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

Fold the sides in 1/2 inch and sew or glue.

For these next steps you can sew or you can use glue. If you are going to put heavy books in the rack I would suggest sewing. Mine will only hold 3-5 magazines and hot glue/super glue is sturdy enough for this.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Fold the folded side another 1/2 inch to finish off the sides.

Step

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

Take the top and fold the top side over the dowel rod and glue. I made sure I cut straight lines on my vinyl so I didn't have to fold over twice on the top.

Note: If you have not assembled your magazine rack then this would be where you would place the fabric on the dowel rods and assemble your stand.

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

You are done! All you need are some magazines.

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

 

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

The magazine rack is quite sturdy and can hold more magazines than shown.

DIY Leather Magazine Rack

I love how this little project turned out. Who knew it came from an old drying rack!

DIY Leather Magazine Rack
Pin It: DIY Faux Leather Magazine Rack

 

I love a good repurpose. The drying rack has enough parts to make a couple of these, so I think I'll do a few more!

 

Want another fun DIY project? Check out his adorable kitchen utensil wall art here on Curbly.

 

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by Holly Wade

DIY Round Leather Headphone Organizer

I use my headphones every day, and I carry them to work in my purse, where, despite my best efforts to roll them up carefully, they inevitably intertwine into a balled-up mess. To prevent my headphone from becoming consistently tangled, I made this simple round leather headphone organizer that stores my lightly coiled headphones and slips easily into my purse or just as easily into a large pocket.  

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Pack your Lunch in Style: Easy Reusable Fabric Lunch Bag

by Holly Wade

Pack your Lunch in Style: Easy Reusable Fabric Lunch Bag

Remembering to pack my lunch is a constant struggle. I don’t think I’ve even had an actual lunch bag for years, but it turned out that all I needed to get me motivated to pack my lunch again was a pretty lunch bag. This easy-to-sew stylish lunch bag is great for adults – I used fun fabric to make a lunch bag that I would want to remember to bring, and it didn’t take me long at all.

 I’m not an expert with a sewing machine, but luckily I didn’t need to be to make this lunch bag using two complimentary cotton fabrics. I loved the bright blue color with a minimal pattern for the outside of the bag, and the bright white fabric for the inside has a light polka dot pattern that matches well. Put together, the fabric has just enough stiffness to hold the bag together without feeling heavy or difficult to fold. Overall, the design is reminiscent of the classic brown bag but with a whole lot more color (and reusable, of course)!

MATERIALS:

  • ½ yard patterned cotton fabric*
  • ½ yard complimenting cotton fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Measuring tape
  • Rotary cutter
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron (optional, recommended)
  • Hand sewing needle (optional)

*For simpler sewing, avoid directional patterns that require the fabric stay facing one direction

Step

Unfolded, cut both pieces of fabric into 10 in x 20 in rectangles.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Along the 20-inch side, measure the middle. Cut out a 1 in x 3 in notch on either side, so that it looks like the above photo.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Take the patterned piece intended to be the outside of the bag and fold in half (inside out) with the notches at the bottom. Sew along each side.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Take the piece intended to be the inside of the bag, and fold in half (inside out) with the notches at the bottom. Sew along one side. Along the other, sew halfway, leave a 1-inch opening and sew the rest – you will need this opening for later.

Iron the seams open. This makes it less bulky later.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Pinch the bottom notches together and sew a straight line across to square off the bottom. Repeat on each side of both pieces of fabric.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Turn only the internal piece right side out. The outside piece should remain inside out. Both pieces should resemble bags with squared bottoms.

Step

Place the internal piece inside of the outside piece so that the patterned sides are facing each other. Sew a thin seam all the way around the top to secure the pieces together. 

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Trim excess threads and pull the entire bag right side out through the hole left in the internal piece.

Step

Using a hand sewing needle or your machine, sew the hole shut. Using your machine will not look as clean, but it is not necessary because it will be the inside lining of the bag.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Push the lining into the inside of the bag and iron as needed.

To use, place items inside and simply pinch the sides and roll the top of the bag. You can certainly adjust the measurements to make a larger or smaller bag, but I found that these measurements work best for fitting everything I needed. The rolled top makes it feel like I’m carrying a much classier version of an old school brown bag lunch, and I love it!

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Curbly Original
Pack your Lunch in Style: Easy Reusable Fabric Lunch Bag

by Holly Wade

Pack your Lunch in Style: Easy Reusable Fabric Lunch Bag

Remembering to pack my lunch is a constant struggle. I don’t think I’ve even had an actual lunch bag for years, but it turned out that all I needed to get me motivated to pack my lunch again was a pretty lunch bag. This easy-to-sew stylish lunch bag is great for adults – I used fun fabric to make a lunch bag that I would want to remember to bring, and it didn’t take me long at all.

 I’m not an expert with a sewing machine, but luckily I didn’t need to be to make this lunch bag using two complimentary cotton fabrics. I loved the bright blue color with a minimal pattern for the outside of the bag, and the bright white fabric for the inside has a light polka dot pattern that matches well. Put together, the fabric has just enough stiffness to hold the bag together without feeling heavy or difficult to fold. Overall, the design is reminiscent of the classic brown bag but with a whole lot more color (and reusable, of course)!

MATERIALS:

  • ½ yard patterned cotton fabric*
  • ½ yard complimenting cotton fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Measuring tape
  • Rotary cutter
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron (optional, recommended)
  • Hand sewing needle (optional)

*For simpler sewing, avoid directional patterns that require the fabric stay facing one direction

Step

Unfolded, cut both pieces of fabric into 10 in x 20 in rectangles.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Along the 20-inch side, measure the middle. Cut out a 1 in x 3 in notch on either side, so that it looks like the above photo.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Take the patterned piece intended to be the outside of the bag and fold in half (inside out) with the notches at the bottom. Sew along each side.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Take the piece intended to be the inside of the bag, and fold in half (inside out) with the notches at the bottom. Sew along one side. Along the other, sew halfway, leave a 1-inch opening and sew the rest – you will need this opening for later.

Iron the seams open. This makes it less bulky later.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Pinch the bottom notches together and sew a straight line across to square off the bottom. Repeat on each side of both pieces of fabric.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Turn only the internal piece right side out. The outside piece should remain inside out. Both pieces should resemble bags with squared bottoms.

Step

Place the internal piece inside of the outside piece so that the patterned sides are facing each other. Sew a thin seam all the way around the top to secure the pieces together. 

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Trim excess threads and pull the entire bag right side out through the hole left in the internal piece.

Step

Using a hand sewing needle or your machine, sew the hole shut. Using your machine will not look as clean, but it is not necessary because it will be the inside lining of the bag.

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

DIY Easy-Sew Lunch Bag

Step

Push the lining into the inside of the bag and iron as needed.

To use, place items inside and simply pinch the sides and roll the top of the bag. You can certainly adjust the measurements to make a larger or smaller bag, but I found that these measurements work best for fitting everything I needed. The rolled top makes it feel like I’m carrying a much classier version of an old school brown bag lunch, and I love it!

Continue Reading

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This Is the Only Household Cleaning Product You Need. Here's How to Make It.

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DIY All-Purpose Cleaner

As a baker, crafter and all-around mess-maker, having a multitude of cleaners on hand at all times is a must. After a while, my cabinets became packed with various cleaners that I just didn't need, so I sought out a way to narrow them down, and better yet, I did it by making my own all-purpose cleaner using items around the house that will clean just about anything. 

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by Lexy Ward

Before the new year, I made a resolution to try not to blow my money on needless skin care items. I have an abundance of lotions, lip glosses, and more, and felt that I really needed to take stock of what I am putting on and in my body.

Simple DIY skincare recipes

After spending an afternoon gutting my bathroom, I saved a few skin care items from each category, and even added in a DIY or two for something a little more natural! It's easier than you think to create...

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by M.E. Gray

Get your new year off to a fresh start by making your own DIY room sprays.

Currently I'm living in a two bedroom apartment with my fiancé, one large dog, and one cat. It's not a spacious place by any means, but I think it's just the right size for the four of us. The only time our pad feels too small is right about now: half way through the winter. It's the middle of January, and cabin fever is starting to set in. To offset the restlessness of being indoors, I'm freshening up the joint with a simple, quick room spray.

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Photo:  JComp

Apps are a part of our daily lives in so many ways - they help us get places, work out and they even remind us about appointments. And today I'm here to share even more ways that you can use your phone to organize every aspect of your life. Read on to check out my favorite organizational apps that will help you get your life in order.   

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I don't know about you, but storage is one thing that I can never get enough of. Especially cute storage. So today I'm sharing a project with you that I made to create some mobile storage for my home office. It's a stacking, rolling storage cart that can hold all of those odds and ends that you just don't know what to do with.   

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When I think of "home," I always start with a visual picture: the layout, the colors, and all the "stuff" that makes it so unique. But, of course, my real concept of home doesn't have anything to do with the physical structure or the things that sit inside it.  Home is a sense of peace and rest I experience by myself and with my family. And it's the place where I nurture relationships, and build community. And if I'm doing things right, it's the place that helps me stay sane. So this year, I'm giving my home a new commitment, and all my 2017 commitments are actually New Year's resolutions for the home. 

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