New House to Home: Better Than a Towel Rack            

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Better Than a Towel Rack

I first saw this image on Pinterest sometime this past summer.
Much cuter than a towel rack
original source unknown

I immediately knew I wanted to do something similar on the empty wall above the tub in my master bathroom.  Naturally, when I tried to open the link from the image, it took me nowhere.  No blog, no instructions, no original source - a total dead end.  I knew if I wanted one of these for myself, I was going to have to figure out how to make it.  That's exactly what I did, and I've got to say, it wasn't that hard.  I think I may even like my finished product better than the one in my inspiration photo.  What do you think?
I made it by taking an old shelf...
(I love this shelf, but the antique yellowish color is too similar to the wall colors in our house.  The color needed to change to make it stand out).
and doctoring it up using a few supplies I had laying around the house.
As I told you before, I'm a doer, not a teacher, so I'm terrible at giving tutorials.  I'll just give you the short version of how I put this together and hope it makes sense.   
  • Basically, I took a 1/4" thick board and used wood glue to trim it out with molding that I cut with a miter saw.  The molding I chose has a 1/4" lip that wraps around the side for a more finished look.  The 1/4" lip was the perfect size (obviously) to accommodate my 1/4" board.  My plan was to butt the trimmed out board up against the bottom of the shelf, so I had to cut the board 1/2" shorter than the length of the bottom of the shelf to accommodate the 1/4" lip on each side.
  • Once I got the board trimmed with the molding, it was time to paint both the board and the shelf.  I started the process by applying two coats of spray primer, and then finished by painting both pieces with the same paint used on the trim throughout the house.
  • When the paint was dry, I hung the shelf using drywall anchors.  I then butted the trimmed board up against the bottom of the hung shelf and secured it by screwing the center hook into the wall.  Two things should be noted.  1) The screws for the hook are long enough to go through the board and into the wall, so the board will be secure.  2) The board probably won't be flush with the shelf - you will have to caulk the gap.
  • After the gap between the shelf and board was caulked and cleaned up, I hung the last two hooks.  When determining my hook placement, I made sure at least one of the screws went through a stud.  I'm not sure this was necessary because everything seemed really secure even before I took this step, but better safe than sorry is my motto.
I'm really happy with the final result.
The detail of the shelf adds character.
Adding this little shelf above the tub brings me one step closer to one of my 2013 home goals.  Do you remember that I set a goal to add personality to the master bathroom?  This one-of-a-kind towel rack certainly does that.
These are two of my favorite prints.  I love the muted green palette and the island vibe.  I've been looking for the perfect place to put these ever since we moved in.  I think I've finally found it. 

Over the next few weeks I'll be working on adding a few more hits of personality to the master bathroom.  I hope you'll stop back to check on my progress.
  • Shelf - Tuesday Morning (about 8 years ago)
  • 1/4" Board - Hobby Lobby
  • Molding - Home Depot
  • Hooks - Lowes
  • Sailboat Prints - Target (about 8 years ago)
  • Towels - Target
  • Glass Candle Holders - Pottery Barn Outlet
  • Basket - Home Goods


  1. For what it's worth, yours is styled much better!

  2. Beautiful! I have a shelf just like that, perhaps I should do that with it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Yours looks gorgeous! I love it! I pinned that one awhile ago, too. There are so many bathroom remodeling projects to do first that I've long forgotten about it. I loved seeing your version. Great work :).


  4. This looks SO good!! I've been wanting to try something similar for a while...mabye I'll get motivated now!

  5. I definitely like yours better than the original. The details on yours are so fun and delicate!

  6. I love your design! It is fabulous. Thanks so much for the inspiration and for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent!! I pinned this one for you. :)


  7. You’re such a great DIY-er! I think it’s great that the result turned out nicely, even though you said that the original photo has no blog or instructions. :) Seeing your output here makes me think that all your effort to make the project and to share it to others is all worth it. I’ll try this sometime.

    Keaton Oakes

  8. It’s such a splendid work of art! I can see that you’re really creative and you’re doing your very best to make your home beautiful and presentable. You did a great job here, and I know you still have lots of ideas for DIY home projects. I hope you could share some more. :)

    -- Elvina Valenti

  9. I love this! I've been planning to add hooks to our bathroom, and I love the idea of them on a shelf!

  10. DIY projects were risky, but you did nicely! I guess it’s really not a hindrance that the original blog doesn’t contain any details since you made the best towel rack with the help of your creative hands. Like what Elvina said, I just hope that you share more of your creative work! :)

    - Chase Conely -

  11. Molding improves your home and gives it a pleasant look.It adds an extra personality to the master bathroom. Cut crown molding