Last Updated on August 8, 2020
A well-built quilt rack is useful in all kinds of situations. You might have bought a quilt that’s so beautiful you intend to display it rather than use it. Maybe you’re always cold, and need to have a lot of blankets within reach. Maybe you’re sick of your family leaving clothes on the floor, but want a user-friendly rack that can double as decoration.
As a DIY project, quilt racks run the gamut: some are easy to hack together in an afternoon with scrap wood, while others require a weekend in the workshop and mastery of completely new woodworking techniques. No matter what difficulty level you go for, though, we guarantee you’ll be glad to have one in the house.
If you’re ready to add a touch of old-time luxury to your living space, check out one of these 18 DIY quilt rack plans you can download and get started on right now.
We’ll start things off with this design for a classic standing quilt rack by Four Oaks Crafts, a blog maintained by professional woodworker Stephen Johnson that draws on his 25 years of experience. This broad-sided, freestanding quilt rack can be built in a day, and includes a heart design that makes it a great present.
Wayne of the Woods, an unassuming site with a big selection of exciting woodworking plans, offers this quilt rack design for anybody who wants to build a rack without the fuss. You can build this rack out of four pieces of wood, and a few other materials, for a total of about $60.
Ana White‘s quilt rack is multifunctional, serving as both a quilt display and a side table. It’s great for filling that long stretch of wall you don’t quite know what to do with.
The steps for building it are intuitive — start by threading a dowel through the three upright pieces, then add the rest of the planks around that frame. If you have all the tools, the total cost hovers around $30 (paint not included).
This plan from Shanty2Chic will help you build a multi-use ladder with a vintage look. Its four rungs can hold quilts, blankets, mats, towels, or clothing. Really, the only thing you shouldn’t do with this ladder is climb on it.
The pocket hole jig is optional — you can also handle that step with a drill.
This design from Better Homes and Gardens is for a wall-hanging quilt rack. Its minimalist hexagon shape accents a display quilt without distracting from it. We love vintage as much as the next DIYers, but if you’re tired of distressing all your projects, this frame’s modernist aesthetic could be the pallet-cleanser you need.
The Woodcrafter Page‘s one-day quilt rack is perfect for filling up a blank spot in any room. All you’ll need is your tools, a few planks of ¾” to 1″ wood, some plugs and screws, and this design.
If you want the rounded top shown in the picture, you’ll need a saw capable of cutting curves; otherwise, a flatter dog-eared design looks just as good.
This free plan from Imperfectly Polished is another blanket ladder which can be used for both quilt display and several other purposes (again, though, don’t climb any of these). If you measure and cut the ends of the two long planks right, this rack can lean against your chosen wall without wobbling.
Lee Swindel of Lee’s Wood Projects presents this rack that nicely complements heirloom or vintage quilts. He recommends using African padauk for its darker finish, but if you’re planning to paint instead of stain, a lighter pine or alder is more suitable.
Vintage Home Love is one of our favorite budget blogs, and this ladder rack design illustrates why: the materials cost less than $10. It looks spindly, but it’s strong enough to hold quilts.
Putting the pieces together is a one-day job. However, if you want to put the extra effort into that farmhouse look, let the walnut stain dry overnight and spend some time distressing it the next morning.
This freestanding quilt rack from Instructables user mtairymd is a great-looking conversation piece — we like how the staggered dowels let you accent one quilt with another. Two side planks, a crossbar, and three wooden rods are all you’ll need to build this.
Side note: this project offers a forgiving environment to practice rounding edges with a jig or band saw.
Remove and Replace‘s DIY ladder is intended to keep clothes off your floor, but it makes an excellent quilt display as well. The small amount of wood it requires makes this an awesome opportunity to get rid of any leftover scrap lumper from your last project.
This “major project” from Shopsmith Hands-On is for anybody looking to DIY a more ornate quilt rack — one that’s destined to become a family heirloom in its own right.
With its hollow side pieces, it doesn’t require much lumber, but decorating the posts takes a lot of careful router work. For the steady-handed only!
Instructables user Waylight Creations shares this design for a small quilt rack, great for anybody looking to brighten up a tighter space. With just a few dowels and pine boards, and a day of work, you can have all your comfy blankets and quilts within easy reach.
The link includes a video that helps add more context to the instructions.
If you’re on the lookout for a smaller quilt rack you can also use as an overflow table, My Outdoor Plans delivers. Unlike Ana White’s design at #3, this plan starts with the framing planks, then adds the dowel as a final step. It’s easy to do — but pre-measuring more than you need is a good idea. (When is it ever not?)
Woodworking for Mere Mortals built a quilt rack with an unusual technique: wood-bending. As the video in that link explains, bending wood into curves leads to a stronger shape than cutting shapes out from a plank — and it’s also less wasteful.
Check out the video to learn how, then download the free template from the same page to build this quilt rack with graceful s-curves.
Kristen Dunn of Dunn Lumber has designed a beginner-friendly quilt ladder we’re really impressed with. She clearly understands blanket entropy — the way they always, no matter what, end up in a pile on the floor — so this is a blanket ladder you’ll actually want to use.
This design features an extremely quick build, coupled with undemanding tool and supply lists.
Here’s a great way to earn some street cred with your woodworker buddies: build a quilt rack using this design from the January 1982 issue of Popular Mechanics. It might not be the kind of plan you’re used to, but it’s a complete set of instructions, with all the important information on page 67. For us, the adjustable size is a big selling point.
To finish things off, we’ve got this frame from Texas Bob, which can be used to either work on a quilt or display it. The instructions aren’t very extensive, and require some understanding of joinery — this design is more for those who already know what a quilt frame looks like. The advantage, though, is that everything attaches with minimal supplies.
Featured image Credit: Four Oaks Crafts
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!