A Coat Tree for Under $10

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 02/11/2011 - 05:55
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A modern style wood coat tree that most anyone can build. Features varying height branches, suitable for hats, coats, and then backpacks and umbrellas.

For about the cost of lunch, you can freshen up your entryway just in time for spring.  This simple coat tree is solid wood, and can be easily customized to fit different needs.  Featuring nine total hooks, the hooks are smartly placed allowing each side of the coat tree to have a hat hook, coat hook, and one side has a third hook for umbrellas, dog leashes, or even reuseable shopping bags.

Don't get hung up (pun intended) on the entryway.  Think damp towels, laundry drying rack or even dress up clothes, Christmas ornaments or even pretty jewelery.  This coat tree can work throughout your home.

If you have a Kreg Jig and a miter saw, this project can be completed in an hour.  If you have a can of spray paint, that puts your build time into the minutes.  And for those of you who do not, don't despair.  This project can still be made, it's just going to take more patience and probably a split board or two.

Dimensions are shown above. You could easily make this tree smaller (say 48″ for a children’s tree or a jewelery tree that sits on a desktop. Do not make the branches any longer, as the leverage on the joint becomes greater with the length of the branches.


Shopping List

2 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×1 @ 8 feet long (check the moulding aisle for trim 3/4″ x 3/4″ or rip 1x2s in half with a table saw – that’s what I did)
2 1/2″ pocket hole screws or finish nails
1 1/4″ pocket hole screws or finish nails
wood glue, 120 grit sandpaper and finishing supplies

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

1 – 2×2 @ 65″ (Tree Trunk)
4 – 2×2 @ 10″, ends cut at 45 degrees NOT parallel, long point to long point (Roots)
6 – 1×1 @ 4 1/2″, one end cut at 30 degrees off square (Short Limbs)
6 – 1×1 @ 6 1/2″, one end cut at 30 degrees off square (Long Limbs)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander


Step 1

Screw the Roots to the Tree

The best way I found to attach the roots was pocket holes or a countersunk screw right through the top face of each root. Use glue and two screws. The challenge here is going to be placing the roots in the exact same location around the trunk so that your tree doesn’t wobble or lean. Check your tree for level and adjust as necessary.

Step 2

Small Limbs

Now this really is the fun part . . . if you have the right tools. I tried to do this with a countersink bit, and found myself splitting boards repeatedly. A finish nailer and lots of really strong glue would probably been better. I’m not saying you can’t, just saying that I was splitting probably every second board.

Part of the beauty and interest of this piece is the random placement of branches. Place yours where they would work for your application – if you have kids, lower hooks might work better. Build to suit your needs.

For those of you with a Kreg Jig™, I simply pretended that the end cut at a 30 degree angle was NOT cut at an angle (when clamping in your jig), and drilled a single pocket hole set on the 3/4″ setting right smack in the center of the hook as shown above. Then it was not trouble screwing the limb on.

Step 3

Branch Limbs

Build your branch limbs first. In fact, I would suggest building your branches before anything else to get some practice. Then attach your branch limbs to the trunk.

Step 4

Long Limbs

And the final long limbs should get placed about halfway down the tree.

Step 5

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Theresa (not verified)

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 16:22

I would love to make this for my grandchildren. I think this will be what I will be doing on my vacation in a few weeks. Ana you plans seem to alway appear at the perfect time. Are you reading our minds????? Thank you for all you do.

Ana White (not verified)

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 18:24

Theresa, I think we are just all in the same boat, all needing the same things for our homes. Thanks to everyone that makes suggestions and comments, it really helps me know what plans need to be posted. Thank you to everyone. Have a great weekend!

Allison (not verified)

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 19:25

This is wonderful! I have to agree with some other posters, you must be a mind reader. My house really needed this. ESPECIALLY for the price. We have no coat closet. :D Thank you AGAIN!!!

Mari (not verified)

Sat, 02/12/2011 - 12:32

I love this so much. We live in a desert but inside my home we have the ocean and forests. It refreshes me to come in from yardwork in 110 heat and feel cool living things around me. I can't wait to build this and add another tree to my indoor forest!

Dee Brownfield (not verified)

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 08:31

Wow ... love this idea ... I think perhaps even I can do this!!! I have several home made purses (a friend made them) and I have been wanting a "hall tree" to hang them on!! this is the answer!! I will spray paint it a shiny black and start hanging the purses on them!! I will have to send you a picture when finished! Purses are all different colors, patterns, etc., and I feel this will showcase them very well!!! thank you, much!!
Pink Hugs,

Lynn (not verified)

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 11:16

I made a slight variation on your coat tree, wanting it afixed to the wall to save space. I LOVE it! I first painted it green, than white and then had my 15 year old son happily beat it with a big chain! http://wp.me/pSqU4-o1

Jen (not verified)

Wed, 02/23/2011 - 05:35

I've been trying to think of ways to add color to my house without having to paint walls quite yet and this is one of them!!!!! I LOVE it!!!!! May have to send my hubby to the hardware store while the kiddos and I are at a playdate this morning. Nap time project!!! Thanks!!! :)