Home How-To Easy DIY Luggage Rack Makeover

Easy DIY Luggage Rack Makeover

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Over the course of her many travels, Annie has become convinced of a certain universal truth: a luggage rack is not an indulgence; it’s a necessity. Not only does a luggage rack keep you from having to bend over to floor or lowboy level while retrieving your personal bits, but it also provides a convenient, portable, and stable place to stash your stuff without taking up precious bed, bureau, or chair space in a hotel room. This got Annie to thinking: since guests are travelers who happen to stay in our homes, doesn’t it stand to reason that a luggage rack is a must-have for any guest room?

We’re on board with anything that helps make happier houseguests, but we don’t believe that you have to settle for the impersonal (okay, yawn-inducing) wood-and-neutral-canvas varieties sold in most home stores—not if you enjoy a quick DIY that requires no more specialized skills than spraying a bit of paint, taking a few measurements, and sewing in a straight line.

To complete this luggage rack makeover, we first purchased this basic model. Perfectly serviceable, just not . . . pretty. And while we loved the idea of the laundry holder underneath, we thought the yellowish-ivory canvas bin looked just a bit too utilitarian. So our first task was to remove the top webbed straps and the canvas bin, reserving the metal rods that help the bin to hold its shape. Then we got down to the serious business of beautifying, thanks to a spunky woven cotton rug and a can of spray paint. Keep scrolling for the full how-to.

What you’ll need:

  • Wood-frame luggage rack
  • 2X semigloss or matte spray paint
  • Metal rods (reserved from the luggage rack’s original laundry bin; see note above)
  • 2’ x 3’ woven cotton rug 
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Measuring tape
  • Yardstick
  • Pen or marker
  • 2-inch canvas webbing (for a luggage rack similar to ours, you’ll need about 4 yards)
  • 2-inch grosgrain ribbon (ditto)
  • Staple gun with staples


How to do it:

1. Cut and/or pull off the existing webbing and staples and canvas bin, reserving the metal rods of the bin. In a well-ventilated area, open the frame to its fullest (closing it will cause paint to get in the joints, which may flake off over time), and wrap some tape or twine around the bottom rails to help it retain its shape. Spray the paint over the entire frame, including the inside. Once the top is dry, flip it over and repeat on the bottom. Allow to dry completely.


2. Lay the 2’ x 3’ rug flat on a table, and place one metal rod about 4 inches from the end. Fold it over, and check that you have enough of a pocket for the rod to easily slide in and out.

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3. Slide out the rod, maintaining the folded-over end. Using a heavy-duty needle, sew a straight line beside the finished edge of the rug to close the pocket. Repeat on the other side. When both pockets have been created, slide the rods back into them.

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4. Using a tape measure, measure across the top width of the fully open wood frame; add two inches per side, or four inches total, to this measurement. Then lay the cotton webbing on top of a yardstick, and make a mark that corresponds with that total measurement. Cut the webbing at the mark.

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5. Unroll the grosgrain ribbon on top of the cut piece of webbing, and cut it to the same length as the webbing. With the ribbon held securely on top of the webbing, sew a straight line down both the long and short sides of the ribbon/webbing strap.

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6. Place one short end of the ribbon/webbing strap, ribbon side up, against the inside end of the luggage rack frame’s top horizontal rail. The higher up you position it on the rail, the better the chances of hiding the staples. Secure it in place with two staples.

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7. Wrap the strap around the bottom edge of the of rail, and pull it taut over the top. Wrap it over the top of the opposing rail, and under the bottom of the rail. Secure the end in place, against the opposite inside edge of the frame’s top rail, with two staples. Repeat with the remaining straps, stapling two in the middle and one at the other end. Press down gently but firmly on the stapled straps to ensure that they’re secure.

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8. Set the rods of the rug laundry holder, one end at a time, back into the slots in the wood frame.

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