How To Make a Simple Walking Stick and Umbrella Rack
Although my wife may not need a walking stick all the time it is useful to have one to hand in the event we plan a day trip; just for a bit of support if we are likely to be on our feet for long periods e.g. walking or touring an event or open air show etc.
We do have a modern foldaway walking stick stowed away in the car for emergencies, but the more traditional walking sticks, which we have inherited over the years, are far more comfortable to use. It was with this in mind that during a recent renovation of our front porch I decided to utilise some spare space in our porch; between our potted plant and the cupboard. A stickler for not liking wasted space, and always looking for ways to utilise it, using this space specifically for walking sticks seemed an ideal solution. And by doing so it also provides a useful place to keep the odd brolly or two; not that we use umbrellas much these days as all too often when it rains in Britain it is also too windy to keep the umbrella up. If we did use umbrellas more frequently in making the walking stick rack I would have added a couple of cup hooks on the end for hanging them from.
This is a simple project that takes less than an hour and only requires a few bits of scrap wood so need not cost anything make. All photos here were taken by me during the making of this simple yet effective walking stick rack.
In this simple DIY how-to project I recycled scrap wood to make something quick and simple for no expense. I would be interested to hear your views and tips in the comments at the bottom of the page on recycling and re-purposing old materials (rather than buying new) to complete simple DIY and Crafts projects around the home.
- Electric drill
- Forstner bit
- Masonry drill bit
- Drill driver bit or screwdriver
- 4 x 2 inch (50mm) screws
- Hand saw
Time required: 1 hour
- 2 x 3/4 inch (18mm) thick timber, 2 inches (50mm) wide by 4 inches (100mm) long
- 3/4 inch (18mm) dowel rod, length of proposed rack
1. Start by finding a bit of scrap wood to make a couple of end brackets. Just about anything would do, a bit of skirting board, a piece of 1 inch by 2 inch timber, an old floorboard from which you can cut a couple of small bits of wood from etc. You will also need some kind of rod. I used a bit of rod from an old towel rail which became spare when recently we renovated our shower room and replaced the old towel rail and radiator with a modern heated towel rail. You could use a thick piece of dowel or even a piece of copper pipe.
2. The optimum gap seems to be about 2.5 inches so, unless you intend fixing the brackets around something (as I did for the front bracket), brackets about four inches long should be more than sufficient. The wood I used for my brackets was offcuts from an old bookcase; which I then cut to the required width and length for this project, and then quickly rounded the edges off with a sander. The offcuts I used had a decorative routed edge to it, which I opted to keep as a feature for the new brackets. Having prepared your brackets cut a hole at the end of each one to the same diameter of the rod. If the bracket is to be butted against a wall you can cut right through, otherwise you should only cut part way through e.g. between halfway and three quarters way through the wood, for this you will need to use a Forstner bit (as shown in the photo) rather than a hole drill or hole saw bit.
3. As I was fixing one bracket to a back wall and the other bracket overlapping the front wall of the cupboard in the porch (as shown in the next photo) they were of different lengths, and therefore I did not need a back piece of wood to fix the brackets to. However, if you intend fixing the walking stick rack to a wall in the manner that a towel rail would be screwed to the wall over a radiator in the bathroom then you would also need a back plate to fix the side brackets to. In this case the back plate would just be a piece of timber longer than the rod plus double the thickness of the two brackets. The brackets would then be glued and screwed to the back plate when fitting the rod, and the back plate subsequently screwed securely to the wall.
4. Once made, just simply screw you rack firmly to the wall. The rack is not limited to keeping walking sticks together, it is useful for keeping umbrellas of any type tidy; the big ones can be stored like the walking sticks, smaller gents brollies with handles will hook over the rod and ladies folding brollies with hanging loops would easily hang from cup hooks if you added a couple to one of the side brackets. In other words, modify this simple design to suit your requirements.
The photo below demonstrates how, by the addition of a simple walking stick rack, I utilised what was otherwise wasted space (between the potted plant and the cupboard on the right hand side) for additional storage space.
Reclaiming wasted space
This simple DIY project utilises wasted space for a walking stick rack, do you aim to reclaim wasted space around the home where possible.
Inspiration for Space Saving Ideas
Using Recycled Material
Before I start to redecorate a room, do a makeover, or renovate, I always plan well ahead; with plenty of coffee, as that helps me to contemplate.
Part of the purpose of planning is to identify where space can be better utilised and what recycled material I can use to keep costs down.
The steps I take in planning (Project Management) include:-
- Surveying the room; looking around to see what needs doing, what works, what doesn’t work and identifying areas of ‘dead space’ or where space isn’t being used or used effectively.
- Making a list of what we want to achieve e.g. add a piece of furniture, make provisions to store shoes, umbrellas or add a display shelf for ornaments or plants, and perhaps improve ease of access to any existing cupboards.
- Sketching a plan to achieve our goals within the context of the room, and the space available; ensuring I don’t create any new problems e.g. hampering access, making it too crowded or overbearing.
- Checking to see what materials I have down in the shed that could be repurposed or recycled for the Project e.g. scrap wood, old doors.
- Enhancing the sketch plan with detailed measurements.
- Making a detailed list of all materials required to complete the project to my satisfaction
- Ticking off the items from the detailed list which can done using recycled material, and then
- Compiling a shopping list of what I need to buy, taking décor and aesthetics into account.
- Shopping around for the cheapest supplier for what I need to buy, and finally
- Compiling a schedule of each task that needs to be completed, including the order in which each task is done and how long each step will take; adding 50% addition time to allow for unforeseen issues that may cause delays.
Once all that is done I can start the project and do it in an orderly fashion to ensure its completed on time, within budget and to the quality I’ve set.