"" Grandma Agnes' Attic: Handmade Towel Bar Rack

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Handmade Towel Bar Rack

Don't you hate it when you have an idea in your head and you can't find it in the stores anywhere? That happens to me constantly. I love decorating my house, but I already have an idea of what it looks like finished in my head, so all I need to do is find those pieces to make it match.

Easier said than done...

So working on our main level guest bathroom, I was having that issue. I know I want a cabin look to the room. Getting rid of the horrible red on the walls was the first step. Enter nice chocolate brown, ummm better already. I have some accessories from past bathrooms that are going to be used in this bath, but the one that was boggling my mind was the hand towel bar.

Hand towel holders are important in a guest bathroom. Everybody who enters your bathroom door at your house will most likely use your towel. Multiple people are using the same towel to dry their hands. So it had to be special. After a week or so thinking about what to do, my husband and I headed to the craft store. I wanted something with a log or natural wood, because that was where I was going with the shower curtain I was sewing.

At JoAnn's I found a cut piece of some kind of wood. It still had the bark attached, so I grabbed that. I also knew they had knobs that looked like old outside water spigots. Grabbed some of those too. But it just didn't feel quite right. We looked at wood blanks and thought about using them, no, not quite right. We seriously spent about an hour in the craft store. That was a new record for my husband by the way. Then we saw it...wooden letters!

This bathroom is my oldest son's primary bathroom. So I thought about using his initials, but it is the guest bath also, so that got shot down. We ended up settling with an "R" for our last name. I already have a beautiful wooden shelf that was going above the toilet from our last house. Yes it has a towel bar on it too, but I never liked using that one for real use, just for pretty towels. I do however love the red color with the black peeking through making it look very old. It is the inspiration for the accessories in the whole room.

Here is how I ended up making our own handmade hand towel bar:


My husband drilled a hole in the bottom where I wanted the hook to go and two more holes to mount it to the wall. I lightly sanded the whole wooden letter. I then painted the entire front and sides black. Let it dry overnight, an then rubbed the sides with an old (mint green) candle on the edges and a little of the front. Then painted the whole letter a red that most closely matched the shelf. Let that again dry overnight. In the morning I used a fine grit sandpaper and sanded lightly where I rubbed the candle. The wax made the paint not "stick" as well, so it was easily sanded off to show the black underneath. When I sanded enough to where I liked the colors, I stopped. Then my husband took over and used washers and nuts to connect the hook to the bottom of the "R". He then used the other two holes to screw it to the wall. Very secure I might add. I then took six small wooden stars and painted them black. They dried in about 20 minutes. Lightly sanded the sides to show the light wood underneath and they were ready. The first star is the only one truly needed to cover the screw head, the other two are just there to balance the look. I hot glued them right into place.

Over all I really like the look! It is rustic, cabin style, matched what I already had, and we made it ourselves. There are tons of projects out there to use these wooden letters for, this is just one we came up with on our own.

What have you done with your wooden letters?

Up next: The towel bar by the shower. Because I had to buy that slice of wood...

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