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Ballard Design inspired Drying Rack


My Repurposed Life Drying Rack Inspired by Ballard Desisgn

This is theirs:

And here is mine:
repurposed crib rail

drying rackI started out with a simple box shape. (note to self, I need to stop taking pictures on this horrible table!)

crib rail repurposedI got the perfect crib rail from Cathy. I have several crib rails, but they are spindles or rectangular shapes. I think those odd shapes may leave bumps in clothes dried on them. I cut the rail in half using my compound miter saw.

drying rack boxI added a bead board back. Gluing and nailing it in place.

heirloom white paint

I went to Walmart to get some Rustoleum Heirloom white, and they don’t stock it at my store. I picked up Krylon Ivory (I think it was ivory) I used 2 cans for the box and the rails. I then decided to go to Meijer and get Rustoleum Heirloom White. I bought it in spray and a quart. In this picture you can see, the left side is the Rustoleum Heirloom White and the right side is the Krylon. The Rustoleum Heirloom White in this picture is brushed on from the quart can. I like really good coverage on this bead board. Doesn’t the Rustoleum Heirloom White look so much better than the Krylon Ivory? Rustoleum is the ONLY way to go!

rustoleum heirloom white

strong magnets While looking for the Rutsoleum Heirloom White at Wally world, I found these magnets. See those little words Super Strong! Huge understatement! The cards of magnets hanging on the hook at the store were all stuck together! I had to peel them off their neighbors! When I opened the package, two of the magnets found each other, and I could hardly get them separated! I used two of the magnets along with two small washers.


The only fabric store I have near my house is Hancock. It’s not the best, but I can get some really good deals there. This spool of ribbon was 70% off.


It was rainy last week, so I had to work on this in the living room on a scrap piece of carpet. (to protect the drying rack and the hardwood floors) You know I am the repurpose queen, and I recycle anything I can. These hinges are off of some bifolding doors that I use for shutter projects.


I stapled the ribbon to this wooden “separator”. I then glued it with Liquid Nails to the inner top corner of the box. I used this “separator so that the rail (when shut) would be flush with the box.

ballard design inpired drying rack

By now, ya’ll know that I rarely use any of my projects in my own house. I would LOVE to have this, but I have absolutely NO place to put it. Sad, but true. So, I have it staged on a table. It is leaning slightly so that it won’t tip over. (it’s hard to not say “tump”, as I grew up saying it all the time)

ballard inspired drying rack

Here, you can see that I stapled the ribbon to the rail so that it will extend out for drying. You can also see the separator.

magnet closure

I used E6000 to glue the washers and the magnets.

ribbon support

ballard inspired drying rack

I believe that lightweight clothes would dry on this rack even with it closed. You’ll notice that my version has twice as many rungs as the small BD rack has.

ballard design inspired drying rack

This is with the rack closed. The ribbon just rests neatly behind the rail sides.

ballard design inspired drying rack

Side view, you can see that it is leaning so that it doesn’t tump (can’t help myself) over.

Ballard Design inpsired drying rack

Side view closed. By the way, the magnets hold it shut very well, even with two thicknesses of the ribbon.

ballard design inpired drying rack

One last full sized view. I have been wanting to make one of these for so long. It just took a while to find the perfect crib rail. I still have half of it left! :)

Check out my other repurposed crib projects  


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A teacher at heart, Gail relishes the chance not to show off her projects, but to help others find their inner handywoman, step-by-step. Her blog, MyRepurposedLife.com, chronicles her scrap-saving adventures and has been featured on countless DIY magazines and websites, including Women’s Day, Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy. She is a longtime influencer for both Krylon spray paint and Gorrilla Glue. With a tribe of more than 400,000 followers, Gail is inspiring a new generation of DIYers to pick up some tools and get to work.
About gail@myrepurposedlife.com


    Speak Your Mind


  1. girlfromwva says:

    Great drying rack! (my daughter could totally use that!) love how you took your inspiration and made yours even better!

  2. Gail, you are amazing! I have a crib to do that with – I’ll hire you to make it for me! :)

  3. I want one!!! You are a genius Gail… your version is excellent! I bet you have a great house with all these awesome things you make!

  4. Rosanna lasher says:

    I haven’t made one myself, but I saw one in the Ballard catalogue and just loved it! But I couldn’t bring myself to spend that much on one. So my dad who is an awesome woodworker made me one for my birthday! Yours looks great!

  5. This is EXACTLY the post I have been looking for !!!! So excited, I got my crib for $20 this morning and I am gonna be working on a project!! Thanks for the tutorial!! Beautiful!

    • gail@myrepurposedlife.net says:

      Yay! So happy you found My Repurposed Life Paula! :)

      have fun creating your own version!


  6. Great idea! I love this and you did such a great job Gail! (I wouldn’t have any place in my house for it either)

  7. fantastic Idea can’t wait to make one myself Cheers Frances

  8. What a fabulous IDEA & tutorial!! We’ve shared it with our readers!! http://consignmentmommies.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=419&PostID=199031

  9. I loved this :) I made one in lime green for our brightly colored mud room & I use it for swimming clothes & cloth diapers! Thank you for posting the how to! I can’t even imagine our laundry room without it!

  10. I’ve been eyeing that rack at Ballard for a while now, wondering what the best way would be to make one. The crib rail is perfect. The whole thing looks amazing!

  11. Thanks for the link to your drying rack. I’m sorry I didn’t see it before. I think I could spend days and days just looking through your blog alone. You are so incredibly creative and I am getting such great inspiration from you. We are building a house and I just can’t wait to get to work on some projects (in between all the stuff that comes with 4 kids (one of them a 10 week old baby). :)

  12. Gail I can’t tell you how much I love that… I am definitely saving this for my laundry room… that is on the list for the summertime… I actually have the side rail already this is perfect… thanks so much for posting this… you did a fantastic job… and your instructions are so easy.

  13. Great job! :o)
    Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

  14. I love it! I want one! This is going to be bookmarked for sure!!! Thanks for sharing!

  15. That is so brilliant! That’s one of the best projects I’ve seen done. Great work!


  16. Wonderful job! If I had a pretty laundry room, I would beg you for one of these…. Somehow, I just know my ugly ‘ol basement washroom just couldn’t do it justice… 😉

  17. Wow! I really want to make one of these, but I honestly doubt my skills. :(

    You are SO talented!

  18. I love that project! It reminds me of the old drying racks from the 1940’s and 50’s that every good housewife had in her kitchen. You did a great job on the knock-off.

  19. Wow, girl, you are one awesome combination of creativity and talent! I love it, it’s WAY better than the Ballard version.

  20. LOVE it! That will be a wonderful addition to my laundry room someday…

  21. very nice!!

    barbara jean

  22. Cool beans! I actually found an old antique one that I want to paint and hang, but the laundry room is at the end of my ‘to makeover’ list. :o)

  23. Brilliant!! Our HOA does not “allow” clothes lines, and I’ve seen the drying racks, but thought they wouldn’t hold jeans or anything like that. But..I bet the crib slats would!! I am going to try making one (or two) and hanging them on my fence. No one will see them because they won’t be above the fence line, and if someone asks…I’ll have them closes and say..clothesline? what clothesline? Thanks for the tutorial!!

  24. Love it … crib rail to drying rack.

  25. So cool! I just love this!

  26. Stopped by from the Creative Cats link party. Thanks for sharing. Great idea!

  27. That is so amazing!! Wow!! What a cool idea to use a crib rail!! Really really nice job!!

  28. Wow! I am absolutely impressed with this! Yours looks better than Ballard’s. Well done.

  29. wow, this is so impressive!

  30. Awesome. I want to make one now and I can see by your great instructions that I can do it myself.
    Love it
    Thank you girlfriend

  31. seriously – that is awesome!

  32. This is amazing and functional! WOW! I have some old baby bed rails out in storage. I might have to try this! Thanks!

  33. I book marked this so I could always find it. I’ve talked to my hubby about making a drying rack in the past but his question is always the same “What will you dry on it?” LOL

    Thanks for linking to me!

  34. Wow I never would have thought to make something like this!! I am sure you saved a ton of money making it yourself instead of buying it too!

    How very clever you are!!


  35. That is awesome! Wish I could do that!

  36. Amazing job!!! I love this and soooooo want to do it.

  37. i love this look! great job.

  38. Fabulous!!! You did a great job.

  39. Great job!! I love it!!


  40. Yours looks better. Lots.
    Ha! You say “tump” too??? I thought I was the only one!

  41. I absolutely love this!! I’m so inspired, although I’m sure I’ll never get around to making my own. I would totally buy it from you, though!!

  42. You are officially my new hero! That project is amazing. I would love a place like that to hang tidbits of laundry.

  43. You should sell this…I would totally buy one. I’ve been looking at the one for ballards for MONTHS now & just couldnt justify buying it.

  44. Great Job, looks amazing! I would love to have one of those in my laundry area.

  45. Love it! You did a great job :)

  46. That is so pretty and functional too!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me! I read and appreciate every word!