If a coat tree falls in the hall ……..

If a coat tree falls in the hall ……..

The front hallway makeover takes on the functionality and deadly threat of the hall coat tree, which makes a wonderful design element with its undulating curves and black wrought iron. Except for the part where it crashes to the ground when coats and leashes are heaped upon it in an unbalanced manner. Then its not so cute.


Taking my inspiration from this post, I wanted to design a coat rack for the front hall that would handle the onslaught of coats, backpacks and leashes along with a shelf for some decorative items.

Originally, I was going to build the shelf with 1×3’s and 1×4’s, but realized that I could rip these from a single piece of 3ft x 5ft MDF and save some money and have a slimmer profile. I wanted the shelf to be approximately 3 feet wide to fit within the dimensions of the wall behind the door swing.


  • 3ft x 5ft MDF – 3/4″ thick
  • 4ft of decorative molding
  • 4 ft of shoe molding

Cut a 6″ x 3′ width board for the top shelf. I used my table saw, but this can also be done with a circle saw and a straight line.

Cut a 8″ x 32″ width board for the backing. The top shelf overhand this board by 2 in on each side.

Attach the top shelf to the back board with glue and nails (a nail gun works great here) to create an L shape.


Measure and cut the decorative molding with a 90 degree angle (with a miter saw) that stops at each end of the board and attach it to the back board underneath the shelf.

After several horrible attempts at cutting a piece of crown to wrap around each end of the back board, I finally got it right. Not going to give any direction on this. I still haven’t quite mastered the miter cuts yet.


Next, I applied shoe molding along the edge of the top shelf. This will keep the decorative items from sliding off.

To get a smooth finish for the paint, I applied caulking to cover all the gaps between the MDF and the molding.


I chose to paint my coat rack with White Glossy spray paint.


I applied 2 coats and when it was dry, I added 5 coat hooks. I really like the coat hooks in the original post so I went to Hobby Lobby and got them for my coat rack. So, even though I replaced the wrought iron coat tree, I am keeping an element of the black curves in my own creation.



Even with the MDF, the coat rack was quite heavy so I found two studs in the wall of my choice and I drilled holes in the Crown Molding through to the studs. Then I drilled counter sink holes and attached the coat rack with wood screws. To cover the screw holes, I painted two plugs with white paint and glued them into the counter-sunk screw holes.


Finally, I added some decorative pieces that represent important things for our little family:

  • The Eiffel Tower represents our dreams. My son has an almost obsession with the Eiffel Tower and I hope to take him there someday to see it in person.
  • The Camera represents our reality…. captured in pictures and my passion for documenting our lives in photographs.
  • The Family Rules represents our attitude. This is how we should treat each other and others.
  • The Number 3 represents us. We are a family of 3. Just the 3 of us.

I am very happy with how beautifully it turned out and the functionality of it. Even Romeo is happy to see his leash at easy access without the threat of a falling coat tree.


Hope you like it and your comments are always welcome.

~ Dona

Stay Calm and Thrive On!

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