DIY Timber & Towel Hooks

DIY specialist and renovator Natasha Dickins from Little Red Industries shows how to add touch of bespoke to a bathroom.

I love adding a handcrafted timber accent with these simple DIY hooks. They’re practical, look great and don’t take up as much space as towel rails.

TIP Choose a hardwood such as Tasmanian oak, rather than softer pine as it’s more resistant to moisture damage.

Each hook is made by cutting a circle with a hole saw, gluing on a back cut from dowel, then assembling by screwing it directly into the wall or onto a backing board. The hole at the front is then filled and the hook sealed with varnish.

TIP My go-to varnish for timber in a wet area or for outside is marine-grade Monocel Gold, which brings out the woodgrain while protecting against steam and moisture. It’s designed to use on boats so I reckon it’s tough enough for a bathroom.


VIDEO LINK: https://youtu.be/B0tk1KJHjXI

Watch the video to see how I’ve attached three hooks to a backing board to create a hanging rack for a collection of towels.

To cut the front of a hook, I set up my drill press with a 70mm hole saw, clamping a piece of plywood to the plate to prevent breakout under the cut. Then I drilled through dressed 12mm x 90mm Tasmanian oak to cut a circle.

TIP I used a drill press, but you could also use a drill with the hole saw, clamping the work securely to a workbench.

To cut a back, I trimmed 25mm-diameter Tasmanian oak dowel into a 20mm-long piece.

TIP I used a mitresaw to cut the dowel, making a mark on the base plate as a guide to cut more than one at the same length. You could also use a handsaw with mitre box. 

A quick-grip clamp holds the front while I countersunk the centre hole so the screw finishes below the surface. I also made a 5mm-deep hole into the back to line up the screw during assembly. 

TIP Use an 8G combination countersinking bit and position an offcut underneath to protect the workbench while drilling.

I positioned a hand-sanding block with 180-grit abrasive paper flat on the workbench to smooth away any breakout and round-over the edges slightly. 

To assemble, I clamped the back, dabbed Bondcrete adhesive onto the end-grain, then positioned the front and secured with a screw through the centre. 

MAKE A WALL HOOK using a 70mm-long timber screw, checking it’s long enough to secure directly into a wall stud.

MAKE A RACK using a 40mm screw to secure through the hooks and attach to a backing board.

I sanded over the front to remove breakout, filled the hole with timber filler and left it to dry for half an hour. After sanding off the excess, I wiped away the dust with a damp cloth.

I sanded over the front to remove breakout, filled the hole with timber filler and left it to dry for half an hour. After sanding off the excess, I wiped away the dust with a damp cloth.

To hang a rack, I used a 600mm-long picture hanging rail, with one part that attaches to the wall and the other to the back of the rack – the length helps distribute the weight across the wall.

TIP If possible, screw straight into wall studs, otherwise use the supplied plasterboard anchors. The supplied mini spirit level helps straighten the wall-mounted rail.

For more customised bathroom projects with a timber focus, see how to make a Dowelled Soap Holder, transform a shaving cabinet into a DIY Bathroom Cabinet on a Budget, or even Build a Vanity from scratch! 

Be sure to post on Facebook and Instagram, tagging @bondall.au, @monocel.timbercare and @littleredindustries.