4 DIY Outdoor Towel Racks

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

If you have a pool in your backyard and you love hosting parties and entertaining people, you should consider building a simple DIY towel rack.

When you’re all having fun in the pool, the last thing you want to see are wet towels and swim clothes scattered everywhere. 

Such an eyesore.

Without further ado, we’ll show you how to build a DIY outdoor towel rack.

Just like making pool steps, you will enjoy making this project too.

Let’s get started.

1. DIY Outdoor Towel Rack With Shelves

It’s surprising how a very useful outdoor shelf can be extremely easy to build.

The addition of shelves means you also have a place to store your bathing must-haves, such as your sunscreen and sunblock, sunglasses, and your smartphone.

Tools and Materials Needed

Choosing the right wood and sealing it is important because you’re essentially hanging wet towels and clothes on the rack.

Redwood or cedar are great choices because they are weather-resistant and can withstand the elements.

How To Build the Rack

Step 1: Make the cuts and pocket holes using a miter or circular saw. You can make the pocket holes using your jig.

Step 2: Next, build the racks. Start by building the frames, making sure that all the pocket holes are facing downward as you attach each rack.

Step 3: Build the shelves. You can add two shelves or even just one, depending on your needs and how big you want your towel rack to be.

Step 4: Attach the shelves using pocket hole screws and wood glue. Turn the structure on its side and attach the front rack to the shelves.

Step 5: Lastly, attach the middle racks to complete the rack.

2. DIY Towel Rack With Hooks

If you want it plain and simple, this might be the towel rack you want to make.

Of course, it’s not going to be a boring, plain board with some hooks.

You want to be creative with the presentation.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Wood – Get one 1x8x6 piece of wood.
  • Paint – use patio paint of any color you want.
  • Hooks – For the wood size we have, you can fit around eight hooks.
  • Sandpaper or orbital sander
  • Decorations – this can be anything from flowers to wood discs, old trinkets you found in your bedroom, ropes, etc.
  • Wood stain – some excellent color choices are dark walnut, Ebony, and English Chestnut
  • Screws, screwdriver, glue gun

If you want more space for hanging towels and swim clothes, you may use wood longer than the recommended size.

How To Build the Rack

This fun towel rack is surely going to add a pop of color, chicness, and uniqueness to your backyard.

Step 1: Start by sanding the base piece of wood. Wipe off the dust and once it’s clean, smooth, and beautiful, you can paint it with whatever color you like.

Step 2: The focal point of this rack is the hooks that you will decorate. You can choose any decoration you want. 

Use small wooden discs or if you have 1/4 plywood, you can create any pattern you like and cut it accordingly.

Plywood is the easiest to cut, but make sure it’s clamped down and secure when you start cutting the shape.

You can use a scroll blade to achieve the perfect shape with smooth edges. Don’t forget to sand your wood patterns to smoothen the surfaces.

Step 3: Next, stain or paint them using patio paint.

Step 4: Once everything is dried, you can start assembling your towel rack.

Glue the hook decorations properly. Then, attach and secure the hooks using screws.

4 diy outdoor towel racks

3. DIY PVC Poolside Towel Tree

Here’s another easy and inexpensive DIY towel rack you can make with minimum tools and supplies.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • One weighted shade umbrella stand base
  • One 10-foot 1/2″ schedule 40 PVC (make sure it fits the holder part of the umbrella stand)
  • Four pieces of pre-cut 24′ 1/2″ schedule 40 PVC
  • 1″ screws
  • Plastic primer
  • Finish paint
  • Saw for cutting the PVC pipes
  • Drill or drill press
  • Screwdriver
  • Ruler or tape measure

How To Build the Rack

Step 1: Start by cutting the 1-1/2″ PVC pipe. Since it comes in 10-foot standard length, you need to cut it to about 6 feet.

A height of 5 or 6 feet is enough for long and large towels. You can make it shorter or longer depending on your needs or preferences.

Step 2: Next, drill holes on the PVC pipe where you will attach the “arms” or extensions.

You can use a hand drill, but it’s much easier to use a drill press and a jig.

Drilling the holes can be tricky.

Depending on how many arms you want to attach, make sure that the PVC arms are rotated away from each other, roughly at 45 degrees so your towels won’t hang over each other.

Step 3: Once you have all the holes drilled, insert the stem into the umbrella stand base.

Step 4: Next, attach the arms. If you buy a 24-inch 1/2″ schedule 40 PVC pre-cut, all you need to do is slide them into the holes.

Step 5: With a drill bit, secure the arms in place with screws. If it helps, you may tape or clamp the arm while you drill and screw.

Step 6: At this point, the arms of your DIY rack should be rotating nicely, waiting for the first set of towels.

4. DIY Garage Towel Rack

Another great DIY project is this DIY garage towel rack. 

The best thing about this rack is it has less surface area for holding towels. Thus, you can fit it into the garage when you’re not using it.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • 1″ Schedule  40 PVC Pipe
  • 1″ Schedule 40 PVC Tees
  • 1″ Schedule 40 PVC Elbows

How To Build the Rack

Step 1: Cut the PVC pipes. You will need four pieces of 37″ pipes for the legs, two pieces of 60″ pipes for the towel bars, and four pieces of 17.5″ pipes for the sidebars, top, and bottom.

Step 2: Next, fit the pipe pieces into the fittings.

Connect the foot elbows with the legs and then connect two of the legs to one 17.5″ pipe.

This should give you two large side leg pieces.

Step 3: Connect the tees to the tops of the 37″ pipes and then, connect the 17.5″ pipe to those.

At this point, you have created a rectangle and you’re ready to connect the elbows with slips.

Step 4: Lastly, connect your towel bars to the other side.

Tips When Building a Towel Rack

There are several things you should consider before you start with this DIY project.


Why is this so important? Well, simply because you may change the place of your pool towel rack.

When summer is over, you may want to move the rack indoors for the winter season.


Your rack should be stable because when you hand towels to the poles, it may tip over.

Size and Space

How big or small your towel rack depends on the design you want and how many towels or clothes you will put in there.

A bigger rack allows you to store not just pool towels but also swimwear and other accessories.

Building an Outdoor Towel Rack

If you enjoy throwing pool parties but don’t like the scene after—towels and swim clothes scattered everywhere, a DIY outdoor towel rack is all you need.

Luckily, it’s one of the simplest home projects requiring minimal tools and supplies.

There are many ways to build a towel rack.

If you want it simple yet functional, go with a DIY rack with shelves. If you like it artsy, the rack with creative hooks is perfect.

You can also make a towel tree or a compact, garage-friendly DIY rack.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Special offer for our visitors

Get your DIY Free Guide

We will never send you spam. By signing up for this you agree with our privacy policy and to receive regular updates via email in regards to industry news and promotions