August 11, 2020

Wall Hooks Made From Dowels to Look Like Art


Truth be told, making these hooks was a rather rash decision but I don’t even care because it turned out amazing. To this day, it’s still fun to open and shut the dowel hooks hahaha (we’re children, I know). I love how the dowels disguise into the wall like it’s a useless decor piece but guess what…it’s not useless! It can actually do plenty of things, such as contain Leo’s work hats, my purse, dried flowers, sweet little notes, you name it. I got the inspo from here, but it’s half the size than the one we made and more than we spent on the dowels. And dare I say that 80% of our dowels can be used as hooks and not every two, as shown?! I came across it when I was trying to find something for our master as we have a wall that was empty and figured some hooks would be of good use (because Leo has a million hats lol). I love how it disguises as a wall art sculpture against the white wall when it’s not in use but man oh man, how cool would it also be to paint it with an abstract or graffiti design?! I would of totally done that if it didn’t clash with the rest of the master bedroom. Hmmmmmmm….dare I? And in case you didn’t know, you can totally hang the whole thing vertically and it’d still be functional (say whaaaattttt).

But anyway, check out this quick video tutorial + details on how we made this thing from dowels to look like art but be used as wall hooks!


  • drill press (or drill with a 3/8 drill bit)
  • miter saw
  • blue tape
  • measuring tape
  • 1 in. dowels (we used pine)
  • one 3/8th dowel
  • scrap piece to use as guide for drill press
  • back piece, long as your total length of dowels (we used birch)
  • paint/stain & sandpaper (optional)
  • router w/ key hole attachment
  • drywall anchors/screws
  • a written guide for order of dowels
  • 4, 1.5 in. screws

1. Figure Out Sizes

  • figure out what the total length and height you would like the hooks to be, when all assembled (take in mind where you will be hanging the hooks and make sure it’ll fit/look right)
  • now figure out at what heights you would like your 1 in. dowels to be (we had three different sizes at 6, 8, and 10 in.)

2. Cut Dowels

  • cut dowels to preferred sizes by using a miter saw (or a jigsaw/circular saw – just won’t be as straight so a miter saw is preferred)

3. Arrange & Number

  • layout the dowels on a flat surface and figure out how where you would place what size dowel (ours has no specific pattern as I just messed around with the look until it felt right)
  • you should number the dowels on the bottom by pencil so that after, you can put it back the way you decided on earlier or write the size order somewhere that you can look back to

4. Drill Holes To Attach

  • use a drill press to create the holes for the 3/8 dowel to go through (so the holes need to be lined up evenly with all the dowels, when assembled the way you want it to be)
  • to make sure that the holes are cut at the right place, create a template on a scrap piece of wood by marking the different heights of the dowels
  • clamp the template on the drill press but behind the bit so that you can use it as a guide and know where to create your holes; shown above
  • place tape around the dowel, where you will be drilling the hole so that it prevents it from cracking and splintering around the cut
  • press the drill down as you hold onto the dowel, going at a slower pace to ensure an evenly round hole
  • on the end dowels, drill only halfway and not all the way through for a finished look
  • take tape off and double check for cracking/splintering (a little might happen but you can lightly sand the loose wood off)

5. Paint (Optional)

  • place the 3/8 dowel through your 1 in. dowels but keep it spread out so that it makes painting easier
  • paint or stain as needed (spray painting is a lot easier, fyi)
  • let the dowels dry 
  • sand it lightly and individually, if needed

6. Cut & Attach Back Piece

  • place all the dowels on the 3/8th dowel through the hole you drilled, going by the order you wrote down earlier
  • place wood glue in the half-way hole of your end dowels and attach to the ends of the 3/8th dowel
  • lay it out on the table, front facing down as the wood glue dries
  • cut a piece of scrap piece of wood (we used birch) a half inch smaller than the total length of dowels so that you have 1/2 inch space on each side (for less visibility of back board)
  • miter one long side of the back board at a 45 degree angle, using a miter saw
  • attach the back board on the dowels by using a pin nail every few inches or so, starting with the very first dowel and ending on the last
  • drill a 1.5 in. screw on each end of the back board 

7. Secure & Hang

  • for easy hanging, we used a router with a key hole bit to cut two holes in the back in the shape of a key hole
  • measure the wall with a tape measure to find correct height and space placement
  • make your marks
  • if needed, pre drill a hole in the wall to place drywall anchors
  • place 1.5 in. screw into the drywall anchors, but leave it sticking out just enough
  • hang the dowel hooks by using the cut out keyholes and placing it on the the screws sticking partially out from wall (make sure you hang the hooks by making sure the mitered side is facing downwards so that the dowels can actually come out and be used as hooks!)

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