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Custom Built Entryway Hall Tree for $50

I was going to title this post an entryway-shoe-rack-coat-hanger-hybrid until I learned the actual name for this type of furniture—it’s a “hall tree”. Word, ok. Turns out, my final design is surprisingly fitting.

The Problem

Here’s the original shoe rack.

It’s one of the first woodworking projects I did when first moved to this house. It was done rather quickly and, frankly, the rushed result is pretty apparent. Now besides the built quality, there are plenty of room for improvements—the dividers are too far apart, which wastes a lot of real estate. And there’s also no room for bags nor coats.

When the wifey asks for a better solution, I go to work.

The Plan

The first design is quite vanilla.

Like with most of my projects, the first sketch tend to lay the ground rules—what do we need, what are the constraints, and how can we make it better starting from here.

This first design gets the job done, but it’s boring. And it’s going to cost too much $ and take too much time to build. I got a full time job and a baby. This would take me atleast 6 weekends.


Then, suddenly an idea hit me and I came up with a slightly more interesting design.


It seems to check all the boxes. Time to proceed.

The Build

I’m so new to woodworking that the process of buying and prepping the material was enough to deplete my attention completely that I forgot to document the early part of the build. Oops.

But here’s a rundown.
I went to Home Depot, bought two pieces of 1x8x8ft common board for the main build. Two 2″ dowel for the hanger and two 3/4″ dowels for the branches. Total cost of the project is around $50. Given that you already have the stain and paint.

Putting together the project is pretty straight forward until you have to drill angled holes. (that’s what she said.)

So I built a rig using some scrap wood.


Most pieces complete.

Time for stain. This is my favorite part of a woodworking project. I’m using Minwax red oak shade.

For the protection, I use water-based Varathan Polyurethane in semi-gloss.

Dry time is the worst time.

The Result

Yea, boy.



Using Zoltan as scale. That thing’s two Zoltans tall.

Here’s a closer look.

Yup, checks all the boxes. For now.

’til next project.