These unique towel bars and hand towel holders have a masculine, modern, industrial vibe. They are super quick and easy to make, really affordable, and because they are made with rubber bungee cords, they make hanging towels fun. Hello kiddos who throw towels on the floor!
How to Make Modern Industrial Towel Bars
- Rubber Bungee Cord
- 2 #10 machine screws 2 1/2”
- 4 #10 nuts
- 2 #10 crown bolts
- Rubber Bungee Cord
- 1 1/2″ Wood Lag Screw
I like to purchase hardware for small projects where you can buy by the piece like Tacoma or Ace. This allows you to purchase only what you need instead of having to purchase whole packages resulting in left-over bits and pieces–I already have a drawer full of random hardware, thank you very much! All of the nuts and screws came to $1.40. The bungee cords were $1.78 each from Home Depot (save the S hooks for another project like the DIY Rustic Reclaimed Coat Rack), and I used some left over wood from the scrap pile. So the total cost for the towel bar was $2.93 and for the hand towel rack $2.03. Grand Total = $4.96.
Determine the overall size of your towel bar and cut your wood. The wood should be 4 inches longer than your bungee strap. The finished dimensions of my towel bar is 5” X 25” and the hand towel rack is 5” X 14”, but the great thing about these rubber bungee cords is that they come in lots of sizes so the finished size can be adapted for any space. After sanding your wood apply a finish of your choice. I used a clear coat polyurethane because I wanted to leave the wood natural, but these can be stained or painted as well. Just make sure that the finish can withstand some water exposure from wet towels.
Measure and mark for the strap attachment. The holes should be 1 1/2 inches from the outside edge of your wood, and 1 inches wider than your bungee strap. This will allow the bungee to be stretched taut when it is attached to the wood. Drill holes and then hammer the crown bolts into the hole on the back side of the wood.
Prep the bungee strap by washing it with soap and water and drying it with paper towels. Rub vigorously to remove any residue until when you rub the bungee it doesn’t leave black marks. Use Threadlock or clear fingernail polish on all of the connections as you are putting them together to keep them tight. Thread both of the screws onto the bungee cord and thread 2 nuts up onto each screw. Then thread one of the screws through the hole and onto a crown bolt. Thread the nut down onto the wood and tighten with a wrench or pliers a couple of turns to hold the screw tight.
Stretch the bungee so that you can screw the opposite side in (it helps to have a second pair of hands to do this part) and screw onto the remaining crown bolt. The screw will be pulled crooked at this point but as you tighten the nut down onto the wood it will pull the screw straight. Again use Threadlock or clear fingernail polish on all of the connections and tighten all of the nuts
To make the Hand towel holder, determine the size you want the wood backing to be and cut, sand, and finish the wood. Using a wood screw, screw through both bungee holes into the wood 1 1/2” from the top and centered.
Decide how you want to attach the towel bars. Because the bungee is springy and fun to play with, it is important to make sure that the bars are attached securely! A keyhole in the back can work, as it can be set to hold the towel bars tightly to the wall, but far and away the easiest option is to simply drill holes through the towel bars and screw directly into the wall (preferable through a stud). If you hide the holes behind the bungee cord they will be unnoticeable and your towel bars will stay in place, even if someone decides to use them for a slingshot.
These towel bars are perfect for a bathroom where you want to add a modern industrial vibe. They are really unique and make hanging up towels a bit more fun!
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