Bathroom Decorating Ideas: Footboard Towel Rack

Bathroom Decorating Ideas, Footboard Towel Rack

Please get ready to form a mental picture…

A few years ago, my family and I went out for ice cream while we are on vacation on Long Beach Island, NJ.

It was a beautiful night, we had ice creams in hand, and we decided to go for a walk to enjoy the night air and burn some of the calories we were eating.

Towel Rack Shelf

Halfway through our walk, I discovered a fantastically shaped footboard in a trash pile on the side of the road.  Despite my family’s protest, I was not going to pass this up – so under my arm it went.

Bathroom Vintage Collection It was not heavy, so it really was no issue.

However, this was an unplanned walk so my younger daughter was only wearing flip flops which soon led to blisters.

We turned back towards home but still had a ways to go.  So up on my back went my daughter, with found footboard still under my arm.

No problem, I could handle it.

Towel Rack and Shelf

But then it got a little more complicated.

My mom’s dog was with us, and she is a bit of drama queen.  She began panting and wheezing and just stopping.

Since my Mom was also feeling kind of tired, I picked up the little mutt as well.

Bathroom Decorating Towel Rack

So picture it now, daughter on my back, dog under one arm and French style footboard under the other arm.

I am not exaggerating.

I was tired, but there was no way I was coming home without this footboard.

Because I instantly knew it would make a perfect towel rack in our bathroom.

  Typesetter Blocks on Bathroom Shelf

And now, not only is she a towel rack, but she is a lovely little shelf as well.

And here is how we did it…

Tutorial for Footboard Towel Rack

Step One: Put on your math hat.  You have to figure out where the studs are and then calculate where you want them to fall on the shelf.  You want to space out the hooks so that the cover the screw holes.

Attach spacers to the wall on the studs since the ends of the footboard are set away from the main board.  This gives something to grab between the wall stud and the footboard.

Step 2:  Attach the board through the spacers using a level to ensure it is straight.

Step 3: Attach the hooks in an even spaced pattern ensure that they cover the screws.

Step 4: Calculate the length of your board and the depth for the shelf.  You want to make sure that you don’t block access to the hooks.  Use a router to finish the front edge.  Our shelf is 2 3/4 inches before the edges are routed.  I also finished the corners with my Dremel tool so they blended back into the footboard.

Step 5: Drill pilot holes from the top, through the shelf and into the top of the footboard.  Use at least three screws to ensure it is stable.  Paint everything out the same color.

I added an old window mirror on the wall above, vintage clock faces, door knobs and bottles.  And, I finally found the perfect spot for my branch “P” found at Anthropologie some time ago.

Bathroom Decorating Ideas, Towel Rack and Shelf

If you would like to see the whole bathroom, you can visit here.


If you would like some additional ideas on how to hang different things on your wall, you can visit here.

So, what do you think – was it worth all the drama to bring home the footboard?

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  1. says

    Hahahahahahaa… sorry but the mental picture reduces me to a fit of giggles. But hey, it was worth it! So cute!!
    Quite at home in your bathroom.. was meant to be :-)
    Cheers, Gee

  2. Barb says

    Thanks for sharing your foot board story! I love your wall color…would you mind giving me the color and paint company?

  3. Donna says

    That is such a cute idea. Love it and would never have thought of it. You are so creative! Enjoying your blog.

  4. says

    My husband owes you a BIG Thank You! 😉
    Thanks to your generous sharing he won’t have to tear down the bathroom and just add this and remove that so I can enjoy a “new” bathroom… shhhh, junt don’t mention why we’re having so many strolls around the neighborhood ahahahah
    Worth the drama! Everything is ALWAYS worth with your vision and creative art.

  5. Rick S says

    You have the “trash to treasure” gift. Sometimes using our imagination and being open to ideas whereever they may be gives us beautiful. Your story reminds me of the carved French chair at the curb that I HAD to pick up. I had my 4door car and had to push up the seats and try it six different ways to get it to fit but got it home. It needs new upholstery but I already had fabric waiting for a chair.

  6. says

    I loved it when i first saw the footboard towel rack and even love it more now that I have learned the story behind it….you were definitely determined to bring that home…and a good thing because it looks fantastic!!

  7. Michelle says

    I love your foot board turned towel rack. I’m all about the road side finds and that is exactly what I would do. My family thinks I’m nuts but with a little TLC the things I have found look amazing in our house.

  8. Pamela says

    Love this story! Stories like this make the things in our homes so much more special. I have a similar story. We were traveling in a motor home and coming to the state sign for Idaho. We had to stop for a picture. Way down, below the road, next to a fence, was an o,d metal milk can. Of course, I sent my husband :) to get it and then we had to find a place to stash it until we got home! Anyways, great memories!!

  9. says

    You did it again Laura. And it’s funny because I just gave you props on my blog for being the Queen of repurposing anything vintage! I can’t wait to try this – I could squeeze you!! LOL!

  10. Gloria says

    I LOVE this project. I started my search, for a footboard, for my own shelf. And found one on my very first stop ! Thank you for the great idea!

  11. says

    I just found your blog this evening through Pinterest. I have already read several posts. I love your style and love the story behind this fabulous shelf. What a way to think outside the box. I’m going to have to visit more when I have the time to glean more inspiration from your home.

  12. Cher says

    Wow! What a find!!! No cutting down or other alterations needed. Was worth the odd, family piggy back, lol.