Project tutorial

DIY Plate Rack

Project cost
8 hours
Estimated time

Add storage and charm to a space in one shot with this DIY plate rack. Organize platters and mugs in the kitchen or dining room on this open shelf for easy access to dinnerware. This wooden wall plate rack will be especially handy when entertaining, as guests can grab an extra dish or cup as needed without having to search through kitchen cabinets. Bonus: more storage space in cabinetry and drawers! Use the attached cut list to build this plate organizer that mounts to a wall via a French cleat.

(This article originally appeared in This Old House magazine. Author // Cody Calamaio. Photo // Wedell T. Webber. Illustrations // Gregory Nemec.)

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Download Plans


  • 1 x 12 x 8' Poplar Board
  • 5/4" x 4 x 4' Poplar Board
  • ½" x 4 x 8' Beadboard Panel for the back
  • 5/16-inch Maple Dowels. Get four 4-foot pieces for Shaker pegs
  • French Cleat - 18-inches-wide
  • 1-¼-inch Wood Screws
  • Brad Nails
  • Wood Glue
  • Paint
Step 1

Cut the Pieces

See cut list. To lay out the curved sides, first mark the back edge of a blank at each shelf location: 5, 18, and 29 inches from the bottom. Add ¾ inch to the depth of each shelf, then measure and mark that distance from the back edge at each shelf location. Tack a brad at each mark, and tack one near the top and bottom edges, inset ¾ inch from the back. Next, bow a thin batten between each pair of brads and use it to trace four shallow arcs. Gang the two side blanks and cut along the lines with a jigsaw.

Step 2

Drill the Dowel Holes

For the horizontal dowels, drill ½-inch-deep holes every 2 inches in the front and back rails. For the diagonals, offset the holes in the beveled faces of the top and front rails ¼inch from the first set.

Step 3

Assemble the Rack

Glue the short dowels into the back rail, then glue the front rail onto their free ends. Glue the diagonal dowels into the beveled faces of the front and top rails.

Step 4

Build the Cabinet

Shim the back panel ¼ inch above your benchtop. Mark the shelf and rail locations on the side pieces and stand them up against the back panel. Place the shelves and rails at their marks, and screw into them through the sides and the back. Install the cup pegs and the French cleat. Paint your wooden wall plate rack and hang it.

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