If you can’t buy it…make it: Vintage Ski Towel Rack

If I had to define my style as it relates to home decorating, I would say it’s somewhat eclectic.  I love modern furniture with clean lines (Room & Board) mixed with unique pieces.  I enjoy buying paintings by local artist Michael Birawer, random pieces when traveling or refurbishing antique furniture. I’m really picky and I can’t always find exactly what I want in stores, so sometimes I just resort to making what I want.

When my husband had the idea to turn vintage skis into a towel rack for our bathroom, I was floored. It was a great way to integrate my love of vintage items with skiing in a creative, useful way.  We found a pair of vintage skis in Stillwater at Midtown Antiques and purchased the rest of the items at Home Depot.  Clearly, we can’t make a project like this in our city condo with a free tool set my grandpa gave me in college, so I called my dad and asked to use his workshop.  When I asked him if he had the tools needed for the project, I was told with a laugh “I have everything you could ever need in my workshop.”  And he does.

The project was really fun to make and turned out great.  Thankfully, my dad was there to help us.  If he wasn’t, I think the project may have been a hot mess.  He pointed us in the right direction with every step and had all the crazy tools needed to complete our vintage towel rack.  Thanks dad!!!

What you need:

galvanized steel pipe


  • 1 pair vintage skis with bindings attached
  • 4 pieces – 1/2” round x 18” long galvanized steel pipe (you can buy this pre-cut at Home Depot.  If they don’t have the size you need, they will cut it for you.)
  • 8 pieces – ½ coupling
  • 4 small pieces of rubber
  • ½” round dowel
  • 8 screws
  • Cleaning products: Brasso Metal Polish, lacquer thinner

    Brasso Metal Polish

  • Tools – Drill, saw, rubber hammer

What you do:

Clean skis with soap & water.  Use Brasso Metal Polish to clean metal bindings.

On one ski, measure & mark where you want to drill holes for towel rods (galvanized steel pipe).  I recommend having the rods equal distance apart. Clamp skis together with bottoms facing each other.  This will allow the holes to be in the same spot when you drill.

Drill holes through skis (we used a drill press but you could use a hand drill).

Screw coupling onto the ends of the galvanized steel pieces.   You don’t need the coupling, but I think it added a little additional style.  Clean galvanized steel pipe and coupling.  Ours had grease on them so I had to use lacquer thinner.  Make sure to wear gloves!!

One end at a time, use rubber hammer to pound dowel into the end of the coupling.

When pounded in as far as you can go, cut dowel flush with coupling.  Make a small mark in the center of the dowel that has been pounded into the coupling.  This will make it easier to drill into when assembling everything.

Now, time to assemble!  Just line up the galvanized steel pipe piece with the holes you drilled into the skis.  Screw in all 4 pieces.

Lastly, add a small piece of rubber to the bottom of the ski’s to keep them from slipping on the floor.  I also added a piece of rubber to the top of each ski’s so they didn’t scratch my walls.


5 thoughts on “If you can’t buy it…make it: Vintage Ski Towel Rack

  1. Pingback: My favorite things of 2011 « Twincitieschick's Blog

  2. Pingback: Pipe turned towel rack…again! « Twincitieschick

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