How to Make a Vintage Fork Coat Hook


Tools: Sander (or sandpaper), Screwdriver, cobalt drillbit, drill, small screws
Materials: Small Pallet, vintage forks, twine, hooks

This  beautiful coat hook is sturdy, functional and unique; even better, it’s easy to make!




Find a small pallet.  You can usually get these from industrial parks – just ask the supplier where you see pallets sitting outside, waiting to be uplifted.

Check the pallet thoroughly for staples, nails and splinters.  Often, staples are used to secure the polythene to the pallets, keeping the contents safe.  It’s important to do this first so that you don’t end up going over them with your hands for the next stage.  I did this once (ok two or three times) ripping a hole in my finger!

Now that you’ve removed any offending parts, take a sanding block (a block of wood or other material covered by sanding paper) or an electrical sander and slowly smooth off the whole surface area of the pallet.

img_4940Once everything is nice and smooth, wipe the wood with a damp cloth to remove the dust.  Then take your chosen colour of acrylic paint and paint it roughly over the wood with a large brush.  Be rough and quick to create an aged effect.

When the first coat is dry, taken your second colour and similarly, paint roughly over the wood.  Try to create random areas of colour by not smoothing out the paint as you normally would when painting a wall.


img_4939When the paint is dry, use whatever type of varnish you wish to have as a finish.  I used Mod Podge for this one as I happened to have some, but have also used pure beeswax, gloss varnish (a little old-fashioned and not in a cool retro way) or silk varnish.  Leave it to dry for as long as it says on the tin.  Don’t be hasty.  Go make a cup of tea, watch another installment of your boxset or make brownies – anything; just resist to put a big fat finger into the tacky varnish; that fingerprint will remain long after your boxset is in the bargain bucket.

Go to my fork page, bend the forks to your satisfaction and drill the holes as per the fork page how to.  Remember to sand down the forks with a light sandpaper to remove any snags which will catch on the coats hung on them.

2016-05-21-14-25-42Place the forks on the board.  Take your time with this and fiddle about.  I often lay out my forks last thing at night, go to sleep then come down in the morning and look with a fresh pair of eyes.

When you’re happy with the layout, take a small thin ccobalt (must be cobalt or the drillbit will overheat and snap!), and pre-drill a hole through the fork hole to ensure that your screw goes in the right direction.  Then attach the relevant screwdriver bit and screw the fork down into the wood.  Slow down when you get to the metal as it will rarely tighten in the way that a screw on wood will.  If the forks are particularly thick they may swivvel a little, in which case dab some superglue beneath the fork to secure it.  The fork itself is secure enough to hold a coat; it’s just that the metal may prevent the screw tightening, hence the glue.

2016-05-21-14-55-56Now you will need to provide something to hang the hook on the wall.  There are many things you can use.  In the picture here, I have used metal curtain rings with a tapered edge to achieve a secure fitting in the wood. You can use ordinary D-rings or a picture frame hanger straight from the shops.  However, it’s better to be a little daring and find something less pedestrian if you can.

.img_4944..and here is the finished product!

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