I first saw the Eames Hang-It-All on Abbey Hendrickson's (of Aesthetic Outburst) home tour on Cafe Mom a month or so ago. I think the home tour was posted a while ago, but through blog hopping, i stumbled onto it more recently. I totally fell in love with her Hang-It-All, a reproduction of the original that you can buy lots of places, and promptly looked it up to see where I could find one.
(photo from Abbey's home. You must check out her very inspiring flickr stream)
It came with a hefty price tag (around $179) so I was a bit bummed. But then (like most crafty-sorts) I was like, hmmm, maybe I can make one myself.
(haha, i felt the same way when I saw it. :-) source
The hardest part to figure out was the hook part, but I figured there must be some sort of premade hook-type-thing at a hardware store. The first place I looked was Home Depot and sure enough there was. But after buying hook racks there and at The Container Store, I ended up finding the PERFECT one at Target. (will be returning the other hooks..... Who hates returning things, raise their hands.. MEEE!)
I have to add that after I had the idea in my head on how I was going to make this, one of my blog readers, Cynthia (who has a very inspiring blog that you must read) tipped me off on a Curbly tutorial that shows you how to make, yes, an Eames Hang-it-all. I had done some research before I started my own project and couldn't find anything online where someone shows you how to make one. I must have missed it!
So i was like, I'm totally buying their tutorial because it will probably be easier than mine. So i bought their Make it Mid-Century Modern manual in PDF format and saw that their tutorial was much more involved than what I wanted to make. Quite honestly, I just don't have alot of free time so it has to be quick, quick, QUICK and easy. :-) Their's is a really great tutorial though if you are interested, it just involves alot of metal bending, etc, for the hooks. You are pretty much making it from scratch. I would think it's a bit more costly as well. I do want to make their atomic ball clock that is in the same PDF. There are many other project ideas as well, so in the end, it was worth the purchase.
So here's my take on the Eames Hang-It-All. You will need:
2 - Closetmaid Over the Door Utility hooks (you won't use the braces they come with, but will just screw into wall with holes that are provided)
2 - 3/16" x 48" dowels from building supply store (you could also use bamboo skewers)
1 - 1x4x6 piece of wood
6 - 2-1/2" Unfinished Wood Ball Knobs (link to see what they look like - they have a flat bottom with a pre-drilled hole, but you won't use that hole. I bought mine at my local craft store)
6 - 2" Unfinished Wood Ball Knobs
indoor/outdoor glossy spray paint (I used Krylon from WalMart, but they also sell it at Home Depot) in the colors of your choice
3/16" drill bit
Approx. Total Cost: $55 (more or less depending on what items/tools you already have, and how many colors you use)
First, you'll need to make your drying/painting stand for painting your wooden balls. Ethan came up with this idea. He bought the 1x4x6 piece of wood and then drilled holes along the length of it with a 3/16" drill bit. He then broke up the dowels into short pieces that would fit into those holes, and also into the holes he would be drilling into the balls. You could also use bamboo skewers instead of dowels. (pre-cut and ready to go)
When drilling the holes into your piece of wood for the drying stand, you might want to wobble your drill bit around a little in the hole to make it ever so slightly bigger so that the dowel sticks will fit. You shouldn't have any problem with them fitting though. You just don't want the fit to be too tight. You want the sticks to fit in their easily so that you can easily pull them out.
Next, drill holes in your balls with a 3/16" drill bit. Since your balls look like this:
...you don't want to use the pre-made hole because the flat side will show when you slide them onto your hooks. That doesn't look too great. You want them to look like round balls when on your hook rack. Rotate your ball 90 degrees and that is where you'll drill. When your balls are attached to your hooks, you just want that flat part to face the back so that you can't see it. I also didn't bother filling the pre-drilled holes with spackle because they're facing the back, so you won't see them anyway. Eliminates another step.
To drill holes in your wooden balls, you'll need some sort of vice to hold them in place. Ethan already had a workbench with a vice on it so that worked out great. If you don't have a workbench and vice already, they have some inexpensive free-standing vices at Home Depot, but you mind find another way to drill your holes so that you don't have to buy any new tools. I wish I knew of some DIY alternatives, but you might get away with just drilling the holes without a vise. Just be careful! Or maybe you have a guy-friend that you could borrow one from. ;-)
Here's what Ethan's set-up looks like:
The vise just holds it in place. You'll notice a piece of painter's tape around the drill bit. This is how Ethan tried to make sure the depth of the holes were the same on all of the balls so that they would sit on the hooks at an even level. (this is how the original Eames hook rack was designed). You just stop drilling once you reach the edge of the tape.
As you can see, even though he did that, they still don't sit very evenly. ;-) But I kind of like the playfulness of them staggered a bit.
Lightly sand your balls with fine sandpaper after you are finished drilling the holes.
Now you need to prime them with spray primer.
I did two coats of primer. I used short bursts of spraying. Do not coat too much or it will cause dripping. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the paint can.
Now it's time to paint!
Figure out what sort of color arrangement you want to do first. I laid out my spray paint cans to figure out the arrangement I liked best.
I had to do this so that I used the right size ball for each color, since I did a large/small/large/small pattern. I used two sizes of wooden balls as mentioned in the supply list. You could use all the same sizes if you want, it's totally up to you. I used 3 - 2.5" balls and 3 - 2" balls for EACH rack.
Painting: I held up each ball and sprayed thoroughly all the way around. Again, don't coat on too thick because it will cause drips. I did three coats of paint on all balls. Again, follow the instructions on the paint can for drying times, etc.
As you can see, these racks come with little rubber tops on the hooks. I took these off because A) they're ugly and B) to create a more clean look/lines with the hooks. (i had already taken off the top ones in the above photo)
Now it's time to glue your balls on. You'll want to squeeze your E-6000 glue into the hole on the ball and add some to the top of your hook as well. You will only be gluing balls to the TOP hooks, not the bottom ones.
Slide your balls onto the hooks and clean off any remaining glue with a paper towel.
You'll notice that your balls will want to slide/swing back and forth on your hooks. You will want to make sure that the flat side of the ball stays to the BACK, so prop some towels underneath your hooks/balls to keep them in place while drying.
I let mine dry overnight.
And here are some images of Charles & Ray Eames, the original designers of this super-cute hook rack, and of many, MANY other inspiring furniture designs and more.
(photos from the Eames Gallery)
And how cute is this illustration of the Hang-It-All? It was originally intended for kid's rooms, but I think you'll agree that you could hang them anywhere!
My racks will be going in our mudroom which of course has no good light. So that is why I set it up outside. I never knew when we moved into this house years and years ago that the "red barn" as we call it would become so handy. ;-)
Actually, my original inspiration for wanting one of these is because we need the wall hooks SO BAD for our mudroom. I don't know about you, but we have SO MANY bags, and coats. Especially during the winter. Light coats, medium coats, heavy coats, you get the idea. ;-)
And we have bags for like, every occasion. School bags, swim lessons bag, bags to take on Nanna visits, crochet project bags, purse, etc, etc. I'm SO happy to finally have more wall storage for these things! I will be hanging them a bit low on the wall so that the boys can hang up their own stuff. Love it. Love that our kitchen table and chairs won't be riddled with bags and coats all the time now. ;-)
If you make one of these, please link me to it! I'd love to see! :-)