Hat trick

Simple homemade ball cap rack

Usually the NHL Winter Classic is a New Year’s Day can’t-miss in our house. That’s right, we’re two Southerners who love us some ice hockey. But events conspired to keep us from watching the game this year. (More on that in a later post, if one of us can muster enough positive mojo to write about it.)

All the same, I wanted to share a pretty cool hat trick I concocted to store my wayward ball caps.

Hat trick? See what I did there?

So, I am cognizant of the fact that a grown man shouldn’t have many ball caps, yes, but I’ve got about five that I refuse to surrender for sentimental reasons. Ah, Sentiment, you devourer of valuable closet shelf space…

How to store the hats so they’d be out of the way, yet at the ready if I needed to relive my days of U2 fandom or look like Angus Young in a hurry? I’d been chewing over this idea for a couple of months. I found the key cog when I was shopping for Christmas stocking crap trinkets at the Dollar Tree and found a big pack of wooden clothespins.

Ball cap rack nailing clothespins
Just gently twist the top half of the clothespin out of the way for pre-drilling and nailing. Careful if you’re using pins made out of super-soft wood like these were. They’re easy to split, as you can see on the right.

Armed with those and a four-foot piece of scrap 1×4 pine, I was ready:

  1. I used a thumbtack to “predrill” two holes in one side of the soft, balsa-wood pins. (Even still, I split a number of them before successfully piercing enough for my job.)
  2. Tapped in some finishing nails to attach the pins onto the 1×4 — using a couple of hats to judge the proper spacing.
  3. I cut four spacers for the back of the rack, as I would be mounting my new hat rack above the door trim in my closet. These kick it out far enough to enable me to get the hats on the pins easily. These I just screwed into the rail, but I took care to place two of them where they would be on wall studs when I hung it.
  4. I wiped the whole assembly with a coat of wiping stain. It’s not really visible, unless you stand in my closet, turn around, then look up. But it was going to bug me knowing it was unfinished. I’ve got a sickness that way.
  5. After it dried, I used two 3½-inch screws to attach it to wall studs.

And just like that, it was hats-off.

Off the shelf, that is.

ball cap collection Dew Abides
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