A Gun Rack that Stuns: Scrap Fabric Organizer

A Gun Rack that Stuns: Scrap Fabric Organizer

One of my favorite side effects of blogging has been developing new friendships with other fellow makers and lovers-of-vintage in Greenville. Many of them have become daily fixtures in my life AND sometimes they bring me DIY gifts- bits and pieces they have or find that could be transformed or provide inspiration.

Case in point- when my friend, Kristi, spotted this old gun rack at a thrift store, she figured I could use it…for something!… and handed it over.

thrift store wood gun rack for repurpose and upcycle by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

A gift to repurpose!

It sat in our garage for a few months while I mulled over ideas. Then, one day I was rummaging through my fabric stash looking for a small scrap when I knew what to do with the gun rack- turn it into an organizer/holder for all of my smaller fabric bits! Remnants, scraps, handkerchiefs, pillowcases, etc… the pieces that get lost in my cumbersome plastic bins.

All I needed to do was (a) paint it…because why not?, and (b) add some wooden dowels  in the gun slots for hanging the fabric. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Gun Rack Makeover

Thrift store gun rack for repurposing and upcycling by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

All dressed up and nowhere to go.

The painting part went swimmingly. But when I laid the dowels in the slots to figure out how much to trim off, I was reminded that this rack was mean to hold shotguns, and everything was askew.  The slot meant for the stock was deeper/lower than the slot used for the barrel. Whoops!

Upcycling a vintage wooden gun rack from the thrift store by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Dowels aren’t exactly built the same as shotguns…

I guesstimated that there was a one-inch deficit on the left side…and my dowels were one-inch in diameter. The slots were about ⅜” wide, so we sliced off little dowel “coins” with our newest power tool!

Hitachi C 12RSH Miter Saw

A mighty miter saw!

Cutting wooden dowels to use in thrift store gun rack by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Wooden “coins” to place in gun rack slots.

After sanding down the edges of my “coins”, I painted them to match the rack, and used wood glue to attach them inside the lower slots. Hurray for all those rubber bands from Whole Foods! They came in very handy to hold the “coins” in place as they dried.

Painted to match!

Rubber bands to the rescue!

Finishing Touches

I had originally planned to paint the dowel-racks white, but after painting the “coins”, I discovered just how porous and thirsty dowels are. Instead of dealing with a potentially botched paint job, I changed up the plan and used Mod Podge and a vintage sheet to give them some flair.

Mod podge vintage bed sheet fabric to wooden dowels by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Adding a little color & pattern to my dowel racks…

When all was said and done (i.e., dry), I set everything up- and it looked great!

Upcycled gun rack for hanging scrap fabric storage by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

My refashioned gun rack!!

To increase storage options, I added large white cup hooks to the ends of each dowel, and slid some curtain ring clips on a dowel, as well.

Upcycled thrifted gun rack to store and organize scrap fabric by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Getting more mileage out of it with hooks on the ends.

Repurposed thrifted gun rack for fabric organization in my craft room by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Shower curtain rings for additional organization options.

The Big Reveal!

And then I simply added all of my smaller fabric bits- draped over dowels, clipped to the rings, and hanging on the hooks!

Upcycled Repurposed gun rack used for organization and storage of scrap fabric and remnants for my craft room by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Ta-da! A (stunning) gun rack!

Upcycled Repurposed gun rack used for organization and storage of scrap fabric and remnants for my craft room by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

A little side view…

Not only is it handy, but it looks gorgeous- AND it’ll remind me which fabrics I have when I’m brainstorming projects. A triple whammy repurpose!

Craft on!


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PIN ME!Upcycled Repurposed gun rack used for organization and storage of scrap fabric and remnants for my craft room by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com


  1. Sarah, I love it. Your capacity to create has no limit! You’re so gifted!

  2. I love the way you covered the dowels! Clever trick to make the one side higher, too. Great job!!!

  3. I wish my brain worked like yours does….in a genius sort of way! I would never have thunked of that, but it’s great! All my scraps, I forget what I’ve got..out of sight, out of mind! Girl….you da bomb! (or whatever equivalent in today’s speak)

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      Haha, thanks, Denise!!! That was my problem, too- I could never remember what I already had (or had leftover). 😀

    • Jane Duff says:

      What a creative imagination you have! This will look great with vinage tea tools as well! Gonna be on the lookout for gunracks now! Thank you!

  4. It really is gorgeous and a much better use for a fun rack. Lol!! I love it.

  5. Stunning for sure. Very creative. Love it. I really like the transformation.

  6. Maybe can be used in the bathroom to hang towels on.

  7. What a great idea!

  8. Stunning redo! Very clever to recover the thirsty dowels with fabric rather than painting.

  9. Loving, pinning, sharing, and stealing the idea for a store display!

  10. Wowza! What a transformation and SO darn clever. I have to laugh just thinking about what the original owner of that gun rack would be thinking if he/she could see it now. Thanks for sharing at Talk of the Town.

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      LOL- I thought the same thing! But then I think, they never should have donated it to Goodwill…it becomes fair game at that point! 😉

  11. What a grand idea ! Thanks for sharing and I love the your title sooo catchy 🙂

  12. What a great idea! I love this.Keeps your fabric neat and organized and easy to see. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Absolutely love this idea!! Thank you for sharing with OMHG Wonderful Wednesday Link Party.. Have a great day, co-host Evija @Fromevijawithlove x

  14. I love this lovely and bright colours and really useful. I saw one of these racks in my local auction house last week, I wish I’d bought it now, I’ll have to look out for another one.

  15. What a great ideal, I see these all the time at garage sales and thrift stores. Like everyone one has said the possibilities for its use are unlimited.

  16. I love it. The only thing that I don’t understand is the dowel coins. Why? What purpose do they serve?

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      Look at the photo of the hanging gun rack with the plain wood dowels laying in the slots- see how uneven they are? They all slant down to the left. Gluing in those “dowel coins” raises the dowels so that they lay evenly in the slots.

  17. Oh my gosh, I love this so much Sarah, how creative! Thanks for linking up with The DIY Collective, come back and visit us again next week! xo! Cassie

  18. That’s adorable—-and a way better use —lol, and the color just kicks off your collection! Great post! Sandi

  19. Such a great repurpose! And the new colors are way better 🙂

  20. Now that’s what I call using your head, how absolutely brilliant to re-
    purpose a gun rack the way you did, then make it so pretty on top of it. Awesome. I can imagine you’ve given lots of crafters ideas for their stashes, me included.
    I have plastic boxes and iris carts full of fabric. Every time I need some for project have to go digging in drawers and boxes. my sewing room is smaller than most people have for walk in closet. You’ve sure inspired me.
    Well have to go have physical therapy.. Had shoulder parts replaced on 12/7 so now have to get arm and shoulder working as should be. Can do lots with arm in down ward tasks but lifting it up is not happening yet.
    You keep popping out those incredible repurposes, will look forward to seeing what you do next.
    Happy daze

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      Thank you so much- and good luck with PT! It is a long, sometimes painful process but SO incredibly worth it.

      • This isn’t first time for pt for me, had both knees replaced in 08 and 09, but had better insurance then. Now I will have to pay $40 each time I go to pt. When company bought out Humana and other one they changed premium amounts, almost $30 higher than what I was paying but also bumped me down to less coverage program. They told AARP there would not be any increases in premiums but before year was over got letter informing me of higher premium. So they lied to Aarp. We got no COLA this year so too bad if we have to pay more for insurance besides the $104.90 taken out of our checks for Medicare. To say I’m pretty ticked off would be putting it very mildly.
        Think I need to let Aarp know how they lied to people about increases, how much and how I was bumped down to lesser program without being informed. Having to find out hard way. Sorry for the rant but what are we supposed to do? We had such hard time over recession with 5 weeks between paydays as it is for so many months. We did go to food bank few times but food given is far from what is healthy and nutritious and certainly not enuf to cover 4 weeks let alone 5 weeks. Is high fat, high sodium.
        In case people think seniors are floating in money, many of us are not. It was even said in our newspaper few weeks ago that Grand Junction, CO is one of highest for medical costs. It’s high for too many things, wouldn’t have moved here if we’d known at time, Real estate costs here are atrocious and ridiculous.
        Thank you for letting me state my case. Other older people should know about this situation so I will be informing Aarp about this. They had article in one of their publications shortly after company bought out Humana and other company. Are ceo’s having good time on seniors money?

  21. Your Amazing! very creative!

  22. What a clever use for an old gun rack! I love your choice of colors and fabrics for the redo!

  23. Why not use it for spools of ribbob? Love the idea!

  24. This reminds of a vintage shop that displays their towels/hankies this way. So pretty! Although my hubby would probably steal the rack for his guns…lol.

  25. Love it!

  26. Amanda Kolb says:

    What a transformation!! My mom totally had those sheets you used on the dowels when I was growing up (and probably still does!) Thank you for sharing at Merry Monday!

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      Thanks Amanda- I just LOVE the pattern of this sheet and can’t wait to use it in another project. 🙂

  27. You never fail to amaze me with your inventiveness. Donna has an great idea to copy your gun rack rack fabric organizer for a store display. I may have to copy it too for my antique booth. Thank you so much for sharing at Vintage Charm and providing such a detailed tutorial. sb

  28. Great recycle project.Thanks for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday. Can’t wait to see what you bring this week!

  29. I love that idea! My husband had a gun rack like that at one point….wonder if it’s out in the barn and if he’d let me have it…

  30. What a perfect idea~! It would make such a great quilt display, too!

    Thanks for linking up with us on Throwback Thursday – we appreciate it, and are always looking forward to next week’s posts, too!! 🙂 Be sure to follow our pinterest board, too! 🙂


  31. I love this project! You are so clever! I can’t tell you how many racks like that I have passed up in thrift stores – never again!

  32. Such an awesome upcycle. Love the colors you picked too. Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party @dearcreatives

  33. This is such a neat idea!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  34. Absolutely genius! I will probably never overlook an old gun rack again! I love the way you adapted to the shape of the rack to meet your needs. And, good tip about the porous dowel rods.

  35. You are truly the queen of re-purposing! Great idea here! I keep all my fabrics on pants hangers in a spare closet, but one of these would be great for hanging a few of our favorite afghans. They would be handy and displayed, too! Thanks so much for sharing over at Celebrate Your Story!

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      Thank you so much, Chloe! A lot of folks love this idea for displaying quilts and afghans…I suspect there won’t be many gun racks in the thrift shops now!! It makes me want to collect quilts just to display them. 😀

  36. What a great idea for an old gun rack… it turned out great! Liz

  37. This is such a great idea and it’s so colorful and feminine, you nailed this one! My fabric pieces are stuffed in a plastic bin that was too small 10 pieces of fabric ago. Thank you so much for sharing this at Celebrate Your Story and we hope you join us again.

  38. Oh, my! I am always search for That One scrap of fabric. This solution is absolutely GENIUS! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  39. Absolutely love this, totally pinning! Have a great week 🙂 xo

  40. Funny, there was one of these gun racks in my Grandmother’s house. The guns are gone so it was just hanging there on the wall. When I saw your post on Pinterest, I said, “So, that’s what it is!” 🙂 I got permission to have it and took it home. I don’t have fabric scraps so much as paper punches, so I’m going to use it for that. I was afraid a wooden dowel wouldn’t be strong enough for the heavy punches, so I got some PVC pipe. Looks like it will work, but I’m still putting together my craft room, so I haven’t put it to use yet. Just wanted to share the idea in case another reader was looking for a similar solution.

    On a different note – I adore that color blue you used. Do you remember what it is? I want to paint my craft desk in a similar color, but I haven’t found anything that bright on the paint chips I’ve been browsing. Thanks! Cathy

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      Thanks so much, Cathy!!! I’m 99% sure that I used Krylon’s Island Splash spray paint on it…I have a LOT of cans of spray paint so I don’t always keep track of what I used in a project, but I’m pretty sure that’s the one. 🙂

  41. Very Clever! I will keep this in mind as my craft room needs all the organization it can get 🙂

  42. So simple, yet so pretty! I love the blue color. And it has so many other potential uses as well.

    I feature organizing ideas on Fridays. Please share this great idea at Simple Organization Ideas on Organized 31! (You can find the link in the Navigation Bar).

  43. I am not talented enough to do this but I do so love it. Beautiful!

  44. There you go again!! That’s the prettiest gun rack ever! I love the way you decorated the rods. Using this for fabric storage is brilliant.

    Happy Thoughts of Home. 🙂

  45. Kathy A. says:

    I love your ingenuity. I thought the cloth covered dowels were to keep the cloth from slipping! That lower shelf would be good for ribbon rolls, too. I would love one to keep pieces of current projects (18″ doll clothes for the grands and mending) in sight! There’s another item to add to my “look for at yard sales list”!

  46. Liesl Anne says:

    You always amaze and inspire! Thank you for sharing your talents and joy!!!


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