How to Make a DIY Industrial Iron Pipe Pot Rack

Do you need to maximize storage space in your kitchen while on a budget? I’ll guide you through creating a DIY iron pipe pot rack that is the perfect solution for adding a touch of industrial flair to a small kitchen.

What would you say if I told you that you could make a beautiful pot rack for less than $120 in materials and spend about 20 minutes assembling it?

This easy DIY project is not just about saving cabinet space. It’s about transforming your kitchen into a more functional and stylish space.

cottage kitchen with DIY pipe pot rack hanging above kitchen island

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cottage kitchen with iron pipe rack
Photo Credit: Molly in Maine

The journey began the first time I saw my friend Molly’s kitchen pot rack on social media. I fell in love with the industrial vibe and was determined to replicate the look.

Molly and I have very different cottage kitchens and I knew I didn’t have the space to install a pot rack quite like hers.

After much begging and nagging, and more begging, my husband agreed to help me with a hanging pot rack design, despite our kitchen’s limited space.

After several brainstorming sessions, we decided on a small pot rack design with both functionality and style, that would fit directly above our kitchen island.

materials to make a DIY pipe pot rack

The picture above has all the components you will need to build a pan rack that is approximately 30″L x 16″ W x 6″T.

The reason why these measurements are approximate is that you gain about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches due to the components used to assemble the pot rack, specifically the unions and the 90-degree side outlet elbows.

You can find these pot rack materials at Amazon, Home Depot, or your local hardware store.

how to make a pot rack

The new black iron pipes have an oil coating on them to prevent them from rusting. You can choose to leave it on the pot rack, or you can remove the coating. We chose to take the black coating off so I could have more of a rusted and vintage look.

We used a wire wheel on a bench grinder to remove the coating and then used a mixture of dish soap and baking soda to clean the pipes before assembly.

iron pot rack hanging from ceiling and holding copper pans

This DIY industrial iron pipe rack can be tailored to fit the unique style and layout of any kitchen. A key measurement is the main pipe length of the sides of your iron pan rack.

This will determine the overall length of your new pot rack. Here are some variations to integrate a pot hanger into your own space.

Let’s start with the example from my kitchen. The ceiling-mounted pot rack is the perfect solution for kitchens that have limited wall space, like mine.

Hanging your pot rack directly above the kitchen island not only makes pots and pans easily accessible but showcases your favorite cookware into the focal point of the room.

Mounting a smaller version of this pipe rack on the wall above your kitchen sink is ideal for hanging frequently used items like colanders, pots, and utensils you prefer to hand wash.

It keeps them within easy reach and allows them to drip dry directly into the sink, saving you both counter and cabinet space.

Take advantage of the unused vertical space in your kitchen by installing the pot rack on a backsplash over the counter.

This is a smart way to keep essential pots and pans at arm’s length while preparing meals.

For those lucky enough to have a walk-in pantry, adding a pot rack here can transform your storage organization.

This out-of-the-way option keeps your cookware easily accessible without cluttering your kitchen. It’s a smart solution for storing larger pots and pans that are used less frequently, freeing up valuable cabinet space for other kitchen essentials.

Depending on the size of your kitchen, the height of your ceilings, and your storage needs, you can customize the dimensions and placement of your DIY pipe pot rack.

Whether you decide on a long, narrow pan rack to fit a slim space or a large square rack to make a statement over a kitchen island, the key is to ensure it complements your kitchen’s workflow and aesthetic.

DIY pipe pot rack with copper pans and dried flowers

So, are you ready to make your own DIY industrial pipe pot rack?

Here are six straightforward steps to design a beautiful and functional pot rack that will serve as a storage solution for your cookware.

Perfect for small kitchens, cottage, and farmhouse-inspired spaces, or adding a touch of rustic charm, let’s check out these simple steps.

pot rack materials
Step 1: 6-inch pipes have been attached to 3-way side outlet elbows

Attach a 6-in. steel pipe to a 3-way side outlet elbow. Repeat with the remaining three 6-inch pipes and elbows.

Note: To facilitate easy attachment, use an old rag with WD-40 or a similar product sprayed on it to clean the threads on the ends of your pipe. This will remove any metal shavings left behind when the threads were cut into the pipe during manufacturing.

how to make a pot rack and the materials
Step 2: attaching the unions

Separate the iron pipe unions and attach one-half of each side to the 8-inch pipes as pictured above.

iron pipes
Step 3: Attach 30-inch pipes

Attach a 30-inch pipe to a 3-way 90-side outlet to each end. Repeat with the other 30-inch pipe.

how to make a pot rack
Step 4: Attach floor flanges

Attach one floor flange to each 6-inch pipe. The floor flange is the round-shaped foot that is used to mount the rack to the ceiling.

how to make a pot rack
Step 5: Join the two union halves

Connect the two union halves. This completes the structure of your pot rack.

pot rack hanging on ceiling

Install your beautiful new pot rack to the ceiling. Note: You must attach the pot rack to studs or with heavy-duty wall anchors.

For more information on attaching the pot rack, see the Most Common Questions section below.

colander on S hooks

Now that you’ve made your DIY pipe pot rack, the next step is to display your pots and pans.

This section will give you some ideas on hanging your pots and pans in a functional and aesthetically pleasing way.

I decided to use S hooks to hang my pots and pans off the pot rack. They make it such a simple process and the hooks are so versatile.

Hooks come in various sizes and thicknesses, so when selecting S hooks, consider the diameter of the pipes you used to make sure they slide smoothly over the pipe yet hold securely.

Start by hanging items that you use more frequently, such as skillets and saucepans. You can also hang colanders, baskets, large spoons, ladles, and other utensils.

If you have a matching set of cookware or a favorite old pan collection, show it off. I love how my vintage copper collection stands out as the perfect statement piece.

Consider the balance and distribution of weight across the rack. Place heavier items closer to the center or evenly distribute them to prevent the rack from tilting or straining the ceiling anchors.

While the iron pot rack is sturdy, it’s still a good idea to avoid those items that can be too much weight.

Avoid hanging excessively heavy items such as large cast iron pots or Dutch ovens. Avoid overcrowding the rack to maintain easy access to each kitchen item and to keep the pot rack from looking cluttered.

kitchen with pot rack

You don’t have to limit what you hang on your DIY pipe pot rack only to cookware and utensils.

This is where I hang my pretty baskets, vintage copper and enamel pan collections, and dried flowers from my garden.

Try displaying decorative garlands or battery-operated LED twinkle lights for a seasonal statement.

DIY pipe pot rack hanging on ceiling with vintage copper pans and utensils

The ideal height for ceiling pot racks is a balance between accessibility and functionality, making sure your pots and pans are easy to reach without obstructing the view or workflow in the kitchen.

A general guideline is to hang the pot rack so that the bottoms of the pots are at least 6 feet (about 1.8 meters) from the floor, which prevents most people from bumping into them.

However, the specific height can vary based on a few factors such as kitchen ceiling height, user height, and the type of cookware.

The weight capacity of a hanging pot rack depends on several factors, such as the construction of the rack itself, the method of installation, and the strength of the ceiling or support structure it’s attached to.

Generally, a well-installed, high-quality pot rack can hold between 100 to 200 pounds (approximately 45 to 90 kilograms), but there are important considerations to ensure safety and functionality.

  • Material and Construction: The material of the pot rack and how it’s constructed play significant roles in determining its strength. Steel and iron metal racks, usually have higher weight capacities compared to wooden ones.
  • Installation Method: The strength of the ceiling and the hardware used for installation are crucial. Pot racks should ideally be mounted to ceiling joists or studs, which are the strongest points. Using appropriate mounting hardware, such as heavy-duty anchors or toggle bolts for drywall ceilings, and ensuring the hardware is suitable for the weight of the rack and its contents is essential.
  • Distribution of Weight: How the weight is distributed across the pot rack can affect its overall capacity. Even weight distribution helps prevent undue stress on any one part of the rack or its mounting system.
  • Ceiling Strength: The ceiling’s material and structure impact how much weight it can safely support. Plaster or drywall ceilings without proper anchoring to studs or joists will hold less weight safely compared to ceilings where the rack is bolted directly into ceiling joists.

Yes, you can mount a pot rack to drywall, but it requires careful planning and the right hardware to ensure it’s done safely and securely. This is especially true since drywall alone cannot support much weight.

Here are steps for mounting a pot rack to drywall.

Use the Right Anchors

  • Toggle Bolts: Also known as butterfly anchors, these are ideal for heavy loads. They spread the weight across a larger area behind the drywall.
  • Heavy-Duty Drywall Anchors: There are anchors specifically designed to hold heavier weights, suitable for medium-sized pots and pans.

Locate Studs

While you can mount to drywall, securing the pot rack to studs (wooden beams behind the drywall) provides much more support. Use a stud finder to locate studs in your ceiling or wall.

If your preferred mounting location doesn’t align with studs, use the appropriate heavy-duty drywall anchors. However, attaching at least part of the rack to studs is highly recommended for additional support.

Consider the Weight

Assess the total weight of the pot rack plus the items you intend to hang on it. Ensure the mounting hardware and location can support this weight over a long time.

An easy way to calculate the weight is to hold the pot rack and step on the scale to get the weight, then step back on the scale without the rack. The difference is the weight of the pot rack.

It’s better to overestimate the weight and use hardware that can support more than you anticipate needing.

Installation Steps

  • Mark the Mounting Points: Once you’ve located the studs or decided where to place the anchors, mark the exact spots for drilling.
  • Drill Pilot Holes: For anchors, drill holes in the drywall at your marked points. For studs, drill pilot holes slightly smaller than the diameter of your mounting screws.
  • Install Anchors: If using anchors, insert them into the drilled holes. Make sure they are securely in place.
  • Attach the Rack: Line up the pot rack with the mounted anchors or holes drilled into the studs. Secure the rack with screws that are suitable for the anchors or directly into the studs.
cottage kitchen with colanders and baskets hanging on pan rack

Here’s how to safely hang a pot rack without relying on studs.

Choose the Right Anchors

For drywall or plaster ceilings and walls without stud support, use high-quality, heavy-duty anchors designed for substantial loads.

Toggle bolts and heavy-duty drywall anchors are popular choices because they can support heavier weights by distributing the load across a larger area of the wall or ceiling.

Determine the Weight Capacity

Before selecting your anchors, calculate the total weight your pot rack will need to support, including the rack itself plus the pots, pans, and any additional items you plan to hang.

Ensure the anchors you choose can support this total weight, factoring in a safety margin.

Mark Your Installation Points

Decide where you want your pot rack to hang. Consider ease of access, aesthetic placement, and practical kitchen workflow.

Mark the exact points on the ceiling or wall where the anchors will be installed. Ensure these points align with the mounting points on your pot rack.

cottage kitchen

Install the Anchors

Drill holes at your marked points, sized appropriately for your chosen anchors.

Insert the anchors into the holes. For toggle bolts, thread the bolt through the rack’s mounting hole first, then pinch the wings closed and push them through the hole until they snap open on the other side. For heavy-duty drywall anchors, push or screw them into the pre-drilled holes until flush with the ceiling or wall surface.

Attach the Pot Rack

Attach your pot rack to the installed anchors. If using toggle bolts, pull back on the rack slightly while tightening the bolts to ensure the toggle is snug against the inside of the wall or ceiling.

For screw-in anchors, drive the screws through the rack’s mounting holes and into the anchors until secure.

Carefully test the installation by pulling down gently on the rack to ensure it’s securely attached. Do not fully load the rack until you’re confident it’s safely installed.

DIY pipe pot rack with copper pans and dried flowers hanging on it

A hanging pot rack is a versatile addition to your kitchen, offering more than just a place to store pots and pans. Here are some creative ways to leverage a hanging pot rack.

  • Utensil and Tool Storage
  • Dried Herb and Flower Hanging
  • Storage for Baskets and Containers
  • Hanging Baskets for Fruit and Vegetables
pot rack with pots and pans hanging off of it

I hope this inspires you to try and make a pan rack of your very own. Whether you have a cottage style, country rustic, or farmhouse kitchen, this DIY industrial pipe pot rack will be perfect for your space.

This was one of my favorite DIY projects I’ve done. The pot rack was within my budget, with the materials costing less than $120 and the assembly time took less than 20 minutes.

If you have any questions or additional suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with anyone who may find this tutorial helpful.

Until next time,

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how to make an iron pipe pot rack

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  1. Wow, it’s really great.
    I’ve spent time to find the right pot racks in my home, and this post inspires me to make it DIY project.

    I have one quick question:
    I think most of the house in US has 2×4 (inches) studs and I also need to mount the flange to the 2 inch side, which is quite small to mount the pipe flange.
    Didn’t you have any difficulty on finding the studs and mounting it?

    1. Hi there! Thanks for your question.
      My husband used a stud finder from Amazon to easily locate the studs. Here is the link:
      Limited-time deal: Tavool Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner – 4 in 1 Electronic Stud Sensor Beam Finders Wall Detector Center Finding with LCD Display for Wood AC Wire Metal Studs Joist Detection
      And he also told me that the 4 mounting screws that attach each base to the ceiling are 1.5″ apart. So he angled the screws towards the center of the stud when he installed them with his cordless drill. He said you can easily tell if you got the stud if the screw tightens up and doesn’t spin, which would mean you are just in the drywall and missed the stud.
      Hope this helps! 

  2. This is so great, Kim! Thanks for sharing my pot rack! (I used brass pipes and fittings for mine!)

  3. Now that looks fabulous! My fav. Christmas memory has to be when my children and I were alone (single motherhood) a kind neighbor placed a surprise cash gift on our front door step that totaled about $60. My youngest found it and brought it in. We were so touched at their kindness and that was our Christmas that year. I cried and we have never forgotten to bless others and pay it forward.

    1. That is such a wonderful memory! I too was a single mom for many years and can imagine how you must have felt that day. Thank you for sharing

  4. My favorite holiday memory was helping my grandparents put lights on their house and set up a nativity scene each year when I was a teenager. It was always comical trying to untangle the lights and figure out the broken bulbs and so pretty once it was done.

    1. Forget the untangling of the lights, what about figuring out which light was burnt out and needing to be replaced because it made the entire string go out! Sounds like a lot of fun!

  5. My favorite Christmas memory was baking lots of Christmas goodies and then passing them out to the neighborhood! That was about 7 years ago and it’s been a tradition ever since. ❤️

    1. Baking has always been one of my favorite things to do for Christmas. And neighbors always love getting little goodies.

  6. My favorite holiday memory was when we took our kids for an RV trip around the States for a year and spent Christmas in an RV park in Cottonwood, Arizona. My husband and I went for a walk on Christmas Eve and came back to find the boys had strung lights throughout the RV and decorated our little artificial tree with lights and handmade ornaments. The next morning we watched a solar eclipse through a pinhole in a cardboard box. Sweet memories!

    1. That sounds like a wonderful Christmas! I love that the boys took it upon themselves to surprise you with some decorations.

  7. We get lotto tickets as part of the beautiful tables are. I never win but someone always wins q little and its awesome. P.s. if I win I get that beautiful green collander too 😉

  8. My favorite Christmas memory was the year I got my first dirt bike. I was only 10 years old. I was over the moon excited!

  9. Hi, Beautiful pot rack! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂 My favorite memory is going to my grandparents house for Christmas. Their house was simply magical to me. From the smell of the candles on the table, to the way the holiday lights outside were obscured by this little amazing beaded window that made each little twinkling light outside blur into a point of light creating a colorful masterpiece on the glass, to how they would hang a sheet across the livingroom so that we could not see the tree or presents before breakfast. (Although we always tried to peek! We would visit them twice a day on Christmas. The drive was about 35 mins each way. Once for breakfast and then we’d return again around 4:30pm for dinner. My grandparents really made us feel special. We didn’t have a great upbringing with my parents, so feeling all the love on Christmas was truly special and I will always cherish those memories. To this day the smell of a beeswax candle that has just blown out brings me back to that time. Happy Holidays!

    1. I always had a special bond with my Nana and felt that Christmas was so special when she was around. What great memories. I love the sheet across the room so you couldn’t see what was going on!

  10. I think my favorite memory was last Christmas when I spent a week with my mom at her assisted living. She was 89 with Parkinson’s and could no longer live with me. We watched old movies especially the older Christmas movies and when “It’s a Wonderful Life” came on we turned the lights down and soaked up every second! She went to heaven this Oct 3 and I’m so grateful for last years Christmas memory!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this Gwynne. You have touched me deeply, and I am so glad you have that special memory. My daughter passed away a couple of years ago, and while I was reading this, it brought me back to the memories I had with her while watching It’s a Wonderful Life. It was our favorite holiday movie. We watched it so much, we could recite every word.

  11. We lived on a military base and my favorite memory was piling in the station wagon with a thermos of hot chocolate and homemade cookies to deliver to the Marines guarding the gates on Christmas eve . Sharing just a simple thing makes a world of difference wgen far away from home.

  12. My mom always strung Christmas garland (all plastic, in the early 1960’s) and big red paper honeycomb bells down the hallway. I would see them from my bedroom waking up and that made me feel so happy! I miss my mom and those silly plastic Christmas decorations.

    1. It’s so hard when you don’t have those experiences in your life anymore, but I love that you have those amazing memories. Thank you for sharing.And yes, I remember everything being plastic back then.

  13. Kim this is awesome! I love your detailed directions and the giveaway too! So fun! Your kitchen is just beautiful!

  14. My favorite holiday memories are of my daughter waking up on Christmas morning and seeing the excitement on her face. I’ve always told her the reason we celebrate for the birth of Jesus Christ. To see the excitement on a child’s face though brings so much joy.

    1. I absolutely love this! My favorite holiday memories are baking cookies! We get together & bake all the goodies! And I love that my guy & I give each other a new ornament that sums the past year, some years he nails it ❤

      1. Picking out new ornaments for one another is such a great idea. And I LOVE baking cookies too. Some years are better than others though. Thanks for visiting.

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