DIY Gift Ideas: Magazine Rack

Whitney Curtis

Article Posted By: Whitney Curtis

of The Home Depot

DIY Gift Ideas: Magazine Rack

Piles and piles of magazines covering your floor, coffee table or kitchen counter? Then whip up this easy DIY magazine rack! It’s one of the DIY gift ideas we’re sharing during the holiday season. It will help clear up the clutter in your living room, or you could surprise a loved one with a homemade, handmade gift that can help you organize too!

Read on for the full how-to.

Materials Needed for DIY Magazine Rack Project

Materials for this DIY Magazine Rack Project:

DIY Gift Ideas: Cutting Dowels for  Magazine Rack Project

DIY Gift Ideas: Cutting Dowel for Magazine Rack

Step 1

Plan and measure.

We wanted the rack to be wider than an average magazine of 11 to 12 inches, so we decided to make the magazine rack 17 inches wide in total, or 16 inches as measured inside the square dowel.

The tricky part is the thin interior round dowels– we cut these pieces to 17 inches, drill a hole on the interior of the square dowels (you’ll see how in Step 3) so ½ inch of each small round dowel is inserted into the square dowel on both sides. The larger round dowel that forms the the top and bottom of the rack is cut to 16 inches and nailed into place. (Its 1 inch width is too big to drill into the square dowel.)

Summary: For a total width of 17 inches, cut the 4 ¼-inch round dowels to 17 inches long. Cut the 2 1-inch round dowels to 16 inches long.

DIY Gift Ideas: Measuring for Magazine Rack Project

DIY Gift Ideas: Measuring for Magazine Rack Project

Step 2

Measure the total height of the magazine rack and decide where you want each individual dowel to hang. We measured 10 inches between each dowel, with the top dowel 3 inches below the top.

Tip: Grab your favorite magazine and lay it out as a guide for width and height between each dowel. Remember, don’t be hasty! Measure twice and drill once!

DIY Gift Ideas: Drilling Hole for Magazine Rack Project

Step 3

At each mark, find the center of the 1-inch square dowel. Drill carefully into the dowel, only ½ inch. Mark a ½-inch measurement on your drill with a sharpie so you’ll know when to stop.

Alternative idea: For a different look, you could cut the ¼ inch round dowels to 17 inches (or longer), drill all the way through the 1 inch square dowel and have the small round dowels peeking through or coming all the way out of the square dowel. 

DIY Gift Ideas: Placing Dowels for Magazine Rack Project

Step 4

Place each dowel in its hole, testing that the two sides are completely parallel before you glue them into place. It may take a few tries to get this completely right. You may need to drill an extra bit or sand a bit off of a dowel to get them just right.

DIY Gift Ideas: Securing Dowels for Magazine Rack Project

Step 5

Secure all four dowels and glue them into place.

Place and nail in the top and bottom 1-inch round dowels.

DIY Gift Ideas: Painting the Magazine Rack

Step 6


Choose your color and paint away. Allow to it dry according to package directions.

DIY Gift Ideas: Magazine Rack

Step 7

Set up a cozy magazine reading area and relax with a cup of tea and your favorite zine.

Follow our Holiday Crafts, Ideas and Inspiration board on Pinterest for more Christmas craft ideas. Take a look at more DIY gift ideas here on The Home Depot blog, too.