Recently, my daughter gave me an outdoor spa which I am in the process of restoring. In the meantime, we are using the spa and have just been putting our towels on the steps next to the spa. Our two naughty Jack Russell terrors have decided it would be fun to run off with them and play tug of war with them. For this reason, I wanted to make a spa towel rack to hang on the wall until I get around to building the pergola.
It is also time for our next International Blogger’s Club challenge. (IBC) The theme this month is “broken dreams” which is down to interpretation. The chair is broken and the spa is dreamy.
I had to laugh at my husband’s first reaction to this project. He said “Why did you use a toilet seat? ” I did not use a toilet seat but an antique chair I found in this old heritage building.
I think this house would have been a renovator’s dream if it was not so broken. This old building is next door to my work.
I mentioned to my boss one day that I would love to go inside and have a look. I imagined the architecture inside would be amazing. Casually she replied, I have the keys do you want to go and have a look? As you can imagine I jump at the chance.
I could only go into some areas because the building is no longer safe.
This is the old presbytery next to the catholic church which is now beyond repair due to structural damage. But I thought it was too great not to share.
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DIY Outdoor Spa Towel Rack
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Find a suitable chair
This was the chair that is used for this spa towel rack. I had all intentions of restoring it but it was unfortunately beyond repair. I have taken on some really difficult restorations in the past with great success like this antique dresser. But just about every piece of this chair was crumbling.
This chair was literally held together with wire because it was so damaged.
Luckily for me, the seat made a great frame for my towel rack.
I started by sanding the wood to remove all the dirt and debris. I used my craftsman restorer tool to do this but a regular sander will work. The benefit of using a restorer with a hard nylon brush was it roughed up the surface and I got a similar effect to Shou sugi ban which was great.
Painting the wood
I used acrylic paint to paint the wood, I choose this blue colour so it would match the colour of the spa.
I did have to put on two coats because the first one just seemed to soak into the wood.
Adding a backboard
My idea from the beginning was to add some spa rules to the middle to give the towel rack some more character. I used some recycled plywood which I cut to the outline shape of the chair.
I will be making some decals using my Cricut vinyl cutter which sticks better to a non-porous surface. So I sanded the plywood first so I had a nice smooth surface for my paint.
Next, I painted the wood using acrylic black paint.
Adding the towel hooks
The hooks I used were what I had at home, I have had them for years so I am not sure what they are called. I could not find any plain ones that just screw into the front in town. The issue with using hooks like this is that the bolt sticks out the back which prevents the towel rack from sitting flush against the wall.
To resolve this, I used a drill bit the size of the bolt head and drilled halfway into the wood.
This will allow you to countersink the bolt into the wood.
Making the decals
You will need a Cricut vinyl cutter or similar machine to make the decals. The process is as simple as typing your text into the text box and choosing a font your like.
I selected all the text and grouped them together then selected attach in the settings. This will keep all the text together as you see it on the screen.
This towel rack will not really be outside in the weather but I still used a permanent vinyl called Oracal 651.
I added the vinyl to my cutting mat and put the mat into the Cricut and started the cut.
Next, I weeded the vinyl which means removing all the vinyl you don’t want in your final design.
Transfer the graphic to the wood
You will need a piece of transfer film big enough to cover the whole design. Next, rub the surface with a brayer or scraper.
As you lift the film the decal should pull off the backing paper and stick to the film. Next, place the graphics where you want them and rub the surface again with a scraper.
Next, pull the film back on itself slowly if some text still sticks to the transfer film you can just rub the area again with the scraper.
You can now glue the backing onto the frame of the wood with some wood glue.
I had some leftover studs from this wine barrel table project which I glued over the holes which I was not fond of.
To hang the towel rack on the wall I added a keyhole hook to the back.
More about IBC
If you follow my blog you will know I am part of the IBC (International Bloggers Club) which is a group of talented bloggers from around the world. We have members from Spain, South Africa, Australia, the United States, and Canada. Each month we come together and create a project with a common theme.
To see the “Broken Dreams ” contributions from my fellow bloggers joining us this month keep scrolling, please feel free to jump over and give them some love.
Kristin from Fifth Sparrow No More shared a great way to use broken plates in the garden.
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Michelle LeslieApril 17, 2023 at 10:20 pm
Shame, it’s such a pity that poor chair couldn’t be saved. She has such gorgeous bones, but knowing how talented you are when restoring the unrestorable, I bet you tried everything. I do love what you did with the seat though, and the sign wording is classic. It’s so apt. I hope you make lots of great memories in your “new” spa, Anita.
sara allenApril 17, 2023 at 11:15 pm
That was a gorgeous chair but I love your project! You definitely would have needed that spa if you tried to restore it! I knew it was a chair seat but the same thought as your husband did cross my mind lol. Fabulous idea to cover the holes with those studs; they look amazing.