diy project: sling magazine rack


It seems I have a clutter problem. Previously it was piles of mail; this time it’s piles of magazines. Riffing on the form and function of my last post, the mail basket, I thought the same construction techniques could be used for a magazine rack. I swear to you, though, I will not use this style again next month for a laundry basket! — Matt

See the full how-to after the jump . . .


  • 5/8″ wide hardwood dowel
  • 1 x 2 hardwood board
  • leather straps
  • heavy waxed thread
  • 1.5″ x 2″ brass rectangular rings from tack/saddle supply shop



  • saw
  • drill press
  • drill
  • leather hole punch or awl
  • leather needle



1. Cut your wood pieces first. Grab the 1 x 2 and cut four 15 inch pieces. Cut two dowel pieces to 14 inches.

2. Using the drill press and a 5/8 inch Forstner bit, drill holes for the dowels. Measure the centers and 1 inch from the end of each 1 x 2 piece and drill a 5/8 inch wide hole that’s 1/2 inch deep to accept the dowel.

3. Pair up your 1 x 2 pieces and using a 1 inch screw, secure them together at 7 inches from the bottom. This will ensure that they pivot at the right place, but the brass rectangle will carry all the load. Go ahead and test-assemble everything — slide the rings into place and open the legs until they stop against the rings. Hand-tighten the dowels into place, as well.

4. Once assembled, draw a line on the feet to indicate where the legs need to be cut flush to the ground. This can be done by using a board that will rest on level ground and tracing the horizontal. Then disassemble and cut to the line using your miter saw.

5. Next, cut your leather strap pieces to 24 inch lengths. I used six pieces. On each end, punch four holes: two close to the end, and two about 2 inches in. You can wrap a piece around your dowel and judge how close you want to punch your holes. After punching holes, I ran some waxed thread though three or four times, tied it toward the back with a square knot and cut the ends.

6. After sewing up all your straps, slide them onto the dowel pieces, spacing them evenly. Lay them nice-side down so they will be seen from the outside. Reassemble everything and fill with magazines!

  1. kate says:

    such a great idea! great design too. this is going on my “must make” project list.

  2. Michelle says:

    Um I would really like a laundry basket of this style…

  3. sarah says:

    What a fab idea! My mom would LOVE this to keep her yarns when she knits!
    Wish I would have thought of that for Mother’s Day.

  4. Ohbygolly says:

    I love all of Matt’s tutorials!! Keep ’em coming! This along with the mail basket is a win.

  5. Katie says:

    I love the combination of wood and leather. And there are so many things this could be useful for!

  6. Jamie says:

    Any recommendations on where to buy the leather straps?

  7. Jee says:

    I wonder if the leather could be made taut so it could be used as a side table? Love the color of that leather.

  8. Claire Livia says:

    Matts tutorials are always my favourite! Another great one to add to my list of to dos!

  9. What a great idea. I’m going to try this for sure!!!

  10. Matt says:

    Thanks everyone, glad you like.

    @Jamie, try looking for the nearest Tandy Leather in your area… they sell straps.

  11. tiffany says:

    This is such a great project! I was looking for an idea like this, wasn’t quite satisfied with anything yet. However, I finished a floral pin-board. :)

  12. Melissa says:

    I need this for my apartment! May need to enlist so men friends to donate a drill, but I’ll definitely be trying this very soon!

  13. Courtney says:

    This is beautiful. I love anything with leather!

  14. Beautiful! And excellent tutorial… so easy to follow and recreate. Thanks, D*S !!

  15. Hmmm…perhaps I could recycle my broken 1950s tray for something like this. It’s fish food for thought for anyhow. But my tray doesn’t have dowels so I couldn’t remove them to sew the straps. Darn it all!

  16. Dryden says:

    Looks great Matt!

  17. Jen Jones says:

    Gorgeous! Going to try it with old belts.

  18. Rix says:

    Awwww, that reminds me of my elementary school – we made a similar rack!

  19. Neato. Could upcycle some fabric straps or an old shirt too

  20. Danny says:

    Any recommendations where I can get the brass rectangular rings?

  21. Kate Pruitt says:

    Hi Danny,

    In his material list above, Matt recommends going to a tack/saddle supply shop. If you have trouble fining one of those in your area, I found an online resource that has some similar brass rectangular rings:

    They have a selection of different finishes and dimensions, but these seems the closest to what Matt suggests. I’ll ask Matt as well to see if he can find an online resource for us. Hope this helps!

  22. Danny says:

    Hi Kate,

    Thanks for the response. I will check out the link and see what they have.

  23. Marya says:

    Haven’t been able to find the rings, even on-line in those demensions! Help

  24. Lek says:

    My Dad made one of these using wooden coat hangers for the legs.

  25. LoVe this idea! Yup I’ll be making two, but one with my fathers old leather belts.
    DarbySmart, keep these idea coming!


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.