How to Build a DIY Wine Rack
Have you always wanted your own wine cellar under the stairs? I have and I made that dream a reality! This room started out as not even a room but with some hard work and my take on a modern wine rack built in, I can now say we have custom wine storage for 83 bottles of wine! As a wine lover this is one of my favorite diy projects I have ever done! It is an easy way to add a lot of storage with a small foot print. The best part is, I am going to show you how to build a DIY wine rack just like this one.
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If you know me you know that wine is definitely my drink of choice and I try to keep a fair amount of wine on hand. But until now, we didn’t have a lot of room to store it. When I set out to transform this 4×6 room, I knew that space would be the biggest hurdle. As such I took my design vertical and chose to lay the wine bottles parallel to the wall making the the width only 6 inches! If you are working with a larger space you can definitely accommodate larger wine collections or build it on a smaller scale if you have less space.
Why a wine room?
Honestly, why not? You only live once and if it makes you happy, do it! This made us happy and is one of the most fun projects I have done next to the pool and bunk beds. And it was a good use of this otherwise wasted space. It is also complete with a wine cabinet to store all of my grandma’s crystal wine glasses.
DIY Wine Rack Supplies
6 2x6x8 pieces of lumber
20 1/2 inch electrical conduit pipes
3/4 inch Forstner Drill Bit
Drill Press or Cordless Drill
Scrap wood for template
3 1/8 inch Structural Screws
LED Light Strips
Light Strip Connectors
How to Build a DIY Wine Rack
Before we get started, if you plan to build your wine rack at a similar size or larger please be aware this will likely need to be built in place or very close to where you plan to install it. My wine room is in the basement and there is NO way this would have fit through the stair well. Please plan accordingly. Please also read step 12 before starting this project. I also recommend watching my Instagram story highlight on this entire process to help you on this build.
Measure your room or wall where you want to put your wine rack. My room measures only 6 feet by 4 feet with 88.75 inch tall ceilings and no doorway installed yet. This is important to note for installation. This room is in the basement under our stairs so I was also working with the slanted ceiling.
Go to your local hardware store or lumber yard and pick up six 2x6x8s. I used 2x6x8 pine because I painted mine. My wine rack measures 51.5 inches wide by 88.75 inches tall by 6 inches deep. Your room dimensions might be different and require more or less lumber for your own rack. When picking your wood pieces, you will want to select the straightest pieces you can find with the least amount of knots.
Plane your wood. This step is definitely optional. I do not have my own planer but a friend was kind enough to let me borrow his. Planers are great tools but they come with a hefty price tag. If I didn’t have a hook up for this I would have skipped this part. I planed each piece of wood on all four sides to give it a nice smooth finish and to square off the edges.
Cut your wood. My wine rack measures 51.5 inches by 88.75 inches and holds 55 bottles of wine. My measurements got a little complicated because of the slanted ceiling and yours will likely not be the same but I have included them in the diagram below. I made all of these cuts with my miter saw but you could use a circular saw as well.
Make your template for drilling the holes for the rungs. I used a thin scrap piece of wood I had left over from the closet door makeover. This part has to be precise so measure 1,000 times, trust me! I messed this up on my first try and I had to start all over again. If you follow me on Instagram you saw it all go down. I cried. So learn from my mistakes.
You will need two sets of two holes for each wine bottle. They need to be 2.25 inches apart (side to side) from the inside edge of the first hole to the inside edge of the second hole. The space between the holes from top to bottom needs to be 3.5 inches apart from the top of the bottom hole to the bottom of the top hole.
Make sure you check these measurements because I drilled all 148 of my holes before I realized that I made my template at 3.5 inches on center and that is the difference between a wine bottle fitting and not fitting. This is when I cried.
Because I ended up making two templates, I used my original template to get the spacing correct from side to side on my second template. I originally made this with a grid and used a cabinet hardware template to mark the center points between the two holes. If you choose to measure to the center point of each hole, see the diagram above.
On my second template, I used a grid again and traced my original holes to help get the spacing right. This step might take some time to get right, but be patient because the success of this project relies on the spacing of these holes being accurate.
I made my template with 7 sets of holes which was a manageable size. Because you will be using this over and over, I highly suggest making your first set of holes start at 3.5 inches from the bottom. I did not because I was working with a lower ceiling and trying to maximize how many bottles my wine rack would hold. If you start your first set of holes at any measurement other than 3.5 inches from the bottom, you will need to line up your first set of holes with the last set you drilled each time and you will only drill six sets of holes instead of seven. Otherwise your spacing will be off.
Once you have the template marked out, you can start drilling the holes into the template. I clamped mine to another piece of scrap wood on my folding table. Since these holes need to be drilled all the way through, you will need the scrap piece so you don’t drill through your work surface. I used my drill and a 3/4 inch forstner drill bit. I also tried a spade bit but this caused far too much tear out and I do not recommend.
As I mentioned above, I did this twice. the first time I drilled all the holes with a 3/4 inch forstner bit and my drill. The second time I was under a big time crunch to finish the One Room Challenge so I bought a drill press to speed it up. You definitely do not need a drill press to do this, however, a drill press drills the holes perfectly straight which makes assembly a lot easier later on.
Drill your holes. Once you are confident in your template you can start drilling your 2x6s. I highly recommend practicing on some scraps with your template before you start drilling all the holes to make sure your template is correct and a bottle of wine actually fits.
Note, on the end panels of the wooden wine rack you will only drill the holes halfway through or 3/4 inches deep. The middle boards will be drilled all the way through just like above. The metal rungs will slide through the middle pieces of wood and the end pieces of the wooden frame will sandwich it closed.
If you choose to drill your holes by hand, clamp down your piece of wood and line your template up. I added extra weight on top to keep my template tight and to help prevent tear out. I highly suggest doing the same. You could potentially use a hole saw to drill your holes, but I don’t think it would be the best method for this particular project.
Once you drill your first set of holes, unclamp your work piece and move the template down to line up with the last set of holes you drilled and re-clamp it to drill the next set. Repeat until all the holes are drilled. Note when you get close to the end of your workpiece, pay attention to how much space you have at the end. If a wine bottle will not fit in the remaining space, stop drilling because it will look strange to have a rung that nothing fits in.
If you choose to drill your holes with a drill press the process will be very similar except you will only be able to drill one side at a time. I also had to make a jig for the back to make sure my work piece lined up with where the holes needed to go. There might be fancier drill presses out there that adjust more, but mine is very basic so some MacGyvering was required.
I also had to use different clamps that didn’t get in the way of the table. To see video and full explanation of my setup, check out my Instagram Wine Rack highlight.
Was the drill press easier? Not exactly. The setup was a bit more complicated and I had to rotate my workpiece to drill the other side. However, I was able to drill the holes a lot faster and completely straight which saved me time on assembly.
Sand your wine rack pieces. You will likely have some splintering and tear out from drilling your holes. Give all the pieces a good sanding with 220 grit sand paper to remove all the rough edges.
Finishing the wood. I chose to paint my wood but you could definitely stain it for a more natural or rustic wine rack. I chose to prime mine first since I was working with raw wood. Raw wood soaks up paint a lot faster and my paint is more expensive than my primer. This way I didn’t have to use as much paint.
Once I primed all sides of the wine rack pieces, I painted them with a foam roller and Sherwin Williams Iron Ore.
At this time I could clearly see the blemishes and knots in the wood that stood out and bothered me. So I used wood filler to fill in all of those areas. To speed this part up I wet sanded it. I apply my wood filler let it sit for fifteen minutes or so and come back with a wet paper towel and wipe off the excess. This way I eliminate additional sanding.
I did two coats of paint, sanding it in between coats for a smoother finish. I used 320 grit sandpaper for this step.
Cut the electrical conduit. I waited until I was 100 percent sure about the dimensions to cut the conduit. I bought twenty pieces of 10ft long 1/2 electrical conduit for my wine rack rungs. These do come in 5ft long pieces as well, but I could get two rungs out of one piece for less than $2 more.
Barry cut the electrical conduit down to 50 inch pieces (each 10ft piece yields 2 pieces) for me using the metal blade on the reciprocating saw. He clamped it down to the miter saw to get better control holding it. It does spark, so make sure you wear eye and face protection. You want to make sure your pieces are 1.5 inches shorter than the total width of the wine rack. Remember, you drilled the end holes 3/4 inches deep leaving 1.5 inches not drilled.
Be careful after you cut these because the ends are sharp. I used this tool to smooth out the edges. I also explored using copper pipe for a unique look, but it was quite a bit more expensive. Several people have asked if pvc pipes would work, and honestly, I am not sure. They might not be strong enough at that width to support that kind of weight.
Assembly. For this step you will need plenty of room to lay everything out on flat surfaces. Because of the size, I assembled this on the floor in the basement. I started by laying my middle pieces 15 1/8 inches apart and sliding each piece of conduit through the drilled holes. You will want to make sure you keep the spacing the same on each end. You can watch all of this in my Instagram story highlight.
Once you have all your rungs slid into the middle pieces, line up the side pieces with the rungs. I dry fit all of it first to make sure everything lined up. We even took the wine rack pieces into the wine room half assembled several times to make sure it would fit. If you are working with a square room, this probably won’t be necessary, but the slanted ceilings were definitely a curve ball.
Once I felt good about my spacing and all the rods were slid through the holes, I added gorilla glue to the end pieces and pushed it all together. You will need to work fast on this part because the glue dries quick.
Once the sides were in place and glued, I screwed the bottom 2×6 into the vertical 2x6s. I highly recommend predrilling this. At this point you don’t want to have to start over and it’s worth the extra few seconds. I used 2.5 inch Spax construction screws. I like these because the have a star head and don’t strip as easily.
I attached the top pieces last because of the slanted ceiling. We actually took the mostly assembled wine rack into the room to make sure the slant was correct. It was not and we had to make a few cuts with it partially assembled. You can watch all of this in my Instagram story highlight.
Once the height and the different angles on the slant were correct, I pre-drilled my holes and screwed them together from the top so they would not be seen. You could use pocket hole screws for this part, but since it will not be seen, I didn’t feel like it was necessary.
At this point Barry and I once again slid the wine rack into the room to make sure it fit. I know this seems like overkill, but I am not good at geometry and that slanted ceiling was a challenge. This part is definitely optional.
Lights! When I designed this wine rack Barry had the idea to add lights to the back and I absolutely loved it! We used LED strip lights and these connectors. The lights do need to be plugged in so make sure you have an outlet close by. Mine are plugged in under the wine cabinet. Note, to add the lights your wine racks needs to sit off the wall about a half inch which is why I ultimately attach the wine rack to the ceiling in the next step.
Note, the lights are attached to the back side of the wine rack so you will need to be able to flip it over.
The LED strip lights are adhesive on the back side and I used these little tabs to work around the corners. You should lay them out before sticking them down to come up with the most efficient path as you can only cut them in certain spots. They are marked where they can be cut.
Here I had to cut and join a few pieces. I am not going to lie, the connectors can be a little tricky, but be patient, they do work if you install them correctly.
Did I mention the lights also change color?
Installation. Now that the lights are attached you can install the wine rack. This NEEDS to be securely attached to studs or ceiling joists in more than once place. It will carry a lot of weight and no one wants to wake up to their wine collection shattered on the floor. I attached mine to the ceiling since this room is in the basement and the subfloor is concrete. I used 3 1/8 inch GRK fasteners.
You will likely need a right angle drill bit extender for this to get between the top of the wine rack and the top rung.
When I framed this room I added extra support where I knew the wine rack was going to go. This was extra important for me because I was only able to attach it to the ceiling since it does not touch the back wall and my doorway was not in yet. I will be adding a door but I had to wait for the wine rack to go in. Now I am tabling it until we do the rest of the ceiling in the basement.
If your wine rack doesn’t touch any walls on the ends and your ceiling joists do not line up between the vertical pieces of wood you will need to add an extra piece of 2×6 wood between your ceiling and the top of the wine rack that securely fastens to the ceiling joists. Then your wine rack will get attached to the top piece of wood. You can paint or stain it to match or even add trim.
Finishing touches. Once my wine rack was installed, I used wood filler to fill in any gaps where the joints meet and over the screw holes on the top. I again wet sanded these and painted when the wood filler was dry.
Fill it up and enjoy a glass of wine! This part was definitely the most fun, although Barry rearranged it with our favorite bottles on top, lol! My wine rack holds 55 bottles of wine or four and a half cases. I can store another 28 bottles in the wine cabinet that I hacked from an IKEA cabinet and a thrift store find.
Cost. This cost me less than $300 to build using 2×6 pine and electrical conduit. The cost to fill it? Priceless 😉
I built my wine rack in the basement which does not have finished ceilings and I was able to tilt it up and slide it into place. If you are not building your wine rack in an area that has taller ceilings than your room and can be slid into place with no obstacles like doorways, you will need to add a header as I described in step 12 so you can tilt it into place. Depending on your room size, you may need to make it smaller in general and add molding to the top and bottom. Planning is key.
Don’t forget, the end pieces of the wine rack need to be drilled halfway through. See step 6. If you mess up and forget, you can fix it with a 3/4 inch dowel rod. Simply cut a small 3/4 inch piece from the end, coat the sides in wood glue, and place in the hole. Sand and paint once its dry.
I accidently messed up 5 of mine and had to do this. But try not to because filling in 38 holes won’t be fun.
Where should you build your own wine rack? Older or smaller homes will have less space, but building it under your stairs like I did is a great way to maximize your square footage.
Can a beginner do this project? Absolutely! This is actually a very simple wine rack but I wanted to thoroughly explain the mistakes I made. Just take your time and follow each complete step. I made this with mostly basic tools and a few power tools all DIYers should own. (You don’t need a planer)
Can I make a smaller version? Definitely! This is an easy wine rack to modify. Just change the measurements to suite your own home. The only thing you cannot change is the spacing between the rungs. It can be greater but not smaller and I wouldn’t make the space between the vertical boards less than 14 inches because it will be a tight fit for tall bottles.
For more details on how I built this room from scratch, check out my Once Room Challenge Reveal where I show you how to frame, lay flooring, and hang drywall and faux brick!
I hope you found this tutorial on how to build your own DIY wine rack helpful! If you build this, please tag me on Instagram! I would love to see how it turns out! Happy building!
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This post, How to Build a DIY Wine Rack, appeared first on Garrison Street Design Studio.