Are the kids bringing home sopping hats and mitts?  Are you tired of going out to shovel and freezing your butt hands off?  I whipped up this scrap wood mitten drying rack in about 30 minutes and now the kids stuff is dry, and my stuff is warm.

My kids are actually too old to be warm.  Something happens around grade 7 where they decide that being warm in Winter is “uncool”.

Something also happens when you’re an adult and have to shovel the driveway and don’t want to be cool. 😂

After a particularly cold morning with the snowblower, I decided I needed a new mitten drying rack to both dry out my hat and gloves, and to keep them warm for next time I have to go out and tackle the cold.

I had some leftover ¾” plywood in the garage, so I used it to make myself one.

scrap plywood

Mitten drying rack

These measurements are for a standard heating vent.

(2) 12 ¾” x 1 ½”

(2) 4 ½” x 1 ½”

(4) 4 ½” x ¾”

setting table saw blade to 1 1/2"
I made the sides of my mitten drying rack higher than the centre cross-sections because I wanted to channel the vent air upwards around the hats or mitts.  Sort of like one of those bowl hair dryers that hairdressers use – to surround the winter gear with heat instead of it dissipating out the sides.  

mitten drying rack, mitten dryer

Once my pieces were cut, I marked all four cross-sections for dowel placement.

I used a bit of painter’s tape to give me a stopping point so that I didn’t drill too far down into the wood and so that my holes were consistent.

This would have been MUCH better if I’d used my drill press – but my garage is full right now and I couldn’t get to it.  You’ll notice at a later step that my holes aren’t exactly straight.

drilling holes in plywood

Once you have all four cross-sections drilled, assemble with wood glue and 1 ¼” finishing nails (or clamp until the glue is dry).

assembling the mitten drying rack

The shorter side pieces fit inside the longer frame pieces with a simple but joint.

assembling the mitten drying rack

For ease of repetition, I set up a stopper on my mitre saw so that each dowel on my mitten drying rack would be a consistent length.

setting up a stop on a mitre saw

These are just 14″ craft dowels that I found at the dollar store.  You can go thicker, but I wouldn’t suggest thinner or they’ll be too frail for repetitive use.

Dip the ends of your dowels in wood glue and then tap them into place in the holes.

mitten drying rack, mitten dryer

That’s where you can easily see that my holes aren’t perfectly drilled – some dowels are leaning different directions. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Don’t worry too much, you’re probably the only one that will ever notice – especially when hats and mittens are on it drying/warming up.

I gave the whole thing a light sanding and then a coat of paint to make it a little less “scrap wood looking” and then set it over the heating vent by my front door.

mitten drying rack, mitten dryer

The mitten drying rack is just slightly larger than the vent itself so that all of the warm air coming out of it will be directed upwards to dry/warm your stuff.

mitten drying rack, mitten dryer

Please ignore my filthy trim work – it’s getting a fresh coat of paint as I type.

mitten drying rack, mitten dryer

Because I don’t have to share my mitten drying rack with my kids (they’re too cool remember?), I spread my mitts and hat across two  dowels each.  If you do have intelligent less cool children, then this will easily dry a single mitt or hat on each peg – so 8 in total.

mitten drying rack, mitten dryer

It is SO NICE to put on my winter gear fresh off the heater before taking the dog to the park, or even going for a drive in a cold car.

mitten drying rack, mitten dryer

Scrap wood, a package of dollar store dowels and about 30 minutes of your time and you can whip up a mitten drying rack too!

Pin it for later!

mitten drying rack, mitten dryer

It works!  Workshop time starts out a lot cozier now!

Shelly of

Bentley agrees!

Bentley Old English Sheepdog

If you don’t want to DIY your own, I’m including some Amazon links to a few versions below (for full Amazon affiliate disclosure, please see bottom the post).

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Have a great one!