How to Make a Simple, Space-Saving Wine Rack

Display your favorite bottles in style with this modern, DIY solution.

Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist | Photo by Jean Nel/woodworkjunkie.com

Whether you’re a budding enthusiast or consider yourself a wine expert, the challenge of properly and beautifully storing your wine bottles is a unique one. While filling a cupboard with your collection is totally functional, utilizing a chic wine rack will not only save storage space but can also level up your home decor. A modern, homemade one further ups the ante. Display your favorite bottles with a one-of-a-kind piece, all while capturing your personal taste.

This weekend project looks like it requires a lot of time and special skills, but it’s an excellent option for amateur builders. The design uses just a couple of pieces of lumber, has minimal saw cuts, and comes together in about an hour—making it a great choice for anyone looking to expand their carpentry skills. For a practical way to improve your woodworking, consider making this modern wine rack over the weekend.

Materials:

– 1 piece of lumber (1,000 x 220 mm)
– 2 pieces of lumber (330 x 90 mm)
– Miter or circular saw
– Power drill
– Hole saw bits
– Counterbore drill bit
– Power sander or sandpaper
– Safety goggles
– Wood filler
– Measuring tape
– Protractor
– 4 screws
– Wood glue
– Pencil
– Wood stain or paint (optional)
– Paintbrush (optional)

Steps:

Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

1. Cut the smaller wood pieces to create 70-degree angles
Using one of the 330 x 90 mm boards, cut away 20 degrees of wood with your miter saw to create a 70-degree angle at one edge. Ensure the miter saw is lined up carefully and the wood is locked into place before making your cut. Flip the board over, then make the same cut at the other edge, resulting in an elongated trapezoid shape. Repeat with the other board.

While you could use a circular saw to make these same cuts, a miter saw is stationary and, therefore, safer and easier to use for beginner woodworkers. Not convinced you’ll use a miter saw often enough to make purchasing one worth it? Consider renting power tools from the hardware store for the weekend before investing in your own or scoring secondhand tools from a marketplace, like Craigslist or eBay.

2. Measure and mark the face of the wine rack
This project accommodates eight bottles of wine, so you need to mark where to drill eight corresponding holes into the plank to create the front of the wine rack. Begin by measuring 50 mm from the top of the plank, and draw a horizontal line from one edge to the other. Continue drawing horizontal lines every 100 mm until you’ve drawn eight lines. Next, at the top horizontal line measure 60 mm in from one edge and draw an X. This will be the placement of your first hole. At the second horizontal line, measure 60 mm in from the opposite edge and, again, mark with an X. Repeat until you have all eight holes marked, creating a zigzag pattern.

Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

3. Drill holes into the face of the wine rack
Make sure to keep your power drill perpendicular to the wood plank and drill 35 mm holes at each X using a hole saw. Whenever you use power tools and lumber, be sure to protect your eyes with safety goggles.

4. Measure and mark your connection points
Starting from the bottom edge of the plank, measure 20 mm up and draw a horizontal line. Measure up another 50 mm (for a total of 70 mm from the bottom) and draw a second horizontal line. Measure in about 5 mm from one side of the plank and make a mark where you meet each of the two horizontal lines. Repeat on the other side. This should yield four places where you’ll drill and eventually use screws to connect the base to the plank.

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5. Attach the base pieces to the face
Using a counterbore drill bit to hide the screw head in your finished project, drill through the plank at each of the four designated spots. Don’t have a counterbore drill bit on hand? You can mimic its effects by using a larger bit (matching the size of your screw head) halfway through the plank, then finishing with a smaller bit (matching the size of the screw shaft) the remainder of the way. Drill corresponding pilot holes into the edges of the two base pieces of wood, then connect them using wood glue and four screws.

6. Hide the screw heads
You should have a slight recess at each screw from the front of your wine rack. Fill the gap with wood filler. Allow the wood glue to dry completely before moving on to the finishing touches.

Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

7. Finish the raw wood to your tastes
Depending on the type of lumber you selected for your wine rack, several different finishes may be suitable. No matter which route you choose, begin by sanding the rack (spending extra time wherever you made saw cuts, especially the interior of the drill holes). While you can certainly achieve smooth surfaces using sandpaper and a bit of elbow grease, a power sander makes very quick work of this step. Apply wood stain or paint, following the instructions on the label, to give your wine rack a professional finish.

8. Fill your wine rack
Test your rack for sturdiness by filling it with empty wine bottles overnight before trusting your handiwork with your most expensive selections. Once you’re confident with your carpentry, remove the empties and replace them with eight choice bottles, then promptly invite your loved ones over to show off your skills and share a few sips.

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