How to Make a Farmhouse Style Herb Rack

Hi there! With Mother’s Day not too far away (12 days and counting…), I decided to share how to make a farmhouse style herb rack today. It promises to make any mom happy, especially if she’s a true vintage-lover. If you have an old level and some vintage thread spools, you’re good to go!

Related posts: Level Rack, Vintage Yardstick Coat Rack, and Simple Blessings Rack

an herb rack with text: How to make a farmhouse style herb rack

Materials for Farmhouse Style Herb Rack

vintage level, glue, and other materials for making a farmhouse style herb rackThis post contains affiliate links for products necessary to complete this project. This is both for your convenience as well as to support my blog, as I receive a small compensation whenever you click on such a link and make any sort of purchase, for which I thank you.


Step 1: Measure Spool Placement for Farmhouse Style Herb Rack

ruler and level, measuring distance for spoolsBetween the glass vials, brass name plates, and handles, it can be extremely difficult to evenly space anything on an old level. But if you fiddle with it for a while, I bet you can. You may just need to reduce (or increase) the number of spools you use.

Mark the location of the spools by inserting a pencil into the spool and making a light indent (or lead mark) on the level.

Step 2: Lightly Sand the Spool Ends

Sanding spool ends for farmhouse style herb rackLightly sand the ends of each spool to improve adherence to the level.

Step 3: Glue the Spools onto the Level

Gluing spool ends for farmhouse style herb rackApply wood glue to the sanded end of your wooden spools and place them in the correct locations on your level. Place a weight of some kind on each spool to create better adherence.

Using wood glue alone means that only relatively light items should be hung on the spools. To allow for heavier items, you could drill pilot holes through the back of the level, into the spools (after the glue has dried) and then attach screws through the level to the spools.

Step 4: Attach Sawtooth Hangers to the Back

Back of farmhouse style herb rack showing claw hanger and scrabble tileAttach two sawtooth hangers to the back of your herb rack for hanging. Glue two scrabble tiles (or the equivalent) to the back of the rack, underneath the hangers, to allow the rack to hang flush against the wall. Hang your rack on securely placed drywall screws.

Alternatively, you could drill two 1/4″ holes on the back of the rack to allow for hanging on  drywall screws.

farmhouse style herb rack from the sideThe layout of my level, allowed me to attach four, evenly-spaced spools. I was happy to find four of the same brand to create a cohesive look for my rack.

one side of the farmhouse style herb rack with a mini broom, herbs, and a wreathIt’s perfect for hanging light objects like this mini-whisk broom, the herbs, and a small wreath. Other items that could be hung from it include:

  • Necklaces
  • Scarves
  • Bracelets
  • Caps
  • Head-bands
  • Paint brushes

page from a magazine with the farmhouse style herb rackP.S. I should mention that I created this project for Country Sampler’s Farmhouse Style magazine last summer. Above, you can get a look at that article, which also contains two additional projects in the same issue that I’ll post about sometime soon. If you click this link, you can buy the magazine, which is a beautiful, high quality periodical–more like a book than a magazine.

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vintage level rack with herbs and wreath; text: make a simple herb rack from an old level & spools


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  1. I love this so much! I will definitely make this as soon as I get my hands on a level! What great character yours has! I’ve seen a few entries in current magazines from you and congratulations! Saw your rhubarb cake recipe and some Easter projects in a Farmhouse Style mag! You’re the best! Take care, Sandra

    1. Wow! Sandra you made my day 🙂 So glad you liked the project–would love to see a photo when/if you get around to it. Hey, I can’t recommend the rhubarb cake highly enough–it’s amazing!! Stay safe–

  2. That’s super clever, Diana! So sorry to hear about your son and his appendix. One of our dealer friend’s son had a similar situation a couple weeks ago, but his was perforated and he had to have a drain tube. That is definitely something you can’t wait long for!

    1. Yes, we’re so glad we had it looked into relatively quickly. He’s doing really well 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post Rita; hope you and Mr. P stay safe!

  3. This is adorable! I was thinking a level would make a great coat rack–if the spools were screwed on. You could constantly restyle this rack with the seasons, too. Wish I had more naked walls in my open concept kitchen–and living room!

    1. Yes, definitely, Kathy 🙂 I here you, my house is pretty open with little wall space, too…

  4. What a perfect way to utilize a wonderful patina tool and create a useful wall hanging to put any where in your home. I love it!

    1. Thanks Laura! So glad you liked the project 🙂 I love using levels in new ways. I’ve got a fun project coming up in the Christmas edition of Farmhouse Style magazine…

  5. This is another one of my favorites from you, Diana! I am now hot on a search for a properly distressed level and cannot wait to put this together! Thanks for passing along your creative inspiration and energy! Sandra

    1. Aww, thanks so much Sandra for such kind and encouraging sentiments–they mean A LOT!! Here’s hoping you find that perfect level 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by Angie–always good to connect with a fellow farmhouse style lover 🙂

  6. What a fabulous idea, Diana! Dang, my grandfather was a carpenter and we had his old wooden level and donated it to a small countryside museum. I would have loved to have done something like this with it and have it on display in my home. Pinned

    1. Aww, glad you enjoyed the post Marie, but sorry you don’t have your grandfather’s old level–though having it in a museum is pretty darn cool :)Thanks so much for the pin!

  7. I just LOVE the look and productivity to this! It has such a charming repurposed look.

    I’ve featured this project on this weekend’s DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 526. Thanks for linking up!

  8. This is a project I want to take on. My hubby is a carpenter of sorts and I’ll bet he has an old level. I know i will have herbs as i have planted several, so this project is meant to be.
    Thank you Diana. Great idea.

    1. You’re welcome Shirley! I’d love to see your project whenever you get around to making one 🙂 Are you in my Facebook group, Your Vintage Headquarters??

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