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How to build a PVC pool towel rack

DIY Pool Towel Rack – A simple DIY to build a functional PVC rack that is perfect for your backyard pool needs.

This homemade rack will keep dripping pool towels and swimsuits off the floor and out of the house.

This picture shows a DIY Pool Towel rack made out of PVC material, white in color, showing pool towels, bathing suits, and other accessories hanging over the side to dry.
This PVC pool towel rack is one of our favorite builds, so simple with a whole lot of function.

There are so many great things you can do with PVC pipe, from kids car washes to shoe organizers.

Just search PVC on Pinterest and you will find a boatload of ideas if you’re interested.

During the Summer we are usually outside in the pool every single day so washing towels or swimsuits daily just isn’t going to work.

Of course, you can purchase one if you would like, but we didn’t really need one that big nor did I want to spend $200+.

There are all kinds of ways you can go about making a DIY pool towel rack from simple designs to large designs but we just wanted something simple that would hold our towels, plus a few swimsuits.

Want to make your own? Here is how…

Materials you will need to make a DIY Pool Towel Rack

(3) 10′ PVC Pipes

(We used 1 1/4″ piping. If you use a smaller/bigger size make sure you get the correct fittings as well)

(4) 1 1/4″ elbows (the feet)
(4) 1 1/4″ tees
(4) 1 1/4″ 90° elbow with slip

Here are some pictures if the fitting sizes are confusing.

This picture below is called a sideout elbow.

This would work in place of the tee and elbow with the slip if you can find one in the sizing you need. We couldn’t find any in the 1 1/4″ size.

Cuts you will need to make:

(4) 37″ pipe cuts (legs)
(2) 60″ pipe cuts (towel bars)
(4) 17.5″ pipe cuts (side bars, top & bottom)

This post has everything you need to build a DIY Pool Towel Rack!

DIY PVC Towel Rack Instructions

  1. Once you have cut all your pieces start fitting the pipe pieces into the fittings.
  2. You will connect the foot elbows with the 37″ pipes (the legs) and then connect 2 of the legs to one 17.5″ pipe. At this point, you should have created two large side leg pieces.
  3. You will then connect the tees to the tops of the 37″ pieces and again connect the 17.5″ pipes to those. You will have created a rectangle and now you are ready to connect your elbows with slips.
  4. The slip side will go down into the tees and you will connect your towel bars to the other side.

To be honest, trying to read the directions of me explaining it is probably more confusing than just using the pictures above and just eyeing it. I’m pretty sure all of you can figure out what goes where.

Things to keep in mind before building this project.

This PVC pipe is not furniture grade so you will have the ugly wording on the sidebars. It doesn’t bother me for now but if you want you can paint your towel bar.

I would strongly suggest roughing it up with sandpaper prior to painting so the paint will adhere better. I would also recommend a coat of primer to help cover up the markings.

You could also purchase furniture grade PVC, however, if the point is to keep cost at bay. Furniture grade PVC will be much more expensive.

While we are talking about enjoying the fun poolside this summer, I thought I would let you know about some of our favorite pool accessories.

If you have a larger family and this towel rack won’t fit your needs I found another DIY video instruction for a bigger version.



Tuesday 10th of January 2017

FYI - to get the words/lettering off the pipe, simply wipe it down with paint remover. Works great and removes all scuffs, wording and dirt!

Melissa Coleman

Wednesday 11th of January 2017

Awesome Sandy, thanks for the great tip. :)


Friday 4th of July 2014

This is a COOL DIY project!!! My only complaint about it is, "why didn't I think of that?" LOL TY for sharing this. :)

To remove the words from the pipes forever, simple rubbing alcohol or plumbing pipe cleaner will do it. All you do is get it on a rag & wipe it off. period. no "elbow grease", no fighting or struggling..just gently wipe it on & watch it disappear. one 10 foot section of pipe can be cleaned in about 2 - 3 minutes. You don't even have to wipe it down afterwards....once you wipe it down with the alcohol/pipe cleaner, it takes about 30 - 45 SECONDS to will feel no residue afterwards...ever.

I've plumbed many a house & barn, so I speak from experience.

Melissa Coleman

Monday 7th of July 2014

I never thought about using alcohol to take the words off the pvc pipe, great idea. Thanks!


Friday 22nd of June 2012

Great Idea. I might not get it done this summer but I'm pinning it for next summer.

Stevie from

Tuesday 19th of June 2012

this is such a great idea! I'm always looking for a spot for wet towels.

Steph @ Crafting in the Rain

Monday 18th of June 2012

What a great idea!