We’ve recently become pretty enamored with industrial style and design… It blends well with modern styles, and adds a rustic flavor that warms up your rooms, but keeps a style edge, as well. Pipe is an inexpensive DIY material to use when creating any style with an industrial flair. A huge number of end fittings exist, allowing you to create any size or shape project you desire. It’s easy for a beginner to use, the biggest challenge is cutting it. (Don’t worry, the tutorials cover that!) Try DIY projects with pipe!




Our feature project, above and below, is a DIY towel bar from ‘This Sorta Old Life’. We love this because it’s an easy project, and they went a step further and showed you how to make the wood base for it as well.



Now that you have making a towel bar down, care to get inspired for more? This industrial pipe hand towel rack from Etsy can be purchased, or if you are feeling creative, come up with your own, similar design!



‘Something We Whipped Up’ made these West Elm inspired DIY industrial curtain rods, and have a great tutorial on how you can make it happen too, for less than half the price of West Elm! (Sorry West Elm, I still love you!)



I LOVE this DIY black pipe console table by ‘Handmaid Tales’. This is a great example of mixing industrial pipe, rustic wood, and modern furnishings for a warm, fresh look.



Need a side table instead? This DIY industrial side table by Allison at  ‘The Golden Sycamore’ might be just the ticket. Love the dual levels!



This plumbing pipe firewood holder has an industrial style, but is at home in a rustic space… Love the casters! For those of you who have a wood fireplace, this could save a lot on cold trips to the wood pile… From ‘The Cavender Diary’…



From ‘Cafe Cartolina’, this DIY table has complete downloadable plans, and step by step instructions. Would make an amazing home office desk!



Lastly, from ‘This Old House’, how to make a copper pipe pot rack! Easy project, I love that you can use this in a small kitchen because it just takes up wall space, you don’t need a huge island to hang it over… Anyone trying a DIY pipe project? Share with us in comments!


Image Credits: Handmaid Tales, This Sorta Old Life, Etsy, Something We Whipped Up, Golden Sycamore, Cavender Diary, Cafe Cartolina, This Old House



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  1. Rocío November 19, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Son ideas geniales!!!

  2. Rocío November 19, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Todo esta original!!!!!

  3. Jennifer H. December 24, 2014 at 5:22 am

    You can also make a foot rest on an island or peninsula in your kitchen!

  4. Sally Haddock January 2, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    I made the firewood rack for my husband for Christmas 2014. It is so nice. We were both very impressed with me!

  5. Kim January 7, 2015 at 8:19 am

    I love this look. But, I have a novice question. The black iron pipe at my local hardware store is ugly and sticky. Is there some trick to making it look nice like the examples above?

    1. Kathy Woodard January 22, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Good question! Any DIY’ers have good tricks for cleaning the pipe?

      1. JD February 21, 2015 at 10:05 am

        Acetone (fingernail polish remover or in bulk from your local hardware store). Works like a charm. Soak the first rag in acetone and use it to wipe off the majority of the protective film on the pipe and fittings. Wet a second rag with acetone and ring out. Use this rag to wipe the last bit off. A third (dry) rag can now be used to for a final wipe down. You may need more, depending on the size of your project. I use old t-shirts. Once you have your project complete, you can use furniture polish to give it a nice luster as well as corrosion protection. Use a heavy paste wax for curtain rods. It helps the rings slide and protects the metal.

      2. Leigh-Ann September 25, 2015 at 1:22 pm

        Late answer I know… but, don’t buy the black stuff, it’s also more expensive. Buy the regular pipe (dull silver colored). Scrub it down with Dawn dishwashing liquid and rinse. Then let the clean pipe sit in a sink full of hot vinegar water (50/50 mix) for 10 minutes or so…. Longer if you want. The vinegar further cleans PLUS it also etches the metal. Get a few cans of Rustoleum flat black paint, and paint your pieces. Works great! I’ve made a dinning room table and a light fixture to go over it this way. If you get any chips while putting your piece together, simply spray it a little with the Rustoleum. Also, I have a terrific hint!! Have the hardware store cut and thread your pipe pieces. It’s cheaper than the premeasured stuff already on the shelves. Buy the pipe in 10 to 12 foot lengths, and have them cut it to size. You have to have custom lengths cut though. They won’t cut the pipe to the sizes they have already cut up in the boxes on the shelves. Say you want a 10 inch long piece, have them cut it to 101/4 or 9/3/4 inches instead. I saved $100 bucks having it cut and threaded my way compared to the predone stuff on the shelves for sale. Also, those flanges are really expensive!! Order them online instead. You can find them most times for half the cost.

      3. Victor February 22, 2016 at 8:47 pm

        Just go to an auto care store like pep boys auto zone or so and get a brake cleaner spray can. It would clean it quite well with a rag

    2. shawna page February 23, 2015 at 10:03 am

      vinegar is what is suggested to clean new iron pipes

    3. James Angus October 4, 2015 at 7:18 am

      I use Fast Orange Hand Cleaner from the auto parts store…it removes grease in a jiffy. I should know, I use plumbing pipe all the time. In fact, that’s my rolling log holder featured in this post.

      1. Kathy Woodard October 28, 2015 at 3:28 pm

        Thx James! You should know! Great project btw!

  6. May-Lene January 27, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    I cleaned every piece of pipe with dishdetergent, dried it really good, and then spraypainted it with clear paint to make it easy to clean :) If you want a different color, then just spraypaint it in the hue you want!

  7. Dennis Hays January 28, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Wash with gasoline , not close to any flame source

  8. Melissa February 3, 2015 at 7:33 am

    I love the industrial look of this!

  9. Melanie MS,MD February 24, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Buckets of goo gone; alcohol also removes sticky residue. But the easiest is buying the silver looking pipes–these do not have that gross residue you are talking about– and then spray painting it with antiqued bronze spray paint (which dries in about 5-10 minutes). The towel rack above, for instance, is spray painted. Pipe does not come in that color and certainly the phlanges don’t.

  10. Derek Crabb March 11, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Pls try wire wool & elbow grease!

    Good luck

  11. Eilea April 24, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    My husband built this beautiful copper pot rack for me!

  12. Marianna May 19, 2015 at 5:29 am

    I tried all the solvents on my black pipe and acetone works the best. You don’t really have to use as much as stated above. My pipe was from different sources and had slightly different finishes which I did not like so I ended up painting it with matte black spray paint. The result was great! One thing to be aware of…I was advised not to use galvanized (silver) pipe if I wanted to paint it. Galvanized metal is very difficult to paint. Galvanized pipe is also more expensive. The pipe overall is more expensive than I imagined it would be. I paid about $150 for the pipe to make a small counter height table base.

  13. Frances August 22, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I think you have come up with a lot of great ideals, I like the curtain rod and firewood rack best. Keep up the good work

  14. Kitty November 14, 2015 at 7:33 am

    I used electrical pvc. conduit pipes for curtain rods. Paid 1.98 for 10 ft. Worked great.

  15. [email protected] December 30, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Love the Curtain Rod idea.. do you know where those burlap style curtains are from by chance?

    1. Kathy Woodard June 23, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Im sorry, we don’t!

  16. Michelle February 10, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    The copperpot rack pictured gave me a thought…could a bed be made out of that or would it be flimsy and move around. I don’t know, just a thought.

  17. Josh Rothman March 6, 2016 at 7:42 am

    OK, kids, let’s get our terminology straight. “Black iron pipe” is commonly used for gas piping; “galvanized iron pipe” is used for compressed air, water or other liquids, but never natural gas as it’s banned for gas in most building codes. Galvanizing is a process of dipping the raw metal (iron or steel) in molten zinc; the resulting coating will not rust and is bonded to the base metal permanently, and is far more durable than paint. Then again, it’s a silvery color which may not work for everyone. Another pipe is “rigid metal conduit”, available in galvanized steel or aluminum (you won’t find rigid aluminum conduit at a big-box store); unlike iron pipe, it’s regularly found in sizes up to 4″ dia. However, as it’s designed to pull wire thru, the elbows and tees are different. Then again, sweeping 90* and 45* bends are available as conduit on the shelves in the big-box stores, which adds another design option. Further, as RMC is steel, it can be bent cold with the proper tool; iron pipe cannot be bent without an oxy-acetylene rig, which is likely beyond the scope of most readers here. One more option is thinwall conduit, known as EMT. It’s available in 1/2, 3/4, 1″ and up, with fittings of all types. All threaded fittings are compatible for the purposes here, so a galvanized 3/4 floor flange from the plumbing aisle will accept a piece of 3/4″ rigid conduit, and a 1/2″ flange will accept a 3/4″ EMT-to-1/2 mip (male iron pipe thread) adapter. EMT is cheap, too, and quite stiff for its weight, but it can’t be threaded, so adapters are required… A couple of other notes: pipe wrenches will mar the surface, as will vise jaws w/o wood or leather pads; strap wrenches work, and there are internal pipe wrenches available which slip inside the pipe and won’t mar the finish… Acetone works great but is extremely flammable, and its vapors are not good for you; it will also dry your hands terribly. Good rubber gloves are advised. If weather permits, a strong detergent and stiff brush followed by a good rinse and drying in the sun works best; a wipedown with acetone or lacquer thinner or brake cleaner prior to applying a finish is always a good idea. If you have “indoor hands” wear gloves when dealing with pipe, as cuts from pipe seem to take a long time to heal… Good luck, have fun, and ask if you aren’t sure…

  18. Josh Rothman March 6, 2016 at 7:52 am

    One other thing: galvanized metal takes paint just fine – the body of your car was galvanized prior to painting, and that’s why cars don’t rust out in five years anymore. The key to successful painting (of anything, for that matter) is surface prep; make sure the surface is free of any oils or pipe dope. BTW, assembly of threaded fittings is much easier with a bit of pipe dope or teflon tape (use white tape, applied clockwise on the male threads looking at the threaded end), but use sparingly so you don’t make a mess. A drop of oil on the male thread prior to assembly may be enough.

  19. Roberta May 15, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Great list of projects. I am sharing this on Pinterest.

  20. Michael July 8, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    I make these items and sell them :-)

    To clean the black pipe I spray TSP on them and rub them with a paper towel – let dry a while and them use desired spray Rustoleum only on the pipe – I don’t usually pain the fittings – makes for a nice contrast – unless the client wants otherwise.


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