Alma Project

Double Pipe Garment Racks + Closet Update

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

We’ve made a lot of progress on the Work Clothes Closet project I wrote about last month and the team is so excited to see this space transforming before our eyes with the help of volunteers and donations. Read all the details behind the purpose for this non-profit space here.

Sheetrock, sawdust, paint, these are some of my favorite scents (it’s true!) and every time I walk in here that’s what fills the air, the smell of progress! Two weekends ago, the local high school football team showed up to paint 2,200 square feet of walls and the ceiling in the space (paint donated by Glidden) and last week a local contractor stepped forward to build partitions since we raised just enough money to pay for lumber and sheetrock.

new dressing rooms

The two new changing rooms and storage room for clothes that come into the Work Clothes Closet are in progress, we can’t go all the way up to the ceiling due to existing pipes that run throughout the space but they’re tall enough for privacy. Over the weekend we built garment racks on each side of the space to hold the clothing for the men and women in our community going through the Work Ready program and preparing to renter the workforce and interview for jobs. 

We had a need for tall garment racks to maximize the vertical space on each of the long walls. The black pipe garment rack idea has been floating around the internet for years, I was inspired to use the same materials in this space too. Instead of including shelves in the rack design (several shelving units have been donated and will be used elsewhere), I came up with a more basic plan for hanging washed and pressed professional and trade clothing. We assembled four of these, two for the women’s side and two for the men’s side of the Work Clothes Closet.

diy double pipe garment rack

Each rack is 8’4” wide and 8’8” tall but this same design can be modified to be used in residences, commercial boutique spaces, garages, basements, anywhere where you wish to hang coats or clothing. Here’s the simple formula shown:

pipe garment rack diagram

Supply list for each garment rack shown above, all ½ inch pipes and fittings: 6 flanges (spray painted with oil rubbed bronze spray paint); six tees; four nipple fittings; two elbows; four 18” pipes (extend & anchor to wall); two 4 ft pipes for bottom; four more 4 ft pipes across; two couplings (only if connecting four 4 ft center garment pipes like we did); two 3 ft pipes for top; screws (we attached these to the studs but buy drywall anchors for if you don’t).

Note, the black pipes are oily and dirty when you purchase them so you’ll need to wipe them down, we used some Lysol wipes to remove the oil then quickly removed that cleanser with a rag. Be sure to measure your space and sketch out a plan first and be flexible! Originally I thought the design would work with two four foot sections for the top and bottom but that turned out to be too tall so we swapped the top pipe for a 3 foot version (see picture and supply list).

You can modify the width to fit with your project or space, we combined two four foot pipes with a coupling to create racks that were slightly wider than 8 feet when you include the coupling and tees. Pipes are available in widths from 2 feet to 6 feet.

Here is a close-up of how the tees come together in the middle, the 3’ pipe extends above to the top. Below is the tee that connects the 18” pipe to the wall, there is a nipple connector in between, then a tee to connect the pipes below, one stretches across for hanging garments, one connects down to the floor.

tee fittings

Here’s a look at the upper portion, the flange supports the extender pipe which connects to an elbow, a nipple connecter attaches to a tee that connects to the long pipe that holds clothing.

elbow and tee fitting

This space has a cement floor which we plan to paint soon so to stabilize the pipe racks, we used wedge anchors designed for concrete.

wedge anchors

We have several more projects to tackle in the upcoming weeks: building shoe racks, building a tie/belt rack, completing the accessories station (jewelry, scarves, handbags), hanging curtains and mirrors in the dressing rooms, adding lighting, and painting the cement floors. We’ve had a great team of volunteers so far, thanks so much to David, Isai, Jenna, and Kim of the KimSixFix for helping build these great racks!

Sending a big thank you to Lowe’s who donated $500 toward the project so we could build these four huge garment racks!

lowes pipe rack supplies

It’s exciting to see the space transform with the help of so many volunteers and generous donations. I’ll share more about the Work Clothes Closet project next month when it’s finally ready for the Open House!

Alma Project: Work Clothes Closet

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to share another project I’m working on in my local community. Long time readers know over the years we’ve donated our time and raised money for our local charity of choice, the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) and we’re at it again this fall. Years ago we dubbed our efforts the “Alma Project” after the first house we adopted and the name stuck.

COTS has helped thousands get back under a roof of their own and provides almost 350 beds every night. The kitchen serves over 124,000 meals a year and delivers over 750,000 pounds of food annually, and the award-winning program has helped thousands to rebuild their lives.

The latest project is one for a community Work Clothes Closet/Store to help complete the Work Ready training program. Once the clients in the program are trained in a trade, skill, or service, the new COTS Work Clothes Closet will provide them with clothing to reenter the workforce.

The project received some local press a few weeks ago…

local paper feature

It’s hard to read so here are the important points…

Training and attire are the biggest self confidence boosters for people reentering the workforce but purchasing clothing is beyond the income level of COTS clients. The Work Clothes Closet is the latest space transformation I’m working on with a team, it will provide not just professional attire for men and women, but trade clothing too (chefs, construction, etc.).

A local commercial property owner generously donated downtown space to serve as the Work Clothes Closet and house the attire for the program. No money will change hands, this store is run on donations, and by the COTS volunteers, and the good will of the people !

Here’s a peek at one corner of the space when we started a few weeks ago, it’s 2,200 square feet so there is much to do including building two dressing rooms, painting the ceiling, walls, and floors, and constructing garment racks, shelves, and display cases.

cots work closet 1

A local volunteer contractor has already prepped the sheet rocked walls with topping compound so we’re ready for the next step which is primer and paint on the walls (pale gray) and a porch and floor paint for the cement floors (navy blue).

We’re going with an industrial style for the space, working with the exposed pipes and incorporating garment racks and rustic shelves in that style, like these.

garment racks shelves

 

Thus far, Lowe’s has donated building supplies for garment racks and shelves. Thank you Lowes !  lowes building supplies Glidden is donating paint for the walls, ceilings, and cement floors. Thank you Glidden!

glidden donated paint

World Market is donating gift cards to purchase light fixtures, scarves, and jewelry, we’re excited to pull this space together!

cp world market donations

If you’re a brand or store, large or small, that would like to contribute email me at centsationalgirl[at]gmail.com. This Work Clothes Closet project is an unfunded  COTS project that relies on donations and volunteers so if you’d like to help out we’d appreciate it!

What we need is LABOR, so if you’re local, you can come on by this Saturday between 11 and 4 to help paint that would be wonderful but note you need to fill out a quick application first (screening required) and email me to let me know you’re coming at centsationalgirl[at]gmail.com so I can share the downtown Petaluma address.

If you’re handy with power tools, we will be building garment racks and shelving these two weekends: Nov 15th and Dec 6th so we could use help with those projects too.

We have no need for clothing right now, we have garment donations, and we’re relying on some local vendors for trade clothing and boots. We do need to raise money to build the partitions to create two dressing rooms so if you’re inclined, donate an amount to the Alma Project via the PayPal button below, or you can or send a check via snailmail to my PO Box made out to “The Alma Project”.

We’re planning on a December Open House so I’ll take pictures of all the projects and share the big reveal then ! ..

….