How to Build a Wine Rack

Wine Rack Building Process

The particular wine rack design and material you choose will dictate the building process. However, the following basic steps are usually involved when you're building a simple wine rack out of wood.

  • Transfer the design you have selected to an accurately measured drawing that will serve as a template for cutting the pieces.
  • Cut the wood. Start with the end panels and the cross rails. Typically, the cross rails will hold the bottles.
  • Predrill the wood. If using screws to hold the rack together, predrilling the screw holes will keep the wood from splitting [source: Guide4home].
  • Construct the frame. Some wine racks will rely on notches (also called dados) cut in the end panels and cross rails to lock the supporting elements together. Others will use screws to secure the pieces. Connections should be tight to ensure the finished rack is stable and safe [source: Hazelton].
  • Cut out the wine bottle supports. On many racks, arches, partial circles or round holes cradle individual bottles. Unless the rack supports the bottle by the neck only, use a drill press and/or hole saw to cut two different sized holes -- a smaller arch for the neck and a larger arch for the base of the bottle. Saws should be slightly larger than the diameter of the base and the bottleneck [source: Unique Projects].
  • Sand until smooth, and apply desired finish. Options include paint, stain or tung oil. If your rack has a top that will be used for serving, polyurethane will help protect the surface. If you're using tung or antique oil, apply a coat liberally. Let it sit for several minutes, then wipe off the excess with a clean cloth. Allow it to dry before repeating the process.

Once completed, your wine rack can start working for you, keeping your wine safe and allowing it to improve with age. Cheers!

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Connors, Jason. "How to Choose a Wine Rack to Fit Your Style and Budget." (Jan. 26, 2009)
  • Free Woodworking Plans. "Wine Rack Plans." (Jan. 26, 2009)
  • Guide4home. "Building Your Own Wine Racks." (Jan. 26, 2009)http:/
  • Hazelton, Ron. "How to Design and Build a Wine Rack." Ron Hazelton's House Calls, Home Improvement Online. (Jan. 26, 2009)
  • Readers Digest. "Build Your Own Wine Rack. Make it Yourself Gift Book. (Jan. 26, 2009)
  • Unique Projects. "Free Plans: How to Make a Wine Rack." (Jan. 26, 2009)