DIY Pegboard

DIY pegboard with dowels

This week I’m sharing a fun and easy project.  I’ve been working from home over the past few months and my current makeshift office is also a guest bedroom and the room that I keep my Peloton bike and various other workout supplies.  I’m getting really sick of looking at the mess of workout gear on the floor in front of my bike so weekend I decided to do something about it.  I’ve always wanted to make a DIY pegboard and thought this would be the perfect opportunity.  Here is the before picture showing the pile of yoga gear, cycling shoes, foam roller and weights.

DIY Giant Pegboard

How to make a DIY Pegboard


This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

(1) 24″ x 48″ sheet of hardwood plywood

(2) 1″ diameter x 48″ dowels

(1) 1×6 x 8′ board

18″ Hangman french cleat

Edge banding

Sand Paper


Foam Roller

Safety Glasses

Dust Mask

Ear Protection

For Calendar:

(1) 24″ x 24″ sheet of hardwood plywood

Chalkboard Vinyl

White Vinyl

Chalk marker


Drill Press or Drill 

1″ Forstner Bit

Rubber Mallet

Speed Square

T Square

Measuring Tape

Miter Saw

Edge banding trimmer

For calendar:

Table saw or circular saw

Vinyl cutting machine


Step 1 – Mark for the holes.

Use a tape measure, pencil and t-square to mark where you will be drilling the holes.

DIY Giant Pegboard

I didn’t want to drill any more holes than I needed so I designed it with only 4 across and 7 down.  The marks below show the dimensions to the center line of the circles/holes.  Each hole is 1″ in diameter to match the diameter of the dowel.

DIY Giant Pegboard

*Note that these dimensions are for a true 24″ x 48″ piece of plywood.  Be sure to measure your board and make adjustments as needed if it is larger or smaller.

DIY Giant Pegboard

Step 2 – Drill holes

To drill the holes I used a hand drill and a 1″ forstener bit.  I didn’t want to go all the way through the plywood so I placed a piece of tape on my bit that was 1/2″ up so that I knew when to stop drilling.

It’s important that your holes are straight (90 degrees).  If they aren’t your dowels may not fit properly or may be crooked when you install them.  There are a number of ways to ensure that you drill straight.  A drillpress helps but with a large piece like this it is difficult to maneuver on a small drillrpess.  A CNC would be awesome too but they are very expensive.  A less expensive alternative is to use a drill guide.  You can purchase one or even make a simple jig out of scrap wood.  Here are two that I’ve seen other woodworkers use:  Milescraft Drill Guide or JIG IT Drill Guide.  If you want to make your own just google how to drill straight holes without a drill press and you’ll find a bunch of tutorials.

If you’re holes aren’t 100% perfect don’t worry.  There are tricks to getting a tight fit with your dowels.  On one of mine that was wiggling a bit I wrapped painters tape around the base of the dowel and then pushed it into the hole and it fit perfectly tight.

DIY Giant Pegboard
DIY Giant Pegboard

Step 3 – Cut the dowels to length

Since the holes are inset 1/2″ and the shelves are 1×6 boards (which are actually 5.5″ wide) I cut my dowels to 6″ so that they would be flush with the front of the shelves.  The number of dowels will depend on how you organize your pegboard.  For my design I needed (9) of the 6″ pegs.  I also cut (4) at 3.5″ for the shoes to hang from at the bottom.   Sorry for all of the clutter in this picture.  My miter saw is going to be in the basement until we finish the remodel.

DIY Giant Pegboard

Step 4 – Cut shelves to length

The length of the shelves will depend on where you put them.  For my design I had a small 11″ shelf in the top right and a 24″ shelf below that.  I cut them with my miter saw.

DIY Giant Pegboard

Step 5 – Finish as desired

There are endless options for finishing this pegboard.  You could even just leave it bare wood if you want.  For my finishes I choose the following:

First I applied Edge banding to the sides of the plywood.  This is what it looked like before the edge banding.

DIY Giant Pegboard

I like to wrap wax paper around the edge to hold the edge banding perfectly in place and then I just used my iron to attach it.

DIY Giant Pegboard

And this is what it looks like after the edge banding is on.  It’s easier to paint and looks cleaner with it.

DIY Giant Pegboard

For the paint I applied 3 coats of Varathane Cobalt Cannon.  I applied it with a foam roller and didn’t use much pressure when rolling so that the paint didn’t get into the holes that I drilled.  I didn’t need much paint so I just got one of those cheap sample sizes from Lowes for under $4.

DIY Giant Pegboard
DIY Giant Pegboard

I left the dowels and shelves unfinished but sanded them lightly with 400 grit sand paper.  Be sure not to sand the dowels too much because you want them to fit tightly into the holes.

Step 6 (Optional) – Make the weekly calendar

If you want to make a weekly calendar like mine here is what I did.

First, I cut a scrap piece of 3/4″ plywood that I had to 12″ wide and 14″ tall.

Then I marked where the holes in the pegboard would align with the calendar and used my 1″ forstener bit to drill 1/2″ deep holes into the back of the calendar.  I then cut two pieces of the 1″ dowel to 3/4″ and then inserted them into the holes in the back of the calendar.

DIY Giant Pegboard
DIY Giant Pegboard
DIY Giant Pegboard
DIY Giant Pegboard
DIY Giant Pegboard

For the finish I chose to apply edge banding to the unfinished edges of the plywood.

I had some leftover chalkboard vinyl from another project that I cut for the face of the calendar.  Then I designed and cut the days of the week using my Silhouette Cameo and white vinyl.

DIY Giant Pegboard
DIY Pegboard calendar

Here are the little dowels sticking out of the back.

DIY pegboard calendar

You just align it with the holes push it into place.

DIY pegbaord calendar

Step 8 – Hang the DIY Pegboard

To hang my pegboard I used an 18″ Hangman french cleat.  These things are super easy to use and they hold a ton of weight.  I also love that they are totally fool proof with a built in level so you are guaranteed to hang it level on the first try.

Here is what the cleat looks like in on the wall.  See the built in level…super cool huh!?

DIY Giant Pegboard

This is the part that goes on the back of the piece that you are hanging.  You just align it with the top of your piece.  Then drop it into the cleat on the wall and you’re good to go.  The 18″ Hangman french cleat that I used can hold up to 200 lbs which is way more weight than this pegboard will ever see.

DIY Giant Pegboard

And here it is on the wall with all of my workout gear.  I’m so happy to have this stuff off of the floor!  The dowels fit very tight.  I actually had to use a rubber mallet to push them in all the way.  I took the pegboard off the wall so that I didn’t damage the wall when I was pounding them in.

DIY Giant Pegboard

DIY Giant Pegboard
DIY Giant Pegboard

Next time I’m at the hardware store I’m going to pick up another 1×6 to cut new shelves.  The scrap piece that I had was really warped and it bugs me too much not to fix it.

DIY Giant Pegboard

Here is a closer look at the pegs for the shoes.  I made them shorter so that the shoes didn’t stick out too far when hanging.

DIY Giant Pegboard

And here is a final picture with Abby because she clearly wanted to be part of this post.

DIY giant pegboard

Thinking about getting a Peloton Bike?

If you have been thinking about getting a Peloton Bike, do it!  I seriously love mine and use my subscription for way more than just spin classes.  There are so many other great Peloton studio classes that I often take like yoga, strength training and stretching.  My husband and I love Peloton so much that when we finish our basement and have a proper room for our gym we are going to get the Peloton Tread too.

Save $100 on accessories when you buy the bike using my code 4VHTEX.  

Note that this code is only good for the first 12 people to use it each year!

Also, if you want to ride along with me my username is @hannahschlac

If you want to save this post for later you can pin the image below. 🙂 

DIY pegboard with dowels

Interested in more woodworking projects?  Check out my woodworking page for more inspiration!

You may also like this simple marathon medal display.

DIY Marathon Medal Display

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Ok, now I’m off to eat some dinner and then get a quick workout in before bed.  I need something to write in the Sunday slot!


      1. Hi, great project, I’m going to make one myself! How did you secure the shelf to the dowel? It seems pretty unstable without the shelves just floating!

        1. Thank you Denise. I didn’t secure the shelf. It’s just sitting there. It’s surprisingly more stable than you would think. I’m careful when I take things off or put them on not to shift the shelf out of place.

  1. That’s brilliant. Such a clever solution. This will be one of the features at Handmade Monday when it goes live tomorrow. 🙂

  2. Hi Hannah – bought the wood today (UK) and going to give this a go as my wife loves it ( She is a tidy freak) Will let you know how it goes. thanks for posting as it is the best we have seen so far. Safe 2021.

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