Make an Herb Drying Rack (that’s ALSO A Fold Out Table!)

An antique herb drying rack that you can also use to cure garlic and onions sounds pretty good. A DIY one that you can also use as a folding table for your porch or shed?  Even better.

Curing bunches of garlic hang from a wooden DIY herb drying rack on the porch of Karen Bertelsen's historic red brick cottage. A rustic wooden bowl and a gardener's glove sit on top of the rack. A white trellis with green vines growing on it are seen in the background.

 

I grow my own onions and garlic.  You  know that about me.  I grow herbs.  Also … quite a well known fact.  What you might not know is that I hate my porch.

So how are these things correlated?  This herb drying rack made me realize what was missing from my front porch.  And yes, what  was missing was an herb drying rack.  My porch is long and skinny with everything lined up in a row because there’s no other way to line things up.  

Adding this herb drying rack to the end of the porch creates something running in the other direction plus visually it shortens the length of the porch.  

 A close-up view of the bunches of curing garlic hanging from the wooden DIY herb drying rack. A rustic wooden bowl containing twine and a gardener's glove sit on top of the rack.  The grey porch railing and white trellis with green vines on it are seen in the background.

Also it has a purpose, which is pretty important in a house that’s only about 1,000 square feet. 

I’ll use it to cure my garlic and once that’s done, it’ll be time to cure my onions. Just a reminder if you haven’t dug up your garlic yet GO DIG IT UP NOW. If you wait until all the leaves and stem are dead on it, it will still be edible, it just won’t store for very long. Here’s a tutorial on how and when to dig up garlic.

This ventilated table lets me do both, plus it folds out of the way when I don’t want to look at it. Which will be never because as I mentioned … it makes my porch look better.  

DIY Herb Drying Rack

Make an Herb Drying Rack (that's ALSO A Fold Out Table!)

Make an Herb Drying Rack (that's ALSO A Fold Out Table!)

Make an antique inspired herb drying rack for drying herbs and curing garlic and onions. Also works as a folding table!

Materials

  • 10, 4' lengths of 1x2
  • 2, 50" lengths of 2x2
  • 2, 20" lengths of 2x2
  • 2, 28" lengths of 2x2
  • 3 small hinges
  • 30, 1/4" fluted dowel pins
  • Wood glue

Tools

  • Drill
  • 1/4" drill bit
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer

Instructions

1. Drill 1/4 holes into both ends of all the 1x2s. (drill into the very centre). To make your holes at least partially accurate, make a little slide for your drill to run along, making sure the drill bit lines up in the centre of the 1/2's.

2. Squirt a bit of wood glue into each hole and insert a dowel pin into all the holes.

3. Drill 10 holes, spaced evenly into the 2, 20" lengths of 2x2.

Squirt a bit of wood glue into each hole you just drilled into the 2x2s and insert all of your 1x2s.

Tap with a hammer to make sure everything is set tightly.

4. Drill 2 holes into the each cut end of the 20" 2x2s. (you will have 2 holes in each end, for a total of 8 holes)

Squirt a bit of wood glue into those holes and insert a dowel pin into each.

5. Turn the rack on its side and dab glue onto the ends of the dowels that are sticking up. Carefully lay a 50" length of 2x2 on top so the glue transfers to the wood, marking where you should drill your holes.

These will be the long sides of your herb drying rack.

You can make this even more accurate by clamping a piece of wood to the sides of your 2x2s to make sure you're laying your top piece of wood straight down.

6. Drill holes where the glue has indicated you should.

Repeat with other side and other 50" length of 2x2.

7. Attach the 2, 50" lengths to the drying rack after squirting a bit of glue into the holes, and screw your 3 hinges in, evenly spaced.

Let the rack dry overnight.

8. Drill 2, 1/4" holes into the underside of the drying rack. One on the left corner and another on the right corner. This is where your legs will attach.

9. Drill a 1/4" hole into the ends of the remaining 2x2s (28" lengths)

Insert glue and a dowel pin into each hole. Let dry.

10. Hang your drying rack wherever you'd like it, 28" off the ground. I've used antique tobacco drying wood so they're a bit wiggly and warped.

When you're ready to use it, pull the rack up into place and insert the wood legs with dowels into the holes underneath.

Use the rack for drying onions, herbs, garlic or as an extra table.

Remove the legs and fold away when done.

I’ve given you measurements and all kinds of complicated instructions but all you’re really doing is making a wood rectangle and then running more pieces of wood in the middle of it. You don’t have to use dowels to piece it together, you can use screws or nails or whatever you want.

Full view of the wooden DIY herb drying rack that's also a fold-out table. Part of a blue wicker chair, white bench and fern are seen in the foreground. A white trellis with green vines growing on it and the grey porch railing is seen in the background.

It can be as wide or narrow as the space you have for it and if you really want to be lazy you can forget the hinges and legs and just rest it on a couple of sawhorses for your herb drying needs.  Do you have herb drying needs or am I living in a world that imagines people have herb drying needs?

A close-up view of the curing bunches of garlic hanging from the DIY herb drying rack with a red brick wall and some green vines in the background.

Surely you have garlic curing needs, I mean, you aren’t a gaggle of fancy rich people who just go out and BUY garlic willy nilly are you?  Oh.  You are.  

O.K. well, I happen to know everyone needs a cute little flip out table. It’ll fit on a balcony, in a garage, shed or porch.  

And if it’s going on your porch … it’ll definitely make it look better.

 
 

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18 Comments

  1. whitequeen96 says:

    That really IS a cute little flip out table. I’d like mine in chippy white paint, please. And now I must find a place to put it!

  2. chrisNY says:

    Thanks for showing me how to use those little connecting dowels! I love fold-down tables and I DO have garlic and herb drying needs too. 😉

  3. I LOVE this design! Thank you for sharing. Plus, love your porch too!

  4. David in Oakville says:

    Clever. The Instagram story on how you rigged up a drill press for this project was really helpful as well. Thanks.

  5. Jane says:

    Welcome back, Karen! Hope you’ve had a nice mini vacation. Missed your blog. This is such a useful project. Love it!

  6. Suzanne says:

    Cute table, love the old wood you used! And even though I love old wood, is that black table you worked on a resin picnic table and benches or painted wood? A new tap house here has super resin tables on their patio and they impressed me. If it’s resin, where did you find it? Thanks!
    Hope you had a lovely break. Oh, and I want your striped dress when you are tired of it! 😉

  7. linda in illinois says:

    i love it. i am going to have to make one too. i don’t have an enclosed porch but i certainly will find a place to put it.

  8. Linda says:

    Dear Karen,
    Lovely tip for anyone with summer plant containers who have wee beasties that love to destroy them looking for insects or just our pretty plants. Grow extra garlic to put one bulb in each planter. Trust me please, as I share my meadows and gardens with a family of bears, raccoons,deer, fishers so on and so forth. An elder gave me this hint and I have yet to experience any theft or displacement of any pots since then while I still have all the beasties with one new addition, a very large gorgeous moose. Yesssss, I now plant extra veggies to allow for those munchkins. Fences are so out of the budget that this works for me very cheaply in the long run. I shall cease blathering now. Do enjoy the rest of summer and our lovely fall. Regards, Linda

  9. Heather Sykora says:

    That is a very clever idea and I love the improved porch.
    I will definitely use this.
    Thanks!!

  10. Cottontailfarm says:

    Oh shit. I grew garlic this year.
    *runs out to check on garlic*

  11. marilyn majalca says:

    what a great fold-away table!

  12. Lee says:

    Love it!I don’t have a porch but I put all my herbs for drying into mesh onion,fruit etc bags and hang them from the ceiling in my laundry room. You are very clever! I enjoy your blogs. Keep up the good work.

  13. Shelagh Ryan says:

    Where does one find antique tobacco drying wood?
    Because I’m thinking that the appearance of the wood is more than half the charm!

  14. Melissa Keyser says:

    Are the sticks from the antique fair? I think I remembered some sticks being involved….

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