First, cut down your 2×4 to the size you desire. The one I made is 36 inches long, and I used my miter saw. Use a sander to sand it smooth. Cut your dowel rod into 1/2″ thick slices — I also used my miter saw for this. Sand the edges as they will most likely be a bit rough or splintery after you’ve cut them.
I decided to create the following pattern: long Lego (with 6 dowel pieces), coat hook, short Lego (with 4 dowel pieces), coat hook, long Lego, hook, short Lego, hook, long Lego. I didn’t do much measuring at this point, I just laid out my dowel pieces in the position I wanted them (leaving the “hook” spots blank at first) and eyeballed it to make sure everything was even.
Next, I dotted a little bit of wood glue on the backs of my dowel pieces and nailed them in place with my brad nailer. I made sure my brad nails sank into the wood enough that I could patch over them so they would not be visible. Using a putty knife and paintable nail hole filler, I camouflaged the brad nails.
After the nail hole filler had dried, I began the process of painting my “Legos.” This was the most difficult part of the whole project! I wanted nice, crisp lines, so I used painter’s tape to divide my Legos. I did one color at a time, allowed it to dry, then reapplied my tape to paint the “Lego” next to the one I had already painted. I used a combo of a foam brush and a small artist’s paint brush to get in all of the nooks and crannies. It probably could have used two coats of paint, but one coat was ok. I sealed the whole thing with Minwax Polycrylic.
I positioned my hooks where I wanted them and marked the holes with a pencil, then drilled small pilot holes.I screwed the hooks on, and then attached D-Rings to the back to hang it on the wall.
With two little boys who love Legos, I’m sure I’ll be making another one of these for our house very soon.