One of the first things I wanted to add to my living room to begin my redo was a blanket ladder. I had seen how much they cost and knew that I could make one for a fraction of the price. Also I could make it just the way I wanted it. So for less than $10, about $5 if you already have stain, you can make one too.
- 2″x2″x10′ pine furring strip – cut in half, 2- 5 ft. lengths
- 3/4 x 72 inch dowel rod- cut into 4- 14 inch lengths
- stain- I used American Walnut
- cotton rags
- 2 inch screws
- drill or screw driver
- small drill bit for pilot holes *optional
- saw (or have the boards cut for you at the store)
- fine grit sandpaper (220)
These are the supplies that I used, but to customize your own you could change up the lengths and style of wood used. I didn’t feel that I needed an industrial strength ladder to display lightweight accessories. This one is sturdy yet light.
- Cut your wood to length.
- Sand your wood pieces. I wanted a more rustic look so I didn’t sand them too much. Just enough to get the edges cleaned up and a quick sand of the rest.
- Stain your pieces. I like to use a couple of rags. One to wipe on and one to wipe off. Depending on how dark you want your stain will determine how long you leave the stain on. I wiped it on 1/2 of the length of each side and then wiped it right off. I wanted it light. I used a water based stain which is a little more like paint in the way it covers, so you want to wipe it off rather quickly. Oil based stains can stay on much longer before wiping off. If you want it even darker you can do a 2nd coat, after waiting for the first coat to dry according to the directions on whatever stain you are using.
- Drilling pilot holes. I recommend pre-drilling pilot holes into the 2×2’s as well as the ends of each dowel to avoid splitting the wood when placing the screws. My dowels (ladder rungs) are placed 12 inches apart. From the top of each 2×2 measure down 12 inches and drill a hole through the board. Make sure your drill bit is smaller in diameter than your screws. Repeat three more times 12 inches apart down the length of each board. Now drill a pilot hole into each and of the 4 dowel pieces in the center of each end. Better to go too deep than not deep enough. **Oops! As you can tell from the pictures I drilled my holes before staining. You can do it either way. This is what I get for adding all my text before adding the pictures.
- Assembly time! I really should have taken more pictures so you could do more seeing than reading, but I got in my groove and forgot. Start by screwing the 4 screws into one of the 2×2’s so that they are sticking through about 1/4 inch. Take your dowel and screw it slightly onto the screw. Hold the dowel tight in place and finish screwing the screws all of the way in. You will have to lay them on their sides as shown below. Now on to the other side. Start the screws just like on the other side but leave them flush with the wood (you will not be able to start the dowels on this side). Now you are going to have to just hold the dowels in place and screw the screws in the rest of the way.
Now load that ladder up with goodies and marvel at your work.
There are so many variations you can do with this ladder. Paint, distress, use 1×2’s instead of dowels, add more rungs or change their position. Let your imagination go wild and most of all have fun.
If you make yourself a ladder I would love for you to share your pictures in the comments.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!