I’ve been wanting a blanket ladder for SO long, but was unwilling to pay $40+ for a wooden ladder, knowing I could make one for under $20. I finally got around to it this month! I’m so pleased with the results and can’t wait to share my $20 blanket ladder with you, but first, I want to share a few lessons I learned from completing this project.
One: Take the time to do things the right way and don’t use wood that is slightly bowed… It simply won’t work and you will end up with a crooked ladder. I was so impatient to get this ladder done, that I settled with the wood scraps we had in our shed, which led to me having to redo the project.
Two: Patience is a virtue. I was in such a hurry to get the ladder finished that every single, and I mean every single, measurement was incorrect.
And three: Sometimes the best ideas can come from huge failures. I want to be totally transparent with my readers. I feel that sometimes we get caught up, looking at all the amazing pictures on Instagram and Pinterest, and think that all these DIYers are a special breed of human, who are super crafty and can make picture perfect products the first time around. That isn’t always the case and it’s OK to have a plan B or try again!
Our plan B led us to something more unique and a heck of a lot easier to make! We ended up loving the idea of copper ladder rungs, because they add a little pop of color, our blankets don’t have a chance of snagging on a piece of wood when we pull them off, and the process to complete the ladder took a lot less effort.
What You Will Need:
- Two 2x3s cut into 6ft pieces
- Stain of your choice
- Foam Brush
- Rag or old t-shirt scrap
- One ¾ in x 60 in Copper Type M Pipe
- 7/8 in Spade Bit
- Dremel with metal blade attachment or pipe cutter, and sand paper attachment or sand paper
How to Make:
1. Cut your 2x3s into 6 ft pieces.
Tip: I had the people at Home Depot cut the two pieces for me. Be sure when picking your pieces that they are completely straight. If you lay your two pieces of wood side by side, there shouldn’t be any gaps between the two. You can also lay them on the floor, checking to be sure there is no gap between the board and the floor. I tried to find the pieces that had the most grain detail or knots. I wanted these pieces to have a little character to them. Also, if you can find a straight board that is messed up on one end, you can get 70% off the piece of wood! Home Depot sells 8ft 2x3s, so if one of the ends is damaged, it will be cut off anyway. You just have to ask the person working in the wood section to stamp your piece wood to show the cashier that you need to receive the discount. But warning, they use bright purple ink, so ask them to stamp the part of the wood you won’t be using.
2. Sand your 2x3s. I used our Dremel sanding attachment, however, you can use an electric sander or a heavy grit sand paper.
3. Stain your 2x3s. I used Early American by Minwax. Apply the stain using a foam paint brush. Apply a thin layer of stain, and let it sit a minute or so. Then, use your rag or t- shirt scrap to wipe off the excess stain. If you want a deeper color, you can repeat this process again, once the stain dries.
4. Cut your metal pipe into four 20 inch pieces using the metal cutting attachment on your Dremel. If you don’t have a Dremel, Home Depot sells hand held pipe cutters that will get the job done as well. Note: You will notice that your copper pipe has a red line on one side. This is OK! When putting together the ladder, these lines will face the back, so they are up against the wall.
5. Clamp your two pieces of wood together and mark every 15 inches. This will leave you with a smaller section on the top, but that’s okay!
Tip: take a look at the wood and make notice of which sides of the wood you want facing front and to the sides. Keep the uglier or less interesting sides of the wood to face the back, since that part will be resting on the wall.
6. Once you have your marks every 15 inches, turn the wood to the side, and measure and mark the center of the boards. This is where you will be drilling.
7. Using your spade bit, drill holes on the four spots you marked. Clamping the wood together is a fool proof way of making sure all your holes for your rungs line up with minimal measuring!
Tip: I’m sure this goes unsaid for most, but be sure to drill straight down. If there is any slight angle in your drill hole your ladder rungs will be crooked.
8. Remove the clamps from your pieces of wood. Lay one piece of wood flat on the ground, making sure the side you want exposed to the outside is facing down. Place a copper rung into each hole, pushing it all the way through until you reach the edge of the wood.
9. Place your second piece of wood on top of the four rungs you just inserted. You should be able to align the rungs into the holes and simply push down. If you are having trouble, use a mallet to hammer the second piece of wood onto the rungs.
10. Stand the ladder upright. At this point, you may need to use the mallet to straighten your two pieces of wood and make sure the metal is not sticking out past the edges of the wood.
11. Decorate with your favorite blankets!
Until next time DIYers! Thank you so much for reading!