DIY Wooden Ladder for bathroom towels!

I hope you all are staying nice and warm where you live!  We had our first official snow storm last night totaling about 5 inches. 

No big deal for some parts of the world, but in Southern Ohio it seems to cause a little panic!  Not only do schools start to shut down (mostly because of the back roads that don’t get a plow going thru on a regular basis), but the shelves at the grocery store become EMPTY!  I sent PT to the store last night to get lettuce and the text messages I received from him were hilarious.  People were getting ready for the sky to fall!!  I guess people envision being snowed in for weeks versus the 1-2 days that is the norm.

It is probably only human nature to prepare for the worst! 😉

Anyway……let’s move on to ladders…..

Have you seen how people are using old ladders in their home décor?  They are pulling the A-Frames apart and using them as storage for blankets, hanging their children’s artwork, and some are even hanging them from the ceiling to store pots and pans.

Source:  Houzz

This looks like it was dragged from the closest barn with all the paint splatters!  My heart is swooning….

Source:  Houzz

How cute is this laundry room, with the ladder being used as a drying rack!  Loving the rolling red cart too!  Can you believe I have something similar, only black and a little bigger! 

Others are using the entire ladder and adding in a layer of wood and using them for bookcases.  Gotta love people who have the visualization for upcycling old items!  Love it!

Beyond the picket fenceSource:  Beyond the Picket Fence

Ever since seeing this photo online a few years back………

Funky Junk InteriorsSource:  Funky Junk Interiors

………..I have kept my eyes and ears open for an old stand alone ladder, one that is not an A-Frame but a single one like they used to use that  propped up against something before climbing it. 

I wanted wood, not metal, and the rungs needed to be small and not bulky.  I wanted to use it as a replacement for our towel bar in the master bath.  Just like the photo above!!!! I found a few at local craft/vintage fairs but nothing truly spoke to me.   Yes…..I am one of those weird people that “listens” to inanimate objects!! 😉

I felt like I hit the jackpot at the Country Living Fair that I went to this past Fall in Columbus.  I found a couple that I could easily see in my house.  Only problem…the price!  I definitely couldn’t pay upwards of $65 for an old beat up ladder, no matter how much I wanted them!  My friend Cheryl had a few choice comments on my ladder addiction, but the one that stood out the most was, “why don’t you just make your own”? 

Why not indeed!!

This may have been the easiest project I have ever done, and I am kind of kicking myself for waiting so long!

I started this the first day that the hardwood floors were getting installed, and had most of it done even before the 2 installers even arrived.  Which is easy to say as they didn’t get to the house until noon?  😉

Here are the Supplies I used:

  • 2- 8 ft 1×4 pine boards
  • 1″ dowel rods – I bought (3) 4 foot dowel rods
  • Minwax wood conditioner
  • Stain of your choice
  • Wood screws
  • Wood Boring Drill Bit (Paddle Bit)
  • Measuring Tape & Pencil
 1)  I wanted the ladder to be tall, so I only cut 8 inches off of each board, so the official height of the ladder is 7′ 4″.  I used my gorgeous Kobalt Miter Saw to get the job done.  So glad this saw came into my life!!
DIY Ladder-How to make a ladder for blankets
I wanted it to look authentic so I also made a small angled cut at one end of each board……
DIY ladder for blankets
2)  I cut the dowel rods into (5) 22 1/2″ pieces.
3)  I sanded down the edges of both the dowel rods and the pine 1×4’s.
4)  I laid all the pieces on my garage floor to figure out the spacing.  At this point, I was debating on whether to keep the dowel rods 22 1/2″.  I thought it was too wide….but figured I could always take off more down the road, but couldn’t add the inches back on if I decided I didn’t like them so close together.  Using my noggin!! 😉
How to make a ladder-DIY ladder
5)  I then used a pencil and marked the pine boards where I wanted each rung to be screwed in.  I made sure that each dowel rod was going to be anchored into the middle of the board.  Mine are spaced about 16-18″ apart.
6)  As my dowel rods are 1″, I used a 1″ paddle bit.  I taped off the paddle bit as a guide so that I didn’t drill all the way through the pine boards.  You only need a small groove for the rod to sit in!!
Paddle Bit
7)  I then drilled 3/4″ wood nails into the outside of the boards, securing each dowel rod into place.  I then did the same with the other side.
8)  I gave a light sanding to the ladder, wiping off the dust, and followed it up with the wood conditioner.
9)  Finishing it up is 2 coats of dark stain that I already had on hand, as well as, another 2 coats of polyurethane to seal and preserve it.
Storing blankets on a ladder-DIY ladder
That’s all she wrote…..you should be able to have this done in just a couple of hours.  Not bad, eh!? 

I had sanded down the walls getting them ready to paint…..about 2 months ago that is!  After living with the ladder on these faux brick walls for a bit I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore, and whipped out some leftover paint……
DIY ladder-how to make a ladderI am digging the tan walls so much better!!
how to make a vintage ladder-Upcycling a ladderThe only downfall of this quickie paint job?  PT told me that the brick walls were his favorite paint job that I have completed in this house. {SIGH}

Sad for him, but still glad I did it though!  😉
The kids were a barrel of laughs when they saw the finished product, making as if they were going to climb the ladder.  LOL!   They of course laughed at it and said that it was too wide……better suited for blankets more than towels!  Told me I should put it in our family room!  Remember, I can always take more inches off of dowel ends…..but I cannot add the inches back!!  😉  Once I told them this, all I could see was heads bobbing up and down in agreement!
Aaahhhhh…….the golden silence agreeing with Mom.  Definitely doesn’t happen very often!!!
Do you like all of the ladders popping up in home decor?   How would you use (or have used) a ladder in your decorating scheme?

                               Shaunna

5 thoughts on “DIY Wooden Ladder for bathroom towels!

  1. After reading this you I figured you would probably drool over an «apple ladder». I saw them in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. The top of the ladder ends in a «V» and they come in a variety of sizes. This is a web site explaining how to make them. I haven’t tested the instructions out and when I glanced at it – it seemed waaay to much trouble for me to attempt using their methods. I have always wanted to duplicate the touristy one I bought for 20$ when I was in the Maritimes maybe inspiration will strike and I will figure out an easier way to make one.
    http://www.saltscapes.com/home-cottage-section/do-it-yourself-category/866-funky-apple-ladders.html

    • Now that is awesome Karen, thanks for sharing it with me!! I do think that it can be made a little easier than the authentic version. Will need to add this to my endless list of projects that I want to accomplish! 😉

  2. You totally crack me up!! And, I can so see the boys on that ladder! Glad I can occasionally be your voice of reason!! 🙂

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