Rustic Wood Blanket Ladder/Decor

Rustic Wood Blanket Ladder/Decor

Recently, I decided to refresh my master bedroom. I wanted to complete my project on a budget. I knew that refinishing the dressers and nightstands would take up part of my budget but, it would be such a small amount to make me fall in love with the room again when you think about the price of buying new furniture. Another part of my budget would go to adding some fresh linens to change up the look. Which would leave me with not much budget to add decor items to the space.

I love an inexpensive project that is easy to create. A blanket ladder adds visual height to the room and adds texture as well. I really like that it can be created in just a few hours and you get to make it the exact dimensions and finish that you want, without going to store after store. I know that some people will think I can just order the exact dimensions and finish I want off of Etsy. Well, I looked up ordering one just this size and finish and my price would have been $45 without shipping and handling fees and I would have had to wait to receive it. I had this done in few hours and in place in just two days. The only delay was allowing the odor of the finish to disipate before I put it in the room.

I love the visual height interest as well as the textural interest that a blanket ladder adds to a space.

Supplies needed:

  • 2 – 2×3″ boards that are the height that you want your ladder to be
  • 5-6′ of an 1 1/4″ dowel rod (please see below where I talk about other options)
  • An 1 1/4″ spade drill bit
  • Drill
  • Screw or nails to secure
  • Sand paper
  • Wood glue
  • Finishing product of your choice… stain, paint, wax, poly, etc.

I was able to make my blanket ladder for about $14. I purchased two 8′ 2×3″ boards at $3.78 each. I also purchased a 4′ section of 1 1/4″ dowel ($4.98). For this project I only needed 4′ because I had a 30″ section of scrap.

I cut my 2×3″ boards down to a 6′ height because I did want verticial visual interest but only have 8′ walls in our 1970 ranch style home. So now I’ll have two 2′ scrap pieces… so I’ve got that going for me! LOL. I’ve made blanket ladders before from 4′ tall to 7′ tall. It just depends on the look you want for the room.

I cut my rungs to a 12 1/2″ length. I wanted a minimum of 1/4″ of each dowel rod to set into the hole that I would drill into each rail. I did this length because ultimately I wanted a 12″ rung.

I use a sander to sand my boards quickly but if you don’t have one, simply hand sand your boards and dowel rod with a sheet of sand paper. Do the same light sanding to the dowel rods.

Once you have your two boards cut that will be the rails (stabilizing sides of a ladder), you can measure out the spacing you want for your rungs. There are standards for rung spacing if you are talking about a working ladder but a blanket/decorative ladder’s purpose is just to hold items so the same OSHA requirements don’t apply. I personally think that anywhere between 10″ and 14″ spacing is good for a decorative ladder. On the ladder I made shown here, I marked my rails every 12″ and utilized an 1 1/4″ spade bit to make a recessed part that my rung could fit in.

This is where I usually decide to stain my boards if I am choosing to use that as my end finish. If I am painting, I will assemble the ladder first. The reason why I stain first is because I can tend to be a little sloppy with my wood glue when assembling. If my wood is untreated with stain, when I get a dollop of wood glue outside the inset, the stain never seems to penetrate as well as the other areas regardless of my efforts to remove the dried glue.

So I said earlier there were other options you could use for rungs besides just a dowel rod. Here are a few good items that can be upcyced and utilized for rungs.

  • staircase spindles
  • small diameter table legs (I have utilized antique table legs where the table was no longer functioning and the only remnant that was useable was the legs)
  • crib spindles (I know many people have a difficult time purging their babies cribs but, after several years, safety guidelines are no longer the same and you might as well make something useful out of it. Jenny Lind cribs have some beautiful uniform legs. If you don’t have a crib, you can almost always find one on FBMP or a garage sale for a steal and make numerous projects out of it.)
  • old mop or broom handles. I actually love this one. Why not? and the good part is, if you are going for rustic, they already have that going for them.

Can you believe the look and impact that a blanket ladder makes in my space? Also for the price, you can’t go wrong!

It’s just the vertical impact the room needed.