How I Built A Blanket Ladder For Under $20

Blanket ladders are a great starter project if you’re new to DIY and they are a great addition to any space. This easy one-day project can be achieved for under $20 and will display blankets in a unique and cozy way.

Materials:

  • 2- 1 1/4 Dowel/Rod
  • 2 – 2x4x8
  • Wood Glue
  • Stain of Choice
  • Drill
  • 3 inch wood screws
  • 7/64 drill bit
  • Speed square
  • Mitre Saw (Optional)

Step 1: Figuring Out Angles

You’ll want to grab the 2x4s and decide what degree of angle you want the ladder to sit along your wall. I cut the 2x4s on my mitre saw to 10 degrees on the bottom and cut the top angles to 50 degrees fo aesthetics but you can leave the top square or cut to the same degree as the bottom angle. I also cut the boards down to 5 1/2 feet but again, you can cut yours to your desired height.

Step 2: Rung Spacing

The rung spacing will come down to the length you chose for your ladder and how many rungs you want. I planned for 4 rungs and wanted at least 18 inches from the ground to the first rung (just to allow for any blankets on the bottom rung to sit nicely and not be touching the ground). Each rung is spaced out 12 inches to centre. Once you have made your marks, take your speed square and draw a line.

*Make sure your lines and measurements are exactly the same on both boards otherwise your rungs will be crooked.*

Step 3: Drill The Rungs and Side Supports

There is multiple ways this can be done depending on the tools you own. The dowels are 1 1/4 inch diameter and I did not have a spade bit on hand that size so I had to change up the way I attached the rungs.

Option 1: Inset

If you have the proper size bit, you can inset your dowels in to the side support. This will likely give the best strength and support.

Option 2: Drill wood screws through the edges of the support into the dowels.

This is the method I used. Make sure to pre-drill pilot holes in both the dowels and the 2x4s to prevent any chance of the wood splitting. I used a spade bit to allow the screws to be inset in the wood to hide them better.

Step 4: Sanding

Before you attach the dowels, you’ll want to sand your side supports. Do this by starting with an 80grit sandpaper to remove all blemishes from the wood. You will then want to use 120 and then 220. If you want an extra smooth finish, use 320 grit as your finding sanding.

Step 5: Attach The Rungs

Apply the wood glue to the edge of the dowels. I like to drill the screws into the side supports to line up the dowels easier. You can use a clamp to hold the dowel tightly between the two supports but isn’t required. Once rungs are attached, allow the glue to dry for a few hours. While the glue is drying, you can go ahead and fill the inset screw holes with wood filler or a mixture of wood glue and sawdust. I love using DAP products as they cover and stain amazingly!

Step 6: Sand Again Then Stain

Once the wood filler has dried, sand down the edges and you’re ready to stain. I decided to go with ‘Early American’ by Varathane for a warmer tone. I also chose not to condition the wood prior this time as I wanted the wood to appear a bit aged and to have character. Wood conditioner will prevent blotchy stain as wood will absorb stain at different levels. If you condition first, it creates a more even look.

Step 7: Finishing And Styling

I applied one coat of stain and was happy with the coverage and finish but if you feel it needs another coat, I say go for it! Now, lightly sand the edges with 220 grit sandpaper and then apply a water-based finishing coat. Allow that to cure for 72 hours before putting anything on it just to ensure it hardens enough to not damage the wood.

And you’re done! Place it in your desired location and style!

If you tried this DIY, I’d love to see it! Use the hashtag #goingfromhousetohome on Instagram so I can see! If you have any further questions about this project, feel free to leave them in the comment section! Thanks for coming by!

Cheers! – Jenna

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