It’s February in Wisconsin. Translation = it’s cold outside! Lately the temperatures have been dipping down pretty low and we’ve been getting a little bit of snow flurries each day. It’s exactly the type of weather where all I want to do to is snuggle up on the couch under a nice soft blanket to stay warm.
I have been on the hunt for a vintage blanket ladder for a while now. I’ve seen a few at some of the antique/junkin’ spots I frequent, but they were either too large or too pricey for my budget. Remember when I told you I’d have some great ideas for DIY projects coming this month? Well, if you love to snuggle with blankets as much as I do, and want an attractive way to show them off, then this one’s for you!
My father-in-law is a very handy-dandy type of man. He’s always tinkering on something in his spotless & well-organized garage – you could literally eat off the floor in there it’s so clean! My husband’s family all live in Minnesota, where he’s originally from. So, when my in-laws planned a trip down recently to visit us for the weekend, I knew I had just the project for my father-in-law to tackle. He’s always up for a good DIY project to keep him on his toes.
I found a photo and some very simple plans online for a DIY wooden blanket ladder that was just the right size and look for what I was after for our family room. The best part was that it only called for $10 worth of pine boards. I knew he would already have the screws and stain needed to complete the piece. And with a little distressing, it would give me the vintage look I was after.
He started with two 2 x 4 x 8′ pine boards and one 2 x 6 x 8′ pine board. He cut the 2 x 4 board down to 5′ long and cut the 2 x 6 board into four pieces that were 17″ each.
Instead of using 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws like the plans called for, my father-in-law decided to make some recessed wooden screws instead. Told you he was handy-dandy like that! He drilled holes through the 2 x 4’s for the recessed screws, made short wooden dowels, glued in the holes over the screws, then cut them flush and let them dry.
For the assembly of the ladder itself, he attached the 2 x 6 pieces to one of the 2 x 4 pieces every 12″ along the length of the ladder. The top 2 x 6 piece is 3″ away from the top of the 2 x 4. The rest of the pieces are spaced 12″ apart measuring from the front most corner of each 2 x 6. They are angled so that the opposite corners are flush with the opposite sides of the 2 x 4.
He then attached the other 2 x 4 side in the same way and sanded the edges lightly.
Next was time for staining! I wanted a dark brown, antique finish for the final look of this piece, so we went with the Minwax Dark Walnut 2716 wood finishing stain.
He put on the 1st coat of stain and let it dry for 15 minutes, then wiped it off with a clean dry rag and applied the 2nd coat of stain. He then let dry completely for 2-3 days.
When it was completely dry, he wiped it down again with a rag and sanded it to the desired, weathered/distressed look I was after. Total time for assembling the ladder, minus the staining, was only about 2-3 hours total.
I was so excited to get this new blanket ladder home and inside our family room to see how it looked. It fits perfectly in the corner up against our shiplap wall. It really cozies up the room and now I can hang my favorite blankets on the ladder for easy access on those cold “cuddle up on the couch” nights.
The distressed wood grain showing through the dark stain is probably my favorite thing about the ladder. One would never guess it’s brand new wood underneath!
I can’t thank my father-in-law enough for his handy-dandy craftsman skills in helping me create this DIY wooden blanket ladder. For $10, you really can’t beat this easy weekend project. If you’re up for it, you too can create this look for your home and add some instant cozy! Stay warm out there tonight! Spring is coming soon!!
Ellen Loeser says
Very cool! I’m going to get the lumber and stain and get started on making one of these for all my throws. I love it Thanks for sharing…
Unstained ladders like this are selling for $125 at my local antique store. I would definitely prefer to make my own so thanks for the tutorial:)
Katie Anderson says
That is exactly what prompted me to want to make my own as well! Love your blog’s name & concept…and so fun that you have goats! Thanks for stopping by Have a Little Faith. 🙂
Do you put a coat of varnish on it? Or just stain it an that’s it ?
Katie Anderson says
It’s just the stain, no varnish finish.