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Maddie and I have WAY too many blankets, so when planning our apartment, we looked at a couple different solutions. Baskets could end up getting disorganized, and putting them in a drawer or cabinet takes up valuable storage space. We didn’t want to spend $100 on a blanket ladder but really liked how they look, so we decided to make our own! When making our ladder, we looked at a lot of different diy plans from other blogs, and especially liked this one, which we based our ladder on.
- (2) 2″x 4″x 8′ boards: $6
- (1) 1″x 4″x 8′ pine board: $5
- 3″ screws (box of at least 10): $5
- Things we already had: felt pads, Dark Walnut stain, satin polyurethane, power drill, brushes, sawhorses, clamps
Total cost: $15
Step 1: Cut boards for sides and rungs
You can make your blanket ladder however tall you want, but we made ours 7 ft tall since we have a lot of blankets! If you don’t have a saw, Home Depot will cut your boards for you at no charge (even though they say only 2 cuts per person, that’s usually not true). They won’t make the angled cuts for you though so you may want to get at least a small saw, like a jigsaw, for that. The 2×4’s should be cut to 7 feet and the 1×4 cut into 5 rungs of 16 inches.
We angled the tops and bottoms of the 2×4’s so that the bottom of the ladder sits flat on the floor. You can do this by leaning one piece up against the wall and using a scrap piece of wood to trace a parallel line to the floor. Once you cut the first 2×4, use it to trace the same cut on the second piece. We angled the tops at a 45 degree angle as well to give it a more elongated look.
Step 2: Attach rungs to sides
Using 2 screws on each side, use your power drill to screw the rungs in from the sides. The first rung is 9″ from the top and then each rung are spaced a foot apart. We left more room at the bottom so that blankets aren’t dragging on the ground. Additionally we attached each rung at a 45 degree angle so that the blankets can lay flat when they are hung. This is a really nice feature, since they would have looked much bulkier with rungs parallel to the floor.
Step 3: Sand, stain, and polyurethane
We decided to put together the ladder before staining since it would be easier to stain everything in one round, rather than staining each piece individually, waiting, then flipping and staining the other side. However, steps 2 and 3 can be switched if you prefer. We stained the ladder a dark walnut color and used a satin polyurethane. When we sanded, we rounded off the corners that would be hitting the wall to protect the wall and make the felt pads easier to attach
We propped the ladder up on the sawhorses and stained the whole thing, shifted it down a bit, then stained the piece that was resting on the sawhorses. After the stain dried overnight, we added only 1 coat of poly since it was going to be inside and not touched a ton. Very different from our table, which has 5 coats of poly on it! The rungs initially stained a different shade than the sides since they were made of slightly different wood, but you couldn’t really tell after the polyurethane coat. Here’s what it looked like after staining:
And here’s what it looked like after letting the poly dry:
Over time the stain has actually lightened a bit and more honey tones have come out, which match our furniture that’s stained with Special Walnut. I was really excited about this, since the ladder was a little too dark right after we stained it. We added little felt pads to the top inner edge so that when it leans up on the wall it doesn’t scratch it. Here is the final result- we love how it fits in with the rest of our living room!
Hope this helps anyone else looking to make an inexpensive blanket ladder!
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