Blankets are an absolute must in our house. My husband seems to be constantly cold, and our dog, Luther, can be found in a pile of them at anytime – Winter, Summer, it doesn’t matter. We’ve usually got them on the sofa, but in the Summer I like to keep them a little more out of the way since they’re really only used on the occasional chilly night or to take outside if we have a fire going. I would love an old ladder, but these things have become so popular now that they cost a pretty penny, so I decided to make an “old” ladder myself!

  • 4 20” pieces of 1×2” pine
  • 2 60” pieces of 1×2 pine (these can be cut at the hardware store for you)
  • Wood stain
  • Grey or white paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paper towel or old rags
  • Nail gun or a hammer and nails
  • Sandpaper

It’s such an easy project, and it’ll only take you a couple of hours (including paint-drying time)!

  1. To start, I made some dents in my pine pieces using some random tools, but mostly just a hammer. (Pine is so soft that it’s easy to distress it and make it look old without a lot of effort.) At this point I also sanded the edges to round them out a bit more so the wood didn’t look so fresh and new.
  2. Next came the stain. I used staining cloths, which actually turned out to be a little too strong for my liking at first, so either wring them out a bit or use regular stain and apply lightly so the wood grain is still visible.
  3. It didn’t take long for the stain to dry, so once I had finished all pieces I started over with some paint. I used leftover chalk paint from another project, but literally any paint you have would work for this. I applied it in thin coats, with the brush almost dry to give it a bit of a weathered look.
  4. Let everything dry for about an hour and sand the edges to expose some of the original pine, and also to make the “old” really come through in the wood, distressing some of the paint and stain off.
  5. Now line up your pieces. This is where elementary school math comes in handy, so I hope you were paying attention. I wasn’t, so I eyeballed everything then measured to make it all even because precision isn’t super essential here (as long as everything is straight). 
  6. This is where it became super fun for me – using the nail gun. I love that thing. I put 2-3 nails on each side, even though this ladder isn’t going to hold much weight.

And now we’re all done!

Styling the ladder really took no effort at all. I put two blankets up that we actually use (the cream one is a blanket my mom made for one of our twin boys). I also used some s-hooks I already had at home to hang a basket for some magazines and I got my hands on a cute little air plant and hung that on the ladder also.

I love that it’s functional, looks good, and balances the fireplace wall with the grey metal shelf on the other side.

Now our blankets have a place to hang, our magazines are organized and next to my favourite reading spot, and I’ve added some more greenery to the room. This ladder could be used in other rooms of the house as well, which is another great side of it.

Would you try this project? Where would you use it?

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