Do you love the look of blanket ladders but not the price tag?
Never fear! You can easily make your very own blanket ladder with just a few supplies and some basic DIY skills.
This guide will walk you through the process step-by-step, so you’ll be able to show off your cozy new blanket ladder in no time – and enjoy the bragging rights of having built it yourself!
As a writer for Today’s Cottage Living – and a property owner with a passion for country living (!), I’ve covered a variety of topics and written several articles on everything from best firewood practices, wood stoves, to DIY construction projects. This guide combines my years of hands-on experience, together with extensive research from experts on the topic to help ensure a well-rounded perspective.
Let’s get into it!
How To Make Your Own Blanket Ladder
What You’ll Need:
- 6ft 1×4 lumber (2 pieces)
- 4ft 1×3 lumber (2 pieces)
- 1-inch hole saw OR spade bit
- 60 or 80 grit sandpaper
- Paint or Stain (optional)
- Polyurethane (optional)
- L brackets (4)
- 1/2 inch dowel rods (6) OR 1/2 inch diameter closet rod (1)
- Wood glue
- Clamps (2)
- Tape measure
Best lumber choices
When it comes to selecting the best lumber for building a blanket ladder, you have a few options. Pine is the less expensive option. Oak and other hardwoods cost more but provide added strength.
Selecting the right lumber for your blanket ladder will depend on a few factors, such as how much weight the blanket ladder will need to support and how often it will be used. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, pine will suffice.
However, if you need a blanket ladder that can support a lot of weight or will be used frequently, opt for oak or another hardwood.
No matter which type of lumber you select, try to pick lumber with as few knots and defects as possible to ensure a smooth finish.
Step One: Cut Your Pieces to Size
Note: Before you tackle the following cutting steps I recommend asking the lumber yard where you’re buying the materials to cut it for you. This is typically a free service.
Using a miter saw, table saw, or hand saw, cut your lumber down to the following lengths:
- 2 – 6ft 1x4s,
- 2 – 4ft 1x3s,
- 6 – 30in 1/2in dowels OR one 4ft closet rod.
Note: If you’re using dowels, reduce them to size by cutting them in half with a hand saw.
Step Two: Make the Holes for the Rungs
Place one of the 6ft boards horizontally on your work surface, with one end flush against the edge of the table. This will be the back piece of your ladder.
Using a tape measure and pencil, mark two inches in from each end and then make another mark every 16 inches along the board.
These will be where you drill your holes for the rungs. If you’re using a closet rod for your rungs, skip over to step four.
Using a 1-inch hole saw or spade bit, drill out each of your marks. If you’re using a spade bit, make sure to start the hole at an angle so that it’s wide enough for your dowels to fit through snugly.
Flip your board over and smooth out any rough edges with some sandpaper. Repeat this process with your other 6ft board.
Step Three: Assemble the Side Pieces
Now it’s time to attach your side pieces! Take one of your 4ft boards and line it up flush against one side of each of your back pieces so that the ends are level with each other and there’s a 2-inch overhang on top.
Use wood glue and clamps to adhere them in place while you predrill four evenly spaced pilot holes along each joint. Screw in four screws per joint (two on each side). Trim off any excess screws protruding from the other side using a flush cut saw or a pair of wire cutters.
Now do the same thing with your other 4ft board on the other side of each back piece so that you have two long side assemblies.
Step Four: Attach Your Rungs
It’s finally time to add your rungs! If you’re using dowels, insert them into all of the holes on each side assembly, making sure that they’re seated tightly against the bottom edge of each hole.
Once they’re all inserted, use wood glue along each joint to secure them in place before clamping everything together and letting it dry overnight.
If you’re using a closet rod, simply feed it through all of the holes on both side assemblies until it’s seated snugly against both bottom edges, then use clamps and wood glue as before.
Let it dry overnight once again before proceeding to step five.
Step Five: Finish It Up!
All that’s left now is adding any final touches like paint or stain (if desired). Once that’s dry, give everything a light sanding with some fine grit sandpaper just to knock down any rough edges or drips, then apply a coat of polyurethane if desired for extra protection.
For tips on best staining practices, check out this video.
For tips on choosing stain colors, check out this video.
And that’s it!
Hang up your new blanket ladder and start decorating!
To help you get started on decorating your new blanket ladder, we have a few tips below. We also have a comprehensive article on how to style your blanket ladder that is chock-full of creative ideas.
1. Choose the right blankets. Lightweight, thin blankets are best for draping over a ladder, as they will hang nicely and won’t be too bulky.
2. Fold the blanket in half lengthwise before draping it over the rungs. This will create a nice, full look.
3. Experiment with different patterns and colors to create an eye-catching display.
4. For a cozier feel, hang a few throws over the blanket ladder as well. These can be used for extra warmth or simply for decoration.
5. Be sure to dust the blanket ladder regularly to keep it looking its best.
And there you have it! With these tips, you’ll be able to create a beautiful blanket ladder that will add both style and function to your home.
I’ve included a great DIY YouTube video below. You can also see a 2nd DIY blanket ladder video on our other article here at this link. The 2nd video is from Pottery Barn and showing a nice way to create a rustic finish. It’s also worth watching.
That’s all there is to it!
With just a few supplies and some basic DIY skills, you can easily make your own blanket ladder at home without spending a fortune.
So what are you waiting for? Get started today and enjoy snuggling up under cozy blankets all winter long!
Thank you for sharing your time with us at Today’s Cottage Living!
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