So excited to show you this DIY Blanket ladder! If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the picture of this cutie I made over the weekend! We have cold winters here in Utah. I’m a warm weather lover and every winter I long for summer, but I do like watching the snow cover our beautiful mountains and wrapping myself in a warm throw while watching a movie. So, this weekend I decided to stay home and make a fun blanket ladder to keep our throws! This ladder would also work well as a towel holder in a bathroom!
There are dozens of variations of these ladders out there, this one is my own take. If there is one out there like it, then I didn’t see it 🙂 I did not want to use dowels for the rungs because it would make it harder to attach them to the sides. So I used 2×2’s. The sides are 2×3’s. This ladder is 6′ tall. I only spent $6 for the wood!. Holla!
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DIY Blanket Ladder/ Towel Rack
The cut list? Easy. I had the nice guy at Lowe’s make all of my cuts, so I brought all of the pieces home ready to assemble.
- (2) 2″x3″x 8′ cut at 6 feet each
- (1) 2″x2″x 8′ cut 5 pieces at 18″ each
- Kreg Jig * (or see option 2 for attaching rungs)
- Wood Glue*
- Decorative L shape Corner Guards* (optional)
- Minwax Driftwood Wood Stain* (or finish of your choice)
- Polyurethane Matte Finish*
To attach the rungs:
Option 1: I used my Kreg Jig* and drilled 3/4″ pocket holes at the end of each rung. Then I used 1 1/2″ pocket screws to attach.
Option 2: If you don’t have a Kreg Jig* you can attach the rungs with 3″ wood screws from the sides. I would recommend drilling pilot holes first if you use this option.
Make sure you measure and mark the placing of the rungs.
Once it was assembled I gave it a light sanding and stained it. I applied the stain using a clean rag, left it on for 5 minutes, then wiped the excess. The finish I used is driftwood. You can of course, use any finish of your choice 🙂
I followed up with a coat of polyurethane once the stain was completely dry.
Here comes the fun part. This is totally optional! I wanted to add a fun and unique detail. I found these cute Decorative L shape Corner Guards*. They come in a box of 8. I like the look, and they also cover the pocket holes! A win win! The nails that come with them are super tiny. I ended up getting a regular nail and getting a hole started, then putting my tiny nail in so I could pound it without holding it. A little time consuming but well worth the effort, I think. You could get longer black nails to begin with instead of using the ones that come with the brackets. There are also a lot of variations of these corner guards, so find some that you like and get creative when decorating your ladder!
So, from a price standpoint the brackets were the bulk of the cost of this ladder because I used 20 of them. If you are on budget, definitely skip these! But I thought they added a fun detail.
One last point, these brackets are for decorative purposes only. They aren’t strong enough to hold the ladder together without screws.
And that’s it! I loved this project!
I always appreciate your shares and pins and if you decide to give this a go, I would love to see a picture so tag @sawdustsisters on Instagram!
Thanks for stopping by!
If you like this project, be sure and check out other wood projects!
This Post Has 34 Comments
Questions for you: my stain says I need to prep the wood with a ” water based pre-stain wood conditioner “. Is this necessary? And another Q: (I’ve not worked with stain very much)- what is the purpose of the poly and is it essential? Thanks so much!
I did not pretreat the wood at all. It did take darker in some places but I like that. The poly is not really essential. It’s meant to give the wood a longer life span by adding protection. I had some poly already but if you don’t, no worries. Can’t wait to see it!
Well YAY!!! You just made my night!!! Now I don’t have to run out to get the pre-treatment for the wood! I can just start staining! Super excited!!!? Thanks!!!
This is ancient history by now, but you should ALWAYS use a pre-stain conditioner on pine. It is notorious for blotchiness. The conditioner won’t prevent all of it, but you’ll get a much nicer result. This presupposes that you’re sanded the pine.
Hmmm.I would have to disagree with “always” If you were talking about a kitchen table, cabinets, or a desk I would agree but this is a decorative piece. Mine is still looking great even though it’s ancient 😀 Happy holidays!
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I love it… especially those corner angle plates!! They give it such a custom feel!
This is a great tutorial. Thanks for all the tips and tricks.
I wanted to leave you a picture but cant seem to.. I am still learning how to use my regular jig and how to stain. But Ibwas very happy with how it turned out. Thanks for the nice beginner project and the clear instructions!!
I’m so happy to hear your project turned out well! Keep working that jig !:-)
i have not done a ton of woodwork, but there is a little trick I learned in my younger days while making string art for Geometry. You can fold up a piece of paper or an index card. Put the nail through the paper and hold the nail in place using the paper instead of the nail it self. It will save you a little bit of frustration and smashed fingers.
Your work is beautiful! Thanks for the tutorials.
Oh my goodness Janese what a great idea! I’m putting that in my book of things to remember. Thank you for stopping by and for the kind words!
I had a question on the chest box corners. The ones linked in the above are for an outside corner so the rough side of the metal would be exposed when nailed to an inside corner. Did you bend them so the smooth side would be exposed or just attach them “backwards” so the rough side is exposed. Thanks! Love the idea.
Hello and thanks for stopping by! I attached the corners backwards 🙂 Glad you liked the idea!
Do the towels/blankets catch on this when pulled off the ladder at all? Thanks for you quick response!
I have not noticed that at all. I keep fleece blankets on there all the time. And you’re welcome!:)
Did you have to cut the bottoms at an angle for it to sit flatly on the ground? If so what degree angle?
Hi! Nope I did NOT cut the ends at all.Easy 🙂
Hi. Did you do pocket holes on just the top of the rungs or the top and the bottom of each rung (at each end?) Looking for a weekend project ?
Hi Holly! Only on the top. I’ve built a few of these since and I now have the pocket holes face the back. Good luck this weekend!
hi how old where u when u started
Hi John! I was 43 when I started woodworking if I remember correctly. Still learning and always will be!
Husband is currently making it. I’m excited. However the list includes wood glue. But no where in the instructions does it tell you where to use it. I look forward to the outcome of it.
Hey Amanda! Use the wood glue at the joints (seams) before you screw the boards together. Make sense? Have fun building this!
What is the purpose of the wood glue?
Thanks so much for your feedback
Hi Heather! The wood creates a tighter bond and also helps hold pieces together while you screw them in.
How did you figure the measurement to center each rung in the 2×4? Did you just do it by eye or did you leave 1/2 an inch on each side of the rung?
I actually put a scrap 1x piece underneath. It won’t be exactly in the center but the distance will be the same for each rung without having to measure. If you want it more exact, you could use a thicker piece. I used 2x3s for mine, so the 1X was pretty close. Great question!
Hey Janice. Your measurements do not come out right. If I follow your 18, 12, 12, 12, 12 spacing on a 6 foot board (with each rung 1.5 inches) that only leaves 0.5 inches at the top. Total is 71.5 inches. Looks like yours has at least 4-5 inches from top rung to edge of outside board. Did you actually use 18 inch spacing for the first rung?
Hi Diane! Ha! Thank you for catching that. You’re totally right. I re-measured my ladder and the bottom rung is 15 inches from the bottom. Sorry for the confusion!
Hey, so if you have to drill screws into the side is there something else you would recommend to cover the drill holes on the outside that is decorative or covering?
Hey Marie! Make sure you drill the screws deep enough and you can use wood filler to fill the holes 🙂
Here’s an affiliate link for wood filler if that’s helpful. Good luck!