Most people who know me know that I am almost always cold. Unless it is like 80 degrees and sunny out I always feel chilly. I wear sweaters year round and cannot live without the heater at my desk. I have been known to carry more than one pair of gloves and keep a pashmina stashed in my car too. So it is no great surprise that I have a plethora of blankets around my place. I have at least one for each chair and one for the couch. Plus I have like four different weights of blankets for my bed. So storing all of these blankets can be a challenge. I mean a girl can only fit so many in one closet and under the bed. But I don’t want to get rid of any of them.
Now I have seen many versions of the blanket ladder in stores and on Pinterest. There are varieties using both sets of rails of the ladder, some with just one set of the rails of a ladder leaned against the wall. Some had shelves, some used boxes. You get the point. Now for my purpose (an attractive way to display the blankets taking up as little space as possible), using both rails was inadvisable. I mean an open ladder takes up a lot of floor space. Ditto with the shelves as it would require the ladder to lean far out from the wall.
So I found an old wooden ladder (ok fine work was getting rid of it because it was a safety hazard) and borrowed some power tools (thank you Dad!) and was able to make the ladder in a few hours.
Skill Sets Needed
This project does require you to be comfortable with a circular saw, or have a partner in crime who would do this part for you. A power sander would make this job faster; however, you can do the sanding by hand easily enough. A basic skill level with paint is also needed, just enough to use a brush and ensure you don’t have any drips.
- An old wooden ladder
- Sand paper (coarse and fine grain for finishing)
- Paint brush
- Circular saw
Set the ladder on a flat surface such as the garage floor or a work bench where it will be stable for sawing. Choose what rung you want the ladder to end at and cut just above the rung. I cut about half an inch above the fourth rung.
Betty note: I chose where to cut because fifth rung was too narrow and had too much attached hardware from the top of the ladder. I intended to use this for lap and couch sized blankets so I used the back of the ladder with the narrower rungs so that the blankets would drape flatter. If you want to use the ladder for quilts or larger blankets, I recommend using the front of the ladder so that the rungs will stagger the blankets better.
Sand down the cut ends making sure that there are no rough edges that could snag the blankets or gouge the walls. Also lightly sand the rails and rungs to allow the paint to adhere better. Wipe down the ladder to remove the sanding dust and any remaining grit on the ladder. Using the paint of your choice, evenly coat the ladder making sure not to let any drips form (especially around where the rails and rungs join). Depending on what paint you choose, this may take one or two coats for full coverage.
When painting, I found it easiest to go down each rail first and then move to the rungs. This helped me clean up any drips or pooling before they had a change to set. I used a high gloss white paint that is durable and matches my craft table.
I let the paint dry for 24 hours before I started to use it. Just to be safe and prevent any damage to my blankets.
This is a neat little solution to my pesky little problem. The ladder holds three lap sized blankets without impacting my closets or requiring a basket to take up floor space. I put the largest blanket on the top rung so that it can drape down the farthest. Now, I wouldn’t mind having a ladder that is a rung or two higher just for the extra storage space. But, visually having the ladder be four rungs tall works out better in my living room. It is the same height as the TV which leaves wall space for décor above both. This DIY gets two spoons way up on the Betty scale. I would highly recommend it for anyone who has wanted a blanket ladder but doesn’t want to spend a ton of money on one.
Love and re-purposing,