A DIY blanket ladder is a great blanket storage solution and is so easy to build and also cheap! You can buy the wood for about $5! A wooden quilt ladder makes a great homemade gift too.
How to Build a $5 DIY Blanket Ladder
You can build this DIY blanket ladder for just $5 in materials! A wooden blanket ladder is perfect for farmhouse décor and can be used as blanket storage or for decoration, such as hanging a wreath or basket of greenery.
This wooden ladder plan uses simple cuts and pocket hole joinery to build a 5-foot blanket ladder measuring 18” W x 60” H x 2.5” D (16.5” opening)– finished dimensions can be easily adjusted.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read our full disclosure policy.
- 2 – 1″ x 3″ x 8′ board (actual 3/4″ x 2 3/8″ x 8′)
- 1 – 1″ x 2″ x 8′ board (actual 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ x 8′)
- wood glue
- miter saw or miter box
- Kreg Jig pocket hole jig
- 1 1/4″ pocket holes screws
- measuring tape
- wood filler
- PDF woodworking plan
This woodworking plan details how to build a 5-foot blanket ladder. Finished dimensions: 18” W x 60” H x 2.5” D (16.5” opening)
To make a 6-foot blanket ladder, cut the blanket ladder sides to 6 feet (72″) or another desired length. Rung spacing can be increased to adjust, or additional rungs added. (Rung placement diagram included in the building plans.)
To make the blanket ladder narrower or wider, adjust the rungs to your desired width.
Can I make a blanket ladder with reclaimed wood?
Absolutely! A wooden blanket ladder is a great way to recycle wood from demos or other projects and save money — we made a pallet blanket ladder here for storing shoes. It cost us $0 and has lots of unique character!
Skill Level: Beginner
This wooden blanket ladder is very easy and perfect for a beginning woodworker or anyone who can make a few cuts and drill a few holes!
I attached the rungs on this blanket ladder with Kreg pocket holes/screws on the backside of each rung. This makes it really easy to accurately place the rungs evenly spaced and creates a strong joint, so your rungs will hold your quilts and blankets with no problems.
You can alternatively screw from the side of the ladder into the rung (use 1 1/2″ or longer screws). Another design option would be to change the 1″ x 2″ rungs for round dowels, 1″ diameter or larger.
How to Stain a DIY Blanket Ladder
After building, remove any excess glue, apply wood filler to holes, cracks and blemishes and allow to dry. Then sand the wood filler and blanket ladder until smooth, finishing with 120-150 grit sand paper. Paint or stain the ladder according to your preferences and allow to dry.
Tip for staining pine
I seriously dread staining pine because it is so hard to get a nice, uniform color. Pine is known for being blotchy and streaky. I wanted a nice rich dark brown/red color and I was surprised and pleased with the outcome.
First I applied pre-stain conditioner to the ladder and waited about 30 minutes. Then I applied Minwax dark walnut stain, let it sit for 5 minutes or so and wiped off the excess. I let the walnut stain dry over night and was pretty nervous because the ladder was looking more like a zebra than a ladder 🙂
Last, I applied a nice coat of Minwax Polyshades bombay mahogany and let that fully dry. The mahogany bombay left a nice rich color on the wood. One perk of the Polyshades is that it contains a top coat, so no need for polyurethane later to protect the wood.
Other ways to stain pine without blotching
The solvents in commercially made stain contribute to blotchy stain on pine and other soft woods. So using a stain without a solvent can make the stain more uniform.
- Our go-to homemade stain recipes here are made with vinegar and household materials – cheap and effective!
- We use our favorite color washing wood stain trick to stain wood ANY color such as turquoise and yellow. We’ve also used it to adjust an off-the-shelf stain to match the tone of our painted doors.
More easy decorative ladders to build:
- Pallet blanket ladder for shoe storage
- DIY rustic towel ladder
- Simple wall-mount towel ladder
- Decorative angled orchard ladder
Please pin this for later and also let us know how your project turned out!
Originally published 12.12.2014 // Updated 04.08.2020