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DIY BLANKET OR MAGAZINE LADDER

September 19, 2016

I am super excited to share today's post because there is something pretty special about bringing in a new piece of furniture that was crafted by your own hands.  The whole, look at what I did, or it's the only one of its kind, is a pretty cool feeling, as I'm sure many of you can relate to.  I dreamt up the idea of a ladder to store blankets or magazines way back in the winter, but sometimes ideas get forgotten as was the case here.  Then last weekend I brought it up again with hubby.  On that same day we were off to Home Depot buying materials.  We (mostly he) constructed a ladder in under a couple of hours, and I spent last week giving the ladder two coats each of stain and black paint in our garage (you might have seen an InstaStory about it if you follow me on Instagram).

 

 

To make a ladder of your own, you have choices; choices of different woods, stains, paint, even material (maybe you decide on steel rungs instead).  Below, I'll show you what we chose to make our six-and-a-half foot ladder at home.

 

TOOLS & MATERIALS:

 

to build:

  • 2 x 2" x 4" x 8' cedar lumber

  • 2 x 1 1/4" x 48" round wood dowels

  • Measuring tape

  • Mitre saw

  • Sanding block 

  • 120 grit sandpaper

  • 1 1/4" spade bit

  • Drill

  • White carpenter glue

  • Clamps

 

to finish:

  • Measuring tape

  • Painter's tape

  • 2 1/2" paint brush

  • 3/4" paint brush

  • Varathane Premium Wood Stain in Natural (236 ml)

  • Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover Premium Latex paint in black (236 ml)

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

We decided on a 6' 6" ladder, so the first thing we did was cut a foot and a half off the cedar lumber with the mitre saw.  Cut the wood dowels into 6 rungs of equal length (16") with the mitre saw.

 

Use a medium sandpaper to smooth out the cedar wood.  The dowels don't need sanding.

 

Line up the cedar on the floor or a table and decide how far apart to space the rungs.  We did a spacing of approximately 12", leaving a larger gap from the bottom of the ladder to the first rung.

 

Use the spade bit on the drill to create the holes for the rungs (don't go all the way through). Attach the rungs with glue, and clamp the sides of the ladder together.  Let it dry fully for a day.

 

I decided to stain the ladder first, just one side of it, and to do this I used the larger of the two paint brushes.  I gave it one coat, waited several hours, and then applied a second coat.

 

The following day I painted the other side black.  First I used painter's tape to tape off the rungs, and a measuring tape helped me achieve equal lengths (of 4" from the left). The paint takes a while to dry, so I did it over a two day period.  I used the larger brush on the cedar wood, but found it easier to paint the rungs with the smaller brush.


We decided to forgo a sealer because after some research, it's not necessary to seal over a natural stain, in fact that should be done before the stain is applied.  But, the ladder feels smooth, and it won't be handled often so we weren't worried about that.

 

 

 

 

Currently, the ladder is leaning in our dining room because it's the only empty wall space that I could find.  When I originally thought of the idea, I had pictured it going in a corner of our living room, but then this unit was purchased and took up that space.  But I do like it here as the room is adjacent to the living room anyway, and it's tucked where no one can run into it (namely my 2-year-old who likes running laps in the house).

 

 

 

 

I would love to do a few other things to this room.  For instance, paint the walls a lighter colour, swap out the tired light fixture, and raise the curtain rod (maybe change it as well), and replace the curtains.  But for now, this little addition makes me happy.