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Easy DIY Rustic Blanket Ladder (for Under $15)

Add country charm to any room with this rustic blanket ladder. Learn how to create this simple farmhouse-style piece in just a few easy steps here.

Do you have that project that you know you want to make and you keep it in your mind, truly deeply want to make it but for some reason, time passes and you never get to make it? Well, that’s exactly the case with this rustic blanket ladder.

This project has been on my list since like forever. I see it everywhere, each store I go into I see one and I always say, can make that and I will. But truth to be told, I never got to do it until now, YAYYYY for me! LOL

You might also love these other Woodworking ideas: DIY Easy Rustic TV Console Table, DIY Vintage Buffet Makeover using Chalk Paint, and DIY Painted Pallet Headboard.

Easy DIY Rustic Blanket Ladder cover

DIY Rustic Blanket Ladder Step by Step Tutorial

I must admit I got short on height but I still LOVE it with all my heart. I might give it a try again and make it about 6 or 8-foot long but for now, I’m so super in love with my tiny but pretty rustic homemade blanket ladder.

It took me about 3 hours in total to make it. Thank God the day was beautiful and sunny and I could finish it all in one day. I can’t believe how easy it is to make one of these.

It might get tricky at the end when assembling it but it’s definitely doable. I must be clear here, I’m not a carpenter and not even close. So, I can say now that I finished it, it could be one of the easiest DIY projects I’ve made so far.

I went with my gut every step of the way because for this particular project I didn’t want to rehear for tutorials and use only my logic, intuition, and imagination to test myself how far I could go.

general view of Rustic Blanket Ladder

I’ve been of course reading a lot of woodwork, painting, tools but that’s what I got to start this project and I’m so proud of myself.

This proves that anyone can do this. We just need to be brave enough to come out of our comfort zone, forget about perfection and just let it go, let your imagination leads you.

The way I made mine is only one of many, I’ve seen photos of so many gorgeous ones. So don’t get scared and just try, worst-case scenario, start over because it’s not even expensive.

You can build this DIY quilt ladder for less than $10 if you at least have some paints at home or let’s say $15 if you have to buy some. I only had to buy the wood so it was great.

What Type of paint can be used?

Well, What I’ve learned is that quality matters. So whatever you choose make sure it’s good quality.

For the distressed look made with the dry brushing technique, I’ve seen that latex and acrylic paint do really well. However, I use special furniture paint because it combines everything I need, durability, varnish, etc, although I still use a wood spray matte varnish to finish.

Chalk paint can also be used but not for dry brushing you can cover it all as the brand instructs and then distress it if that’s the look you are looking for.

You can always also go for spray paint if you want a more plain and well-covered look with a smoother finish and less rustic. It all comes down to what result you are looking for.

How far apart are the rungs on a blanket ladder?

According to experts, you should place the six foot (1 x 4-inch) pieces on the ground and place the 18-inch boards at even intervals between them. Spacing the rungs at 14 1/2 inches apart works well, but you can space the rungs however you like.

But since mine was not the regular size and very custom, I just separated them evenly. I guess there are no rules for this if you are planning on making them for your own home.

general  side view of Rustic Blanket Ladder

How to Make a Rustic Blanket Ladder

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Supplies:

  • 2 wood sticks {I used 1200 x 38 x 32 mm (1,5 x 1,25 cut at 47 Inches)} This is the blanket ladder height.
  • 4 rounded sticks {I used 350 x 26 mm (diameter 1,02 cut at 14 Inches)}
  • Wood glue
  • Walnut Wood Stain
  • Paint brush and a brush for the stain.
  • Piece of cloth, old rag or old towel
  • White latex paint
  • Drill
  • 3mm Wood drill bit
  • 26mm Flat Wood drill bit
  • Sandpaper
  • 4 wood screws {4x45mm}
  • Gloves and eyewear protection {for painting, drilling and sanding}
view of wood supplies

Instructions:

Since I don’t have big tools like a miter saw, circular saw or anything like that, I took my cut list to a hardware store and got the wood cut.

Prepping the pieces

  • Firstly, I measured carefully where I would put the rungs. The first rung I placed it at 50mm {2 Inches} and from then every 300mm {12 Inches}.
  • Then, of course, I measured the vertical center of the piece. All this is to make sure to mark both sides of the ladder so the rungs line up evenly.
view of measuring the wood piece
view of the marks on the wood
  • Using the 26mm Flat Wood drill bit on my drill, I drilled holes 3 mm deep on each center mark {I used tape on the bit to use as a reference}
view of the flat wood drill
view of flat wood drill working
view of the drilled pieces of wood
  • Test if your wood dowels fit in place if they are too tight just sand a little bit the edges.
view of placing the wood dowels in the drilled piece
  • With your regular wood bit drill holes only on the first rung place and last on each side. Use the hole left by the flat bit as your reference. These holes are to screw the first and last rung. I like to pre-drilling holes to make it easier later on the process.
closer view of drill and wood
  • Once it’s all done, sand any imperfection on the wood, especially the edges to avoid splinters in your fingers, No fun!
closer view of hand sanding the wood

The next step is my favorite! PAINT!!!

Staining and painting the blanket ladder pieces:

  • I used walnut stain. First I spread it with a brush and then rubbed it all with a cloth rag, You get a pretty shade and you can see all the wood designs. I let it dry for about 30 to 40 minutes.
closer view of painting the wood
closer view of hand shooting everything with a cloth rag
view of a piece of wood painted

I decided to go for a dry brush technique, I wanted to intensify the wood lines and dry brushing is perfect for that.

It’s super simple, just put some paint on a paper plate and spread it out kinda thin, then take a dry brush (I use really cheap brushes for this job) and get a tiny bit of paint on the end of the bristles. Then using a piece of paper just remove the excess of paint from the brush.

view of applying dry brush technique
  • Now you are going to just brush this along the wood, re-dip in the paint as necessary and rub it against the paper because you want your brush to remain dry, so get every bit of paint off you can before you get more on there.
  • I went through each long pieces and rungs until I was happy with the amount of whiteness.
view of wood painted with dry brush technique
  • Don’t forget the ends of the sides.
close up of piece of wood done

When you are all done you should have something like this.

general view of pieces of wood ready
  • Let it dry for about 30 minutes.
  • Then using an 80 grit sandpaper, sand roughly along each piece distressing them to give a more aged look, especially on edges but still a smooth finish.
closer view of sanding the wood

Assembling the Rustic Blanket Ladder

  • Clean each piece with a cloth.
  • To make my process easier, I put each screw on all 4 ends and screw them in until I could see the tip on the other side.
closer view of screw and drill
  • Apply some wood glue on each hole from one of the side.
closer view of hole with wood glue
  • Insert the rungs on each hole, use a hammer or another piece of wood to push it through. Wait a couple of minutes.
general view of rugs on the piece of wood
  • Apply glue on the other side’s holes and put in place. I did it all by myself because I was alone but if you can get some extra pair of hands will be awesomely helpful.
  • Here is where the tricky part begins. While you push down one end of the second side piece, the other goes up, it was ridiculous LOL. But what I did was screwing all the way one end and then one by one putting in place each ladder rung hen I got to the last one I drilled that one all the way down too.
view of putting screw in the ends
  • Turn it over and drill the other two all the way too.
close ip of the screwed

There you go! It’s all done!

Rustic Blanket Ladder ready

WOOHOO! I’m so happy with my final result. Completely in love with my new blanket ladder even though it turned out smaller than I expected. I know that’s crazy, I always knew it was only 47 inches high.

DIY Blanket Ladder:

view of Rustic Blanket Ladder on the wall
placing blankets between the stairs

I put it in my living room next to my couch and OMG, I LOVE it.

Painted Rustic Blanket Ladder
side closer view Pretty Rustic Blanket Ladder
closer top view of Rustic Blanket Ladder Easy
close up of wood side of the Rustic Blanket Ladder

What do you think? Would you make one of these pretty Rustic Blanket Ladder???

Some of my favorite Decorative Rustic Wood projects from favorite bloggers:

If you enjoyed this totally rustic tutorial, don’t forget to share with friends!

Quick & Easy DIY Rustic Blanket Ladder pinterest image

If you like this Quick & Easy DIY Rustic Blanket Ladder project, you might also love these rustic projects for decor:

Gorgeous DIY Rustic Wooden Headboard
DIY Easy Rustic TV Console Table Tutorial
Cute and easy DIY Painted Pallet Headboard

Til' next time...

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2 Comments

  1. I LOVE this! I have wanted one of these for the longest time, but I felt like they’re so homemade-looking that just buying one from Target or something would be cheating. This is so easy and I don’t even have to force my dad to make it for me. Thanks for the step by step! I WILL be doing this!

    1. THANK YOU so much for your sweet comment. This ladder is really incredibly easy to make. Th only thing I would pay the most attention is to have the Wood drill bit and the rounded stick diameter with the same measure, if it’s 25mm then both should be 25mm. That way you ensure the stick will fit perfectly in the whole {learned the hard way}. If you have any questions at all, just let me know, I’m not an expert but with whatever I know I’ll help.

      Hugs

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