Blanket ladders lean against a wall and store your blankets for ready access, plus they're a decorative accent for bedrooms, living rooms, or suites. In just under an hour, you can make a DIY blanket ladder for considerably less than you'd pay at a retailer. They're so easy to make, you don't even need to drive a single nail or screw.
Customize Your Blanket Ladder
This basic blanket ladder is 6 feet tall, 24 inches wide, leans on the wall at a 75-degree angle, and has four equally spaced round rungs. Duplicate this project exactly or mix it up with any number of design variations.
Before cutting the boards, play with configurations. Lay out the boards in various combinations. Decide if you want to double the rungs from four to eight for a clustered look. You might want to widen the legs from 24 inches to 36 inches for large blankets or comforters. Or try rungs of different diameters, mixing thick dowels with thin ones.
Blanket Ladder Finishes
When you've finished your blanket ladder, plenty of finish options are available:
With shou sugi ban or finishes that may smear off, follow with two coats of clear polyurethane sealant to protect the blankets.
If using an electric miter saw, observe all safety precautions. Wear eye and hearing protection. Clamp the work materials in the saw before cutting. Keep hands, loose clothing, and hair away from the saw.
Equipment / Tools
- Miter saw
- Hammer or mallet
- Speed Square
- Tape measure
- Wood clamps
- 1-1/4-inch auger bit
- Fine grit sandpaper
- Painter's tape
- Shop vacuum
- 2 two-by-threes, each 8-foot
- 2 1-1/4-inch round dowel, each 48 inches
- Wood glue
Cut the Wood
Cut each of the round dowels in half, producing four 24-inch pieces. Cut the two two-by-threes down from 96 inches to 72 inches.
Cut the Blanket Ladder Feet
Miter-cut the ends of the two-by-threes at a 15-degree angle. This creates angled feet for the blanket ladder to rest against the wall.
Wrap the Auger Bit
With painter's tape, create a visual stop on the auger bit so you know how deep to drill the holes in the ladder legs. This is important so that you don't accidentally drill all the way through the board.
Use the tape measure to measure from the end of the auger bit upward 1 inch. Wrap the tape so that its bottom edge is at the 1-inch mark.
Mark the Rung Locations on One Leg
Hang the tape measure hook at the end of one of the one-by-threes. With the pencil, make marks at 14-1/2 inches, 29 inches, 43-1/2 inches, and 58 inches.
Mark the Rung Locations on Second Leg
Duplicate the ladder leg marks onto the other one-by-three by laying the two boards next to each other and even. Use the Speed Square to draw marks across from one board to the next.
Create the Drill Locations
Find the center of each board so that the rungs will be dead-center on each leg. Lay the Speed Square against the boards and measure inward 1-1/4 inches at each mark. Make a perpendicular mark. Do this a total of eight times (once at each rung location) between the two boards.
Drill Holes for the Rungs
Chuck the auger bit into the drill. Clamp a ladder leg down on a work surface. Drill holes at each of the four marked rung locations. Be sure to stop at the tape mark. Repeat for the other ladder leg.
Sand the Wood
Wrap the sandpaper around the ladder legs and rungs. By hand, sand down the wood and round off the sharp edges. Be sure to sand around the rung holes since auger bits drill coarse, splintery holes.
Add the Rungs to One Leg
Test fit a rung into one of the holes. If it fits, add wood glue in the holes. Use your finger to smear glue around the sides of the hole. Add the four rungs to the leg. Tap lightly with the hammer or mallet to secure them. Clean the excess glue with a cloth.
Add the Second Leg to the Rungs
Place the second leg on the work surface with the holes facing up. Add wood glue to the holes. Insert the ladder rungs. Because all rungs need to meet the holes simultaneously, have an assistant help you guide them in.
Finish the Blanket Ladder
Finish the blanket ladder with the stain, paint, or wood treatment of your choice.