Sometimes the junk gods grant you a gift – an old, nasty wood ladder that’s covered in dirt and spiders that you have to drag out of the trash. Gee, thanks, junk gods. It’s the thought that counts, right? Well, I thought I could turn that old wood ladder into a blanket ladder.
The problem with an actual wood ladder that was used
for actual laddering to reach high places, is that it just looks like a work ladder not a blanket ladder.
This is fine if that’s the look you’re going for in your home. Throw a blanket on it and call it good. No judgment here. I used my wood ladder as a blanket ladder (minus the dirt and spiders) for a couple of years before I started modifying it.
This is how it started out…
Here’s how the wood ladder looks today with some modifications to make it look more like a blanket ladder and less like a work ladder.
Honestly, it took me four years, FOUR YEARS, to get to the point where we are today. Either this was the gift that kept on giving (thanks, junk gods) or my decorating journey is a long and winding road.
Here’s what I’ve learned to help you take a more direct path on this decorating journey and perhaps view old wood ladders in a new light.
How To Turn an Old Wood Ladder Into A Blanket Ladder Tip #1: Clean it up.
First things first. Any gunk or spiders have to go. If your ladder started out as dirty as mine did, you’ll probably have to hose it down and scrub off decades of caked on dirt.
Then wait for it to dry.
How To Turn an Old Wood Ladder Into A Blanket Ladder Tip #2: Fix it up.
I’m going to assume that if you’re converting an old A-frame ladder into a blanket ladder that you will remove one of the sides. You only need half of an A-frame ladder for this project. My ladder had already lost half of it’s frame, so I didn’t have to worry about this step.
Now, this it the part that took me four long years to figure out. The number one way to make sure your old ladder will look like a blanket ladder is to remove the top cap. The top cap is the part you’re never supposed to stand on but we’ve all done so at least once. It’s a miracle we’re all still here, isn’t it?
Removing the top cap should not be hard. Tap on the bottom of the cap with a hammer and it should pop off. Watch out for the nails!
If any of the ladder steps are broken or snagged, now would be the time to fix them. Pay particular attention to any rough parts on the steps that may need to be sanded so that they don’t snag your blankets or quilts.
The last thing to consider is if any parts of the wood ladder are rotting. My wood ladder had been standing in the dirt for a while and the bottom inch or so of the legs were rotten. We used a saw to cut the rotten part off, so our ladder is now a little shorter than 7-ft.
How To Turn an Old Wood Ladder Into A Blanket Ladder Tip #3: Paint, stain, or seal.
Depending on the look you’re going for, you might want to paint or stain your ladder.
I left the paint drips on my wood ladder because I’d like the patina it provided, but I stained the ladder a little darker so that it wasn’t quite so rustic looking.
You may want to put a clear coat of some sort on the ladder just to seal it all up, especially if you’re hanging blankets or quilts on the ladder that are precious or valuable to you.
How To Turn an Old Wood Ladder Into A Blanket Ladder Tip #4: Add decorative touches.
Now, we’re getting to the fun part.
I added brass caps or leg tips to the top and bottom of my ladder legs using flexible brass sheets. Rolls of brass for crafting purposes are not expensive (under $20) and give a big bang for the buck in terms of what you can create.
The brass leg tips give this rustic ladder a glamorous pop that’s unexpected, which I love!
If you want the directions on how to do this yourself, I wrote about it here.
One last thing!
You may want to add felt pads to the bottom and even back of your ladder so that it doesn’t scratch your floors or the wall.
If you don’t have felt pads, you can always hot glue actual felt cut to size to the ladder. That works too.
While I wish that it didn’t take me four years to have the EUREKA! moment that I needed to remove the top cap on the ladder, I am happy that I finally had that moment.
Sometimes we get so used to how things look that it’s hard to view them through a critical lens of how could this be improved?
Do you get used to how things look in your home? Does it take you a long time to decorate too? How do you feel about blanket ladders? I’d love to know. You can always comment on this blog post, email me here, or reach out via Instagram or Facebook.
Thanks for reading today’s blog post. I enjoy sharing ideas and my creations with you! Here are some other blog posts you might enjoy.
*affiliate links in this blog post*