An Old Ladder Gets Retired to My Closet as a Ladder Shoe Rack!

2 Materials
1 Hour

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has seen the amazing things done with old ladders on pinterest! My favorite of all time was an old ladder shoe rack and I just happened to have an old ladder myself! It was Grandpa's and was used out here on the farm for many decades before being hung up on the side of the old garage where it hung for years upon years, just waiting for retirement. I never have the heart to part with anything I can make use out of and, from day one upon seeing this ladder, I tucked it away for just this purpose in our master bedroom closet! I knew it would make a fantastic ladder shoe rack for all of my high heels and, not to mention, beautiful throws and scarfs that I keep collecting... Ok, maybe "hoarding" would be another way of putting it, but I love them! And, I'm certain, one day I will wear them all at some point...

You can see at the top of the ladder it still holds that AMAZING old hardware. You can't really see it in the pictures but one of the rungs on the ladder was actually broken off one side and, initially, I had planned to make my cut to remove that so all of the rungs would be really stable. However, after making my measurements, I realized I would have to cut the top off the ladder to remove the broken rung and, thus, lose that beautiful old hardware. So, that was a no go!

So, I cut the bottom off of the ladder and I was left with a mini ladder with four rungs that will definitely be finding another purpose somewhere in our home! I love the dark gray of the wood, I love the old paint spills probably from when Grandpa painted the barn or the house decades ago! When I made the cuts to remove the bottom portion of the ladder, I cut them at an angle with my jig saw so it would stand and lean better. I also put felt stickers on the bottom to protect our hardwood floors from our new ladder shoe rack.

I had the perfect spot in our master bedroom closet for the ladder, tucked in the corner across from my white tufted leather hassock and right beside the door to our bathroom. I started digging and found all of my high heels and pretty throws that have been in storage for three years! I do believe I am do for a time to dress up all pretty and wear those high heels! As a ladder shoe rack I can't believe how well it works!

I was actually disappointed to realize that I had purged all but five pairs of heels from my collection when I moved two years ago. I might be a bit of a hoarder but, when it comes to things I won't use, I'm just the opposite, if its going to be in a bin in storage for ten years without my ever looking at it, touching it, or needing it, I'm going to donate it. Which is what I did with what must have been at least a dozen pairs of high heels that I never wore.

I did not, however, get rid of a single scarf or throw and I am so glad I didn't! Now I have a beautiful place to hang all of them and shoe them off with the few high heels I have left! The old hardware at the top of the ladder was perfect for dangling several of my pretty throws. And all of the rungs (even the broken one!) supported the rest of my scarfs, throws and shoes with no problem!

I can't believe just how much use that can be had out of an old ladder! I wish I had a couple more of them because I would definitely put one in my living room as a blanket rack!

Suggested materials:

  • Ladder
  • Polycrylic

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Hope Moran Brooks
    Hope Moran Brooks
    on Jul 19, 2016

    I love this idea! I think, it may be a good idea, also, to use rubber on the bottom instead of felt, to prevent it from slipping?

  • Alaskasense
    on Jul 19, 2016

    Do you have any problems with splinters or rough spots catching your scarves and throws?

    • GrandmasHouseDIY
      on Jul 19, 2016

      Nope but the ladder I used was very old and smooth. If it could be a problem though a little sanding and maybe a coat of sealer would do the trick :)

  • Joan craft
    Joan craft
    on Aug 18, 2018

    Why not make your own storage ladder out of new's hard to find wooden ladders anymore

    • Audrey
      on Dec 30, 2020

      I just happen to live where people throw out stuff that’s in great shape still and one was a wood ladder

Join the conversation

6 of 75 comments
  • Audrey
    on Dec 30, 2020

    So your ladder looks like the kind that is not the A frame wood ladder which is what I have I would like to separate the pieces and make one a bookshelf and than do this also and yes I also have a bunk bed ladder that may also help

    • GrandmasHouseDIY
      on Dec 30, 2020

      I tried to pry those off of my ladder as well and didn't get very far. I remember thinking I would need a very large pair of pliers to squeeze the head of grommet that's on the inside.

  • Audrey
    on Dec 30, 2020

    Oh and I love that one too I’m wondering how big of a space I may need to accommodate that size...

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