Repurposed Ladder Into Shelf

6 Materials
1 Hour

I had this old ladder sitting around and thought I would repurpose it somehow. Now ladders can be used for loads of things, but I thought I would make a back-of-the-door storage unit this time around. This shelf is quick and easy and makes for a great catch all! Adding a bit of hardware cloth to the ladder makes this shelf a quick and easy project, too!

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Paint your brackets (if you wish) before getting started. Then screw them into the bottom of the top rung of the ladder.

Place your shelf where you want to hang it, making sure it is level and drill pilot holes into the door or wall you are wishing to hang it on. Then screw through the brackets and into the pilot holes securing it in place.

Take a step back and make sure that the shelf is centered and level.

Take your hardware cloth and hold it over one of the spaces on the ladder. Cut the cloth so that is the height you are looking for plus 3/4" or so to fold over on the bottom. Cut the width so that there is an extra 3/4" on either side of the ladder. Basically you are cutting the cloth so that it has extra on the sides and the bottom for a future step.

If you wish, you can paint the cloth to match the brackets at this time.

Once the paint has dried, place the cloth against the rung of the ladder and fold over the bottom so that the edge is nice and smooth and also in a straight line. I folded mine over 3 squares of the grid all the way across.

Fold the sides around the ladder creating a 90° corner making sure the bottom is lined up with the rung.

Grab your staple gun and secure the hardware cloth in place on the sides by stapling it into the wood.

You can just staple the front of the hardware cloth into the rung of the ladder, but I had some copper tacks on hand and thought I would use them to add a nice touch. Simply secure them in place with a mallet.

Now just fill your shelves with the items of your choice!

Look at all that new storage space! I love how rustic this looks in my home. The ladder totally makes this unique from other shelves. I might buy another one from Amazon, because I love it so much.

You could use a piece of wood in the front of the shelf, but the hardware cloth really helps hold tiny items in place...

This thing has a lot going for it! It's repurposed, it is a storage solution, AND it looks pretty great and can be used as decor too!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 8 questions
  • Crafty girl
    Crafty girl
    on Jun 17, 2018

    Have an old barn ladder similar to this,you said you can get on Amazon?I'm thinking about storing DVDs or CDs that I still have but would need a few.Great idea for a small space that needs like a bathroom but would have to seal it because of shower steam.

  • Joanie
    on Oct 3, 2019

    Where can I find a 3/4 yr. old, wooden rocking chair? I got twins and I got 1. Help?

    • Ely
      on Oct 10, 2019

      Download the app letgo. I live in NY & just checked for child's rocking chair there were over 20 postings. I think the app advertises items regionally.

  • Been there, done that
    Been there, done that
    on Aug 28, 2020

    I like this project but when I add extra weight to my door, the door swings open by itself unless I latch it every time. Also will this work on a hollow core door? Your’s looks like solid wood.

    • Shalamar Bowling
      Shalamar Bowling
      on Feb 15, 2021

      For use on a hollow door, you should be able to simply add wing anchors (can't think of the name, but the kind that inserts into a small hole in the ceiling and spreads out like an upended 'V' to support and anchor a hook for plant hangers. Seems to me that would work perfectly

Join the conversation

2 of 182 comments
  • Susan J Lupoli
    Susan J Lupoli
    on Aug 28, 2020

    I really like this too. It’s one of the cutest, most practical, easy, & decorative ideas I’ve come across in a while that I’ll actually implement, only I’m going to use it in the home office I just updated. Thanks!

  • Shalamar Bowling
    Shalamar Bowling
    on Feb 15, 2021

    Definitely! Just as soon as I can find and afford a ladder +or two or three), I'm going to use this great idea in my own home...maybe even more than once with only slight changes to match the decor of each individual room. Thank you!!

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