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 7 questions
  • Greg
    on Nov 6, 2017

    I use hardware cloth in everyday work in my business and I personally would not store materials of fabric in the shelving. The hardware cloth will snag the fabric. By using maybe a repurposed ladder rung as a shelf retaining device or excess length of the ladder? Cutting it so that you can place the rustic side out.
    • Pinky Slemaker
      on Oct 10, 2019

      If you're gonna store fabric on the shelves why not just use fabric as a retainer.

  • 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.

Join the conversation

2 of 180 comments
  • Red
    on Jan 23, 2020

    Neat idea

  • Joanie
    on May 28, 2020

    I have seen ladders used in many different ways, but this one is for sure the BEST I have seen.......I LOVE it!! It is shelving and being used wisely. Great idea!!

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