Blanket Storage Shelves Out of My Grandpa’s Old Wooden Ladder

2 Materials
4 Hours

This is not my first rodeo when it comes to turning ladders into blanket racks. My first attempt was my Grandpa’s HUGE old ladder that hung off the side of the old garage for decades. I’m using that one in my master closet holding all my high heals, throws and scarves. I have just a silly amount of blankets in my living room and I won’t give up a single one of them so just a hanging rack wasn’t going to do, in fact, I needed storage shelves!

I have two very old and very rickety wooden ladders that every member of my family has yelled at me whenever they’ve seen me using them lol.

The story behind my two old ladders is pretty cool though. While I was renovating the house I found the shorter of the two in a shed from my Grandpa who lived here. Than, one random day, my brother dropped the taller ladder off saying he thought it belonged with me.

It was a ladder from my other Grandpa!

So here I have two very old ladders, one from each Grandpa 🙂 I chose the tallest of the two for this project (the ladder my bro dropped off) as neither ladder is really safe to use anymore.

I did some looking online of how other people have converted old ladders into shelves and blanket racks etc and one idea caught my eye. I didn’t have room to have the ladder spread out to its full size but I thought I could still make shelves out of it. So, I pressed the backside of the ladder flat against the wall.

(For those wondering why this ladder had “booties” I had wrapped the feet with rags and tape years ago so it would be safe on my floors during the renovation – so that’s what’s going on there lol.)

The first of the modifying I did was to cut nearly three inches off of the back A frame of the ladder. This got the steps of the ladder and the top closer to level so they would better support my shelves.

Lodi: What are you gonna make the shelves out of?

Me: I’m gonna go ask the barn what she thinks.

One weekend we trooped through the snow out to my old barn together. I have done a VERY good job using anything salvageable out of the barn so I didn’t have a ton of hope of finding anything that would be right. (And you all know I hate having to buy new wood ever for anything if I can help it.)

Oh ye of little faith!An ancient, falling down, bead board cabinet half buried beneath a pile of old wood was the perfect solution. We dug it out, ripped off the doors and brought them inside for me to use. (They absolutely DO NOT make things like they used to, an ikea cabinet would have literally dissolved out there by now.)

The doors on the cabinet were in actually VERY good shape!

Creating the shelves on the ladder was a bigger pain in the butt than I expected. None of the rungs matched up perfectly from one side to the other so I ended up having to us L brackets for all of the back shelf supports.

The bead board looks nice as shelves though I think!

I did some light sanding and serious cleaning over the whole thing before I sealed it in with two coats of polycrylic. I was so totally impressed on how sturdy it ended up. It completely stands by itself NO PROBLEM!

The location of my new ladder shelf was something I went back and forth with for a while. At first I was going to put it on the opposite corner wall but this way made more sense to be able to tuck my chair in front of it and still have easy access.

I like how it fills up the corner and, of course, the storage it gave me is absolutely awesome!

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4 of 28 comments
  • Carole gerst
    on Feb 27, 2020

    oh my gosh I cannot believe it after I saw your ladder I did the same thing with my daddy's ladder and the living room I will try to send you a picture but in the living room I have a candlestick holder up plant of course an old sewing 10 and plants on tops with books and something wicker and something wouldn't on top but I can't believe you did the same thing I'm living in a little cottage by myself and I've gone completely shabby chic I got burlap real light colored burlap to cover my window for privacy and then I put the curtain on the outside I'm going completely shabby chic.

    • Carole gerst
      on Feb 28, 2020

      it's funny that those old ladder spoke volumes to us but they have a lot of stories behind them to the ones that ended up with the letters I guess it's like stepping your way into heaven isn't it they always have a way of ending up in a loved one's possession good job though you had me laughing like crazy when I was listening to your response but hey if your family yelled at you for being on those ladders you could turn around say will be my guess you do it yourself and show me how it's done but I'm laughing like crazy now know of course it's not your first time at the rodeo but I'll tell you something have you ever fallen off of a ladder I have and it wasn't pretty no just some black and blues but the worst part was my skirt were up and over my head and a real nice looking guy across the street my neighbor saw the whole thing so I was injured in more ways than one my pride took a great fall

  • Tracy
    on Mar 10, 2020

    Love this idea!

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