DIY Double A-Frame Ladder Outdoor Plant Stand

12 Materials
4 Hours

This project was way overdue! We found these two ladders at a yard sale some three years ago. And they've been in storage and, in the way, all that time!

Finally, Steph had enough of moving them around in her garage so she devised a plan on how to use them.

Most ladder shelves use a single ladder but we are incorporating two of them. They are roughly the same height and fortunately the steps line up even though the designs are not identical.

Watching the video is very helpful in understanding the process and may answer some of your questions.

For this project we are using a couple of old ladders that are about 5 feet in height. They are not identical but they work together.

Pressure treated pickets in two different lengths are used for the shelves. We also used 1/2" bolts and washer. You can see the exact materials we used in the materials list on our website.

The first step is to clean up the ladders to remove all the stickers! So many stickers! I used a small metal bristle brush to clean up the the steps.

Prior to sanding, Steph used a large metal brush to remove excess debris from the fence pickets. She lightly sanded the pickets just to remove any splintery wood. Use a mask as you don't want to be breathing in pressure treated saw dust.

The pickets were put into place and the excess cut off. We didn't want any over hang past each of the steps. The ladders and shelves were painted with outdoor house paint and allowed to dry before assembly.

The legs of the ladders were painted with paintable rubber to help seal them against water damage.

The shelves were clamped into position. Using a spade bit, Steph drilled all the way through the shelf into the step.

A bolt was fitted into the hole and a nut underneath secures it into place. The bolt makes these removable so that we can take this all apart and store it inside in the event of a hurricane.

Here is the plant stand all filled up with fresh new plants from the Home Depot. The stand is the perfect place for plants as it is in partial sun so a wide variety of plants should flourish here.

The stand is right outside Steph's living room windows giving her a much improved view! Here you can see how we used the house and door colors for it to coordinate with the house. We also have a post on that flag stand if you're interested.

All finished and in place.

*Note about the cost estimate. This will vary depending on the cost of the ladders you use. We got ours for about $20 from a yard sale. The cost estimate reflects the cost of the pickets and bolts. The time estimate doesn't take into account dry time or other factors.

Resources for this project:

1 in. x 6 in. x 8 ft. Pressure-Treated Red Pine Dog-Ear Fence Picket
5/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. x 6 ft. Pressure-Treated Pine Dog-Ear Fence Picket
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Mother Daughter Projects
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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  2 questions
  • Linda g Linda g on May 18, 2019

    Did you do something on the ends of the ladder to prevent rot? It looks like they may be painted white?

  • Marisha Marisha on May 18, 2020

    What is preventing these plant holders from turning over if the area becomes very windy?

    Are they cemented in the ground?


Join the conversation

3 of 16 comments
  • Necee Marie Necee Marie on Jun 03, 2019

    Love this! I never would have thought to do that.

  • Gary Holst Gary Holst on May 18, 2020

    Excellent ladies, I'm in.

    • Marisha Marisha on May 18, 2020

      Great job!! Never would have thought of using two ladders.

      I used cinder blocks once to build a sitting area, that was used every now and again to hold my plants as well. It was multi-functional. You take four cinder blocks, stack two on each side, run planks in between the wholes on the top blocks and you are done.

      I needed a quick sit down bench, and could not afford to buy one on a shoe string budget

      It worked and we all loved it, until it was time to move.