Narnia Library Ladder

9 Materials
3 Hours
I have a confession. I’m a literary nerd. Seriously. I love books. So, naturally, they also happen to be a lot of my decor inspiration. I like to think of our spaces in comparison to some favorites. I dream of my garden being admirable to Peter Rabbit. My kids reading nook is referred to as our Neverland Corner. (you can see these fun spaces at perfectlydestressed. ) Now, with our newest library updates, I am feeling some major Narnia vibes in here.
There’s something so whimsical and enchanting when your home reminds you of beloved imaginary places. And this library ladder makes me feel so “grown up”.
I have always wanted a ladder that glides across our bookshelves. When I found this vintage ladder, I knew exactly what I could do with it! I created a new take on this old classic, and our big ol' family of 10 just loves it!
First, I cleaned and painted the vintage ladder in a solid coat of white paint. I had to trim the ladder a bit to appropriately fit the height of the bookshelf.
After the paint was dry, I added this set of wheel casters I had in my workshop.
Typically, I find my wood pieces in the clearance section of Home Depot (hence the purple spray painted marks). Usually my projects require cut pieces or I am going for a more "rough" design, so imperfect pieces of wood work better for me (and my wallet!) I painted this piece white as well.
The 2×4 is to add extra support. My bookshelf is solid wood, but not very thick. I just wanted to ensure longevity. I attached the 2×4 with L Brackets as well as screws running from wood to wood.
3/4"x10' Black Steel Pipe - obviously the size of pipe you need will vary based on your library/bookshelf length. But, don't forget to have your hardware shop cut and thread your piece to proper size before you leave!
When installing, I made sure this writing was in the back where it would not be seen.
Attach your flanges and elbows together. Make sure you clean them (and your pipe) really well as they leave black on everything they touch (especially your hands). Attach one set of flanges to the 2×4 and add the steel bar. The second flange can then be attached. You will most likely need another set of hands to help with the leveling and holding.
I wanted something unique and inexpensive to anchor the ladder to the 2x4. These straps of leather worked perfectly! A bit of leather conditioner on the underside of the straps and voila! It slides to and fro smoothly and easily. And it’s so fun and magical!
The gate hinges were both a decorative touch as well as a security measure (again, thin shelves). I added the outdoor lanterns and used battery operated tea lights that run on a timer. They are taped on with black electric tape and hang upside down. The lanterns give off the perfect amount of glow in the evenings.
With the addition of the ladder and lanterns, I adore the "Narnia-feel" we have going on in our home library now! Don't you?
Please join along with me as I create, decorate and upcycle for my family and my home
Suggested materials:
  • Vintage Wood Ladder
  • 2x4
  • Wheel casters
See all materials
Kristin Gambaccini
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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