DIY ladder

A Lesson in Carpentry

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Just kidding, I’m not a carpenter and I don’t think I ever will be! Although I would like to build my own boat someday, and there is one lesson I learned that I can share… This post is about an idea that I had one day, at least I think it’s an idea I had. I made the mistake of googling my idea after I came up with it and found that it was a pretty common thing. Does that ever happen to you? You think you have a good, innovative idea, and it turns out it’s already been done? I like to tell myself that just means it really was a good idea.

My idea was to find an old ladder on which I could hang my (ever expanding) collection of blanket scarves. Blanket scarves are one trend I have really gotten behind. I personally don’t think there will ever be a trend as phenomenal as carrying a blanket with you everywhere you go (until someone invents comforter scarves, and then pillow scarves… and then memory foam scarves)!

Unfortunately I found out quickly that “antique” and “vintage” ladders were outside of my budget, which was about $30. So I decided to make one, with the help of the boyfriend, and the boyfriend’s roommates’ power tools!

And here she is, a “genuine” antique vintage ladder (because who knows if the ladders those antique shops sell really are antique anyways):

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Making the ladder was really simple, requiring only a bit of math and some patience! If I make another one I will write up a tutorial! It cost about $15 for the wood and $15 for the hole saw (an attachment that fits most drills). I used: a wood saw (to cut the boards and dowels down to size), an electric drill with a hole saw attachment (for the rung holes), a sander and a hammer!

I originally wanted to stain the ladder, but when I saw how the wood looked with only the sanding I changed my mind. The weathered effect was achieved by using treated outdoor wood and sanding it down. The treatment applied penetrates differently across the wood so when you sand down you are left with a patchy finish, which I really like because it makes me think of old weathered barns. A hole saw was used to make the holes along each side, the hole saw we used was the same diameter as the dowels, but it ended up being a very tight fit so we sanded the dowels down to make them fit into the holes.

For the curious, from top to bottom the scarves are: tartan scarf from Jcrew factory store, thrifted wool scarf, and aritzia’s gasperin scarf. There is also a MacAuslands woolen mills scarf on the chair to the right of the ladder.

I am so excited about this project that I want to make another one for my blankets!

And for all of you who would like to try this, here is my lesson: try to pick straight boards. If you start out with warped, bowed boards there is nothing you can do (ask me how I know!)