This Hygge-Inspired DIY Blanket Ladder Will Be Your New Living Room Staple

published Feb 15, 2024
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head on shot of a reading nook with a blanket being placed on the blanket ladder.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

If you’re short on space, you probably are very familiar with creative storage solutions for your (likely) small bedroom, living room, kitchen, and more. Making your home work for you often means finding space where there isn’t any, and sneaking functionality into every piece of decor. One organization item that does double duty as both storage and decoration — with the added benefit of being seriously easy to move around as needed — is a DIY blanket ladder.

A blanket ladder is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a lightweight ladder that leans against a wall and is used to store blankets. There are certainly plenty of options to choose from if you’d prefer to buy your own blanket ladder (like the recent $20 blanket ladder available at Aldi), but building a DIY blanket ladder ensures that you can customize it to fit the exact size of your space as well as your color preferences. Because blankets don’t present the same fragile nature of, say, collectible glass dishware, a blanket ladder is a great beginner project. The stakes are low here — if you mess this up, the worst you’ll experience is a blanket falling off. No big deal!

Ready to make your own DIY blanket ladder? Here’s everything you need to know, from the tools and materials required to the steps you’ll need to take to complete this project.

DIY Blanket Ladder Tools and Materials

  • Two 2x4s (6’ length)
  • Four 1x4s for the ladder rungs (18″ length)
  • Level
  • Wood screws (2 1/2” length)
  • Tape measure
  • Sandpaper
  • Miter saw or hand saw
  • Drill
  • Protractor
  • Wood conditioner
  • Rag
  • Stain of your choice (we used a light walnut shade)

How to Make a DIY Blanket Ladder: Steps

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

1. Cut wood pieces to length.

If you’re buying lumber from a hardware store, you’ll only be able to buy standard lengths. Cut those to size yourself using a circular saw or hand saw, or ask an employee at the hardware store to do this for you before you bring the wood home.

2. Mark the feet of the ladder for an angled cut.

If you want the feet of your ladder to rest flush against the floor, you’ll need to give them a slight angle. An angle of about 15 degrees will allow the feet to rest completely against the floor while the ladder is resting on the wall.

If you have a miter saw, this is easy — you’ll need to move your blade so it’s at 10 degrees, then make matching cuts to one end of each 2×4. If you don’t have a miter saw, this is a little trickier (but not impossible). You’ll need to use a protractor to measure a 10-degree angle from the bottom of one end of your 2×4. Mark the spot, then use a straight edge to draw a full line. From there, cut with a hand saw (or a jig saw if you’re feeling fancy).

Make sure to cut a matching angle on the other 2×4. You should have two 2x4s that are square on one end and angled on the other.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

3. Figure out and mark the rung placement.

Lean one 2×4 against the wall so that the angled end rests fully against the floor. Measure 4 inches from the top of the ladder, and mark this spot with a pencil. Mark another spot about 2 inches down from that. This will be where the screws will be placed for your first rung.

Then, measure 11 to 12 inches down, and mark again to indicate where your next rung will be. Continue until you’ve marked the placement of all four rungs.

To help give the blankets some added dimension, we chose to place the rungs so that they’re parallel to the wall when the ladder is leaning against it (that means your lines where the screws should be will be perpendicular to the wall, as shown above). If you want to do the same, use a level as you mark the spots where you’ll be drilling. Otherwise, you can have the rungs run completely perpendicular to the side rails — this is totally a matter of preference.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

4. Attach the rungs.

If you want a super-clean, professional look, use a countersink bit to create pilot holes that will allow the screw heads to sit flush with the wood. Then, use your drill to attach the rungs; you’ll need two screws on each end.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

5. Stain the ladder.

When you’re done assembling, sand the ladder so the surfaces are smooth. Use a rag to apply wood conditioner, which will help the stain apply more evenly. Finally, apply stain.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

Allow your ladder to dry for at least 24 hours before using it. Then, prop it against the wall and pile it with blankets so you can keep them at the ready.