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Cheap & Easy DIY Blanket Ladder

This DIY blanket ladder is so easy to make, you don't even need power tools! I'll show you how to make a blanket ladder for under $10 in this simple tutorial!

DIY Blanket Ladder

At our house, we prefer to keep the thermostat turned down lower and cuddle up under blankets when the weather gets cooler. Extra blankets in the bedroom are stored in this DIY blanket box I made from old bifold doors. But I wanted something less bulky for the living room, like this simple DIY blanket ladder!

Check out more blanket storage ideas here!

I'm always shocked by how expensive these blanket racks are in stores! Seriously, you can make this for less than $10 if you already have the tools!

This project is so easy, you could make it without any power tools (except a drill, because let's not get crazy! 😉 ) I'll show you how to make a blanket rack two different ways, depending on the tools you have available at home!

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Materials Needed for DIY Blanket Ladder

Power Tools Method

No Power Tools Method

Don't forget your safety gear when woodworking! Here are my recommendations for safety glasses and ear protection. No excuses!

How to Make a Blanket Ladder

Cut the wood

There are a lot of different ways to cut these pieces, depending on what tools you have at your disposal.

However you cut them, you'll need two 5 foot long pieces and four 17" pieces. Cut the two longer pieces from the full boards first, then cut the shorter ones from the leftovers.

cutting board for DIY blanket ladder with a miter box

If you prefer to have the bottom of the ladder flat against the floor, cut one end of the 5-foot-long pieces at a slight angle.

cutting bottom of DIY blanket ladder at an angle with a miter box

Sand the cut pieces

It's much easier to sand all the pieces when they're flat. You can use a random orbital sander, or regular sandpaper and a sanding block.

Start with 80 grit sandpaper to remove splinters from the cut ends and any scratches in the wood. Then work your way up to 150 then 220 grit for the final sanding.

Remove any dust

No matter which way you sand, you'll always end up with a thin film of sawdust all over the pieces. If you don't remove it properly (and no, blowing it off isn't enough!), it will ruin your paint or stain later on.

removing sanding dust from DIY blanket ladder with a tack cloth

You can use a slightly damp rag, a microfiber cloth or a tack cloth to get rid of all the sanding dust. The tack cloth is my personal favorite because the sticky film on the cloth traps the dust rather than just pushing it around.

Mark the position of each rung

Measure and mark a line 3 inches down from the top. This is where your top rung will be. Place the first rung with one corner on that mark, then pivot it until the opposing corner lines up with the other edge of the board.

first slat of blanket ladder with pencil marking position

Mark both sides of the board, then remove the short piece. Repeat for each of the remaining rung, each 12" apart. If you prefer, you could also position the rungs straight across like a real ladder. 

marking board for countersink holes

Drill countersink holes

With those marks, now you know exactly where to drill the holes for the screws! I recommend countersinking the screws so that the heads are set below the surface of the wood.

drilling countersink holes for DIY blanket ladder slats

Glue and screw the rungs to the sides

Apply wood glue to one end of a 17” rung and align it with the holes you drilled in the sides. Screw the rung to the side piece with 1 1/2" screws. Repeat for the other side, making sure the two sides are even.

first rung of DIY blanket ladder screwed in place

Sand off any markings

Once all the rungs are installed, use sandpaper to remove your markings. It's like an eraser for wood! 🙂

sanding off pencil marks from side of DIY blanket ladder

Apply paint or stain

Your finished blanket ladder is ready for paint or stain! I left space at the bottom instead of a fifth rung so I can add a basket for pillows on the floor underneath.

completed blanket ladder ready for stain

I used Varathane's Weathered Gray stain, since I had some left over from my grey wood stain color samples post. Apply the stain with a brush, then wipe off excess with a rag. 

applying grey stain to DIY blanket ladder

Once the stain is dry, you can apply a top coat to protect your blankets from stain rubbing off onto them.

Display your new DIY blanket ladder!

This cozy corner is the perfect spot for my new blanket ladder! The shorter height keeps it in proportion to the rest of the furniture, and the grey stain fits in with the color scheme beautifully!

DIY blanket ladder next to armchair

Now the hunt is on for more blankets and the perfect basket to keep underneath for throw pillows. Bring on fall! 🙂

Yield: 1 blanket ladder

How to Make a Blanket Ladder

DIY blanket ladder next to armchair

This DIY blanket ladder is so easy to make, you don't even need power tools! I'll show you how to make a blanket ladder for less than $10!

Prep Time 1 hour
Active Time 1 hour
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 5 hours
Difficulty Beginner
Estimated Cost $10

Materials

  • Two 1 x 3 boards
  • 1 1/2" flat head wood screws
  • Paint or stain
  • Wood glue

Tools

  • miter saw or miter box with hand saw
  • sander
  • tack cloth
  • drill
  • countersink bit
  • measuring tape
  • paint brush

Instructions

  1. Cut the wood. This version uses two 5-foot-long pieces and four 17" pieces.
  2. Sand the cut pieces with 80, 150 and 220 grit sandpaper.
  3. Remove sanding dust with a tack cloth.
  4. Mark the position of each rung on the sides of the longer pieces.
  5. Drill countersink holes in the longer side pieces in between the marks.
  6. Glue and screw the rungs to the sides with 1 1/2" flat head wood screws.
  7. Sand off the pencil markings.
  8. Apply paint or stain to the assembled blanket ladder.

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