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Easy Rustic Ladder Tutorial

Today’s tutorial is the step-by-step process of how to build an Easy Rustic Ladder. Although my husband was helpful in using his tools, I’m sure I could have handled these simple steps myself.

Don’t stop reading if you’re not interested in a rustic ladder. I encourage you to check out the other creative uses for making your own rustic ladder.

(Posts on The Ponds Farmhouse may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See the full disclosure details here.)

How Can You Use A Rustic Ladder In Your Home?

I decided that a Rustic Ladder was just the thing needed to hang plants and baskets in the Greenhouse. Since I didn’t want to take my vintage ladder out of the Farmhouse, I decided we should build one for the she-shed.

There are many fun ways to use a rustic ladder in your home. If you don’t have a real vintage ladder, using this easy rustic ladder tutorial will help you create the vintage feel you desire without the expense.

Here is the vintage ladder beside the desk in our living area.

The ladder provides visual interest to the otherwise blank wall and, in addition, provides a place to hang notes and inspiration at my desk.

This Fall Home Tour includes many ways to use vintage pieces in your home.

Add A Ladder Beside Your Desk

Make a Ladder Chandelier

You can use a ladder to make a unique chandelier, as you can see below. I’ve seen various designs. However, this one, by Leslie at My 100 Year Old Home, is a favorite.

Leslie at My 100 New Old Home used a Ladder to make a unique Chandelier for her Waco Remodel.

Create a Blanket Ladder

Another way to use your DIY Ladder is to build one to hold blankets or throws. See this cute and rustic display which keeps your throw blankets within easy reach.

Photo credit – Pinterest

Rustic Ladder Display

Here is another cute way to use a rustic ladder to hang your many décor items for display.

Photo Credit: Nested Sanctuary Instagram

Holiday Decorating with Rustic Ladders

Dressing your rustic ladder up for the holidays is just another way to use a fun ladder in your home décor.

shades of blue interiors | farmhouse holiday living room tour

How To Make Your Own Rustic Ladder

This post is for you if you want to make your ladder rather than purchase a vintage one. I promise you will not see the difference.

(Posts on The Ponds Farmhouse may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See the full disclosure details here.)

Gather your Supplies

First, you need to determine the length and width of your ladder. Because this ladder was going to be used for a specific purpose in the greenhouse, it’s a little wider than I’d recommend for other uses. The overall dimensions of this ladder are 8′ x 2′. Therefore, 2 – 8 ft long 1 x 3-inch Spruce Pine Boards were used as the side rails.

2 – 3x1x8 – Spruce Boards
3 – 1x1x6 dowel or closet rods
Wood Glue

In addition, 3 – 1 x 1 x 6 dowel rods will allow for seven rungs that will be 2 feet wide each. The only other supplies needed are wood glue, stain, and paint, depending on the look you prefer for your rustic ladder.

Measure For The Dowel Rod Spacing

Next, measure the spacing for the dowel rods using a tape measure or yard stick.

For this project, the rods were placed 2 feet apart. After carefully measuring the distance, clamp both pine boards together and drill a 1-inch hole through both boards using a cordless drill and a 1″ drill bit.

Because this was a rustic, primitive ladder, we allowed the hole to go completely through the side rails. As a result, the ladder has a primitive pegged appearance.

However, if you prefer a less rustic feel, you should drill the hole without allowing the drill bit to go completely through the wood. In addition, you will need to prepare each side rail separately for this application.

Note: You may also prefer to use a thicker side rail because drilling a shallow hole within a 1″ board is difficult.

Cut ladder Rungs From Dowel Rods

For the next step, measure and mark your dowel rods. Then using a saw, cut each rod to the same size to ensure that the ladder will be equal in width from top to bottom. Once again, we chose to make the ladder 2 feet wide. Therefore, the rods were cut at precisely 2′ each.

Attach the rods to complete the Rustic Ladder

For the final step, apply a small amount of wood glue to the inside of each drilled hole before adding the dowel rods. This will ensure that the rods don’t slip from the side rails.

Then, using a rubber mallet, the dowel rods were gently hammered into the side rails. Once the first side is completed, attach the second side rail by lining up all the dowels with the holes before hammering them into place.

Ta-Da – An Easy Rustic Ladder

Once you allow the glue to set, your ladder is ready to use for decorative purposes only.

Warning: The materials used to construct this ladder are not intended for anything other than decorative use. If you want a functioning ladder that you can step up on, you would need to use hardwoods and should consult another tutorial.

Optional Step – Stain or Paint your DIY Ladder

Finally, you can leave your ladder natural or apply a stain or paint, depending on your preferred look. Because I wanted the ladder to add some character to the greenhouse, I didn’t want it to disappear once installed. Therefore, I chose an easy-to-use gel stain for quick application, and it was easy to dry.

Because the wood used is very ruff in texture, applying the stain using a chip brush was the best option. Once the surface is covered, use a dry cloth to wipe off any excess stain.

You can choose to seal the stain or leave it as is. For a more rustic, primitive look, we decide to leave the finish unvarnished.

The Ladder Installed

Add Rustic Ladder to Greenhouse or She-Shed

Next, it was time to install the ladder and add a few baskets and ferns. As the weather becomes colder, all my ferns will find a spot on this handy ladder.

You can see all the details about the DIY Greenhouse here. In addition, it includes how to get your t-shirt to look like this. LOL

This project only cost $23.00; the ladder is perfect for the greenhouse. Also, I love using these S hooks to hang the various baskets, which are so handy. They allow for hanging almost anything and can be easily moved and adjusted compared to hooks permanently attached to surfaces. You can find these hooks here.

The space above the DIY potting table already looks so much cozier.

More Favorite DIY Projects

Pin It To Remember It

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Tanya Derrey

Wednesday 12th of October 2022

This is a really neat project I have always wanted to make one! Thank you for the directions :) Hugs- Tanya


Sunday 16th of October 2022

Tanya, I really appreciate this.


Wednesday 12th of October 2022

Such a great idea! Love it!


Sunday 16th of October 2022

Stacy, It's so easy to make.


Wednesday 12th of October 2022

And I thought you have bought all your ladders! That's a great and easy idea! Thank you Rachel!


Sunday 16th of October 2022

Margie, I have one inside that is old but didn't want that expense for the greenhouse.


Wednesday 6th of October 2021

As always, you are so kind and sharing. Everything is beautiful.

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Thursday 7th of October 2021

Diana, Thanks for your sweet comments.


Friday 2nd of October 2020

Hope to soon make a ladder to hang in my laundry are to use for a drying rack. Thanks for the tutorial!

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Saturday 3rd of October 2020

Oh Sandra, That's a great idea. Let me know how it turns out. Rachel