I had a tall wall to fill next to the tree, so we built an adorable little ladder to help display decor and even add a little storage. The best part? Is it only cost around $10 to make. The other best part? It is so very versatile and it can be used all over the home!
To get started, we took a trip to Home Depot to pick up a few pieces of wood. We had everything else on hand to do this project, here is the supply list:
We decided to go with a six foot ladder, but you could make it any size. We placed the top dowel 3" down from the top, and then continued to space them about 12" apart, leaving 9" at the bottom.
Using a drill bit that is the size of your dowel, the next step is to drill through your markings on each side rail. I didn't want to see the ends of the dowels on the outside of the ladder rails, so Bryan went to his dad's workshop to use his drill press. The press has a stopper that allowed him to only drill halfway through the side rails.
Testing 1, 2, 3....
Back home, we set up a staining station in the garage on some cardboard.
After trying out a few shades on scrap wood, I landed on Varathane's Provincial. I love the warmth it offers and that it is a nice medium shade (not too light, not too dark).
I used a foam brush to stain each piece of wood and let it sit overnight to dry.
The following evening, we used wood glue and pieced the ladder together. We recommend staining everything first, as any glue that gets on the wood will not take the stain after.
After waiting a bit longer for the glue to cure, I played the styling game!
We are hanging the boy's stockings on the fireplace, so Bryan and I decided to hang ours near the tree (you know, so Santa doesn't get confused). I also added a small over-the-door cabinet basket to hold Christmas cards.
The final basket holds a special gift I need to give, our Christmas books and a soft throw blanket.
Once Christmas is over and we take down our decor, I haven't exactly decided where this little gem will land. I have a feeling we will try it in a few different spots before we settle on somewhere permanent. The options for where and how we can use it are pretty endless. Most likely it will be used to hold a few throw blankets near one of the seating areas.
I also tried it out in our master bathroom to show another option.
I actually quite liked the ladder in here, and it is a great way to add a bit of storage in a really compact way. I also really loved the wood tone and how it paired with the mirror across the way.
Magazines not only provide reading material, but also add a some color as well (quite literally)!
Ten dollars for fab, flexible and functional storage? Heck yes! When you have the magical combination of dowels, hooks and baskets, the storage possibilities are endless. I am thinking utensils, herb planters, aprons and hand towels in the kitchen. Linens, books and even a way to display decorative art in the living room. A basket of file folders and buckets of writing utensils and crafts in the office. Towels, robes and toiletries in the bathroom. And a place to toss extra quilts and throw blankets in the bedroom or to hang outfit ideas in the closet. My wheels are definitely spinning, we may end up needing to make a few more!
Oh! And to prevent the ladder from sliding, we cut the legs at a slight angle and I added a few rubber cabinet door stoppers to the bottoms.
Have you done any Christmas projects that you plan to keep out and use year round?