How to Make the Easiest DIY Blanket Ladder (Without Nails or a Hammer)

By Brittni • Updated on 02/14/2024

How to Make the Easiest DIY Blanket Ladder (Without Nails or a Hammer)

So you know when you’re gung ho about making a DIY project for something in particular (an event, a certain room in your home, etc), and then you end up not using it. So you kind of forget about it for awhile?

Well, that’s what happened to me with this DIY blanket ladder.

I originally made this last year, for a DIY Christmas party (I had planned to add colorful paper to the bottom, as a faux dipped dyed effect, to tie everything together), but ended up not using it because there was already a lot going on, decoration wise. So I saved it for a rainy day. And then I just plain forgot about it.

And thennn…as luck would have it, a couple of other blanket ladder DIYs starting popping up and I wondered if it was really necessary for me to share mine at all.

BUT I’m going for it anyway because this tutorial is a little different than the others I’ve seen because you don’t need a hammer or nails (or power tools) to complete it!

How to Make the Easiest DIY Blanket Ladder (Without Nails or a Hammer)

Which means it’s 1) super easy 2) pretty quick- make the whole ladder in about an hour and 3) it works just as well as the others.

Here’s how to make your own…

How to Make the Easiest DIY Blanket Ladder (Without Nails or a Hammer)


-3 wood dowels that are 1 inch in diameter and 48 inches long
-hand saw *If you cut the dowel at a home improvement store, while purchasing, you won’t need this.
-pen or pencil
-measuring stick or tape measure
-hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
right angle ruler (semi optional)
-scissors and rope (optional)

How To:

1. Start by cutting one of three dowel rods into three pieces, each 16 inches long. I recommend cutting the dowel down to size while you’re at the home improvement store, buying the dowels. That’s what I did. That way you don’t need to purchase a saw (if you don’t already have one).

Leave the other two dowels intact, as is. So you’ll have two dowels that are left untouched and one dowel that’s been cut into 3 pieces that are all the same length.

How to Make the Easiest DIY Blanket Ladder (Without Nails or a Hammer)

2. Next, lay out the two long dowels and map out where you want each cross bar to go in relation to the next. You may want to use a right angle ruler to make sure you get a perfect 90 degree angle on each side of the dowel. Then, mark off where each side of the first dowel will go, with a pen or pencil.

How to Make the Easiest DIY Blanket Ladder (Without Nails or a Hammer)

3. Next, apply a bead of hot glue, about the size of a dime, to the inside of each side of the first dowel rung. Attach to the long dowels where the marks have been made and push together to create a bond while the glue is drying. This is a good time to use that right angle ruler again, to check your work, if you have one handy. If not, eyeball it.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the other two dowel rungs and allow everything to dry completely before using.

How to Make the Easiest DIY Blanket Ladder (Without Nails or a Hammer)

5. If you happen to have excess glue coming out the sides of where the rungs were attached, you can remove it with a damp paper towel before the glue dries (you’ll need to do this quickly because hot glue dries pretty fast). OR you can cover any excess glue with some rope or cording and a pair of scissors. Just cut a piece of rope down to 6-8 inches and wrap around the joint area to form an X. Knot it in the back and cut off any excess rope. You could also use a colorful piece of rope or string instead, if you want to add a pop of color.

I happen to like my ladder better without the X design, but it’s a preference thing. So do what works best for you.

(Easiest) DIY Blanket Ladder

Textile Inspiration

Note about using hot glue to secure the ladder rungs: I’m guessing that there are at least a few people who are unsure whether hot glue will hold this ladder together. But I have to say, I was truly surprised by how well the construction is holding up so far (it’s been in use for almost two months now) and how much weight these ladder rungs can take. The bond is really strong and could easily hold the weight of heavier blankets. After everything was completely dry, I pushed down (hard) on each rung and nothing budged at all. Hot glue is amazing.

That said, if you want to go the extra mile, you could use special wood hot glue sticks instead of the regular ones I used. I don’t feel like it’s necessary, but it never hurts to have options. Right?

Vintage Leather Mules + Vintage Portrait Painting

How to Make the Easiest DIY Blanket Ladder

Winter Textiles

Living Room Inspiration // Nelson Bench + DIY Blanket Ladder

Concept, styling, and photography by Brittni Mehlhoff
Crafting assisted by Linda Jednaszewski

P.S. Jeff found that painting of the mustache man on the side of the road one day when he was running and brought it home because he thought I would like. Like it, indeed. I’m always up for a strange piece of roadside art – makes me laugh nearly every time I look at it.

 Think you’ll give this DIY blanket ladder a try? 

23 comments | Click here to reply

I LOVE that I found this!
I had a bunch of dowels from a game we played that I made for my sons birthday party. I don’t know if you remember the game kerplunk? I made a huge size version of it using a tall clothes hamper and put the wooden dowels through the holes and put plastic balls to be held by the dowels. I was cleaning out my room and getting ready to throw the dowels in the trash. When I looked up what I could do with them and it just so happened that I almost bought a towel stand for my restroom!!!

Queen Francesca

So glad to hear that Carmina. Thank you!


This is the absolute best (and easiest) DIY Ladder I’ve seen! Thank you!


You had me at no nails or hammer! This is something I have to try for my home. I’m in the process of finally decorating my home after a few years of being in the trenches of motherhood 😉


Hi J. I’m so sorry…But I’m actually not sure because it was given to me a present. 🙁


cute! what is the source for the black and ivory geometric blanket?


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Ideas para el fin de semana - Demodé

Love this! Thank you for the DIY.

Cori Schwabe

This is beyond amazing! I’ve been looking for something like this to store my fabric (currently using the back of my chair). Hot glue, hot damn!

Rachel | The Crafted Life

SO cool! I love your idea!


Perfect! I have wanted ones of these for ages – thanks for the tutorial!


a man who brings home other peoples trash is definitely a keeper!
much to my mother’s dismay, i take after my father and i love it!

i love bringing stuff home!!!!


Hi , I used your tutorial and built one of these racks. I used mine for the bathroom as a towel rack and looks great. I also used the small pieces of rope to cover the glue marks. I used different colors of rope to make a personal touch on the project. Great weekend Craft…Thanks


If I didn’t have these cute and crazy kitties, I’d make this in a heartbeat. It’s lovely! And I sure need one. But my kitties will throw the blankets in the floor on a daily basis. 🙂

Kelly Brito

I always save, but stray away from DIY’s that require nailing anything because I’m afraid to mess it up. This is one I can handle, thanks!


I can’t believe you didn’t need a hammer or nails for this! SO GOOD! I agree with Cindy, I might need to make this as a towel rack!!

Kelly @ Studio DIY

This is awesome! I’ve loved all the other blanket ladder DIYs floating around but am always impressed with anything that can be built without power tools…I’m not afraid of them but there’s not much space to store or work with them in a tiny apartment! Thanks!

Carolyn Selheim-Miller

Thanks for the great idea!



I would have never thought to use it as a towel rack in the bathroom. Good thinking, Cindy.


This would be so perfect for my bathroom as a towel rack! I love the rope detail. Super great idea, Brittni!


So glad to hear that Sarah. This DIY would be perfect in a small space.


I’m absolutely obsessed with this idea! I’m moving into a new (small) apartment in April and love anything that equates to both storage AND decor. Thanks for the inspiration!

x Sarah

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