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I originally made this last year, for a DIY Christmas party (I had planned to add colorful paper to the bottom, as a faux dipped dyed effect, to tie everything together), but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!
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…
-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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?