Tidbits and Crumbs

Easiest Ever Blanket Ladder

So I was cruising Pinterest after dinner one night, and saw the 100th picture of a blanket ladder and thought, THAT one looks really easy to make!  It looked like this one, in that the rungs (short pieces) are just laid on top of the rails (long pieces.)  The other ones, well, I know me, and they looked easy to mess up.  Then I remembered a product I saw, that would mean no sanding or painting.

That was about 6pm.  By 8:30, I was hanging blankets on my new ladder.  Yeah, it took 2.5 hours, including driving to the store to buy the material.  I’ll tell you what I did.

I ran down to my local big box home store and bought some pre-primed MDF.  If you don’t know what that is, MDF is Medium Density Fiberboard.  It’s basically wood pulp pressed back into boards.  Pre-primed means it’s white and ready to be painted.  I chose it for this project because it’s cheaper than regular wood, I wouldn’t have to sand it, and white was the color I wanted anyway.  For the rail pieces I bought 2 – 1x3x8ft pieces.  (They are actually 2/3″ by 2.5 inches.  Why they label them 1×3 inches I’ll never understand.)  Each piece was $3.04.

For the rungs, I used the smaller 1×2, which is really 1.5″ wide, and cheaper, at $2.05 per 8ft board.  I bought 2.

Consider the space to determine your measurements.  I wanted my ladder 6 feet high with 5 rungs, but there would have been enough material to go a bit taller and add another rung.  So for the rails, I cut my 2 1×3’s to 6 feet, and put the scraps aside.

To determine rung placing, I instinctively went to mark the center, when it dawned on me that I should put the rungs a little higher up.  Notice in the picture that the bottom rung is further from the end of the rail than the top rung is.  I started from the floor side and marked the first rung at 14 inches up.  In hindsight, I wish I would have gone a little higher, because now I can only put my smallest blanket on that one.  I marked the rest of the rungs 12.5 inches apart. When I marked the two rails, I laid them side by side to ensure that the marks would line up.

I cut pieces for my rungs 19 inches each.  Since I was laying them on top of the rail, I had to account for that.  I measured one of my folded blankets, and determined that 14 inches would be good.  Then I added 5 to that to account for the 2.5″ width of each rail.  I could have even gone a little longer than 19″, those blankets have no elbow room..

I remembered that the last time I worked with MDF, I accidentally split it while screwing pieces together.  So I used my scraps to practice a bit, make sure my pilot holes were suitable for my screws, and the MDF wouldn’t split while I was working with it.  I’m not recommending a screw size right now because I just used drywall screws that I had on hand.  They were big enough to hold the two pieces together without going all the way through both pieces.  I think they were 1 1/4″.

Then I just went to town drilling and screwing everything together. It’s not perfect, but for the very little money and even less time I invested into it, it’s great.

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Originally posted 2017-09-10 21:17:50.

2 comments

  1. Thank you for this! I really want to try it. If you have any ideas on making a bookshelf for toddlers let me know, I want to make one where the whole cover of the book can be displayed

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