Introduction: Angled Blanket Ladder
When I first started getting into woodworking, a friend at work asked if I could make her a blanket ladder. I said "of course I can" not even knowing what a blanket ladder was, lol! She showed me an example on her phone and after that I was even more confident that I could handle it. I made one for her and then decided to make one for myself as well. I ended up making a few more to sell (even one made from red oak that looked amazing) but for this instructable I will focus on the painted one.
Below are links to tools and materials I used in this article. It is either the exact tool/supply or something very close.
2x10x8' (alternatively you can use 3 - 2x3x8')
Note: The links in this article are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Step 1: Rip the 2x10
I made this project using a single 2x10. At my local big box store the selection of small lumber (2x4s, 2x3s etc) tends to be pretty bad. Usually it has been picked through and all that is left is very crooked and filled with knots. So when I am planning on making any project with construction lumber I grab something bigger and rip it down. For this project I basically made three 2x3 (1 1/2" x 2 1/2") using my table saw. I set the fence to 2 1/2" and fed the 2x10 through the saw twice.
If you can find some nice 2x3s then you can skip this step.
Step 2: Cut the Side Rails and the First Rung
I cut two of the 2x3s to 7' long. (although this worked perfectly fine, if you have low ceilings I would suggest a 6' ladder instead, don't ask me or the red marks on my ceiling, how I know). I used my miter saw to make the cuts, but a hand saw could also be used.
Then I set the miter saw to 4 degrees. I cut one end off of a 2x3. I flipped it over (so that the miter saw would cut a complimentary angle) and then measured 14". I then cut the first rung.
Step 3: Measuring for the Subsequent Rungs
While there is probably some math formula that you could use to figure out the length of all the rungs, I didn't want to waste any time trying to figure it out. Also, I try and measure whenever possible to lessen the chance that I screw up the math.
This is the solution I came up with: On both side rails I placed a mark at 18" and then every 12" after that. I then clamped the rung (which I cut in the previous step) in place at the top mark. Now I could easily measure the remaining rungs by putting my tape measure between each one of the marks.
Step 4: Cut the Remaining Rungs
I went back to the miter saw to cut 4 more rungs. The main thing to keep in mind when cutting the rungs is that you need to flip the board over to ensure you get complimentary angles.
Step 5: Adding a Round-over and Sanding
Because I ripped down a 2x10 all of the edges were sharp right angles. I wanted a nicer feel (and I didn't want my blankets getting caught) so I put in a round-over bit into my router and went over all of the edges. (If you started with 2x3s you can skip this step).
A step that you can't skip (no matter how much you want to) is sanding. I sanded all of the parts from 80 to 180 grit.
Step 6: Pre-Drilling and Countersinking
In order to attach the rungs I wanted to use screws, but I didn't want to see them. So I decided to use a drill bit that had a countersink bit in it (details listed in the supplies section). I clamped the rungs in place and then used my drill to pre-drill the holes and countersink them at the same time.
The bit that I have leaves a perfect 3/8" hole, which I will later fill with a dowel.
Step 7: Assembling the Ladder
I added glue to the ends of the rungs and then screwed them in place. I found that it was easiest to screw all of them on one side first and then flip it over and screw them all from the other side. The pre-drilling made this very easy. After it was all assembled I plugged the holes with a 3/8" dowel. I trimmed the dowel as flush as I could and then sanded it smooth.
Step 8: Paint
Before painting it is always a good idea to clean the wood. I used a tack cloth and went over the entire project.
I choose red chalk paint, but you can choose any colour you want. With chalk paint it can be fun to have multiple colours underneath (so it has a look of being repainted multiple times when you distress it in a later step). If that is something you are interested in, this is a good time to do it.
Step 9: Distress and Finish
To distress the wood I just used some sand paper and tried to concentrate my efforts on the spots I thought would be grabbed/walked on if this was a real ladder.
After I was satisfied with the level of distressing, I cleaned it off again and added a layer of water based polyurethane. I added this to ensure that the paint wouldn't rub off on any of my blankets.
Step 10: Enjoy!
The best part of a project is being able to enjoy it! Load up the ladder with lots of blankets and get ready for winter. As I mentioned in the start, I also made some for some co-workers. For those that want the ultimate rustic look, I have included a picture of one that is completely unfinished.
I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did. If you want to see more from me, feel free to follow me on other social media
If this project inspires you to make your own angled blanket ladder, please post some pictures here. If you have any questions or comments, I am happy to answer in the section below.
Participated in the