Tuesday, April 1, 2014

DIY Vintage-Look Blanket Ladder

Dear Marleigh,

In all of my decor/organizing madness I finally realized I needed somewhere tasteful to store all of the many throw blankets we are drowning in. My mom got me a fancy knit throw with Scott and I's wedding photo on it, which Scott refers to as "creepy" to have a blanket with our faces on it (he's a gem). My cousin Alicia got us another fuzzy green throw for Christmas, I bought one on clearance at TJ Maxx and not to mention the numerous other throws I have accumulated over the years. 

So what to do with all of them? Blanket Ladder of course! Well I scoured Antique shops for a while keeping my eye out for one; at 60+ bucks a pop that wasn't going over well with my thrifty lifestyle or my pocketbook. So I decided to make one, how hard can it be?

I went to my trusty Menards and picked up two 2x2x8 boards (not sure what kind of wood they are) I laid them on the floor of Menards to insure they are as straight as possible. Also purchased two 1 inch dowels and a 1 inch wood drill bit. I sanded down each piece of wood and the dowels, as well as the edges to make the wood more worn-down looking.

I decided on how tall I wanted my ladder to be and how many rungs I wanted, which was 7 foot tall and 6 rungs. Using my mad math skills I found that my top rung would be 6 inches from the top (allowing 1 inch for the placement of the dowel) and each rung thereafter would have 13 inches in-between, leaving 6 inches after the last rung. Each rung is 18 inches long. 

After I got all the measurements drawn out and the wood cut, we started by drilling the 1 inch holes for the rungs to fit into. 

We drilled all the way until the tip of the drill bit just started to peak out the other side. I originally only wanted to drill 1/2 inch deep holes hence the green tape on the bit but the holes were too big for the dowels. Someone lied about their sizes! If I had some wood glue I would have just used that to make them fit properly. Butttt, I didn't, so drilling almost all the way through was my fix. 

We put the dowels in the slots of one of the 2x2's and screwed through the other side into the rungs to secure them in place.

We did the same on the other side and now we have a ladder!

Sorry for the bad photo quality, my camera is lacking its charging component because I suck at packing and never pack stuff that needs to be together the logical way, therefore its still in the abyss that is my storage unit.

I knew I wanted to stain the ladder but I have zero experience with it and I live in a tiny apartment so stain wasn't really an option. So I took to the fandangled internet an found a solution: Tea Bags, Vinegar and Steel Wool. 

I ripped up a piece of fine 0000 steel wool and put it in a mason jar with regular white vinegar. I let it sit for over 24 hours, it basically creates liquid rust, perfect for staining. After letting it sit I brewed 3 regular lipton tea bags and let it sit for a few hours. I painted the wood with the tea and let it dry, and did it a second time. The wood won't change color, just look wet until dry.

After it was fully dry I brushed on the steel wool mixture (after I disposed the wool). I found it was easier to actually brush on with a sponge to get even coverage. I three coats of this mixture to achieve the color I wanted, you can do more or less to achieve the color you prefer. Be sure to let it dry fully in between each coat because the color will develop as it drys.

I waxed it with Johnson's Paste Wax so you can really see the grain in the wood, it's the perfect height and I love the color of it!

Price List:
Two 2x2s - $4
Two 1 Inch dowels - $6
Steel Wool - $3
1 Inch Drill Bit - $4
Vinegar already on hand
Tea bags already on hand
Total: $17

No comments:

Post a Comment