Easy DIY Blanket Ladder For Under $15

by Ashley

How To Build A Blanket Ladder

This rustic blanket ladder is the perfect weekend DIY project. If you’re like me and wanting a simple solution to store your favorite cozy knits (that’s also super cute!), these quick and easy blanket ladder plans have your name all over it, friend.

DIY Blanket Ladder + How to Decorate It for the Holidays

Blanket ladder with chunky knit blanket on one rung next to a round mirror and fiddle leaf fig tree

I love the idea of a blanket ladder for extra places to store blankets. Plus, functional decor is my favorite way to decorate! The only problem with blanket ladders is that trying to purchase one for under $100 is pretty much impossible. I knew we could make one for way cheaper.

Related: Four Summer Decor Trends You Should Keep All Year Long

Mike and I were able to knock out this easy DIY project in just under an hour (if you don’t count the dry time for the wood stain). And, it was super cheap – like under $15 CHEAP!

Psst… Want to follow the exact steps we used?

To an additional downloadable resource, I created printer-friendly blanket la plans with a complete step-by-step guide. It includes a list of supplies and exact dimensions. Just enter your email below to have the free plans sent right to your inbox!

Tools And Supplies 

For more DIY, home improvement, and basic woodworking tool ideas, check out this blog post I wrote called: 17 Must Have Tools That Every DIYer Should Own.

Step 1: Measuring and Making The Cuts

We started out by cutting both the 2″ x 3″ boards at an angle so that the blanket ladder would easily lean up against a wall. To get the exact angle, we used a Speed Square to mark the boards at a 15 degree angle (Amazon), and then used a circular saw to carefully make the cuts (Amazon)

Even though this ladder is intended for decorative purposes, we wanted it to be sturdy, and look as authentic as possible. We chose to use thick round rungs for the steps of the ladder that would be strong enough for real ladder duty, just in case.

The wood for the rungs is 1.25″ wood dowel rods from The Home Depot.  We cut down the dowel to 1.5FT long pieces to match the width of the ladder we wanted. 

Related: How To Make An Easy DIY Wood Plank Accent Wall

Wood board laid out to build blanket ladder

Step 2: Pre-Drilling Holes For The Rungs

To assemble all the pieces of the ladder together, Mike used a 1.25 Inch Forstner drill bit (Amazon) to make 4 circular inserts on the inside of each 2″ x 3″ board. The holes are drilled in the same 1.25″ diameter as the wood dowels for the ladder rungs.

Each hole is drilled to about half the depth of the board. This way, the rungs fit neatly inside the pre-drilled holes which makes assembly super easy! 

Drilling a hole in a board to build a blanket ladder

A board with a hole drilled in it. The drill is laying next to the board. The board is for a blanket ladder.

Step 3: Distressing The Wood

Before assembling all of the pieces, a little bit of distressing was in order. I grabbed the nearest hand tools and gave the boards a rustic, worn look by adding a few dents and scrapes.

There is no perfect way to distress, just use whatever tools you have at your disposal to scratch, hammer, chip, dent and ding the wood to your heart’s desire.  You can distress as much, or as little as you think will look good for your ladder.

Related: How To Create A DIY Distressed Wood Beam Mantel On The Cheap

A woman distressing a board for a blanket ladder

Step 4: Assembling The Ladder

Once all the boards were banged up to my liking, we assembled all the pieces of the ladder. Start with one board laying flat on the ground with the pre-drilled holes facing up. Next, insert the ladder rungs into the pre-drilled holes.

The ladder rungs should fit very snugly into the holes. You may need to use a hammer, or a piece of wood to gently tap the wood dowels down into their holes. When all the steps are in place, finish the assembling by carefully placing the other board on top, and guiding the rugs into each of the pre-drilled holes. Again, you may need to tap with a hammer or a piece of wood to fully seat the wood dowel rungs into the holes.

(Optional) We chose to make the assembly extra secure by adding lag bolts to the outside of the vertical boards. This isn’t necessary because the ladder will never actually be used for climbing (hopefully). However, I liked the added industrial look it gave to the finished product, plus it makes the ladder strong enough to climb on in a pinch.

If you choose to add lag bolts to your ladder, make sure to pre-drill the holes first. Otherwise, the wood will most likely crack when you drive the lag bolt in.

Step 5: Stain & Seal The Wood

We chose to stain and seal the wood using my favorite products – Minwax Dark Walnut Wood Stain (Amazon) and Minwax Wipe-On Poly Clear Wood Finish (Amazon).

Once everything was dry, the project was finished. I absolutely love how the blanket ladder turned out. Check out the images below to see the finished product (plus, see how I decorated the blanket ladder for the holidays!)

A walnut stained blanket ladder leaning against a white shiplap wall.

A walnut stained blanket ladder leaning against a white shiplap wall

I added my favorite chunky knit blanket to one of the rungs to complete the look!

Blanket ladder with chunky knit blanket on one rung next to a round mirror and fiddle leaf fig tree

I hope you loved this blanket ladder DIY! This tutorial was so easy and extremely budget-friendly.  My favorite combination! 🙂 Don’t forget to grab the free guide below for the full supplies list and free plans worksheet!

DIY Blanket Ladder - Step-by-Step Guide

Styling A Blanket Ladder For The Holidays

Here’s how I dress up my blanket ladder for the year end holidays and Christmas! The ladder looks even better with a little bit of festive flair.

A blanket ladder holding a white woven blanket, and a red buffalo check blanket

A miniature Christmas tree, some twinkle lights and my favorite cozy blankets added the perfect amount of holiday charm! On a whim, I wrapped these super cheap micro LED string lights from Amazon along the sides of the ladder and instantly fell in love with the look!

A woman styling a blanket ladder for the holidays

I grabbed my favorite chunky wool blanket and this new buffalo check fringe throw that I’m obsessed with (Amazon) and draped them over the first two ladder rungs.

In my opinion, buffalo check is the perfect pattern for a woodsy holiday look. To see all of my favorite buffalo check finds, check out this blog post I wrote called: ‘The Ultimate Buffalo Plaid Christmas Decor Gift Guide.a blanket ladder holding blankets with christmas lights strung on it

And to spread a little more Christmas cheer (OK, you caught me – a lot more Christmas cheer!) – I added this cute little Christmas tree I picked up at Michael’s during their Black Friday sale.

I love that it is already adorned with mini lights! They were sold out online so check your local Michael’s store, otherwise I found a similar one on Amazon that is usually on sale for less than $35!

a small christmas tree with a blanket ladder in the background

Our bedroom is so much cozier with this new little festive corner.

The blanket ladder provides space to store a few extra blankets, which is so nice. If you’re looking for a simple DIY project to tackle on an upcoming weekend, make sure and download the Complete Step-by-Step guide (it’s FREE!).

Don’t forget to add some twinkle! 🙂

a blanket ladder styled for the holidays

DIY Blanket Ladder Plans

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Arin November 29, 2017 - 6:58 am

This is so good Ashley!! Always killing it!

Ashley December 16, 2017 - 12:51 pm

Thanks friend!

Shannon March 2, 2019 - 9:58 pm

Hi! I have been looking at blanket ladders for the last couple of years on Etsy and have never really found one that I wanted to take the plunge on. My husband took up a new hobby recently in woodworking and we’ve been looking on Pinterest four different things . I remembered a blanket ladder is something I’ve been wanting so I looked around on here and saw yours! What really drew me in to yours was the little lights! We downloaded the template and my husband finished the project this weekend. Aside from making his saw horses and some small things with scraps for practice, this is one of his first projects! I cannot wait to use it! The stain is drying. Our daughter and I went out and bought the little lights tonight. I am loving it!! Thank you so much for sharing this idea with us! God bless!

Ashley March 6, 2019 - 3:32 pm

Oh Shannon, this comment just made my day! I am SO glad that our guide could help you guys out, and kudos to your hubby for completing his first project! That is so exciting. I hope you love your blanket ladder, friend!

Karen October 8, 2020 - 2:22 pm

I’m just curious if a place like Home Depot can make the initial cuts??

Ashley October 9, 2020 - 8:38 pm

Yes definitely! That would make this DIY even easier.

Bailey November 4, 2020 - 12:01 pm

What color is your chunky knit blanket?

Ashley November 5, 2020 - 1:23 pm

Mine is the color tan.

Lillie Tucker November 21, 2020 - 2:44 pm

Where is that chunky knit blanket from? Because I am obsessed🤩😍😍😍

Ashley November 27, 2020 - 8:03 am

It’s from @sarahlouco on IG. Love it!

Molly November 25, 2020 - 4:45 pm

Where is the chunky blanket from?!

Ashley November 27, 2020 - 8:03 am

It’s from @sarahlouco on IG. Love it!

Comments are closed.