This simple DIY blanket ladder makes the perfect quilt display with wide rungs and narrow uprights. The DIY tutorial and free plans will help you finish this project in a short afternoon- they make the perfect DIY Christmas gift idea!
A blanket ladder is a such a beautiful way to display blankets in your own home when they aren’t in use. And once you make one, everyone who sees it will probably want one too. Which makes it a perfect holiday gift idea! They’re relatively affordable, only needing three pieces of wood and simple to make- it will be done in an afternoon!
If you’ve been following along over on Instagram, we’ve been helping my mom paint her house and tear out old flooring for some new fresh vinyl. She’s totally refreshing her home to be brighter and updated, ordering new furniture to suit. This project is heading to her place once we’re done to make a beautiful display of the quilts my grandmother has made for her over the years.
When I was talking to her about the design, we wanted it to be substantial but not bulky, wider than most blanket ladders to show off the quilt designs a bit better, and I of course wanted it to be a bit modern. When we went to the hardware store to select boards to make it out of, we were so excited to see cedar as one of the options in the 2×2 size that we’d chosen.
My grandpa passed away when I was in high school, he was the most incredible wood worker. He would have my sister and I help on projects and our home was filled with his creations. From folding tables to smaller wood projects. His favourite wood to work with was cedar with a clear sealer to bring out the natural colouring of the wood. It seemed only fitting that we used cedar for this blanket ladder to display my grandma’s quilts.
Alright, let’s get you making one!
Big thank you to Kreg for sponsoring this post. Their pocket hole systems make building so simple! You can read more about my policies here.
- 3x 8 ft 2×2 (We chose cedar) cut to:
- 2x 6.5′ Long with one end cut at a 5 degree angle
- 5x 18″
- 20x 2.5″ Pocket hole screws
- Sandpaper (we used 120 grit)
- Clear sealer (or paint or stain if you choose!)
- Miter saw
- Tape Measure
- Kreg Jig (We used the new Kreg Pocket Hole Jig 720)
When you’re selecting the lumber for this project, make sure at least two of the boards that you select are near perfectly straight. You can see me checking the pieces here- SO many of the boards I was looking at were warped or twisted which won’t give you a straight ladder.
The making of this project is pretty simple. Start by cutting your boards to length. The long pieces of the ladder have a 5 degree angle cut on the bottom. This is optional if you don’t have a miter saw, but it helps it lean perfectly against the wall with less risk of slipping.
Once your pieces are cut to size, let’s drill those pocket holes! I used the new Kreg Pocket Hole Jig 720. All the Kreg Jigs I’ve used are effective, but this new one is so very easy to use. My son helped me make this ladder for grandma and he was able to operate the clamps and adjust it himself. I also love that the sawdust clears out much better in this model.
Before drilling your holes, adjust your Kreg Jig to the size of your wood. It comes with a tool to help measure your wood and adjust the collar on the drill bit to the proper stopping position. This whole step was made so much easier in the new jig design, I’m so impressed!
Once you’re set up, time to drill those holes! For the 2×2 wood size 2 pocket holes on the end of each ladder rung will help make assembly simple and strong.
Once they’re all drilled, get to sanding! My daughter helped me hand sand this, but I would definitely recommend a power sander if you don’t have little hands helping. I love that my mom will have a piece made by not just her daughter, but her grandkids as well thanks to their help!
Finishing with a 120 grit or higher sandpaper will help the wood feel incredibly smooth.
Once it was all sanded, we assembled the ladder. We measured the rungs out to an 11” spacing, starting from the top of the ladder. This means the space below the bottom rung is a bit larger, which looks great with a blanket hanging on it! I laid it all out on the floor and marked the spacing with pencil before attaching it. You can see those lines in that last photo
Attach the ladder rungs using 2.5” pocket hole screws and you’ve made yourself a blanket ladder!
Finish it however you choose, we chose a satin finish clear sealer for this project. I applied three coats to get a nice even sheen.
Allow it to dry fully before hanging blankets and you’re good to go!
I’m really so impressed with how this has turned out. We are giving this one to my mom for her quilts, but after styling it in our space, I’m wondering if I need one too!
If you would like a PDF plan for this project, you can hop over to Kreg’s website right here!
As always, if you make this project- I’d so love to see a photo! Email me colleen @ lemonthistle.com or tag me on socials @colleenpastoor!