This DIY ladder shelf is super easy to make and creates a gorgeous rustic feature for any room. The perfect place to showcase your favourite decorative pieces!
Lately, my husband Matt and I have been on a roll when it comes to interior decorating. Who would’ve thought that decorating a house could be so addictive?!
I honestly never realized that I had such a love for decorating until Matt bought his new house this past March.
I have seriously fallen in LOVE.
One weekend, we happened to be looking around in one of our favourite boutiques, where they have beautiful home décor items, just to get some inspiration. We saw these old rustic ladders that were painted and used as shelves. They were so cool! But what was not so cool was the price. $250!!!
Not quite what we were looking to spend.
But we couldn’t stop thinking about this ladder shelf! Matt had the perfect spot for it in the corner of his living room right next to the couch. We kept thinking it would be sooo perfect there!
We kept browsing around the store and started whispering to each other, “We could totally make a ladder shelf like that!”
So the next day, we set out on a journey to a huge antique market on a mission to find an old ladder that we could transform.
In less than 5 minutes, we found the PERFECT ladder for $20, almost identical to the ladder we saw in the store that was $250.
We got to work and sanded it down in the garage, just enough that the paint would go on smoothly. We still wanted it to have a rustic appearance.
Next we decided to paint it white, because…well, I have an obsession with white. It’s just so clean looking.
We only put on one coat because, as I previously mentioned, we wanted it to have the rustic not-so-perfect look.
Once it was dry, we took some rough sandpaper and sanded it down wherever we wanted it to look distressed, mostly focusing on the edges.
Next, we decorated it to fit the theme of the living room. A candle. A decorative ball. Some old books. And a throw blanket.
FYI – ladder shelves make a great place to drape a comfy throw. That was Matt’s brilliant idea. I give him full credit.
And POOF, just like that, we had a ladder shelf for less than $30! And we love it because it adds such a unique touch to the room.
So if you want to create your own ladder shelf, here’s what you need:
- A wooden ladder
- White paint with an egg shell finish (or whatever colour you prefer)
- Decorative objects for the shelf
- Find an old wooden rustic ladder. Antique markets or garage sales are a great place to look!
- Sand down the ladder, just enough so that the paint will go on smoothly. You still want it to have a rustic appearance.
- Paint the ladder with desired colour (I went with white to keep it neutral). Put on desired number of paint coats. We only did one coat so that it would maintain its rustic appearance.
- Once the paint is fully dry, take some rough sand paper and sand down the ladder wherever you want it to look distressed, mostly focusing on the edges.
- Once, you’re happy with the ladder’s appearance, you’re ready to decorate! Candles, old books, a throw blanket, or any accessories that match the theme of your room look great on a ladder shelf.
The beauty of this shelf is that it’s unique and no one will ever have one exactly like it!
More DIY projects
- DIY Ornament Wreath
- DIY Free Printable Tropical Party Banner
- DIY Wooden Crate Shelf
- DIY Decorative Tin Can Vases
- DIY Glitter House
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