How To Make A Vintage-Inspired Mini Ladder

So remember that Upcycled Side Table I revealed a few weeks ago with the old wood on top? Well, you didn’t think I would actually let the rest of that wood go to waste did you? Exactly. So get ready for project #2 made out of the old withered wood from the broken trellis.

A few months ago I spotted a little wooden ladder at my local craft store. I instantly fell in love with it but I was not in love with the price. I generally don’t have an issue paying $30 for a piece of home decor that I love, but when I KNOW I could make it for about 1/10 of the cost I have a hard time coughing up the cash. Call it being frugal or call it a disease, I’m not really sure which it is at this point! I’ve had this Vintage-Inspired Mini Ladder on my ‘to-do’ list for what seems like forever and as soon as I found that old broken trellis in our backyard, this project was finally checked off the list!

Mini Ladder Tutorial

I am really happy with how it turned out. It was an extremely easy project (tutorial below) and something just about anyone can do. And because I already had the wood and the sealer, this project only cost me $1.97. And to think I almost paid $30 for one!

Mini Ladder Tutorial

This little wooden ladder is so versatile. You can use it as a simple piece of decor, hang photos from it, use it as a dish towel rack, the possibilities are endless.

You might recognize my little owl from this post and my succulent watering can from this post.

Mini Ladder Tutorial

Mini Ladder Tutorial

The hinges were my only cost for this project and they came in at $1.97 for the pair!

Mini Ladder Tutorial

For those of you who missed my Side Table Post, this is the site we found when my husband removed an overgrown raspberry bush from the side of our house. We found this old broken and worn trellis that used to hold up the bush. The natural colors in the wood were gorgeous and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

Mini Ladder Tutorial

Cut 4 pieces at 20″ and 8 pieces at 12″.

Mini Ladder Tutorial

Ideally, you would use a small finishing nail to secure the pieces together, but the wood was on the softer side and the nails were starting to damage the wood. So I opted out of using nails and used non-foaming Gorilla Glue to secure all of the pieces together. It worked great. Just allow the glue to sit overnight to make sure it is secure.

Mini Ladder Tutorial

Pick out a pair of small hinges for your ladder. I picked up a pair of Gatehouse 1″ Zinc-Plated Entry Door Hinge for $1.97 at the local hardware store, the perfect size for this little ladder.

Mini Ladder Tutorial

Line up the two pieces like the above picture, and secure the hinges in place.

Mini Ladder Tutorial

Lightly sand the wood to remove the rough edges, then apply 3 coats of a protective finish. I used a clear satin to keep the rustic look.

Mini Ladder Tutorial

Do you have any decorative ladders in your home? How do you use them in your decor?

Linking to some of the parties here along with Today’s Creative BlogTipJunkieHome Stories A 2 Z, Funky Junk Interiors, The Shabby Nest, My Repurposed Life, The Shabby Creek Cottage, Thrifty Decor Chick


Taryn is the owner/editor of Design, Dining and Diapers, a lifestyle blog that focuses on DIY home decor, design, seasonal crafts, easy recipes and just being a mom! She is all about making things for less by upcycling thrift store finds and using what’s on hand. Taryn lives in the greater Seattle area with her husband, 3 year old daughter and 1 year old son.

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  1. says

    So cute! I have been wanting to get a ladder or two around here forever but can’t seem to find any. Thanks so much for the tutorial – I never even thought of making my own! Looks great with your watering can!

  2. says

    What a great idea! I love ladders and I love this tutorial. You explain in such a way that anyone could do this. Thanks for the idea-pinning!
    Have a happy week


  3. Emma Briggs says

    I have seen many of mini ladders at the shop and on the internet that I always wanted to have it. When I search more via internet suddenly, I find this blog…and thanks for the tutorial now I can make my own mini ladder with less expenses.

  4. says

    Turned out great! Love how you have it displayed!
    We built a tall ladder for the garden that I put small potted plants on, but I’ve been on the lookout for one similar to yours…and seeing how easy it is, I will be making my own, too!!
    Thanks for the tips!
    Saw you sharing at The Shabby Creek Cottage
    Debbie :)

  5. says

    Looks great! What an easy tutorial! I’ve been seeing a lot of ladders on Pinterest that are used to hold towels or blankets and I was considering making one out of 1×2’s and 4 large dowels. I think I’m going to try your tutorial instead! I also love the watering can!

  6. says

    I like the little ladder great repurpose of the wood. I think it would be pretty with some doilies or tea towels on there too!
    via CCC,Pat

  7. says

    Stopping by from Nifty Thrifty! Your ladder is adorable. I have a stash of wood like you used outside. This looks so easy, and it could also be used for drying lingerie in the laundry room. Great up-cycling and very versatile! I’d be tickled if you’d shared this over at Sunday’s Best tonight! This needs to be shared!

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