DIY Wood and Metal Pipe Blanket Ladder

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Ash shared her DIY metal pipe plate rack a few weeks ago, and I immediately got metal pipe envy.  Seriously… It’s so darn cute.  I’ve also been itching for a blanket ladder ever since she made hers.  So, I came up with this!  Check out my DIY wood and metal pipe blanket ladder!

Wood and Metal Pipe Blanket Ladder

How cute is that? This may be one of the easiest projects ever, making it even cuter, don’t you think?? 😉

This makes the perfect nap time project

Supply List

2 – 2 x 4 studs

5 – 1/2″ galvanized metal pipes at 18″ a piece (I got mine at Home Depot)

10 – 1/2″ galvanized metal caps

Ryobi 1″ Forstner bit

This ladder is right around $40.  You can only do 4 metal pipes and it cuts off about $9 from the total cost.  I was fine with $40 since it had a fun and different look and tons of function!

My first step was cutting the 2×4.  I cut each one at 60″.

wood for blanket ladder

Next, I made  the holes.  I used my Ryobi drill and the forstner bit for this part.  The forstner bit looks like this and comes in this set!

Ryobi Forstner Bits at Home Depot

I clamped my wood pieces down to my workbench on a separate scrap piece of wood.  I ran the bit all the way through the 2×4 and into the scrap wood.  This helps keep the edges I cut nice and smooth.  It is really important to be precise on your measurements here.  Neither the wood or metal have any give to them, so if you are off it can be really hard to get your pipes in on the later steps.

How to blanket ladder

Here is where I lined up my holes on both boards.

measurements for blanket ladder

Once that was finished, I stained it!  I chose to use a color called wheat from Rust-Oleum.  I LOVE this stain.  It dries in under and hour, and requires only one coat.  Just brush it on and then use an old rag or wiping cloth to remove all the excess.

Rustoleum Wheat Stain

Once it was dry, I used my Corner Cat sander to distress the whole thing.  I used an 80-grit paper on it, and basically removed lots of the stain I put on it, especially around my edges and corners.  This gives it a fun, vintage finish!

Now to add the pipes!  These are the metal pipes I used from Home Depot.  They are 1/2″ galvanized pipes, and they are each 18″ long.

metal pipes for blanket ladder

I just put one in each set of holes and let the threaded end stick out over the edge.

Galvanized Metal Pipe

Finally, I screwed the caps on over the threaded ends.  Now, this part does require a bit of elbow grease.  Some of these just screwed right on, and others only about half way, and required some help from my pliers to go any more.  Not all of mine are screwed on the exact same, so some of my pipes do hang over a bit more than others.  It doesn’t bother me, though.  I think it adds to the look.

galvanized metal pipe cap

Here she is all finished up!

DIY Blanket Ladder

Wood and Metal Pipe Blanket Ladder

And, I love that I can move it to any room in the house and it still looks super cute!

Metal Pipe Blanket Ladder

Hope you guys love it!

I would LOVE for you to share and PIN this blanket ladder with all your friends!  Let me know if you have any questions at all!  Thanks so much for stopping by!



  1. Gina on November 27, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Just woundering can’t I use 1/2 PVC pipe and spray paint the pipe.

  2. Jaci on November 9, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Does the pipe stain the blankets?

  3. Jeannette on May 4, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Did anyone get feedback on how to keep the pipes from sliding inwards?

    • Linda P on September 14, 2018 at 4:45 pm

      Get shorter pipe and attach Unions to the ends and put shorter nipples to the unions. The nipple goes through the wood and than caps on the nipples. Will stop the wood from shifting over time.

  4. Sara and Todd Schroeder on June 8, 2017 at 9:41 am

    What stops the wood from sliding on the pipe? Wouldn’t it be easier to get a couple of flanges for each shelf instead of drilling holes?

  5. Shannon Maher on January 8, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    The OD of the 1/2″ galvanized pipe is 0.62″, wouldn’t the 7/8 or even 5/8 Forster bit give a much better fit? I just made this with the 1″ bit before I checked dimensions and there is a lot of extra room between the pipe and the edge of the hole.

    • Don on April 14, 2018 at 4:16 pm

      Same here I should have used a 5/8 or 7/8.

      • Allen on July 30, 2018 at 2:04 pm

        Same here, I just drilled all of the holes only to find out that they are all too large. Wish I’d have done the math beforehand instead of simply following the instructions. I knew it was going way too easy…

    • Matt on April 4, 2019 at 2:04 pm

      How did you stop tge wood from sliding?

  6. Elizabeth Beaulieu on March 30, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    I would like to second Kaia. If you buy a 10′ length of the 1/2″ pipe it costs about $15 and they will cut it and thread it for free. Way cheaper than paying $14 a piece for pre cut 18″ lengths of the 1/2″ pipe!!

  7. Kaia on December 22, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Just a tip, anytime you get pipes threaded, ask them to do it twice and you won’t have any trouble screwing caps, or whatever onto them.

  8. Samantha Velez on September 18, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I love how rustic and vintage this looks. Would you recommend using this in the bathroom for bath towels?

  9. Cindy Dabney on August 19, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Curious as well how to keep boards from sliding inward?

  10. Rachel Corneilson on April 14, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    How did you keep the wooden boards from sliding in on the poles? Are the holes just super tight?

  11. Raquel S on March 31, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    lOVE IT! Did you make the lamp on the table as well? Very cute!

  12. Nicolle Jansson on March 31, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Love love love it! Really diggin’ the stain color as well :):)

  13. RuBoken on March 31, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Is it heavy? We have a 17 month old and I have a feeling he will try and tip it over. Don’t want to surprise my better half with a visit to the emergency room! By the way, my five year old daughter goes to your site and Ana’s site in the morning to see if there is something new to make that she can help me with!! After that it is all about Jake and the Neverland Pirates during breakfast.

    If you are ever in Princeton, NJ let us know and she will have a thrill to meet you two!! Her show and tell last week were the towel hangers she made for her bathroom.

  14. Mindi on March 31, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Very Cute Whitney!

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