How to Make a Blanket Ladder for $15

Learn how to build a blanket ladder with 3 basic tools, $15 in lumber, free plans and a step-by-step tutorial. Perfect project for beginners.

I love making my home feel comfortable but chic 😉 for the holidays, whether it be for my own family or our guests!  I’ve seen a lot of ladders for blanket storage in the past but, I wanted a specific “shanty” look!  My favorite part of this ladder is the 2×6’s!  They give it a solid, chunky look! I’m totally in love with it 🙂  It was so easy to build and only cost me about $10!!!


Here’s how I did it!

How to Build a DIY Blanket Ladder


  • 2 – 2x4x8 pine boards or framing lumber
  • 1 2x6x8 pine boards or framing lumber
  • 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws
  • Wood Glue
  • Finish of your choice


  • Miter Saw (or hand saw or circular saw)
  • Drill
  • Kreg Jig

Step 1: Make the Cuts

diy blanket ladder - measurements
Blanket Ladder Cuts

I cut two 2×4’s at 5′ long and 4 2×6 at 17″ long.  I just made up my own measurements and I love how big and chunky the ladder is.

Step 2: Drill Pocket Holes in the Rungs

diy blanket ladder - Kreg-Jig
Drilling pocket holes in the ladder rungs

Next, I used my Kreg Jig to drill 1 1/2″ pocket holes into the ends of each 2×6. (You can find the Kreg Jig HERE on Amazon). If you do not own a Kreg Jig, you can pre drill from the sides of the 2×4’s into the 2×6’s and follow up with 2 1/2″ wood screws.

diy blanket ladder - Pocket-Holes
2 1/2″ pocket holes

You can see that I circled where I drilled my Kreg pocket holes.

Step 3: Attach the Ladder Rungs

diy blanket ladder - space-boards-12-inches-apart
Attaching the Ladder Rungs to the Side of the Ladder

I set the 2×6 boards so that the front corner touched the front of the 2×4 and the back corner of the 2×6 touched the back of the 2×4.  I placed the top rung 3″ from the top of the ladder and spaced the other rungs 12″ apart from each other.  I measured from the front corner of each 2×6.

diy blanket ladder - attach-with-pocket-hole-screws
Make sure the pocket holes face towards the back of the ladder

Make sure your Kreg pocket holes are facing the back.  I used 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws to attach the 2×6 boards.

Next, just attach the other 2×4 to the other side of the 2×6’s the same way.

Step 4: Add a Finish

diy blanket ladder - Rustoleum_Dark_Walnut
Rust-Oleum Dark Walnut Stain

To finish this cutie off, I used applied one coat of my favorite stain, Rust-Oleum Dark Walnut, with a foam brush. Wait about 5 minutes and then blend the stain with a clean cloth.

  • You can find the Dark Walnut stain HERE on Amazon

Step 5: Distressing the Finish

diy blanket ladder - How-to-Distress-Wood
Use a sander for a distressed finish

To give it the worn look that we love so much, I used my Ryobi Corner Cat Sander to distress the wood all over.  This sander is perfect for sanding this piece because of all of the angles.

Once it was dry, I added a few cute and soft throw blankets!

diy blanket ladder - DIY-Quilt-Ladder
DIY Blanket Ladder
How to build a blanket ladder
diy blanket ladder - DIY-Wooden-Ladder

$15 Blanket Ladder

I can’t decide whereI love the form and function of this blanket ladder! It’s a beautiful way to store blankets and also serves as the perfect decor for any space! I think my next ladder might be for towel storage in the bathroom or outside by the pool.

diy blanket ladder - Quilt-Rack-DIY
How to make a Blanket Ladder
Free Plans to build an Easy Blanket Ladder

I just love getting my home ready for Christmas!  We have so much more to come over the next 11 days!  This is just the beginning!  We always appreciate your pins and shares 🙂

Check Out Our Other Free Blanket Ladder Plans!

Here are a few projects that we have recently done to help you get your home holiday ready!


DIY Rectangle Wreath


DIY Bar Cart


Free Printable Merry Christmas Banner


DIY Christmas Tree Stands

Thanks so much for stopping by!!!

Happy Building!

DIY Blanket Ladder

Learn how to build this DIY Blanket Ladder with free easy-to-follow plans and how-to tutorial by Shanty2Chic. Make sure to download the FREE Printable Plans, including the supply list, in the link below!
Click HERE for the FREE Printable Plans

Supply List

  • 2 2x4x8 Pine or Whitewood Boards
  • 1 2x6x8 Pine or Whitewood Boards
  • 2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws
  • Finish of Choice


  • Cut List
  • Dill 1 1/2″ pocket holes into the 2×6 boards. Attach the 2×6 pieces to one of the 2×4 pieces according to the diagram. The top 2×6 piece is 3″ away from the top of the 2×4. The rest of the pieces are spaced 12″ apart measuring from the front most corner of each 2×6. They are angled so that the opposite corners are flush with the opposite sides of the 2×4 as shown.
  • Attach the other 2×4 side in the same way. Sand and finish as you wish! Make sure to share your builds with us on social media and use #shanty2chic so we can share them too!


  1. Stephanie on March 31, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Cost me $40 for all the supplies 🙁
    But I think it will be worth it because it’s fun and it will be pretty and I can say “I made that!” with my hands on my hips haha

  2. Ragan on December 3, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    This is awesome. What sanding sheet grit do you recommend for distressing stain and/or painted wood?

  3. Christine SaVino on October 29, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    I saw this ladder on Instagram and immediately fell in love
    with it! I had to attempt to recreate it but add a little of my own style. I
    built it with no problems. I wanted to give a fancy reveal to the sides of the
    ladder. Initially, I was going to use a router but ended up getting a
    decorative trim. I applied the trim with a nail gun. However, staining it
    wasn’t as simple because I wanted the stain to match my hardwood floor. I must have tried about four different color stains. Than it dawned on me to mix two of the color and BAMM there it was the color I was looking for. After torching the wood to give it an antique look I began staining with the two colors stain (colonial maple and red oak). Since, it is a one shot deal with the stain I took the extra 2 by 4 I had to practice the technique I wanted to use on the ladder. Than i polyurethane and HERE IS MY FINISH PRODUCT:

    (My next project will be the bathroom mirror storage case!
    Whoop Whoop!)

  4. Ashley Farr on September 18, 2015 at 6:27 am

    If you don’t have a kreg jig, what size screws would you use? I would pre drill then use wood filler on the sides. Thoughts?

    • Shanty2Chic on September 18, 2015 at 6:28 am

      Yes, 2.5″ wood screws 🙂

    • Jennifer on July 28, 2016 at 10:35 am

      OH But get a kreg jig its absolutley amazing

  5. Leanne Marie on May 6, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    What was the total cost of your wood? Just trying to get an idea on how much this would cost to make

    • Elisa Zaleski-Grissett on July 30, 2015 at 9:37 am

      My guess would be around $10… hence, the “$10 Wooden Blanket Ladder.”

  6. monkey on April 8, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    I was wondering where you got the top and middle blankets from?

    • Shanty2Chic on April 8, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      All of he blankets are from Homegoods 🙂

  7. April French on March 29, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I put this together for a quilt rack to show off some of my other handiwork. I completed it over one of Kentucky’s snowmegeddon days this winter.

  8. ceekee on March 7, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I am in the process of making this……. My husband and I took great care to follow the plans to the T. Sadly, the 2&1/2″ pocket nails were far too long and we ended up drilling into our brand new worktop in the garage. We used 1&1/2″ nails in the end and these were perfect for the job. As the side planks of wood are only 1&1/2″ thickness, we cannot see how the 2&1/2 ” nails were on the plans. That said we are delighted with our finished product and looking forward to staining it. Shame about our ding in the worktop though – we were both gutted about that!

    • Shanty2Chic on March 7, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      Sorry about that! If you are joining 2x boards the correct screw length is 2 1/2″. Maybe you didn’t have your Kreg jig set up to drill the correct depth of pocket hole?

      • ceekee on March 11, 2015 at 10:29 am

        My husband did that and he (being an engineer) is very meticulous. Maybe just bad luck and it is our first project. Not putting us off trying more and love love love your projects and plans. 🙂

    • EngineeringNerdette on November 9, 2015 at 7:58 am

      I actually had this same issue on a few (I’m also an engineer), though it was my first time using the k5 kreg jig. I noticed I didn’t have that issue on all of them, so I’m chalking it up to user error. On the ones I did have this issue on, we trimmed the screw slightly and re-screwed it.

  9. KendraCameron on January 27, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Figured it out! Excited to begin!!!

  10. KendraCameron on January 27, 2015 at 11:40 am

    So today I set up my new Kreg Jig and decided to do some test pocket holes before I got started on the blanket ladder and I’m glad I did! I can’t seem to get my drill to drill into the wood the entire way. I double checked everything with the Kreg to make sure it was set up right and it is. I feel like my pushing hard enough with the drill…I’m kind of at a stand still. Is my drill a junker? Any suggestions?

  11. 3LittleBirds on January 16, 2015 at 9:41 am

    I absolutely love this, and printed out the directions to show to my husband. One question- when you pull off a blanket, do you find that the ladder tips forward? I have 3 little girls and they would be pulling off blankets often. Thanks- such a clever and great looking idea!

  12. Tyler Lamb on January 1, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    I made one of these for my wife and i was wondering what is the angle that u cut the bottom of the legs to so that it has a clean look while leaned up against the wall.

    • Shanty2Chic on January 1, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Tyler,
      There are no angle cuts on the bottom of the ladder. You can add them if you like but if you have a smooth floor, like wood, it may slip.

      • Lauren Joseph Anlauf on February 17, 2015 at 5:50 pm

        Or you can add soft non slip pads on the bottom, that also works wonders

  13. Aimee on December 4, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    love this!!! Where did you get the blankets??? they look soo comfy!!!!!

  14. SoontobeNatalieN on November 10, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Yay, just made my first one this weekend!

  15. Jessica on November 2, 2014 at 8:04 am

    do you find that the ladder slips at all? i want to make one for my livingroom but we have hardwood floors and i worry the weight of the blankets will make it slip forward. any suggestions?

    • Shanty2Chic on November 2, 2014 at 8:49 am

      Hey Jessica!
      I have had mine on wood floors and it hasn’t slipped. If you are worried you could put rubber pads under the legs:)

  16. christy on June 12, 2014 at 8:52 am

    where did you get basket with pinecones and yes!im copying your house style:)

    • Shanty2Chic on June 12, 2014 at 9:00 am

      Lol! Go for it 🙂 basket is from Homegoods and the pine comes are from Hobby Lobby 🙂

  17. Andrew on April 9, 2014 at 9:06 am

    I made one to hold all the bath towels that get used when we bathe our dogs. It was so simple and worked so well that I made a couple more. They’re in my daughters rooms. We could never get them to stop leaving their clothes on the floor, but these ladders work great for that too!

    I love your projects and enthusiasm. Very infectious! Thanks!!

  18. Justin George on April 2, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    how do you make sure the ends of the ladders (rails) line up exactly before screwing the rungs in?

    • Shanty2Chic on April 2, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      I measured on both rails where to put the rungs.

  19. Darlene on March 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Is there a way to print out instructions for your projects without all of the other stuff that is on the page? I would love to try some of them, but I work better with something laid out in front of me to follow!!

    • Shanty2Chic on March 16, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Hi Darlene! We are working to have PDF’s available for all of our plans:) this specific plan should be available this week:)

  20. Michelle Pierce on January 1, 2014 at 11:59 am

    So so happy I found your blog! I will be busy this weekend!

  21. mab on December 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    My blanket ladder! Project #2 done! It took a few re-assembly efforts to get it straight. The first attempt was pretty crooked. It still isn’t perfect, but passable…

    • Shanty2Chic on December 28, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      We love it:) thank you so much for sharing!!!!

    • Jamila on November 10, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      I know this is a long shot but why was it crooked? I am having the same issue.

      • Fawn Stender on August 9, 2016 at 12:21 pm

        Make sure your getting your measurements right…each side has to be the same measurement…I build my first side..then measure and make the second “top” side to measure exactly…the top is 3″…but it might be slightly less or more depending how you placed it…measure then copy it for the second side. My first one was totally crooked too!

      • Zac Surant on August 16, 2016 at 5:02 am

        To make it as easy as possible clamp your 2x4s together and make your cut 1 time to assure they are the exact same size. Also, just for simple house keeping, make sure your 2×6 boards are not warped. That will make it very crooked very fast. Also make sure that they are screwed flush against the 2x4s. Hopefully this helps folks having the same issue in the future ????

        • Keri Shoemaker on December 16, 2016 at 7:26 pm

          Thanks, Zac!

  22. Loretta on December 4, 2013 at 8:36 am

    I love all of the things you make.
    would you suggest wood glue (with screws) if you do not have the jig? I am HOPING that the hubs got the many hits of that on my list 😉
    It’s a beautiful project, and I am making 2. Perfect gifts!

    • Shanty2Chic on December 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      Yes that is exactly how you would do it. You can use wood putty to fill the holes on the sides 🙂

  23. Tara on December 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I love these, just like everything else! My only question is: Do you know why my Rustoleum Dark Walnut stain looks so much lighter than what your projects look like? I love the color I see in your pictures but when I use the same exact stuff it’s super light! Thanks!

    • Shanty2Chic on December 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks Tara! You need to make sure that you shake the can before you use it and I suggest using a paint stick to get the color mixed really well. Sometimes the color settled to the bottom of the can when it has sat on the shelf. Hope this helps!

  24. Michael Wurm, Jr on December 2, 2013 at 11:10 am

    What a fabulous project! I can think of SO many uses for this! Fabulous ladies!

    xo Michael

  25. Runt on December 2, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I loooove the blanket ladder. I have been wanting one FOREVER!

  26. Angel Debbie on December 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Have a question…do you find that the stain wears off onto the fabric of the quilts? My hubby made me a quilt hanging rack for the wall and I did not use stain on it for that reason. Has anyone had this problem or “fear” of it ruining their quilt?

    • Janet on December 1, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      You could put a satin poly over the stain after you sand it.

      • Shanty2Chic on December 1, 2013 at 8:29 pm

        Yes!! Janet is right. Just put a coat of poly and you won’t have a problem!

        • Angel Debbie on December 1, 2013 at 9:11 pm

          Thank you! I had not thought of doing that. Have a great upcoming week!

      • Angel Debbie on December 1, 2013 at 9:11 pm

        Thank you ladies!! I had not thought of doing that! I wish you a great upcoming week! Thanks again!

  27. Kim on December 1, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Love this, I have three antique quilts from the early 1900’s, I could just make it a bit wider, but still keep it a ladder. Thanks so,so much!! They’re in a drawer where no one can see them. Great idea!

    • Shanty2Chic on December 1, 2013 at 8:28 pm

      Thank you Kim!!

    • Susan Ramsay on May 26, 2018 at 11:47 am

      Yes, quilt were the first thing I thought of when I saw the plain ladder.

  28. Kim on December 1, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Love this. Would be great to hold extra towels in the bath too. Is there any way to secure it to the wall to keep curious little ones safe?

    • Shanty2Chic on December 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      Thank you Kim! To secure it, I would us some type of “L” bracket and anchors!

  29. Funky Junk Interiors on December 1, 2013 at 11:47 am

    My blankets sure don’t look this beautiful in my home… I guess I need a ladder! 🙂 This project is gorgeous! And yeah… I need a kreg tool STAT.

  30. Eileen Murray on December 1, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Beautiful! Just one question….it looks like the side rails are cut at an angle on the bottom…if so, did you cut at 10 degrees or some other angle?
    Love this, so simple but a gift anyone would love!

    • Shanty2Chic on December 1, 2013 at 10:31 am

      Thank you! They aren’t cut at an angle:) just a plain straight cut! I just lean it against the wall.

    • Katie Weber on January 4, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      I just made finished my adorable ladder, and I went ahead and cut the bottom at 15 degree angles. It leans perfectly for what I was envisioning. 🙂

  31. Msongbird on December 1, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Oh, I love this. I have room in my home for more ladders. I’d better start and make me some!

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