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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!


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    1. 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.

    2. Plumber’s tape for the pipe threads, then a rubber O ring (from water hose kit) on the inside to cover the hole that’s larger then the pipe.

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

      1. 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…

  3. 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!!

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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.