On the 9th day of Christmas my true friend sent to me…a tutorial for a DIY Decorative Ladder. Ha! The Christmas season is always filled with festive music, comforting food and sparkly decorations. It will come as no surprise that the decorations are my favorite part. This year I am participating in the 12 Days of a DIY Christmas! Twelve female woodworkers are joining together to bring you builds each day for the first twelve days of December, so click THIS LINK to find a list and links to all of the projects!!!
These women are extremely talented, and I am honored to be a part of the group. I’m not reinventing the wheel here with this project. I know many have made ladders similar to this, but when I thought about this project this is the plan that came into my head. This project is so versatile, easily customizable and just perfect for my porch decor this season!
I’d like to thank DecoArt and Ryobi, who sent me free products that I used in this post. All of my posts contain affiliate links, and if you purchase something after clicking on one of them I get a small commission from that sale at NO COST TO YOU. Thank you so much for your support! Questions? See my Disclosures page.
DIY Decorative Ladder
- 2 – 10ft. long 1×3 boards. I used pine because it is inexpensive.
- Miter saw (can be done with other types of saws as well.)
- Finish Nailer
- Wood Glue
- Tape Measure
- DecoArt White Paint Outdoor Living Series
- Paint Brush
Cutting the boards:
The first thing to do is take your 10′ board and cut it almost in half at a 10 degree angle. Then just cut the two boards to the same length. You could be really precise and cut it directly in half with the 10 degree angle factored in, but I didn’t want to take that much time on it. My two boards ended up being just under 5′ long each.
Next, you’ll cut 7 rungs 12″ long. One trick I have for these is this ruler tape that I have stuck to my miter saw. It is very thin and helps me when I’m making many of the same length cuts up to 13″. As you can see here, I just line it up at the 12″ mark, cut, set the piece aside, and move onto the next. No measuring tape needed.
Stop when you have seven rungs cut. Now cut another piece about 6-7″ long. Cut that piece in half at a 10 degree angle. This will create two 10 degree spacers that you’ll use in a later step. (Sorry forgot to get a pic of those being cut.)
Marking for the rungs:
Now you’re going to decide where you want the rungs and mark each one. I started my first one down 5″ from the top, then spaced each of them 7″ apart. I put the two boards together and marked all of those with a small pencil nick on each board. Again, I had seven rungs.
I had a small 10 degree piece that I had cut off earlier, so I used that to quickly mark the angles. Remember that you want these angles to match the angle at the bottom of the board that you cut in the first step. The bottom angle will allow the ladder to lean against the wall at a small angle. By angling the rungs we are ensuring that they sit level when the ladder is standing. This just makes it that much easier to put decorations on top of the rungs if you want to. Remember this ladder is JUST for decoration.
Alright, now you should have all of your rung placement lines on both boards.
Assembling your DIY Decorative Ladder:
The first thing to do is put a couple rungs in between the long boards and clamp the long boards in place. The rungs are needed for spacing, and if you don’t clamp the entire thing it won’t hold together while you’re trying to place each rung. I hope that makes sense. Next we’re going to clamp the spacers onto the long sides, then glue in the first rung!
The following pictures show the process I used. Basically, line up the 10 degree spacers on the lines that you marked on each side. Clamp them into place so they won’t move. Then put wood glue on each side of the rung piece. Slide it into place making sure to push it tightly against the spacers. Clamp near the rung, leaving space for your nailer so you can go ahead and nail it. Then move onto the next rung.
This image may help if you want overall picture and measurements.
Get your paint out, stir it up, and paint the entire thing.
I love this DecoArt Outdoor Living paint. It coats well and the planters that I made from it last summer have held up perfectly!
Now, since it’s December, decorate it for Christmas! I added some garland, then took it outside to place it on my porch before I added the other decorations. (Ignore my messy shop, I have at least 3 projects going at once and it’s a bit chaotic.)
There you have it! An awesome DIY Decorative Ladder that can really be customized for any holiday. I am absolutely loving it for Christmas! And yes, I do have a Christmas Tree on my front porch. I just can’t help it.
This wreath is a tutorial coming up soon! The bow looks normal, it was just windy when I was taking photos. Also, like 20 degrees outside, so I was freezing!
Merry Christmas friends! If you love this post, please share!!!! (Use the social media buttons on the left or bottom!)
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Maker. DIY Blogger. Artist.
Sheri has been creating all of her life in various ways and finds great purpose and empowerment in creating something new. When she’s not in the workshop or craft room she is making memories with her husband, four kids, perfect dog and ornery cat.