11 Ways to Repurpose and Decorate with Ladders
Storage solutions, salvage-style decor, and more inspiring ideas
Here at This Old House, we're fans of nifty storage solutions as well as new ways to upcycle old items. Repurposing an old ladder often incorporates both into one DIY-friendly project. Read on to see how imaginative DIYers crafted display shelves, extra closet space, a hanging pot rack, and more using aged ladders.
Find the instructions to make a storage unit like the one shown here: Create Shelves From Old Ladders
Attach wire baskets to the rungs of a wood ladder to create a place to stow accessories, craft supplies, and even fresh produce. Or opt for the ready-made version shown here.
Ladder with Wire Basket Displays, about $249; homedecorators.com
A stepladder is the perfect height for a side table. Ashley M. shared this piece she created on Neeleys Knits, using antiques-shop finds. A professional glass company drilled the holes into the glass top so that she could attach it to the base.
See more photos: Step Ladder Side Table
Instead of adding an over-the-toilet shelf, Jenna, author of the blog Jenna Sue Design Co., fit a ladder in the space and attached baskets to hold extra towels and toiletries.
See the before-and-after photos of her bath redo: From '70s to Showstopper
Elsie Larson, author of the blog A Beautiful Mess, retrofitted a flea-market find into a stylish shelf for books and potted plants. A bold paint color makes this piece really stand out.
Get the full tutorial: Ladder Display Makeover
Along with a ladder, Geneva, blogger at A Pair & A Spare, used common materials, such as a wood dowel, to create extra hanging space for her clothes. This is a great solution for bedrooms short on closet space.
Make your own with her step-by-step instructions: DIY Ladder Wardrobe
To add a bedside storage table and shelf in a tight space, Donna, of the blog Funky Junk Interiors, beefed up an old ladder with salvaged boards for shelves and wall supports.
See how she built it: Make an upcycled stepladder side table with shelves
Enhance a garden entrance with a trellis. Carl G. shared this unique trellis on Hometalk. He built it out of an old wood ladder. The only new parts were the screws, nails, and decorative spindle brackets.
See how he built it: Re-purposed Ladder Becomes Trellis
Birdhouses help attract birds to your garden. Instead of hanging them from tree branches, Barb Rosen of the blog Our Fairfield Home & Garden, mounted birdhouses on old ladders to create functional garden accents.
Find more of her garden and birdhouse ideas: It's All About the Birds! Birdfeeders, Birdbaths and Birdhouses in Our Garden
To save pieces of wood headed for the trash, Lindsey and Matt, the DIYers behind the blog My Creative Days, made an outdoor bench. They cut a wood ladder into three pieces and combined it with pallet boards for the seat.
See the step-by-step to learn how they made it: Old Ladder + Pallet Wood = Bench