Can’t find a vintage blanket ladder for a decent price? Make a rustic DIY blanket ladder easily with 2x4s and show off all your favorite throw blankets!

Did you know that I’ve wanted a Blanket Ladder for a long time? Dean and I saw one a while back at an antiques mall, but it was far too large (and much too pricey) for us. Then one of our lovely contributors made a 30 minute blanket ladder and I wanted to make one of our own too.

diy blanket ladder

diy blanket ladder made with 2x4s for less than $25

DIY Blanket Ladder (for less than $25)

$25 diy blanket ladder


  • 3 – 2″ x 4″ x 8′ lengths of wood
  • 16 –  3/8″ x 2 1/2″ carriage bolts
  • compound miter saw
  • drill
  • 23/64″ drill bit
  • sandpaper
  • measuring tape
  • hammer
  • bar clamp
  • pencil
  • sun bleached oil-based stain
  • dark walnut oil-based stain
  • foam brushes
  • old rag


To make a DIY blanket ladder, you will need three two-by-fours. Cut two of them to 7 feet long for the side rails. Then from the third, cut four 16 inch long pieces for the rungs.  Attach rungs to side rails with carriage bolts. Sand and finish as desired.

1. Cut two of the 2″ x 4″ x 8′ (2x4s) down to 7′ each. These will be the side rails.

2. From the third 2×4 cut four 16″ long pieces. These will make the rungs of the ladder.

3. Sand any rough edges on the side rails and rungs.

4. Using a pencil on each of the 7′ 2x4s place a mark at 18″, 34″, 50″ and 66″ from either end. Using a square, mark a pencil line across the width of the boards.

measure and mark

5. Clamp the rungs in between the two 7′ side rails, centered on each of the pencil lines as shown.

clamp the wood together

6. To affix the rungs to the side rails, at each marked line, drill one hole 3/4″ from each edge. There will be eight holes on each side rail, for a total of sixteen holes.

drilling holes

drilling holes 2

drilling holes 3

7. Hammer one carriage bolt into each hole.

hammer in bolts

8. Apply sun bleached stain to entire ladder with foam brush. Let sit for 5 minutes and then wipe off excess with an old rag.

For a step-by-step tutorial on how to stain wood, check out this post.  

9. Apply dark walnut with another foam brush. Let sit for 5 minutes and wipe off excess with an old rag.

10. Let dry until no longer tacky, about 24 hours.

Home Made Lovely DIY Blanket Ladder

And now we have a blanket ladder of our very own, for less than $25!

2x4 blanket ladder

So there’s a super simple alternative to tracking down a vintage or antique ladder somewhere!

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shannon photo and sig oct 2022

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    1. I love the ladder but I priced the carriage bolts at Lowe’s and they are 1.98 a piece which would come to around $32 for the bolts alone. I was wondering how you were able to make it for $25?

  1. Aren’t you a smart cookie! This is so simple it’s elegant, thank you for sharing. I’ve long hungered after a blanket ladder but the idea of dishing out a small fortune for one was a huge turn off. I don’t know why this never occurred to me. What is sun bleached stain though? I’ve never heard of it.

  2. This is the best DIY blanket ladder I’ve ever seen on Pinterest.
    I’ve been wanting a blanket ladder for ages, but the directions seem to be so complicated. Love your step by step instructions. It seems so easy. I’m definitly going to give this a try. Thanks for sharing Shannon!

  3. LOVE this Shannon! And I love the fact that you left the wood markings to shine! I’ve never attempted using those carriage bolts before… I’m totally adding them to my shopping list!

    1. Thank you, Donna. Wasn’t sure if I’d like the wood markings, but we were on a tight timeline after Dean was sick last week. I’m glad we left them! The carriage bolts are fun – I love lag bolts too.

  4. Ahhhhh this is fantastic. I’m redoing our master and I need something with height. This might be the perfect project! Love it!

  5. I love the look of this ladder Shannon! What type of carriage bolts did you use and how do you get them to stay without a fastener?

    1. Just regular carriage bolts were used. The hole is just the right size for the bolt. You could also glue them in if you wish.

  6. This Is lovely! I’ve been wanting to make one for a while now, but am on a budget. How did you come about to say these were less than $25? My figure came up to a lot more than that. I have a drill and that’s about it.

  7. Hey! Thanks for sharing your tutorial. The only part that bothers me is that the printing on the 2×4 is visible on the sides even after the staining. Any way to get rid of that? Thanks!

    1. If you sand it off before you stain it, you’ll be fine. I didn’t mind the look of the stamps so I didn’t.

  8. Two girlfriends and I got together for a day and we all made one of these. They pretty much look identical to yours, minus the writing on the wood…we sanded our writing off. Thanks for the great directions and pictures. We are all pretty pleased. My husband keeps joking my ladder is the most photographed ladder ever…hahaha…I’m just so thrilled with the way it turned out. Thank you.

  9. I love it with the 2×4’s ! I didn’t think I would but I love how sturdy it looks…plus I have 2×4’s in my basement 🙂

  10. Thank you so much for your blog on the blanket ladder. You guys made it so simple to follow, everything was covered and when I made it, i was so pleased with the end result.