Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Can She Build It?: DIY Blanket Ladder Edition

My stepdad is a woodworker.  Give him a saw, a screwdriver, and some wood and he can do amazing things.  When my parents built their home, he did literally ALL of the finish carpentry.  He put in hardwood floors, built all of the cabinets, did all of the trim, and made a beautiful fireplace surround and mantel.  Living in a house with easy access to tools and an excellent teacher means that now that I live halfway across the country, I now have my own fairly decent set of tools and a desire to build stuff.  I don't have the same amazing talent as my stepfather, but man I'm sure trying.  Follow along with my building adventures in my new series, "Can She Built It?"!

Today's Can She Built It? project is courtesy of Jen Jones over at I Heart Organizing.  Jen's blog was literally the first blog I ever read, and if I could camp out on her front porch for a week to get a tour of her amazing home, I would so be there.  The other week she posted her DIY Decorative Wood Ladder and I was instantly obsessed.  Remember how I showed you my adorable stockings hung with those ugly Command hooks?  I knew Jen's ladder would be amazing for the seven stockings that were hanging in my house this holiday season.

I went out on the Monday before Christmas to get stocking stuffers (what was I thinking??) and stopped by my local Home Depot to grab the stuff I would need to make the ladder.  I got 2 1" x 2" x 8" and 2 3/4" x 4' round dowels that Jen used.  Right now my miter saw is living in the back of Deputy Dad's car, and I didn't feel like hauling it out for just a couple of basic cuts, so I had the lovely people at HD cut it for me.  I had them cut the 1" x 2" boards down to 6' long, and I had them do 15" long cuts on each dowel.  If I was thinking, I would have had them do 16" cuts and used the full length of each dowel, but see above where I went to Target 3 days before Christmas - my brain function was seriously decreased.  The materials for this build cost me a whopping $8.53 - that's a DIY price I can get behind!

Once I got my materials home and recovered from the Target-induced trauma, I gathered everything I needed together.  I used a tape measure, a straight edge, a drill (this is my favorite drill ever), a 3/4" spade bit, wood glue, and some clamps.

I pushed both boards right up against each other and marked them at the same time so I could make sure that the holes were at the exact same spot.  

I started out by making my measurements down both boards for where I wanted my dowels to go.  I followed Jen's measurements on this, and did the first dowel 3" down from the top board, and went 12" from there own out, leaving 9" from my bottom dowel to the ground.

I taped off my spade bit about 3/8" of an inch in so I could make my holes the same depth and make sure the holes didn't go the whole way through the 1x2.  

Then I took my boards outside and drilled my holes for the dowels.  I did the rest of this project inside because the weather in SC has been dreary and rainy and humid and gross for the last 2 weeks.

Once I had my holes drilled out, I trooped back inside and put a dollop of wood glue in each hole on my boards.  I popped the dowels in one board, then laid everything on its side and fit the dowels into the holes of the other board.

I clamped everything together while the glue dried.  I waited about 2 hours for everything to get mostly dry-ish, then I took it outside for some spray paint.

I used Rustoleum Chalky Finish spray paint in Colonial Ivory, because it was what I had available.  I will probably re-paint it a medium-dark gray later down the road, because it will better match my (intended) color palette for my house.  I let it dry overnight, then popped on some hooks I had from an old pot rack.  The hooks didn't fit originally, but I had Deputy Dad widen the curve with a pliers so they would fit nicely over the dowel.  I tried to do it, but didn't have anywhere near enough upper body strength to do so.  #ineedtohtthegym

Al that was left was to hang up our adorable DIY Personalized Stockings - and of course my two dogs' stockings, as well!  I had to use every other dowel because the stockings hung down just over two feet, but I love how this turned out!!

Once I take down our holiday decor on January 1, I'll use this ladder to help corral the million and one blankets I have in the living room.  Somehow they always end up tossed on the floor, so hopefully this helps!

This was SUPER easy to build, and I'm so proud that I did it all on my own.  Thanks Jen for an amazing idea, and an amazing tutorial!!

Can She Build It Verdict??  YES SHE CAN!!!

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