1 Old Ladder, 3 Different Ways

Last week, I was walking around a thrift store when I ran into this weathered ladder for only  $3.00.  $3.00?! I was eyeing up some old ladders online for way more than I'm willing to admit, so I bought this bad boy without hesitation (and also without thinking about how I was going to transport it, but alas, if there's a will, there's a way). 

What won me over about this ladder is all the wear and tear it's been through. That is most likely the exact reason it was donated in the first place, but this paint-splattered guy now has a home at my place.

After I got over the initial shock of finding something so awesome, it dawned on me that I needed to find a use for it more than just a random old ladder leaning against the wall. I'm pretty guilty of finding different items at thrift stores that have a lot of potential, but never put them to use.  Determined to get out of that rut, I came up with three different ways to update an old ladder and use it as a trendy yet practical storage system.

1. Leaning Book Shelf

My first instinct to use this ladder for was a bookshelf.  I've seen trendy ladder shelves online for upwards of $200, so snagging one for $3 is as aesthetically pleasing to my eye as it is to my post-grad wallet. 

Although the process is  fairly straight forward,  here's a simple step by step process.

1. Lean ladder up against the wall. Make sure to  choose an angle that provides enough support and stability so you can put weight on the steps without it falling over. Ultimately, you want to choose an angle that allows the steps to be level with the floor, creating shelves.

2. Take time understanding the balance of the ladder, and then fill the "shelves" up. You'll be surprised how much the shelves can hold even though they are fairly shallow. Really make use of this storage, and you can hold upwards to 50 books for all you bibliophiles.  

2. Wardrobe and Shoe Rack

This is one that I am very excited about because I have far too many clothes and shoes. We all have a few pieces that are fun to display, so what better way than having a converted ladder to do the trick. I initially just intended for it to be a wardrobe, but while creating it I realized that the steps of ladder can double as a shoe rack. As someone who has WAY too many shoes yet can never find any of them, this is a great way to store 10+ pairs.

1. Open ladder up fully to provide stability. 

2. Take extendable curtain rod and fit it to the proper length so it snuggly fits across. I chose to place the curtain rod roughly halfway down the length of the ladder,  but you can choose whatever height to satisfy your storage needs.

3. Load the side of the ladder with deeper steps up with shoes, creating a shoe rack.

4. Hang clothes up one at a time to assure the balance doesn't become too lopsided. (It can easily hold much more than pictured.)

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3. Blanket Rack

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I'm particularly fond of this blanket rack, and it's currently sitting at the end of my bed storing some of my blankets now that summer is knocking on the door.  Not only is it extremely easy to make (you literally lean a ladder against a wall), something about seeing your fuzzy covers while not having to sleep with them in 80 degree weather is still strangely cozy. 

1. Lean ladder at appropriate angle against the wall like the book shelf.

2. Load up your blankets.

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And voila! Three different storage solutions from a $3 ladder. Keep your eyes peeled for these bad boys at thrift stores or stored in the back of your garage. You may be surprised with what you can create with them. 

Emily QuandahlComment