Build your own DIY decorative ladder for under $20! This angled orchard ladder plan is easy for beginning woodworkers and will add some vintage farmhouse style to your home decor.
You can also build a blanket ladder, countertop ladder, or hanging plant pot ladder. Plus, read more tips for decorating tall walls.
Vintage Inspired DIY Ladder Plans
Hi, it’s Amy from Hertoolbelt back with another build plan for all you woodworkers. (Be sure to check out the House Bed Frame and Double X Console Table plans, too.)
Previously, our Remodelaholic team shared this stunning office via Better Homes & Gardens in a Get This Look series post: 7 Tips for a Bold and Beautiful Study.
That rustic orchard ladder in the back corner is really cool and a fun accent piece, and a great way to decorate a blank wall without adding a lot of visual clutter.
Our project for today is to build a very simplified version of an angled vintage orchard ladder, so you can have your own DIY decorative ladder for under $20.
Build a Decorative Orchard Ladder
Note: This DIY ladder plan is for decorative purposes only, do not use for climbing!
Looking for a DIY stepladder? Build a ladder chair or a Hoosier flip-over stepstool.
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Depending on what boards you choose (and what current lumber prices are), you can build this decorative orchard ladder for as little as $10-20 in materials!
When choosing your lumber, keep in mind that furring strips are cheap in 1×4 and 1×2 sizes, but they aren’t the highest quality lumber so you need to be picky! Read our tips here for picking the best and straightest boards.
The angled profile of this DIY ladder means that each rung is angled on the ends, so we recommend a compound miter saw (though a circular saw with adjustable blade could work, too).
A brad nailer will make assembly fast and easy, but you can use wood screws or hammer in brad nails, too.
Building the Ladder
All the cuts needed, ladder rung lengths and locations, and steps to build the ladder are included in the printable PDF plan.
This is a perfect beginner plan or weekend project, with only a few steps:
- Trim the angled ladder top and bottom (optional, to help the ladder rest against the wall and floor).
- Cut angled ladder rungs.
- Attach ladder rungs using glue and brad nails or screws.
- Sand and finish.
Finishing and Staining a Decorative Ladder
Once you’ve built the ladder, make it match your style with the finish you choose!
For a rustic farmhouse look, you can distress the wood using hammers, screws, etc. You can also shave off the factory edges of the board for a hand-carved look.
Then a tea stain with a DIY homemade wood stain recipe will give you a nice rustic aged wood look, like these large wood frames and rustic wall bins.
If you want to add some color, use our favorite color-washing technique to stain the wood any color! You can also use this technique to adjust a stain color before adding the top coat, like we did on our barn door baby gate and Dutch door.
You can also add some metal hardware to the vintage look, such as upholstery nails at the rung ends or a large eye bolt at the top/sides of the ladder.
Age the metal by soaking in vinegar or dusting with spray paint like Corey did with the metal accents on this wall cubby shelf.
How to Decorate a Ladder
Now you have a great decorating accent piece to help you go vertical!
You could also use this ladder to hang towels or organize blankets or store high-heeled shoes.
See 10 more ways to decorate a ladder.
Looking for more great pieces to build to make your home style just right?
Try more of our easy woodworking plans that you can build in a weekend!
Published 30 Aug 2014 // Updated 03 Mar 2021