How To Style A Vintage Ladder With More Than Blankets

January 25, 2018

found vintage ladder decor Christmas ladder DIY bath storage ladder

I'm a huge fan of using found vintage ladders as decor. They're one of those versatile vintage finds that work well as decor in and around the home in so many ways. And in my opinion, the older and crustier, the better! My love for ladders goes way back. Today I'll be sharing:1) my current ladder crush and how I styled it to fit beautifully into my newly decorated living room, 2) a list of things you can use to hang from your ladder and 3) two additional ladder styling secrets as well.

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monthly blogger thrift store challenge

I'm bringing this idea to you as part of a Thrift Store Challenge I participate in once a month with a group of talented, like-minded bloggers whose entries are listed at the end of this post. It's always so fun to see what they've created. So be sure to visit them as well! Our only "rules" (read: no rules) are that we upcycle an item from a thrift store, garage sale, etc. I consider flea markets to be a thrift store equal, so let's get started!

Meet The Hosts

Amanda | Domestically Creative - Pili | My Sweet Things Angela | Simply Beautiful by Angela - Jeanie | Create and Babble Molly | Just a Little Creativity - Colleen | Life on Kaydeross Creek Marie | The Inspiration Vault - Michelle | Michelle James Designs Shirley | Intelligent Domestications - Dru | Polka Dot Poplars Pam | P.S. I Love You Crafts - Gail | Purple Hues and Me Jennifer | Cookies Coffee and Crafts - Toni | Small Home Soul Sue | A Purdy Little House - Kathleen | Our Hopeful Home Victoria | Dazzle While Frazzled - Marie | DIY Adulation Michelle | Our Crafty Mom - Debra | Shoppe No. 5 - Denise | My Thrifty House Florence | Vintage Southern Picks - Ann | Duct Tape and Denim Yamilette | The Latina Next Door Maureen | Red Cottage Chronicles

Make sure you follow our board on Pinterest for more upcycled decor inspiration!

empty vintage ladder decor upcycle

I found this beauty of a ladder at an all night flea market last fall. It had quite a bit of history written all over it, the daily wear and tear was obvious. Score! The vendor had a few similar ones so it was a bit hard to choose but this baby ended up coming home with us. I think I ended up paying around $30 for it, which is A LOT for me to pay for anything thrifted or from a flea market or estate sale, but these ladders have become so in demand that their prices are pretty outrageous. In that respect I got a bargain! So, what did I do with it?

ladder decor blanket basket hydrangeas

Right now it's gracing a corner of my newly painted and decorated living room. I want to show you more but that's a big post for another day (soon!). I keep feeling like the empty middle rung is missing something....but no matter what I've placed there I just don't like how it looks. So for now that rung will stay empty. 

Here's a sneak peek of this side of the living room. I'll be totally revealing it in all its glory - hopefully - soon.  Next to the ladder you can see my thrifted DIY stenciled basket I love to use for pillow and blanket storage. 

vintage French wall basket hydrangeas ladder

vintage French wall basket hydrangeas ladder

vintage French wall basket hydrangeas ladder

I bought this gorgeous French country wall basket at Goodwill a few years ago and could never find just the right spot for it. It's huge! But that's okay because I think I found its perfect spot now!

vintage French wall basket hydrangeas ladder

vintage French wall basket hydrangeas ladder

Of course I had to fill it with dried hydrangeas from our hydrangea garden! I think I paid around $3.99 for this basket. I just googled it and found the exact same one selling for $117!

vintage ladder blanket decor

I picked up this plaid cotton throw at Tuesday Morning. I love the neutral tones and especially the fringe!

How To Style A Vintage Ladder   

You can go big or modest with your vintage ladder. A number of years ago I styled a found ladder (as in: found in my back yard) and the project was a big success in blogland. One of my biggest to be exact. Stick around and I'll share that ladder upcycle as well. But first let's start out with a list of things to help you style your vintage ladder:

1. Hooks, hooks and more hooks. You never know what you'll want to hang from your ladder, so investing in hooks is a good idea. I use 4 1/2" flat "S" hooks. They work well with larger ladders and tend to blend in pretty well color-wise. 

2. Blankets, blankets and more blankets. In case you've been living under a rock, blankets or "throws" have become the ultimate in hygge, or warm and cozy home style. You can never go wrong with blankets!   

3. Flat-backed natural weave baskets, all shapes and sizes (even tobacco baskets would work with hooks)

4. Wire baskets

5. Natural-looking wreaths (I love to use boxwood wreaths)

6. Towels are perfect in a bathroom scenario

7. Picture frames like this rustic barnwood 5"x7" frame (hung with your "S" hooks, or other more appropriately sized hooks depending on your frames and the size of the rungs. Twine and ribbon can also be used for hanging the frames.)

TIP: As much as I love the look of a tried and true worn-out old ladder, I don't love what it can do my freshly painted clean walls! In order to keep the ladder from making permanent marks on the wall I adhere either weather strip tape or furniture felt pads, whichever I have on hand.

weather strip tape protection for painted walls
For this ladder I used weather strip tape.

You don't have to go out and spend a lot of money to do this. You can pick up many of these things at thrift stores and estate sales. If you'd rather not wait to find them you can always check out my links above. You might even have an old ladder out in the garage that you can use. You'll never guess where I got my first ladder: from my kids' wooden play set in the back yard. Yup. I promptly put it to good use in the master bathroom.

DIY bath storage ladder towel bath salts grainsack

Check out my DIY Pottery-Barn Bath Storage Ladder and let me know what you think. I still have it, but it's a lot bigger than the one I'm currently using and I think it would overwhelm the room I'm decorating right now. 

found ladder Christmas stockings

I've also used ladders for yet another unique decor project. They come in really handy around Christmas time, especially if you don't have a fireplace. In How To Hang Your Christmas Stocking Without a Mantel, I share my ideas for styling your ladder during the holidays. It's one of my favorite ways to show off my vintage ladders. 

found vintage ladder decor Christmas ladder DIY bath storage ladder

Hopefully I'll figure out what to hang on that empty rung by the time I share the living room progress reveal. If you have any ideas for me I'd love to hear them! Now it's time to check out what my fellow upcyclers created below!

Well, that's it until next time, friends! 

I hope you enjoyed reading about 

How To Style A Vintage Ladder
With More Than Blankets

and that I've inspired you in some way. 

  Don't forget to Pin it!

found vintage ladder decor Christmas ladder DIY bath storage ladder

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Leave a Comment!

Junkchiccottage said...

What a great way to show off that ladder and also that beautiful basket. That basket is awesome. Love that look.
Happy Thursday.

toni1965 said...

This looks lovely, what a great idea to mix it up and display something other than blankets. It give it more dimension and interest than just stacks of blankets, and so many more design directions as well. said...

With the rest of blogland, love your ladders Kathleen! Glad to know what you bought that one for b/c we have a 2-pc antique wooden ladder here that we couldn't sell as a paint ladder, but bet it would work great for home decor. I didn't know how to price it!
LOVE that basket too! What a score! It's beautiful and perfect on your ladder. I wouldn't have even noticed the missing rung if you hadn't pointed it out. You have a knack for styling.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I love ladders, too! You have some wonderful inspiration ideas and projects with them!

Marie Dabbs said...

I live the idea of using the ladders for more than just blankets. My husband used to have a ladder shelf thing but I made him get rid of it. Now I wish we'd have kept it, lol.

Jenny@Cookiescoffeeandcrafts said...

The ladder looks great and it can be used in so many ways. I would love to see your hydrangea garden in bloom, they are beautiful. The basket is perfect on the ladder.

Debra said...

I love how you styled the ladder. It will be fun to change it as the season's change. And it is amazing how expensive wooden ladders have become.

Anonymous said...

Ok, first of all - Amazing find and I simply LOVE how you styled the ladder. But all night flea market?? Where and when can I find this? That would be a dream come true. Lol.
I love your dried hydrangeas too. The whole look is amazing. Thank you for sharing.

Betty said...

Love the ladder as is, the basket and dries flowers are perfect ♡ Have you tried just moving the basket down one rung?

Take care, Betty

Michelle James said...

This is so pretty. I love that you don't just use the ladders for blankets. You do such cool things with them. Thanks for giving me some inspiration. I have always wanted a few ladders and now I have some ideas for them.

Decor To Adore said...

I absolutely love your ladder additions. They are the perfect finishing touch!

Michelle James said...

I love this vintage ladder and the different ways you show how to use it!

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