Build a Rustic Ladder Towel Rack

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  • 3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Wooden ladder
1/4" screws
Four "L"brackets
Screwdriver and screws
Drywall inserts or toggle bolts
Milk paint, wood stain, polyurethane
Fine grit sandpaper
Window screen (optional)
Cup hooks (optional)
Staple gun (optional)

A rustic ladder towel rack is a simple and quick project that can provide both additional storage space and a charming look to add to any decor. In approximately one hour and with very little money, you can create a great accessory item for your bathroom or kitchen. If you don't already own a ladder, you can pick one up at a yard sale or flea market for under $50.

Step 1 - Prepare Your Ladder

If your ladder folds out, simply remove the back of the ladder. Sand the wood down with fine-grit sandpaper. If you want the natural wood exposed, rub in a gel wood stain or wood wax. If you prefer to paint for a true vintage feeling, apply a coat of primer or milk paint. Once the ladder is dried, brush on a coat of polyurethane or spray your ladder with an acrylic sealant. This will protect your paint from peeling and lifting, and will protect the wood from moisture. Be sure to let your paint or stain finish dry completely before proceeding.

If you intend to place your ladder rack in the bathroom you may want to add a spot or two to hang jewelry on before jumping into the shower. Simply cut a piece of window screen to fit the size of the opening between two rungs and staple it to the back of your ladder. This will look like a framed window from the front and you can use it to hang earrings. You can also secure a few cup hooks to the top rung of your ladder rack, which will provide the perfect place to hang necklaces individually so that they do not tangle.

Step 2 - Attach Your Ladder Rack

Choose a great open vertical space and hang your ladder. Your rustic ladder rack will not require much space, and can even fit right next to a toilet or shower. Drill holes into each of the four ends of the wooden ladder so that you can attach the "L" bricks at each end. Screw the "L" bricks using 1/4" screws. If you are not drilling directly into a stud and your walls are made of drywall, use drywall anchors or a toggle bolt. You can also hang your ladder with chains and S hooks. You can also lean your ladder up against a wall, just make sure that it is secure.

Step 3 - Enjoy Your Ladder Towel Rack

Once your ladder towel rack has been installed, simply drape towels over the ladder rungs, just as you would any other towel rack. You can even update your living room, den, or bedroom with your rustic ladder rack and drape it with quilts, fabric, blankets scarves, or use it to hold jewelry. This easy project is a wonderful way to create a piece of beauty that can add character to any room.