Vertical thinking: DIY decorative ladder


Aim high with this bar-raising DIY project that’s perfect for keeping your accessories in order and looking stylish.


2 – 2” x 3” x 8’ lumber wood studs

6 – 1” diameter wooden dowels, cut  18” long or rope

Hand drill or drill press with 1” Forstner or Spade drill bit

½”  x ½” x 8’ metal angled molding

Lepages “No More Nails” adhesive glue

Paint or stain, colour and gloss of your choice  

Measuring tape and pencil


1. With a pencil, draw a line across the wide side of each stud, 18” up from the bottom end of the 2”x 3” wood stud. Draw 5 additional lines, each line 13” apart, starting from the first line already made. (TIP: Take your time and be accurate with your measurements for the straightest looking ladder.) Then drill a 1” diameter hole, ½” deep into the wide side of the lumber. The center of the holes should be on the reference line, and each hole placed should be centered on the wide of the stud.

2. Insert and glue the dowels into each hole. After the glue has hardened, glue the exposed ends of the dowels into the holes on the second wood stud. (TIP:  Lay the wood stud on the floor and use a side wall as support when placing and gluing the second stud onto the dowels.)

OPTION: In addition to gluing the dowels, hammer a small 3” nail into the wood stud at the center of the dowel.

3. After the glue has hardened, lean the ladder against a wall. Paint the ladder a fresh colour such as Brilliant White, or another colour of your choice. Gloss, flat or satin finishes all work wonderfully. Alternatively, the wood can be stained.

4. Glue the metal moulding to each edge of the wood stud for a fabulous high end department store look.

5. Adorn the ladder with jewellery, ties, hats, and belts. Alternatively, use the ladders in the bathroom to drape towels over or in the living room display a chic throw or two.  

CAUTION: This ladder is for decorative purposes only.

Courtesy Nicholas Rosaci, @nicholasrosaci