DIY Decorative Wood Ladder

DIY Decorative Wood Ladder

DIY Decorative Wood Ladder


2 - 1"x2" 8ft Pine Boards/Furring Strip Boards
2 - 48" Dowels with a thickness of ⅞ inch
12 Flathead Screws (At least - I used 2” #10 or #8 screws)
1/8" Drill Bit
Electric Screwdriver/Drill
Sander (Electric or Block/Paper)
Saw (Circular, Miter, or Handsaw)
Safety Equipment (Goggles, Gloves, & Mask)
Spackle or Wood Caps to Cover Screws
You also might need wood glue or filler if the wood splits, but hopefully not!

Step 1

Figure Out What Size You Want & Mark Where to Cut

I marked the dowels to be cut every 16 inches, but if you want a more slender ladder, you could do 12".
 (Also, make sure the wood is not warped and always lay your wood flat!)

Step 2

Make Your Cuts

You should only need to cut your dowels.
However, if you wanted to make your ladder shorter like 6ft or cut in half for two 4ft ladders, this is when to make those cuts as well! 
I personally used a Circular Saw, but I would recommend using a Miter Saw or even a Handsaw for more accurate cuts.

Step 3

Thoroughly Sand the Dowels and Boards

If you have an electric sander, I recommend using that. If not, it would be easiest to sand with a block versus paper.

Step 4

Treat the Wood and Paint/Stain

In the video, I did not paint or stain my ladder because it was freezing in Michigan. However, this is the best time to paint/stain the ladder. Then, you can touch it up once everything is assembled!
 If you are doing a more ornate or complex design, you might want to wait until fully assembled.

Step 5

Layout Your Design & Drill the Boards

Layout your design ahead of time and mark of where to drill. I measured 16" in between each dowel and the ends of the ladder. Since I had one dowel leftover, I made a double rung in the center. I then drilled the holes with the 1/8" drill bit by stacking the boards on top of each other. 
To avoid splitting the wood, you can also pre-drill the dowels. I did not do this because the rungs can move around more with this strategy. However, if you have wood glue, that will help with the wood twisting.
Also, the BEST OPTION is to drill pocket holes because they are stronger and you can hide the screws/holes easier by plugging them. It is harder to drill pocket holes on dowels though and you would probably need thicker dowels as well.

Step 6

Screw in the Dowels

In this step, you want to MAKE SURE to screw in the dowels one side of the ladder at a time (e.g. one of the boards).
Then, you attach the other side/board to the dowels.

Step 7

Add the Finishing Touches

To cover up the screws, you can either spackle over them or add wood caps for a smooth finish. Then, you would touch up those areas with paint or stain.

Step 8

Need Ideas on How to use the Ladder?

You can follow The Market Made on Instagram or TikTok to watch quick tutorials on how to use the ladder and other fun, helpful content!