Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How To: Baby Blanket Ladder

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So this is one of those things I'd always intended to blog about. When I was pregnant with Avery I went into a mad fury of crafting in anticipation of her arrival. I had this idea of a blanket ladder to add some vertical interest to her room since I didn't have very much furniture in there at the time. Also...its a handy place to put her blankets. Like lots of things I dream up in my head, I had trouble finding something like it for sale. So, I figured out a way to make something that sort of resembles my original vision.

Sorry I didn't take any photos of the actual making process. It was about two weeks before she was born so my mind was sort of focused on other things. It's pretty straightforward though. (um...though I feel I should sort of have a disclaimer here. I just figured out a way to do this...there may be other, more efficient, more professional ways to do it. I didn't consult any sort of directions in my process.)

Basically, I got two long pieces of wood for the sides of the ladder. They are about 2"x 2". I have no idea what kind of wood it is...I just bought the straightest, cheapest pieces I could find. Then I bought three 3/4" diameter wood dowels. Since I didn't want to have to do a bunch of sawing, I had the nice man at Lowe's cut the dowels for me (they will do 2 cuts for free). I had them cut into thirds, which made them about 16" each. I only ended up using five of them, but you may use more or fewer depending how close together you want them, and how tall your ladder is.

So this whole project hinges on a special drill bit thing that makes the holes to insert the dowels in. I just gave in and bought it since I couldn't figure out a way to make this without it. It's called a Forstner Bit, and basically it makes a flat bottomed hole in your wood. It was about $10 You'll want to get the same diameter as your dowels (I used 3/4"). Or if you live around me, you can borrow mine:).


So I placed my two long pieces of wood next to each other and measured and marked every 15". I wanted my rungs to essentially make squares. Except at the top and bottom of the ladder...I started 8" from the ends of the wood (see the top photo). I would recommend figuring out how many inches you want your final ladder to be and then divide it into sections accordingly.

Next I drilled out each hole that I had marked. Its important to make sure your holes are centered, and the same depth. I just drilled to the top of my bit each time so they were all the same. I put wood glue in each hole on one piece of the wood, and then placed a dowel in each hole, and then repeated the same thing on the other piece of wood.

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While the glue is still wet, make sure your rungs are all square. There will be a little bit of play in them, so you want to square them and let them dry in that position. also wipe off any glue that has oozed out of your holes. I had intended to also nail each rung from the outside, but was too lazy. However, this is not something you want your baby to pull up on as it could fall over on them, and I don't know that it is sturdy enough to support much weight.

After the glue dried, I borrowed my wonderful neighbor Leslie's saw and my brother trimmed the ends to length that I needed. Then I just spray painted it white. I wish that I had not been too lazy to sand it first. It would have looked much more finished...but you know...baby was due.

So if you actually make this and have more specific questions just email me, daniellebwilson@gmail.com.

And I would love to see your finished product! Happy Crafting.

9 comments:

  1. Now I feel bad that it took me 4 or 5 years to hang a mirror that was sitting on the floor next to my computer desk. No home-improvement show for me. :)

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  2. I am sorry but you used a drill and saw???? there is NOTHING lazy about that! :) The ladder is super cute and I am thinking about getting my dad to make it for me :), now THAT is lazy!! We really need to get together to do projects. I need some motivation!

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  3. Danielle, you just make the cutest things! It seems only fitting as well that you have the cutest cherub that I've ever seen!

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  4. Man, she is cute. I just have to say it again! I scrolled through your Halloween pictures once more, and she's so adorable!

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  5. Me (and all the other neighbors) are so jealous of all of your crafting! I know I could do it if I followed your directions but I never do and it makes me mad at myself! You are amazing!

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  6. I'm so glad I got to see this. I love it. And I"m so sorry you can't burn your cinnamon candle anymore. I'm actually burning a cinnamon coconut one now (an unlikely combination, i know, but it is delicious).

    sorry you're getting snow already. i'm ready for chilly, but not frigid. and definitely not snow.

    come visit? wish you could!

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  7. I would love to make one for magazines for my front room I think it is so cute.

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  8. So, I would call this "carpentry" rather than "crafting." Very impressive. And your house should be in a magazine. It's oh-so stylish.

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