Saturday, September 6, 2014

Blanket/Quilt Ladder DIY

My mom has always had two go-to gifts: flashlights and blankets. (This is fine now but when you're eight years old and need a gift for your bff's slumber birthday party, a flashlight will get you kicked right out of the clique!) Needless to say, I have a lot of both and it's probably been something that has been passed on to me. Instead of packing them all away in the hall linen closet, I wanted to build something to put them on display - and within reach. The quilts/blankets....not the flashlights - yet.

It's an easy, fast project and the how-to is below:

Hand Drill
1-1/4 in Forstner Drill Bit
Palm Sander
Circular Saw - another type of saw (band saw, jig saw, table saw, etc.) would work also.
Hand Saw
Eye protection

2 - Planks ( I used 1-in x 3-in x 6 foot Red Oak - $11.88 each)
3 - 1-1/4 in x 36 in Dowel Rods
Fine Sand Paper ($3.97)
Wood Glue ($1.98)
Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner (I use Minwax)
Stain (I used Minwax Early American)
Finish (I used Krylon Satin Finish Spray)
Adhesive Backed Felt
Gripper Blanket (aka Rubber Pads)

Step 1. I used the saw to cut angles on the ends of the boards. NOTE: use eye protection on this part. I wanted it to lean against the wall with a finished look, not up on its corners. To make the template, I used a piece of paper up against the wall and then marked the boards and cut. The angles can be seen in the photos below:

Dat wood grain.

Step 2. Sand your planks and your dowels. I used the palm sander on the planks and wrapped sand paper around the dowels. They were easy to sand by hand. Cut dowels in half (I used a handsaw for these but you can use other types of saws.) and sand down the rough edges.

Step 3. Condition the wood and stain (Both dowels and planks). Generally I buy the stain that is stain and finish in one but bought the wrong thing (stain only) so I used the spray finish already had on hand. Let dry between stain and then again after finish.

Step 4.  Measure where you want your holes. I marked every foot down the length and then the center on the width.  Drill holes about halfway through your planks using the hand drill and forstner bit. I just eyeballed the drill depth because I'm loose cannon sometimes. I liked the grain of the oak and didn't want to disrupt it, which is why I didn't drill all the way through. It looks cleaner. You could drill the holes and then stain but I like to stain when there are as few obstacles as possible.

Step 5. Cover the bottoms of the holes you drilled with glue. Put glue on the end of the dowel and insert.  When you have all the dowels inserted in one side, continue to the other side. When every dowel is matched up with every hole, clamp it up!

Apologies for the photo quality on this one. My phone takes the worst pics ever! But you get the idea - clamps!
Step 6. Some glue has probably squished out. Not to worry, just get a washcloth and some hot soapy water and clean it up before it dries.

Step 7. Let dry overnight.

Step 8. Cut the gripper to fit the bottom angles. I used gripper because it's on wood floors and I didn't want it to slide.  Use the adhesive backed felt on the top angles to protect your walls.

Step 9. Hang your blankets and quilts on display for all to see!