Katie from Addicted to DIY finally crossed off a project that had been on her DIY list for awhile – a ladder bookshelf for her oldest son’s room.
While the wire baskets may account for the bulk of the expense with this project, they are also what makes it so stinkin’ awesome! In this case, they are just perfect for holding books. We think Katie knocked this one out of the park!
This is a knockoff project where you really CAN get close to the original. That’s because of it’s straightforward design, simple components and only a basic requirement of DIY skills. You gotta love that.
Keys to Success
Every project has its potential snags in the form of difficulty, time, needed supplies, etc. This ladder basket project is pretty easy, but there are few things that can really help you get the job done more quickly.
Building the Ladder
Wood, clamps, glue, done. That’s pretty much it. Katie used some 3/4″ dowels for rungs and used an equal-sized spade bit to create the holes for them to fit into the rails on each side snugly and securely.
If you don’t have extra long clamps like Katie used for the glue drying process, you’re fine in this case. The friction fit alone has enough grab to keep everything together while the glue dries.
One thing is you’ll need to wear your math hat for just a moment as you measure the length of the rails, decide how many rungs you want and then get them evenly spaced.
Follow what Katie did as her ladder height of 5-feet looks just right for a child’s room.
Painting the Ladder
This is where Katie really shined. No, not because she chose glossy paint but because she used her handy paint sprayer to knock out the painting in no time flat.
If you’ve ever brush-painted poles or items with multiple pieces or full turns you know it can take some time to ensure you got every surface covered nicely 360-degrees around.
Enter paint sprayer…
We’re not talking about the big, expensive kind professional painters use to cover the walls in your house or even what they use in auto-body shops. Katie used a nice-sized HVLP, plug-in sprayer. One just like this in fact (see photo at right).
These are perfect for crafts and small DIY projects. They don’t require an air compressor and are easy to clean. You have to clean brushes if you paint conventionally anyway, so clean-up of this little machine adds no extra time.
What you get as a result though is a nice, smooth and even paint job done in a fraction of the time.
Where to Get Baskets?
This is easily the most expensive part of the project. And as Katie points out that wire baskets aren’t cheap! They look great though. Plan on spending $15-20 for each basket.
You want ones with a height of 8″-10″. Katie got hers at Hobby Lobby. Look for sales on these at your favorite store. Think Michael’s with their golden 40%-Off coupon from the weekly ads. Target also carries a variety of wired baskets.
A Cool Finishing Touch
This ladder and basket combo looks great. Everyone’s favorite part hands down is the little car decals Katie added to the front. It’s amazing how sometimes the little things have a dramatic way of completing something.
Use a cardboard backing and zip-tie any kind of decal sticker to the fronts of the baskets. Or, keep it easy and use a magnetic vinyl decal sticker of your liking.
These don’t have to be car emblems by any means. You can use sports, outdoors and other themes if you like. Our favorites are travel themed stickers.
A “worldly” theme can be neutral yet still interesting. Check out a 50-pack like the one pictured here, and you’ll have a nice variety to choose from for your basket ladder.
Plus, they’re cheap!
Katie even thought of using chalk paint on these front “signs” so you could write numbers on them.
Use your creativity here. The car logos she chose also work really nicely since this design has an industrial vibe to it already.
Katie was inspired by the retired Ladder Shelf from PB Teen.
Go to Addicted to DIY to get the rest of the details for Katie’s project get started building your own version today!