Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with True Value.
Many of you commented on my little ladder tucked in the corner of our family room reveal, and today I’m finally showing you the full tutorial! I really wanted an industrial modern style but with a cozy feel, and this DIY Decorative Ladder made with steel pipes completely goes with the look I want! I’m so excited with how it turned out.
DIY Decorative Ladder
I love the look of hanging blankets on a ladder, it’s such a fun and unexpected element to use in a family room. I’ve never seen one made with piping before, and I thought I’d give it a shot.
The project was relatively easy, but the piping does add up a bit. The entire project cost me right around $100.
– Krylon Black Flat Primer Paint Spray Paint
– (16) Black Wood Screws
– (6) 1/2″ Steel Tee
– (4) 8″ Pre Cut Steel Pipes *
– (8) 12″ Pre Cut Steel Pipes
– (3) 14″ Pre Cut Steel Pipes
– (4) 1/2″ 90 Degree Elbow Joint
* After completing this project, I wish I would have used shorter pipes so the ladder isn’t as far away from the wall. I would suggest going somewhere between 3″-5″ instead of 8″.
I assembled my ladder first to make sure I got the layout right. I will note that the middle pipes are a little hard to get in because you can’t twist them as well once you have so many pieces already put together. Once my structure was secured to the wall it was very sturdy. You could also use clear Liquid Nails if you feel the need to make them stronger.
Once I was happy with my layout, I gave the entire piece a coat of flat black spray paint.
When securing the structure to the wall, you will want to make sure the top and bottom are level. The ladder will be heavy. I suggest having someone hold it to the wall and the other person adjusting it until it’s perfect.
I am a stickler for making sure my wall pieces go directly into studs. I used a stud finder to find my studs and then placed the ladder accordingly.
And it’s up!
I love these blankets, they were really inexpensive and just the look I wanted. You can get them here.
Jennie @ The Diary of a Real Housewife says
This is such a great idea! I love it!
You could use this for so many things! Everything from pots, pans, utensils or cook books in the kitchen to towels, jewelry,hair dryers and flat irons in the bathroom….use S hooks and hang buckets, baskets and bins in the kids room to organize toys, stuffed animals, blankets, books. Set up an “art corner” for them with different rolls of paper and S hook hang little cups with paint brushes, crayons, buttons, glitters, all sorts of things and after a place to hang their little aprons all put away and easy to get to….You could use it in a craft room to hold ribbons and wrapping papers, Put to use all the glass jars saved from spaghetti sauces and jams to hang and organize craft supplies, buttons, paint brushes, knitting needles, beads and so on. Maybe hang pots and grow herbs,succulents, any little plant really. What a cool way to display magazines, knick knacks or as a catch all in an entry way by way of a hanging mail bin,your sun glasses, scarves, hats, leashes and again with the S hooks for keys,I’d tags and so on. Perhaps as you put it together you could put some curtain rings with the clips to display art or pictures. To bad it’s as heavy and as expensive as it is. Perhaps with thinner pipes and fittings??? Maybe even out of pvc for the kids usage? Either way kudos it’s super cool and VERY creative. I’m defiantly going to build one for the living room then I’ll maybe see if I can figure ways to make others that are lighter, smaller, bigger and hopefully cheaper. Thanks.
Ashley @ Simply Designing says
This is really fun!!
LZ Cathcart says
I am completely obsessed with this idea! I’ve been thinking of interesting new ways to put in a towel hanger in my bathroom, and this is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing :)
How do you tighten the step rungs?
It was tricky! I did the best I could turning them, they weren’t 100% locked until I installed the ladder. Once I screwed the flanges into studs on the wall then it secured the whole structure and nothing moved anymore.
Thanks for the reply. Yes, very tricky. I learned that we could have used reverse threaded fittings. But we went with unions. Which worked great! I’d send you a picture if that is possible. Thanks again!
can you send me a picture….Im trying to put this together as a ladder for bunk beds, but am having trouble fising reverse threads and am curious what yours with the unions looks like. Thanks!
Would love to do this in my new eclectic mixed metals living room with copper piping instead…. would you change anything with copper piping? Thanks!
This tutorial skips over the most difficult part which is putting the ladder together. You cannot do this with standard black pipe because the horizontal pieces cannot be tightened on one side without loosening on another. Since the vertical pieces into the T are affixed you can’t merely tighten them. You definitely need reverse thread T’s for one side of the ladder, or something. I’m doing one right now and cannot complete it without hammering one side one and thereby stripping the threads and weakening the structure. I wish the tutorial had not skipped the most important information.
Angi Lowry-Greene says
So I’m super excited I remembered this tutorial, we are a family of 5 sharing one bathroom. We just moved into my childhood home, so anyway we have no place to nicely hang on the towels and a leaning ladder would take up to much room, this is so perfect. Btw I’m using electrical conduit it’s way cheaper.
Taryn Whiteaker says
That’s such a great idea!
Wow this tutorial is useless. Please explain how you installed the ladder rungs. I’ll bet your rungs are loose and spinning.
Bliss amante says
This is exactly what i need in my home right now. Thanks for this brilliant idea.
Would you have other design ideas for wall ladders?
How many coat of paint did you spray onto the ladder?
Taryn Whiteaker says
Hi! I did two :)
Anita Allen says
What did you use to clean the pipes of
the oil residue on them?
Taryn Whiteaker says
Goof off works great!
I’m building two ladders, door handles & shelves for a tiny house using this black iron pipe. I went to the big box stores and was horrified at the prices for this stuff as well as the limited quantity of materials on hand. I then went online to supplyhouse.com and found everything I needed at less than half the price of the stores and it was shipped to my house the next day for free! Yes, they had the elusive right/left hand thread couplings for making a ladder where you need opposite threads for it to go together.
Hi, how long were the screws you used? Thanks!!
Taryn Whiteaker says
About 2-3″ ones to make sure they go through the studs.