Add Your Project

  • Home
  • Projects
  • Crafts & Decor
  • [#<Breadcrumb:0x00007f12cf118fa8 @title="Home", @path="/nation">, #<Breadcrumb:0x00007f12cf118be8 @title="Projects", @path="/nation/projects">, #<Breadcrumb:0x00007f12cf0940a0 @title="Crafts & Decor", @path="/nation/how-tos/category/crafts-decor">]

Rustic Blanket Ladder from Upcycled Trees

  • November 21, 2017


Upcycle tree trunks and limbs to build this rustic blanket ladder.  While this is a highly irregular project, the steps can be adapted to work with various sizes of wood. The tips and tricks given below will help you be successful building your own simplified version of a tree trunk and limb blanket ladder.

Show More

Print Options

  1. Project Steps

    1. Step: 1

      Large 67446cc0 5f3f 4b0d b43c 6fb0b1d51848

      Use a vice clamp or other clamps to secure the branches before beginning any work.

    2. Step: 2

      Large 234b6d7e ce49 4800 9597 188a33ce638b

      Trim your limbs to remove any extra small branches. A reciprocating saw with a pruning blade does a fine job of the larger limbs.

    3. Step: 3

      Large 57b05b60 146d 4383 872a 7a17124538ef

      For smaller twig type branches, a Ryobi Job Plus with the cutting blade gives finer control.

    4. Step: 4

      Large 1b3bd0ea 55b8 43c9 890a bd7ac584d21f

      Use a paint scraper or putty knife remove bark.

    5. Step: 5

      Large fe0f0917 6f94 4d1b ae90 06bc70bddb06

      Sand branches smooth with an orbital sander. I chose to leave parts of the brown cambium layer in some places for a more rustic look. You can also sand this brown layer off entirely.

    6. Step: 6

      Large 5318186c 73a1 4b99 bab9 110cba3a6725

      Once the branches were smooth, I trimmed the verticle uprights for this ladder to 6'5" tall.

    7. Step: 7

      Large 9adcc0d1 ca3f 424a aa28 dfb174dd9e19

      Then I rotated the sliding miter saw to a 10 degree cut and cut just the bottoms. This allows for ladder to lean appropriately to the wall.  Be sure to mark the shorter side as the back of the ladder for future reference.

    8. Step: 8

      Large 2dd36c24 f648 441c a3fd 2c5dcf432e48

      The horizontal rungs were cut to around 22".

    9. Step: 9

      Large 9dc94ff4 d419 4ba5 86b8 418c734771dc

      Set out the ladder pieces and check for alignment.  Because of the curvature of the trunks adjustments may need to be made.  I decided to make the rungs consecutively smaller at the top by about 1/2 an inch. Mark the position of each branch rung top and bottom onto the vertical uprights.

    10. Step: 10

      Large 6180412b b446 4143 b131 66a99b184ce0

      Once the ladder rungs are cut to the appropriate size, reclamp to workbench and drill a hole for the 1/2 dowel using a Forstner bit. Repeat this process for each side and each rung.

    11. Step: 11

      Large 7a02f302 2b70 452f b3d0 fa785074602a

      Cut dowels to appropriate lengths. I used 1 1/2 inch pieces.

    12. Step: 12

      Large ca4361e8 fa66 44fa a280 f18b1bc997e4

      Clamp trunk securely to a drill press and drill one 1/2 inch hole for the first rung at the top of the ladder. Remove from press and add dowel. Repeat this for the other leg of the ladder.

    13. Step: 13

      Large 5c184559 8fb2 4ca8 a1ab 4db2e3dfe116

      Tie a string to the top dowel and let it hang down the trunk.  Mark the position of the string to find the center down the trunk for the remaining dowel holes.

    14. Step: 14

      Large 64233662 60b7 4d1b 9d04 aeddfb37c9b9

      Reset trunk onto drill press, clamp and drill remaining holes for the rungs.

    15. Step: 15

      Large 0be968e4 21d5 43d7 9bfb 5bb757674cf6

      Use wood glue to adhere dowels into the branches and assemble.

    16. Step: 16

      Large 5c13e2d7 e620 4fec b38e 7ac64e9e9099

      Clamp ladder together and allow glue to dry.

    17. Step: 17

      Large a8aeed51 bd87 48fc a115 6b125f334e2a

      If the sides of the ladder will not stay tight due to the irregular nature of the wood, drill pilot holes at an angle in the back side of the ladder and secure with wood screws.

    18. Step: 18

      Large 576c48dc 7240 4928 9bfa 2c534b2d8edc

      Finish as desired and once dry, display your blankets and enjoy your natural work of art!

Comments (1)


  • Wow! I just love this project! Great Job! Can you build one for me? ; )

    By maryhale4, on February 3, 2018

Members Also Viewed

Print Options

Print Project

back to top?

Asset 1

Join RYOBI Nation

We're so glad you're here! Let's get started.

Welcome

Add An Avatar:

Help your fellow Nation members get to know you by adding a picture of yourself to your profile.

Upload Image

Welcome

Let's build your project feed!

Select some categories to pick the kinds of projects that show up on your home page:


Welcome to Nation

welcome_r2 graphic
Welcome to your RYOBI Nation quick start guide, a fast and easy way to see everything that's waiting for you!
project_feed_r1 graphic
Your feed shows the latest projects from the categories you’ve selected, right on your homepage!
upload_r2 graphic
Are you working on something awesome? Upload your DIY projects today, and share with other members.
contests_r2 graphic
We award monthly and annual prizes for the best projects, worth up to $2500 in RYOBI tools! That’s a lot of hardware, and it could all be yours.
connect_r2 graphic
RYOBI Nation is a positive connection between people who are creating great things.
You can follow fellow members, like their projects, and comment to let them know they’re doing a great job.
notifications_r1 graphic
Come back to RYOBI Nation often to see what is new and to stay in touch.
If you're on a mobile device, don't forget you can add RYOBI Nation to your home screen for quick access to your project feed.

Update Image

Nation logo

Rustic Blanket Ladder from Upcycled Trees

by Deeply Southern Home
Nov 21, 2017
Medium 0609548f 6d07 4276 97a5 9d8ca73a9294

Upcycle tree trunks and limbs to build this rustic blanket ladder.  While this is a highly irregular project, the steps can be adapted to work with various sizes of wood. The tips and tricks given below will help you be successful building your own simplified version of a tree trunk and limb blanket ladder.

Project Steps

  1. Step: 1
    Huge 67446cc0 5f3f 4b0d b43c 6fb0b1d51848

    Use a vice clamp or other clamps to secure the branches before beginning any work.

  2. Step: 2
    Huge 234b6d7e ce49 4800 9597 188a33ce638b

    Trim your limbs to remove any extra small branches. A reciprocating saw with a pruning blade does a fine job of the larger limbs.

  3. Step: 3
    Huge 57b05b60 146d 4383 872a 7a17124538ef

    For smaller twig type branches, a Ryobi Job Plus with the cutting blade gives finer control.

  4. Step: 4
    Huge 1b3bd0ea 55b8 43c9 890a bd7ac584d21f

    Use a paint scraper or putty knife remove bark.

  5. Step: 5
    Huge fe0f0917 6f94 4d1b ae90 06bc70bddb06

    Sand branches smooth with an orbital sander. I chose to leave parts of the brown cambium layer in some places for a more rustic look. You can also sand this brown layer off entirely.

  6. Step: 6
    Huge 5318186c 73a1 4b99 bab9 110cba3a6725

    Once the branches were smooth, I trimmed the verticle uprights for this ladder to 6'5" tall.

  7. Step: 7
    Huge 9adcc0d1 ca3f 424a aa28 dfb174dd9e19

    Then I rotated the sliding miter saw to a 10 degree cut and cut just the bottoms. This allows for ladder to lean appropriately to the wall.  Be sure to mark the shorter side as the back of the ladder for future reference.

  8. Step: 8
    Huge 2dd36c24 f648 441c a3fd 2c5dcf432e48

    The horizontal rungs were cut to around 22".

  9. Step: 9
    Huge 9dc94ff4 d419 4ba5 86b8 418c734771dc

    Set out the ladder pieces and check for alignment.  Because of the curvature of the trunks adjustments may need to be made.  I decided to make the rungs consecutively smaller at the top by about 1/2 an inch. Mark the position of each branch rung top and bottom onto the vertical uprights.

  10. Step: 10
    Huge 6180412b b446 4143 b131 66a99b184ce0

    Once the ladder rungs are cut to the appropriate size, reclamp to workbench and drill a hole for the 1/2 dowel using a Forstner bit. Repeat this process for each side and each rung.

  11. Step: 11
    Huge 7a02f302 2b70 452f b3d0 fa785074602a

    Cut dowels to appropriate lengths. I used 1 1/2 inch pieces.

  12. Step: 12
    Huge ca4361e8 fa66 44fa a280 f18b1bc997e4

    Clamp trunk securely to a drill press and drill one 1/2 inch hole for the first rung at the top of the ladder. Remove from press and add dowel. Repeat this for the other leg of the ladder.

  13. Step: 13
    Huge 5c184559 8fb2 4ca8 a1ab 4db2e3dfe116

    Tie a string to the top dowel and let it hang down the trunk.  Mark the position of the string to find the center down the trunk for the remaining dowel holes.

  14. Step: 14
    Huge 64233662 60b7 4d1b 9d04 aeddfb37c9b9

    Reset trunk onto drill press, clamp and drill remaining holes for the rungs.

  15. Step: 15
    Huge 0be968e4 21d5 43d7 9bfb 5bb757674cf6

    Use wood glue to adhere dowels into the branches and assemble.

  16. Step: 16
    Huge 5c13e2d7 e620 4fec b38e 7ac64e9e9099

    Clamp ladder together and allow glue to dry.

  17. Step: 17
    Huge a8aeed51 bd87 48fc a115 6b125f334e2a

    If the sides of the ladder will not stay tight due to the irregular nature of the wood, drill pilot holes at an angle in the back side of the ladder and secure with wood screws.

  18. Step: 18
    Huge 576c48dc 7240 4928 9bfa 2c534b2d8edc

    Finish as desired and once dry, display your blankets and enjoy your natural work of art!