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May 31, 2012

...diy orchard ladder

...hello sweetums!

do you ever find yourself desiring a prop?

but it's not a prop
that is as simple
as a visit to your local orchard??
(hint, hint)

 you seek high and low
it eludes you
which makes you think of it even more



if YOU have been seeking an orchard ladder, my dears


some of you know by now,
that i am a diy kinda girl
so today,
i am going to show you how i made my very own orchard ladder!

here is your 
* materials list *

2 ~ 8 feet sections of 1 x 4 treated lumber
12 feet of 1 1/4" round dowel rod
1 1/4" drill bit and a drill
outdoor wood glue
belt sander/sand paper
1 small can of wood stain in a charcoal gray color
white wash paint
a small box of baking soda 
4 cups of vinegar ~
 to which you have added TWO pieces of steel wool to and have let sit overnight
a pair of rubber gloves

let's begin

clamp your 2
8 foot sections of treated 1" x 4"'s together
and set on a ladder to make your hole drilling easier.

start at the end that will be the bottom of your ladder
take a pencil and write "bottom" on each of your pieces
(this will come in handy later)
then mark your wood
at intervals of 10"

drill 1 1/4" holes at each 10" mark
starting from the bottom,
as i have done here

do this all the way up your ladder

* cutting the rungs *
i gave my ladder a total of 9 rungs
if you want a shorter ladder
simply adjust:)
my longest rung measures 18" long
then 17", 16", etc.
 my 9th and smallest rung being 10"
keeping in mind that 2" will "disappear" into each 1"x 4"  ladder side,
(1" on each side)

now simply start at the bottom
of one of the 1" x 4" 8 foot sections you have drilled
 and put a drizzle of your wood glue in the first hole
 push your largest rung through
until it is flush to the outside edge of your ladder
but not protruding out

repeat this for all the rungs
working your way up
glue drizzle, then the rung
if you find that some of your rungs are not fitting,
have a piece of sand paper handy
 to take the ends down a little until they do

now move to your other 1" x 4" 8 foot piece that you have drilled
and repeat this process

because your rungs get smaller,
your ladder will just naturally pull in
getting narrower as you go

now that wasn't so bad
was it??

i wanted my ladder edges to be softened
as in, no sharp edges

so as hubby o'mine demonstrates here ~
simply take down your edges to your liking,
 with a belt sander...

you may choose to skip this step entirely
 you want your ladder to be weathered looking like i did
if so,
then we are going to faux weather it!
and YES!
it DOES make a difference

put a pair of rubber gloves on
and take 1 of your vinegar/soaking steel wool pieces
and rub your entire ladder with it,
rungs and all

let your ladder sit in the sun for a day to dry
don't throw out your steel wool vinegar yet!

the next day
steel wool it again
but as you go
sprinkle the baking soda as you rub it in

it will fizz
and smell like rotten eggs
and you may feel as if this a science project gone bad
but just

let your ladder sit in the sun to dry again.

your ladder should look evenly weathered
and it's color will kinda look like a redwood

now, for the charcoal wood stain
i used a water based stain
and poured some into a disposable bowl
let's say about a cup
i just eyeballed it!
then add warm water to thin the density of the color a bit
about another cup
i wanted a really light gray color ~
like my ladder had been sitting in the orchard for years!

you can always make it darker if it is too light for you
but keep in mind, when you paint this on it looks dark until it dries

you can use a sponge brush or a rag
i started with a sponge brush
but switched over to the rag
it was easier to use
make sure you have your rubber gloves on,
gray fingers are NOT attractive!!)

i liked my first wash of the gray color
so i then gave it a white wash
like i showed you on my french market basket
you will use an white outdoor craft paint
and water it down 2 parts water
then paint it on your ladder

let dry

and ta da!!

you have a lovely orchard ladder of your very own!
ready for your whimsy:)

i hope you enjoy this diy
and let me know if you make one:)

sharing this with:
brambleberry cottage's: time travel thursday
common ground's: vintage inspiration
french country cottage's: feathered nest friday
romantic home's: show and tell friday
the charm of home's: home sweet home
rooted in thyme's: simple sweet fridays

here's to doing it yourself!!


  1. oh. my. gosh!!!!! r. u . kidding. me? you amaze me girl!! AMAZE me! ;)

  2. Rosemary,
    You make it sound so easy.Love your ladder!Better than any I have seen.

  3. pure loveliness there - that's what that is. Love the lace on those rungs. Great job!

  4. Rosemary: That looks like so much work and you really did a wonderful job. It's so pretty with the lace hangings and up against the green of the trees. Good, beautiful job..Happy Friday..Judy

  5. Oh how great...but I am not that handy ;) Love your ladder but most of all I love how you decorate it...so romantic!
    Gosh....and your header is amazing.

    Fine weekend my dear

  6. Congrats, and thank you, on such a great d.i.y. I love the trims you have added for the end result photos. Happy crafting, Jenny

  7. Oh thank you so much for the tutorial! It's so lovely!

  8. I have wanted an orchard ladder for sooo long and now I actually have a place for it. I don't know if I can do it, but I think I am going to try to follow in your footsteps. Yours is fantastic!

  9. Such a clever girl - faux real!!! You're a gal after my own heart, Rosemary. My motto is, when you can't find the real deal, create and imitate. ;)

    Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday again this week. I so enjoy your lovely creations...especially when they're a part of your gorgeous vignettes.

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

  10. Hi, Love it. Thanks for sharing...Connie

  11. Rosemary, I love the ladder. You've done an amazing job not only making it, but styling as well. I want to be in that beautiful garden. Thanks for showing us how.

  12. I am constantly in AWE by what you make yourself!! I would have visited a gazillion antique malls till I found one. HA!! BEAUTIFUL Rosemary!!

  13. Rosemary, You out did yourself. I can't believe you made a ladder. This is awesome! I love the way it turned out and with all the pretty laces on it, put the icing on the cake. This is the most romantic ladder I've seen, gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing on Simple & Sweet Fridays. Also thank you for all your inspiring comments, it means a lot to me.
    Have a fun week!


  14. You outdid yourself again, Rosemary! :) I love this! You, my dear, are a genius! Thank you soooo much for sharing this great tutorial with us. Hugs to you!!!!!

    xoxo laurie

  15. OMG!! Rosemary this is too cool.
    I am so going to give this a try. I think I can handle this.
    Because I love this post so much... I will become your newest stalker.... ooops follower that is.
    Love it love it love it. And... your blog is beautiful.


  16. My heavens, you are so clever! I love this project, and truly your orchard ladder is the perfect prop!


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