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How to Use An Old Ladder For Wall Decoration and Displaying Art

DIY Wall Ladder Shelf with Art

One thing our house is seriously lacking in is decoration. And by that, I mean walls that aren't completely bare or rooms that aren't sparsely filled with oddly placed furniture. None of our rooms has that cosy homely decorated feel to them. Renovating is one thing, but then turning a room into comfortable well-furnished, well-decorated and well-designed space is another thing. And that's something we definitely haven't achieved yet within our home.

There are two simple reasons for this really. 1 - Decorating and furnishing is expensive and 2 - our funds are always needed elsewhere (ie more plasterboard) so we never have the money anyway. This year, however, I decided that I needed to get a bit more inventive and make do with lesser money. So, I have a few ideas lined up already and I thought I'd share one of them today: A wall ladder art thingamabob. OK, I don't know what exactly to call it - a ladder that's on the wall used kinda like a shelf, but also a feature piece of art. Making sense? (How I'll decide on a title for this post, I don't know....)

I'd seen similar ideas on Pinterest quite some time ago although the ladders were generally filled with books in a more practical way than what I had in mind. I wanted my ladder to be a kind of decorative piece of art, more like a prop, I guess. I wanted it to add to the vintage vibe I'm trying to achieve within our home. Quirky, fun, budget and cool.

So I thought I'd share (as always!) in case anyone wants to do anything similar.

Step 1 - Find Bargain Ladder

I've been eyeing up some secondhand ladders on eBay for quite a while, but I wanted to find one at the right price. The term "vintage" always adds value to an item - however when things are vintage, but not listed as vintage - well then you're winning. eBay (and other online marketplaces) is very much just a waiting game, and finnnaaally after a few months of waiting, a PAIR of vintage, (but not described as vintage) ladders came onto eBay local to us at just £7.50.

Nobody wants to use wooden ladders as actual ladders nowadays (let's face it they're not the safest, most stable or most durable) so they weren't likely to be very sought after. And since they weren't listed as vintage, they were even doubly less likely to be searched for and I won both ladders - hurrah!

eBay wood ladders cheap

Step 2 - Fit Said Ladder into Tiny Car

I was chuffed to bits to win these ladders, the only small problem was that at over 3m in length they were never going to fit in the car. Well, I'm not the kind of girl to let that stop me. So, I turned up at random eBay man's house with a handsaw ready to chop the ladders in half so that they'd fit.

I say *I*, but what I actually mean is, I explained to the poor man what would be happening and made Grant do the dirty work. Needless to say, the poor guy was slightly baffled and perhaps somewhat disappointed that we literally chopped up his ladder right before his eyes. BUT, it was all in the name of Art. And when he asked me "Are you, artists?" Well, obviously I said yes. Yes, we are. Artists of the renovation game and how to get the most out of your tiny car.

How to fit ladders into a car
crazy things people do for renovations

Back home with two ladders and I instantly put one to use in a more practical way with our giant log stack. You might have seen this one already - but if not, here's where you can find out what I did with that one. And as for the other ladder...

Step 3 - Find Appropriate Brackets

My grand plans for the other ladder involved hanging it horizontally on the wall. I just needed to find the right brackets first. *Normal* ladder brackets were too ugly and everything else way too wide. But eventually, I stumbled on Bob (Find Bob here: Bobs Brackets) who makes handmade metals brackets, ones specifically for ladders, to any size. Thank you, Bob!

At just £5 per bracket and an additional £5 postage, these were just as affordable as all the other brackets I had looked at, but about 1000x more stylish AND they're handmade too. I love supporting small businesses and this guy's stuff is right up my street.

Metal Ladder Brackets
Bobs brackets for ladders
modern industrial wall brackets

Step 4 - Attach!

With such a large beastly ladder to hang, I roped Grant in to help with this. We positioned the ladder centrally on the wall and lined the brackets to be attached next to the second rung on either end of the ladder.  We actually attached one bracket first so we were then able to check the ladder was spirit level straight before marking up the second bracket. To save our freshly painted walls from getting stained from brick dust as well, we also attached an envelope beneath the drill to collect the dust.

how to stop brick dust staining walls
DIY hacks for drilling into walls
How to hang a ladder on a wall
hanging a ladder on a wall
metal ladder bracket with style

Step 5 - Decorate and Admire

Et voila! Once it was up, all that was left to do was to decorate. Well here's where I haven't *yet* finished, but so far we do have a few bits in place. This is mainly collected art prints from our travels, but there's also a tile we bought from Portugal, the giant keys I picked up at an antique market some years back, a random light-up star, vases and even an F&B colour card.

I want it to be filled with an eclectic mix of random stuff, but stuff that also fits together. You'll notice there's something a little bit missing... But as I say, it's certainly not finished. I just wanted to share it on here all the same, as after all, if I wait until everything's perfect, well then I'll be posting this blog post about 10 months late. You'll get the idea anyway...

Ladder Wall Art
Vintage Ladder Ideas
Using a Ladder as a shelf for art
Ladder for interior designladder interior design featureDIY ideas for old ladders
Bobs bracket on vintage ladders
DIY Wall ladder art
DIY Feature Ladder on Wall Horizontally

Things Left to Do:
  • If you didn't already notice, the most obvious one is getting some F's to actually spell 'coffee' and not 'Co  ee'. I know I should have taken them off before photographing, right?
  • Hang microwire fairy lights - I'm currently eyeing up these lights to hang all across the ladder so that it looks romantic and cosy at night.
  • Display photos on console table - I'm not happy in the slightest with how the table beneath looks and ideally I want to have a ton of photo frames and pictures from our travels. And maybe a plant pot too.

So I'd love to know what you think. Would you re-create this in your own home?! And do you have any suggestions for items to display?


Single ladder - £3.75
Brackets - £15 incl. P&P

Total: £18.75

*Post may contain affiliate links.

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How to Use an Old ladder to display decorative items and artwork

1 comment

  1. Love the vases on the right side I recognise them! Great idea might need to try this idea, looks great!


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