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How to Make a Blanket Ladder with Dowels

Updated: Jan. 28, 2022

This how to make a blanket ladder project is so simple and on-trend! Learn how to make a high-end-looking blanket ladder with standard, inexpensive dowels.

blanket ladderFamily Handyman
Three key features give this blanket ladder a modern twist: sleek rounded edges, tapered sides and a matte black finish. The completed piece looks much more expensive than what it actually cost to build. Here's how to make a blanket ladder with dowels.

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A full day
Less than $20

Step 1: Measure, Mark and Cut Dowels

Lay out the 6-ft. sides so that they taper slightly toward the top. Then lay out your 3/4-in. dowel rungs 12-1/2-in. apart, with the first one 15 in. from the top and the last one 18-1/2-in. from the bottom. Measure and mark the placement and lengths of each rung. Use a power saw or handsaw to cut the rungs to 14 in., 15-1/2 in., 16-3/4 in. and 18-1/4 in. Sand the ends of all dowels.

Step 2: Drill the Holes

Note: Using a drill press is the easiest way to create uniform holes in the sides of the blanket ladder, but a standard drill/driver would also work. Use a T-bevel to find the slight angle between the rungs and the sides. Then set the base of your drill press to the same angle. Also, use a clamp to create a fence so you can be sure that you’re drilling in the center of the dowels. With everything aligned, use a Forstner bit to drill 3/4-in. holes about 1/2 in. deep.

Step 3: Build the Ladder

Add a bit of wood glue to each hole and insert the rungs. It helps to place all of the rungs in the holes on one of the large side dowels first and then add the other side dowel. Clamp everything together and allow the glue to dry for several hours. When the piece is set, remove the clamps and apply a couple of coats of paint. We chose matte black for a contemporary look. Allow the blanket ladder to dry completely before loading it up with your favorite throws.

Now that you know how to make a blanket ladder with dowels, click here to check out another project using dowels.

Required Tools for this how to make a blanket ladder Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY how to make a blanket ladder project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Matte black paint
  • T-bevel