My husband and I built a quilt ladder in 2012 so that I could hang and display my quilts at home. The quilt ladder now lives in a corner of my sewing room and appears in the background of some of my photographs. I’ve had a few requests over the years for information on where to purchase or how to build a quilt ladder like mine. So today it is my pleasure to share this DIY Quilt Ladder Tutorial to create an exact duplicate of my quilt ladder! Also, huge thanks to my husband for taking time out of his evenings to help me create this tutorial.
Before I get started with the tutorial, I want to share some dimensions and information about the quilt ladder. All dimensions in the Quilt Ladder Dimensions PDF are in inches.
My quilt ladder is 36 inches / 3 feet wide, and with the angle, it is just under 96 inches / 8 feet tall. The base of the quilt ladder will stick out about 20-21 inches from your wall. Feel free to adjust some of the details of the quilt ladder to your specifications (making it more or less wide, using larger diameter dowel rods, etc.), but I do not suggest trying to make a ladder this tall stick out less into the room. The quilts need space to drape and fall behind the ladder, and the whole ladder needs to be stable. If the ladder stands more upright, it could become unstable.
Step 1 – Acquire Materials
- (3) 1x4x8 foot long boards OR (2) 1x4x8 foot long boards and (1) 1x4x6 foot long board*
- (6) 3/4 inch diameter by 3 foot long dowel rods
*Note that the lumber is called a 1×4, but you will find it measures 0.75-inches by 3.5-inches. In the photo of the materials, the label on the wood we used says 0.75-inches x 3.5-inches.
- 1-inch wide ruler or 1-inch wide straight edge
- 3/4-inch drill bit
- Battery operated drill or equivalent or drill press
- Handsaw or bandsaw
- Wood glue
- Pilot drill bit (for finish nails)
- Finish nails
- Paint or varnish
Step 2 – Cut
Cut (2) 36-inch long pieces of 1×4. If you purchased (2) 1x4x8 foot long boards, use the 1x4x6 foot long board for this step. Sand rough edges as needed.
Step 3 – Measure Angles
Lean the shortest edge of (1) 8-foot long 1×4 against a wall, and measure until the bottom corner closest to the wall is 16 inches away from the wall as shown in the image above.
Using a 1-inch wide ruler, place the ruler flush against the wall and mark the top angle along the 1×4.
Using a 1-inch wide ruler, place the ruler flush against the floor and mark the bottom angle along the 1×4.
Repeat to mark top and bottom angles on the second 1x4x8 foot long board.
Step 4 – Cut Angles
Cut the marked top and bottom angles. Sand rough edges as needed.
Step 5 – Mark Holes
Mark the locations for the to be drilled for the dowels. Starting at the top edge of a board, mark the 6 center hole locations for the dowels by measuring every 12 inches. The center of the holes will be 1.75 inches from either edge.
Step 6 – Drill Holes
Using a 3/4-inch drill bit, drill the 6 holes for the dowel rods in both 1x4x8s. Sand rough edges as needed.
Step 7 – Glue in Dowels
Apply wood glue to the ends of the dowel rods and insert into the drilled holes, pushing the dowel rods flush with the outer surface of the 1x4s. It is best if you can let the assembly sit over night for stability.
Step 8 – Drill Pilot Holes
On edge edge of the (2) 36-inch long top and bottom cross members, pre-drill pilot holes for finish nails.
Step 9 – Attach Cross Members
Measure 1.125 (1 1/8) inches up from the lower, outer edge of the 1x4x8s.
Align the bottom edge of the lower cross member with the marked 1.125-inch mark. Glue and use finish nails to attach the lower cross member.
Glue and use finish nails to attach the upper cross member flush with the top of the ladder.
Step 10 – Paint
Paint or stain as desired. We used white spray paint and let it dry over night before bringing it inside and using for the first time.
Step 11 – Enjoy!
I often have multiple quilts hanging from the same dowel rod of my quilt ladder. I hope you get as much pleasure, use, and enjoyment from this quilt ladder assembly as I have if you build one!
Linking up with Tips and Tutorials Tuesday.