Week 24: Ladders to Shelf


What to do with old bunkbed ladders?  Make this cool little shelf!


Time – 2 hours

½ inch scrap plywood pieces
2 ladders
¾ inch wood screws
Stain and sealant
Gloves to wear during staining
Wood glue


  1. Sand ladders
  2. Measure and cut brackets off ladder.  These ladders had wooden brackets as seen in bottom of completed picture.
  3. I figured what angle I wanted the shelf to come together, drew a pencil line on both top brackets and cut them off one ladder.  The second ladder, completely remove the brackets.
  4. Sand areas where brackets were removed or cut.
  5. Wipe off loose dust and stain all areas of ladders.  Allow to dry completely.
  6. Stand ladders upright and place together at desired angle.  Clamp together.  Do not glue yet.
  7. Measure the distance on the inside of the ladder between the uprights.  Also measure the width that you want the shelves to be.  I gave a 4 inch overhang on each side of the width of the ladder.
  8. You will have 4 boards at varying lengths.
  9. Lay boards on rungs of ladder.  Dry fit before gluing to make adjustments.
  10. Mark on underside of boards where they will fit together.
  11. Lay ladders on side. Glue and use wood screw to attach bottom shelf to rungs of ladders.  Use level to  Measure and place shelves into place and screw through rungs into shelves.
  12. After attaching first shelf, stand upright and check for level.  When Level, use wood glue and wood screws to attach two ladders together at the top.
  13. Lay ladder back on side and add all other shelves.
  14. Allow to dry completely before using.

Thanks again for following along on this journey!  Another upcycle project in the bag!  Hope to see you at the next Sip and Upcycle at the Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Follow us on Facebook at Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStores or Habitat for Humanity Rogue Valley.  Happy Upcycling!

Thank you,

Deana Petersen
Recycle Repurpose Manager
Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity
Medford, Oregon
(541)779-1983 ext 101

[email protected]

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