Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Side-by-Side Quilt Ladder Tutorial

My boys recently made me this wonderful quilt ladder, and I took pictures along the way in case anyone else would like to make one.  I will warn you and say that this was not a cheap project.  My husband bought really nice oak boards to make it strong and beautiful.

Four 1 inch x 4 inch x 7 foot oak boards
Eight 1 inch x 3 foot oak dowels
Four hinges
Sixteen 2 inch screws

Tools Used:
Miter Saw
Drill Press with 1 inch forstner bit
Rubber Mallet
Large Glue Clamps
Safety Goggles

1.  Determine the how tall you want your ladder to be.  I wanted my ladder to be 79 inches tall so that it would fit in a corner of my basement with a lower ceiling.  For a nicer look shave off a little on one end before measuring to the height you want.  Cut all four boards at desired height.

2.  Determine the width you want each side to be.  I wanted to have 24 inches of the rod showing, so we cut my dowels at 26 inches long.  Again he cut a little off one end before measuring the 26 inches for a cleaner look.  (Be sure to cut off the painted side as the end of the dowel will show.)

3.  Mark the center of where you want each dowel to be on your boards.  I used one of my quilting rulers to do this.  My first mark was 22 inches up from the bottom, then the next three were spaced 18 inches apart.

4.  With some of your scrap wood, drill a practice hole to check the fit of your dowel in the hole.  We had a very nice tight fit.  (You may need to borrow the scraps from one of your helpers --Panda-- who has discovered how much he likes rhythm sticks.)

5.  Drill the four holes in each board.  Notice there is an extra board under the nice oak board.  It helps achieve a cleaner cut.  (Teenage helpers --Cheetah-- are great for drilling while you hold the board in place.)

5.  Carefully tap the dowels into place on one board.  A scrap board will help protect the wood.

6.  Carefully add another board to the other side.  (Quality control --Monkey-- doesn't like the noise.)

7.  Repeat for the other side of the ladder.

8.  Drill holes for the screws on the back side of the ladder.  You may need two drill bits.  One to countersink the screw, and another to drill deep enough.  Oak is a hard wood and screws can break, so this is an important step.  (You helper can blow the sawdust off for you.)

9.  Immediately add the screw after drilling the holes, so the boards don't shift.

10.  Repeat for all sixteen screws.

11.  Clamp both sides of the ladder together with the backside (showing the screws) facing out.  The smooth side will be facing each other as that is what will show.  Determine where you want your four hinges to go.

12.  Add hinges, pre-drilling the holes for the short screws.  The top and bottom hinges were four inches from the ends and the other two evenly spaced between them.

13.  Stand it up to see if quality control approves.  (He said it was good, and we said no climbing.)

14.  Oak has a nice natural finish, or you can stain the wood and add a polyurethane coating.  If you add a coating you should wait a couple weeks for it to cure before adding quilts.

15.  Add quilts to the ladder. (I plan on staining it darker a little bit later.)

16.  And ENJOY!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  If you have any questions, I will ask Mr. Quilt Kisses for you.


P.S.  I will be linking up with some of the fun linky parties on my sidebar.  Check them out to see what other quilters are up to.


  1. Jasmine it looks great! I even showed my husband! LOL!! Tell your hubby thaks for the great pictures always help!

    1. Jasmine, I hope you didn't mind, but I highlighted this post/turorial this week at Tuesday Archives as our theme is Quilt Ladders...and I couldn't think of a better post to rejuvinate! (Can't believe three years have gone by since this post!!!) V:)

  2. Awesome tutorial, Jasmine and your resulting quilt ladder is beautiful! So fun to see the pictures along the way :)

  3. Super.....great tutorial and workers! Thanks.

  4. This is a great tutorial. I especially appreciate the tip about cutting off the painted ends of the wood (as a person who did not and had to keep reapplying paint to cover it up...).

  5. Love your quilt ladder. I've been after hubby for years to make me one. I was think of a single ladder, but I love the double one with the hinge...only I don't have the space for it, darn.

  6. Great quilt ladder - I love how it doesn't take up space in your room but lets you show/store so many quilts! Thanks for the tutorial. Looks like your guys really know what they're doing and have all the right tools to do it with. Lucky you!

  7. Thanks for the tutorial. Your quality control sure did a great job making sure it was perfect!

  8. Love it, Jasmine: Mr. Quilt Kisses. The tutorial is great; and I love the view of the mountains from your home. I hope to try this but it will be on my own. My husband is not a carpenter but I love to do these types of projects. It is truly lovely.

  9. Great job on the tute! Mr. quilt kisses-love it!!

  10. You are so wonderfully kind to share this great tutorial - thank you. I've been wanting a quilt ladder for ages and hopefully my dear husband will be happy to make this for me!

  11. Great quilt ladder and a great tutorial. You and Mr, Quilt Kisses and Cheetah are champs Jasmine! Thank you for sharing how to make this.

  12. Looks great- quality control monkey did a really good job there!

  13. What a great idea. This makes a great corner unit. It is so kind of you to share!

  14. So much to love about this post, in particular the wonderful family you have and the pictures of your home - your life is filled with love, I can tell. And your quilts look fabby on your new ladder :)

  15. Thanks for this very helpful tutorial. I' m wanting to display my quilts at craft fairs and a free- standing ladder would be ideal.

  16. What a fabulous tutorial! I've never seen a quilt ladder like that before that fits so perfectly into a corner spot. I love it and desperately want one. What a sweet gift from your boys, and so special that they made it together for you. Thanks for linking up to Tips and Tutorials Tuesday!

  17. This is going on my “Honey Do” list!

  18. Oh how I wish I had a handy man. I would love to have something like this.


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