Wooden Ladder up-cycle

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Project by mtalley posted 03-13-2015 02:14 PM 1699 views 12 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A couple of people have asked about the ladder bookshelf seen in a previous project post, so I decided to add it here.

When we bought our place in Seattle, we inherited a wooden extension ladder that I found in the rafters of the garage. It was more than a little wobbly and covered in 60+ years of paint drips. When our furniture was put into the container for the move to France, I clunked it in at the last minute thinking that I would finally get around to making something with it. It became my first project in France.

I re-glued, replaced wedges, and added a few screws, hand sanded, stained, and polyurethane it one sunny weekend. The next weekend I added stained-to-match shelf brackets and mounted it in the living room. The shelf currently holds 70 books and a few nick-knacks (walnut metronome that I rebuilt). We have had a couple offers to buy it when we leave France and two ladies that have asked me to make similar ones for their houses. I chock this up to another up-cycling success.

-- Matt at:

8 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


7080 posts in 2216 days

#1 posted 03-13-2015 02:27 PM

I remember seeing this and may have been one of the commenters. I think it is a brilliant idea and that it fits your room decor perfectly.
What a great idea. Thanks

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 1289 days

#2 posted 03-13-2015 06:44 PM

Genius idea, I gotta find myself an old ladder now…

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View Grumpymike's profile


1885 posts in 1733 days

#3 posted 03-14-2015 12:49 AM

Wow! Great Idea and execution … Next person that want’s one, have them bring the ladder and you can finish it for a price … I just can’t believe how well this turned out.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View pjones46's profile


986 posts in 2060 days

#4 posted 03-14-2015 02:10 AM

Great repurposing idea.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View marin77's profile


2 posts in 597 days

#5 posted 03-14-2015 07:03 AM

Nice idea. I will definitely try this at my home.
Thank you for same.

View dhazelton's profile


2283 posts in 1714 days

#6 posted 03-14-2015 12:37 PM

Great idea! I’ve seen old C-clamps used as bookends and this is another winner.

View HoffShop's profile


6 posts in 637 days

#7 posted 03-14-2015 01:24 PM

Very cool. I’ve been looking for a ladder to do something very similar to this.

-- Ryan-woodworking since 2014

View mtalley's profile


98 posts in 893 days

#8 posted 03-15-2015 08:12 PM

Thank you all!

-- Matt at:

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