Simple DIY Library Ladder

If one day we are able to build our dream home we will for sure have a library with a library ladder. I have loved library ladders since Beauty & the Beast. Yeah…that long. 😂 But since we don’t have any plans on building our dream house, I’ll make due with what we have.

Our bedroom is not something I like to photograph. Mainly because that is the room we never really finished. I did paint the walls gray a while back, but with the lighting it looked dingy. Then I painted the walls white and had a green accent wall. Then I painted the green accent wall white…again. 🙄

In our bedroom there is a cubby right below the vaulted ceiling that we have never did anything with.  Being 5’3 I definitely couldn’t reach the top without a ladder. I talked about putting a library ladder against that wall a few months ago so we could use that wasted space as a mini library, but after looking online I knew we would never buy one. The ladders I found online ranged from $500 – $2000. Yikes! After that I put that idea on my “if we hit the lottery wishlist” and moved on, until now.

After building our dining room table, I decided I would attempt the library ladder. I figured I could build a ladder if I could build a table. 😊 I was intimidated at first as I have never built a ladder. I mean I built a blanket ladder, but not a ladder that is intended to actually stand on and uphold the weight of a person.

I looked on Pinterest for building plans, but I couldn’t find any that were easy to follow, so I decided to wing it. And by wing it I mean, I used our metal ladder as a template to gage the dimensions. Mindfulness, right?

The tutorial for the ladder is below, but first, materials!

Wood:

3 – 96 x 4 x 1
1 – 48 x 4 x 1

Total cost: $19.98! That’s definitely worth a happy dance! 💃🏻

Wood cuts:

8 – 14 x 4 x 1 (these are the steps)
2 – 22.5 degree angle cuts on one end of the two 96 x 4 x 1 boards

Tip: A 96″ piece can make 6 – 14 inch pieces and a  48″ piece can make 3 – 14 inch pieces. I would recommend cutting the extra piece in case you mess up. That will give you 9 pieces total. 

Tools & Supplies:

Hand or miter saw
Tape measure
Pencil
Kreg Jig
1/4 inch Kreg Jig screws
Electric screwdriver
Electric sander
120 grit sandpaper
Minwax Dark Walnut stain
Foam brush

Step 1: Do all the wood cuts.

Tip: If you don’t have a saw you can have Lowe’s cut the wood for you, which is what I did. 😊

However, a Lowe’s associate can only do straight cuts so you’ll still need a hand saw  or miter saw to make the 22.5 degree angle cuts for the ladder feet.

I used a hand saw to do the 22.5 degree angle cuts.

Step 2: Set the Kreg Jig to 3/4″ and secure the Kreg Jig to the wood using a clamp.

Step 3: Make two holes on each side of each step. Confused? See picture below. 😊

Step 4: Align the tape measure starting at the longest point from the same end that the 22.5 degree angle cut was made and mark at every 10 inches starting 11 inches up. Meaning mark at 11″, 21″, 31″, etc.

IMPORTANT: Before marking the wood, make sure the sides are facing inward as shown above.

Step 5: Using one of the scrap pieces leftover from the 22.5 degree angle cuts, lineup the piece on each of the markings and trace the top. This is to ensure the steps align with the 22.5 degree angled feet of the ladder.

I provided a couple of pictures below for clarity.

After you’re done tracing the lines, it should look like this when the two pieces are aligned.

Step 6: Align the step pieces to the traced lines and attach them using 1 1/4 inch Kreg Jig screws.

Baby K helped me too. Side note, Sometimes he sticks his tongue out when he is playing. 😂

Step 7: Attach the second leg of the ladder.

Step 8: Now that the ladder is assembled, smooth all of the edges of the ladder with 120 grit sand paper. Then wipe the ladder clean with a damp cloth.

Step 9: Paint or stain. I stained the ladder using Dark Walnut by Minwax and a cheap foam brush. Let the stain dry overnight, then style away!

This project took me about 3 hours total and cost under $20! The best part is, this ladder is 100% functional! Second happy dance! 💃🏻

I still have a lot of styling to do in this room, but until then, I am happy with the progress. 😊

AND…that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed my tutorial. If you have questions, please comment below or DM me on Instagram. My handle is @acarriedaffairdesigns

Until next time. Xo

 

Shop This Post

Cranberry Apple Pie Recipe

I love to attempt new recipes. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. This one worked! I literally just went with my gut and started adding things and WOW it was amazing! I was actually going to take this pie to our family Christmas…but I needed to try it to make sure it tasted good first, right? Right! Or at least that’s what I’am telling myself. 😂 I actually liked it so much that I decided to share it all with you. 🌲

See below for the recipe.

Baking Utensils

1 – 9 inch pie pan
Large mixing bowl
Strainer or colander
Wooden spoon
Small bowl
Pastry brush
Baking spray
Aluminum foil

Ingredients

2 cups of Cranberries
5-6 Granny Smith Apples
1 cup of granulated sugar
1.5 cups of water
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1.5 tbsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of almond extract
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup of melted butter

Crust

2 – 9” pie crusts (I just use store bought)

I always do an egg wash on the top of my crusts, but it is completely optional. If you want to do an egg wash you’ll need the following items.

1 large egg
1/4 cup of sugar in the raw

Preheat the over to 350 degrees before prepping the pie.

Step 1: Add the cranberries, 2 cups of water, and 1 cup of sugar to a medium sized saucepan and turn the burner to medium heat. Stir occasionally and bring to a boil.

Step 2: Once the cranberries are done, use a colander to strain all the water out, then set aside.

Step 3: Peel & slice the apples.

Step 4: In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients: Apples, cranberries, brown sugar, almond extract, cinnamon, salt, melted butter, and mix well.

Step 5: Spray your pie pan with baking spray then lay one of your crusts in the pan.

Step 6: Pour the filling into the pie pan.

Step 7: Trim the crust and decorate as desired with the second crust. I did this pie around Christmas time, so did a Christmas theme.

The next two steps are for the egg wash. If you don’t want to do the egg wash skip to step 10.

Step 8: In a small bowl whisk the egg then use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash on the top of the pie crust.

Step 9: Sprinkle the sugar in the raw over the top of the pie crust.

Step 10: Cut a piece of aluminum foil and spray it with baking spray. Tear the foil into strips and cover the edges of the pie. This is to prevent the edges from burning.

Step 11: Bake the pie for 30 minutes on 350 then rotate the pie, remove the foil, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until pie crust is golden brown.

Tip: I put my pies on a cookie sheet and rotate the pie every 10 minutes to achieve an even baked crust. Using a cookie sheet also helps keep the foil in place when rotating the pie.

Step 12: Remove from the oven and allow it to cool and serve!

That’s a wrap! I hope you found inspiration in my post. If you have any questions please comment below or you can message me on Instagram. My handle is @acarriedaffairdesigns

I linked most of the pie cutters and baking utensils I used in this post. You cal scroll through the pictures under Shop This Post at the bottom of this post.

Until next time friends. Happy Holidays! Xo

 

Shop This Post

Homemade Marshmallows Recipe

When I made my first batch of homemade marshmallows last winter, everyone went crazy for them. I have never been a big fan of marshmallows, but I am a huge fan of hot cocoa and topping it with homemade marshmallows is the best way to drink hot cocoa. In my opinion of course. 😬 If you are a marshmallow fan and haven’t had homemade marshmallows then you are missing out! They are so fluffy {insert Agnes voice from Despicable Me}. And my oldest son loves them and he is a tough critic. 😂

This recipe may sound intimidating, but homemade marshmallows are actually super simple to make. Messy, but simple.

Ingredients

1.5 cups of granulated sugar
3 (1 oz) packets of unflavored gelatin
1 cup of cold water (divided)
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 tsp of peppermint extract
1 cup of light corn syrup
Non-stick baking spray
Powdered sugar for dusting

I don’t ever measure the powdered sugar. I just use enough to dust the pan after applying the baking spray and then enough to dust the marshmallows to set and then again before cutting.

Baking tools

Electric mixer
Medium sized sauce pan
1 – 12×18 cookie sheet
Wooden spoon
Rubber spatula
Measuring cups
Knife
Ramekin
Cutting board
Cookie cutters (optional)
Food coloring pens (optional)
Royal Icing (optional)

Step 1: Pour the unflavored gelatin and 1/2 cup of the cold water into a small ramekin.  You’ll use the other 1/2 cup of water for the sugar mix. Set aside and allow the unflavored gelatin to bloom while you heart the sugar mix.

Tip: Make sure the gelatin is mixed in with the water well. If not the gelatin will clump up and get rock hard.

Step 2: Spray the cookie sheet with the non-stick baking spray. Then dust the bottom and sides of the cookie sheet with powdered sugar.

Step 3: Add the other 1/2 cup of water, granulated sugar, salt, and light corn syrup to a medium-sized sauce pan, then turn the burner on medium heat. Stir the contents intermittently until the sugar mix is dissolved. Should take about 5-10 minutes.

Step 4: Using a rubber spatula, pour the gelatin mix into the electric mixer. Then slowly add the sugar mix with the mixer on medium speed. After the sugar mix has been added, add your choice of extract (I used peppermint) then turn the mixer on high and beat until stiff peaks form. This will take about 15 – 20 minutes.

Step 5: Pour the marshmallow mix onto the cookie sheet and spread evenly using the rubber spatula.

Step 6: Dust the top of the marshmallows with powdered sugar and let them set over night.

Step 7: Once the marshmallows are set, dust the top of the marshmallows and the top of your cutting board. At this point you can cut the marshmallows into squares or use cookie cutters.

For the cookie cutters, I used a mini gingerbread man, star, and a donut cutter (only using the center hole) for the snowman face. My donut cutter looks like the one in the photo below.

Step 8: Using a knife (for squares) or cookie cutters, cutout all the marshmallows directly from the cookie sheet ,  then dust all the marshmallows (sides, tops, bottoms) with powdered sugar.

Tip: The powdered sugar will prevent the marshmallows from sticking to one another, which is why I dust them so much.

Step 9: If you chose to cut squares, you’re done! Enjoy with a nice cup of hot cocoa.

If you want to use cookie cutters along with decorating the marshmallows continue following the directions.

Step 10: Make a batch of royal Icing. CLICK HERE for my recipe. I did switch out the extract I used in my original royal icing recipe for peppermint extract to make the marshmallows extra peppermint-y. 🤗

Since I made gingerbread men and snowmen, I used orange and brown food coloring. I also used red & black Wilton food coloring pens. Honestly, I would have just used food coloring pens for everything, but I couldn’t find any orange or brown pens, so I went to plan B with the royal Icing. 😊

Step 11: Decorate the marshmallows then allow the icing and food coloring to dry completely (about 1 hour). Once the icing is dry to the touch, serve on top of hot cocoa and enjoy! I got the idea to make the snowman face from Williams-Sonoma. Aren’t they so cute? ⛄️

Well friends, that’s it for this post. I hope you enjoyed it! I would love to know what you think! Leave a comment below or message me on Instagram. My handle is @acarriedaffairdesigns

Until next time. Xo

A Carrie’d Affair Holiday Gift Guide 2017

The season of giving is upon us. Gift giving is my love language so I get extra excited about giving gifts to those I care about. But it is hard sometimes to find the right gift. Right? Right. So I put together a gift guide for the special women, kids, or families in your life. Sorry guys, I am not good at gifting to men. Ask my husband. 😂 Anyway…

Each photo in the look-books is linked. So if you like any of the items you see, simply click on the photo to be taken directly to the site.

I own all the products in this next category and I use them all. Daily.

One of my coworkers actually told me about the witch hazel. She swears by it so I decided to try it and it is now apart of my morning regime. It is seriously amazing!

Two years ago my husband’s parents bought our family a one year pass to our local Children’s Museum and honestly it is one of the best gifts we have ever gotten. It was the perfect gift for the family and it gave us lots of memories with the boys. I listed a few memberships/activities below that the whole family could enjoy.

 

The best things in life are free or made with love. Don’t you agree? My kids handmade Christmas ornaments are my favorite gifts of all time. So if you need some gift ideas and can’t spend a lot of money, these DIY gifts are for you.

 

Well friends, thats a wrap! Whew! This was three weeks in the making, but I’m glad I did it and hope you find it helpful for the upcoming holiday season.

Until next time. Xo