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!


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
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


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