How to make a ladder storage shelf in 9 simple steps

storage ladder shelf

This narrow shelving unit is perfect for storing all of your craft supplies in a small space. It’s also great for the bathroom, playroom, kids room – anywhere where space is limited and storage is needed! Paint it to match your decor or decorate with decoupage to give it some extra personality. you can even adjust the dimensions to suit your available space. So go on, make your own ladder storage shelf this weekend!

This post was originally done for Ideas Magazine.

You will need:

  • 3x 2.4m Pine PAR 19mmx94mm
  • 1x 1.2m Pine PAR 19mmx94mm
  • 3x 1.8m Pine PAR 19mm x 44mm
  • 1x 2.4m Pine PAR 19mm x 44mm
  • 2m white laminated shelf or laminated pine shelf 19mmx380mm
  • 62x 4mmx32mm wood screws
  • 2x 4mmx75mm wood screws
  • Wood filler
  • Scraper
  • 100 grit sandpaper
  • 3mm wood drill bit
  • Paint suitable for wood. We used Prominent Paints Ultrasheen water-based emulsion in white for the frame and the outside of the shelves, and Fired Earth Chalk Paint* in Seine Olive for the inside of the shelf boxes.

* Shop your chalk paint online here!

Cutting list for frame: Use the 19mm x 44mm pine

  • Back legs: 1400m x 2
  • Front legs: 1455mm x 2
  • Horizontal Strut at top: 420mm

Cutting list for the sides of the shelf boxes: Use the 19mm x 94mm pine

  • 2x 120mm
  • 2x 220mm
  • 2 x 320mm
  • 2x 400mm
  • 8x 420mm

Cutting list for the base of the shelf boxes: Use laminated shelf

  • 120mm x 380mm
  • 220mm x 380mm
  • 320mm x 380mm
  • 420mm x 380mm

Step 1:

storage ladder shelf

storage ladder shelf

Cut the top and bottom of the 2 front legs at angles as shown.

Step 2:

storage ladder shelf

storage ladder shelf

Use the diagram to drill pilot holes in the pre-cut sides of the shelf boxes. This will prevent the wood from splitting when you assemble it.

Step 3:

storage ladder shelf

Assemble the shelf boxes by screw-fixing first the sides, and then the back and front to the laminated shelves.

Step 4:

storage ladder shelf

Use matching wood filler and a scraper to fill the holes and cover the screws.

Step 5:

storage ladder shelf

Once the filler has dried, use sand paper to smooth it down.

Step 6:

storage ladder shelf

Drill pilot holes and then screw-fix the back legs of the frame to the boxes. The biggest box should be 100mm from the floor, with the subsequent boxes spaced at 260mm.

Step 7:

Once all the boxes are in place, position the front leg and screw fix that on the boxes. Always remember to drill a pilot hole first.

Step 8:

storage ladder shelf

Use a 75mm wood screw to fix the front and back legs together. Then add a horizontal strut at the top to further strengthen the shelf.

Step 9:

Paint the shelf, allowing sufficient drying time between coats.

If you used a white laminated shelf base inside the boxes, make sure that the paint you choose is suitable for laminate. Craft paint is great for this.

storage ladder shelf

Now you can use your shelf for whatever you need. It could even work as a plant stand!

Happy making!

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