DIY Fabric Storage Ladder

DIY Fabric Storage Ladder | Looking for a way to store large pieces of fabric so that they are easy to find and look good? Try this easy-to-make DIY Fabric Storage Ladder.
DIY Fabric Storage Ladder

Welcome to week 2 of my fabric organizing projects, and I am really happy with my progress so far!

This week’s project was to figure out how to store all of the large pieces of fabric that are too big for the fabric scraps storage I came up with last week (but aren’t stored in a roll so won’t work with next week’s project).

On top of needing the storage, I also wanted it to look good, since I knew it was going to be out in the open (I don’t have that much closed storage space in my office).

Pottery Barn ladder
Pottery Barn ladder

Then I happened to see this blanket storage ladder on potterybarn.com and thought it was the perfect solution…almost.  I didn’t want to pay the Pottery Barn price, wanted a different finish and would like the rungs to be closer together (more storage!)…which of course means, a DIY project.

Keep reading to see how to make a fabric storage ladder.

What You Need

Materials

3 – 8’ x 2” x 2” boards




Tools





Cut and Sand the Boards

Cut 2 boards the height of the ladder | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Cut 2 boards the height of the ladder

1. Cut 2 of the boards to the height of the ladder. I made mine 66” high…but I put mine in my bonus room office so the walls are only 60” high. So you might want to make yours higher (just make sure you can reach the rungs that the fabric is on).

Cut 15" boards for the ladder rungs | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Cut 15″ boards for the ladder rungs

2. Cut 15” ladder rungs from the remaining board.

3. Cut a spacer board from scrap wood that is 6″ long

Sand the boards | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Sand the boards

4. Use the sander to remove any rough edges.

Angle The Ends of the Ladder Sides

Cut the bottom of the 2 long boards | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Cut the bottom of the 2 long boards

This step isn’t 100% necessary, but it does make the ladder more stable so I think it’s worth the time.

1. Cut a 15º angle at the bottom of the 2 long boards. This will help them lean up against the wall better.

2. To make the top of your ladder lay flat against the wall, you will want to cut a 15º angle lengthwise at the top of the 2 long boards.

Use a construction square or protractor to measure a 15 degree angle | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Use a construction square or protractor to measure a 15 degree angle

3. Use a construction square or protractor to mark a 15º angle from the top corner of the board.  The end of the angle should be on the same side of the board as the 15º angle at the bottom of the board.

Measure half way between the end and the 15 degree mark | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Measure half way between the end and the 15 degree mark

4. Make a pencil mark at the 3/4″ mark across the top of the board.

5. Make another pencil mark halfway between the top of the board and the 15 degree angle mark you just drew.

Draw a line between the 2 half way marks | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Draw a line between the 2 half way marks

6. Draw a line that connects these 2 pencil marks together.  This will be where you will cut.

Line up the blade with the line | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Line up the blade with the line

7. Leave the miter saw at the 15 degree angle.  Position the board so that it is perpendicular to the miter saw.  Line up the blade with the pencil mark and make your cut.

8. You will probably want to test this by leaning it up against a wall to see if the ends line up correctly.

Use the first board to mark the angle for the second board | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Use the first board to mark the angle for the second board

9. Make the second cut by lining the 2 long boards so that the bottom ends meet.  Then draw the top angle line on to the second board, and cut it as you did for the first board.

Drill the Pocket Holes

1. Adjust the Kreg jig to fit 1 1/2″ pieces of wood.

2. Make sure that the clamping mechanism is adjusted to hold the board in place.

Line up the board with the right side of the jig | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Line up the board with the right side of the jig

3. Position the first ladder rung on end with the edge of the board lining up along the right line of the jig.

Close the Kregg Jig clamp | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Close the Kregg Jig clamp

4. Close the Kreg Jig clamp.

Use the Square to make sure the board is straight | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Use the Square to make sure the board is straight

5. Use a construction square to make sure it is square.

Clamp the board to the jig | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Clamp the board to the jig

6. Clamp the board to the Jig to make sure it doesn’t move while you are drilling.

 

7. Use the Kreg drill bit in the B and C holes to make the pocket holes.

8. Repeat steps 3 to 7 for all of the rungs for your ladder.

Figure Out the Top Rung Position

Match up the bottom ends | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Match up the bottom ends

1. Lay the long boards down so that the long sides are facing each other.

2. Make sure that the bottom ends of the ladder match exactly (these are the ends with the small angle cut on the bottom).

3. Clamp the boards together to make sure they stay lined up correctly.

Measure from the top | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Measure from the top

4. Measure down from the top of the long boards to mark where the top rung should go. I put mine 6″ from the top (but that doesn’t leave a lot of room for fabric so you may want to make it a little lower than that).

5. Mark straight across both boards to make sure they are at the same distance.

6. Unclamp the long boards.

Put the Ladder Together

Make sure drill holes are on the same side as the angle | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Make sure drill holes are on the same side as the angle

1. Position the long boards with the angled side up (this will be the back of the ladder when it is finished) and the pencil marks facing each other.

2. Place the top rung so that the top of it lines up with the pencil mark you just made on one of the side boards.  Make sure that drill holes are pointing up.

Make sure the rung is straight | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Make sure the rung is straight

3. Use the construction square to make sure the rung is square.  Clamp the top rung to the side board.

4. Screw the 2″ screws into the pocket holes.

5. Remove the clamp.

6. Position the other long board so that the top of the rung meets the pencil mark that you made on the board.

7. Like you did with the first one, use the construction square to make sure the rung is straight.  Clamp the boards together to hold them in place.

8. Screw in the 2″ pocket screws.

Use a clamp to keep the boards in place | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Use a clamp to keep the boards in place

9. Position the 6″ spacer you cut so that it is next to the rung you just installed.  Then add the next ladder rung.

Use a spacer to figure out where to put the next rung | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Use a spacer to figure out where to put the next rung

10. Repeat steps 7 to 9 to attach all of the rungs to both sides of the ladder.  The lowest rung should be about 12″ from the bottom of the ladder in order to leave enough space so that the fabric won’t hit the floor.

Finish the Ladder

The filled holes | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
The filled holes

1. (Optional) Fill the holes with the Kreg spacers.

The holes before the filler | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
The holes before the filler

They don’t really fill the entire hole, but do get rid of the “black hole”.

2. Paint or stain the ladder (I used gold spray paint). Make sure that it is thoroughly dry before continuing…you don’t want to get paint on your fabric!

Lean the ladder up against the wall | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Lean the ladder up against the wall

3. Lean your ladder up against the wall.

Make sure the bottom is flat | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Make sure the bottom is flat

4. Make sure the bottom angles are laying flat on the ground.

Lean the ladder up against the wall | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Lean the ladder up against the wall

5. And the top should be flat against the wall (which didn’t work out exactly as planned for me since the moulding is in the way).

The finished ladder | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
The finished ladder

6. Add your fabric and you’re done!

And I’m Not Quite Done

The finished ladder | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
The finished ladder

I realized after I made the first ladder that I really liked the way it looked!

The fabric even looks good with the "office" side of the room | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
The fabric even looks good with the “office” side of the room

It actually goes pretty well with the rest of the room.

And then I realized that I need another ladder!  I have more fabric than I have ladder rungs.

Hang larger pieces of fabric on hangers | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Hang larger pieces of fabric on hangers

In the meantime, I hung some of the fabric pieces from hangers…

Use skirt hangers | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Use skirt hangers

And some of it from skirt hangers…

Hanging fabric from regular hangers or skirt hangers is another option | DIY Fabric Storage Ladder
Hanging fabric from regular hangers or skirt hangers is another option

And added them to my collection of fabric scraps that were already hanging.  So at least that makes the pile smaller until I have time to make the next ladder.

Want to organize some smaller fabric scraps?  Click here to find out how.

And be sure to check out our post on making a fabric roll storage rack for those really big pieces.

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4 Responses

  • Hi Wanda,
    Great job! I wish I was as handy as you are. It looks to me like there is enough room between the rungs to add a second layer folded a little smaller so you could see the fabric behind. Just a thought.
    Bonnie

  • Love the ladder! I have two comments/ideas for you: 1. Make sure whatever paint you use that it seals the wood, or you may get stains and 2. Consider hanging a large, decorative chain in your room to hook the clothes/fabric hangers in.

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