Old ladders can be repurposed to create rustic bookshelves.
PHOTO: MARIAH ZABRISKIE
My husband and I recently bought our dream home on 20 acres. We spent so much time (and money!) working on fences, irrigation and outbuildings that, eight months later, all our books were still boxed in the garage.
We were reluctant to shell out $125 for a particleboard bookshelf. Then I had a great idea: I took a weathered 25-foot wooden ladder from behind the barn and cut it into four equal lengths to make supports for two bookshelves. For the shelves, I used reclaimed wood from a barn. I left the ragged edges and the ladder hardware for effect and bolted the units to the wall for safety.
I now have bookshelves that are unique and look great. They didn't cost us a dime, and I spent a great Saturday morning putting them together. Now we're considering making rustic benches and tables from the remaining barn wood to pepper the house with charm — it should be a fun winter!