Build a Ladder Bookshelf

Using an old wooden ladder and some recycled planks, you can quickly build a unique bookshelf.

| June/July 2006

Create a unique, easy-to-make bookshelf using an old wooden ladder and recycled wood. By building your own rustic bookcase, you’ll save money and have a one-of-a-kind addition to your home.

First, cut a sturdy 25-foot wooden ladder into four equal lengths. This should give you enough to make end supports for two bookshelves. Stand two of the supports upright and add wooden shelves between the rungs. Consider using reclaimed wood from a barn or outbuilding for the shelves, or simply recycle wood from other household projects for a low-cost option. After screwing the shelves to the supports, bolt the supports to the wall.

For a more rustic bookshelf, leave the ladder hardware and rough edges intact and skip the paint. Or paint the shelves and rungs in custom colors to create a colorful accent for any room.

4/4/2009 11:00:22 PM

Old wooden ladders make really great trellises for climbing plants too. I like the bookshelf idea better myself, but my BGF used two of them cut in half to trellis grapes on the front of her porch a couple years ago. She now has a shady, private front porch and should be able to sit there of an evening and pick dessert late this summer.

Lorrie Shantz
9/15/2006 12:00:00 AM

We live in an RV trailer park..year-round. But our space is so limited...we have only about 6" of space on each side...there's only the front which is only about 6'X6' on the north side. We have a deck, with a ramp for a wheelchair, so it's kind of sloping. Can you give me any ideas on how I could still make this place cozy with lots of plants ?? Anyone...write me with some ideas, you.

GLENDA torpy
7/5/2006 12:00:00 AM

what a excellent idea finally a use for the old fire ladders we have in place of kitchen racks thank you glenda torpy

mother earth news fair


Feb. 17-18, 2018
Belton, Texas

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, hands-on workshops, and great food!