How To Turn A Ladder Into A Rustic Bookshelf

Turn a ladder into a rustic bookshelf OWN

Does your home have a “rustic” feel, or do you dream of redecorating to achieve the perfect homey, simple-chic look? We do, too! After all, what’s not to love about a a style as comfortable as this one, especially when there are so many frugal and delightful DIY ways to achieve it? The latest idea we’ve found comes from Home Made Simple’s Kenneth Wingard via OWN, and it’s taking an unusual item – an old wooden ladder – and turning it on its side for a smart, space-saving solution: a rustic shelf! It looks so lovely and adds one-of-a-kind flair to any room. Here’s how it’s made.

Rustic Ladder Bookshelf

  1. Measure and cut the ladder to your preferred size.

  2. Of course, you can always leave the ladder essentially as it is and simply follow the next steps to hang it on the wall. However, it looks extra nice if you actually cut the ladder in half to “wrap” around an unused corner, or use two for extra length. Always be sure to measure before you do anything, in any project, to be sure it will fit.

  3. Mark the place where the shelf will hang.

  4. Use a stud finder to find the studs in the wall, and mark the places so you know where to hang the brackets for mounting the ladder shelf. You will need about eight 6-inch-by-1⅛-inch L brackets. Mark all the way around the walls where you’ll be hanging your shelf.

  5. Mount the brackets.

  6. Carefully, use a drill and mount the L brackets with 3-inch screws.

  7. Hang and secure the ladder.

  8. Hang up your ladder! Secure with ½-inch screws to the brackets, and make sure everything is secure and steady.

You can paint the brackets and shelf any color you like, or leave everything as is. The important thing is filling it with books and treasured objects to enjoy!


What a great way of repurposing an old ladder! It’s a medium-difficulty project, but totally doable. Do you think you’ll try making this rustic bookshelf? Will you use yours for books, trinkets, or something else? You can find even more information from Home Made Simple here, and of course be sure to watch the full video tutorial from OWN.