I built the ladder from natural saplings (gray birch I think) and from each rung I hung a bright yellow begonia planted in an IKEA pail. The begonias are covered with buds so hopefully as they open up and bloom they will create a bright display cascading in the corner.
How I Made it:
This was very easy to make, required no power tools or extra hands and all combined took only about 3 hours. It started with a walk along the woodland path we call the Eastside Highway. I knew there were lots of little saplings (tall, straight and with a small crown) growing over there.
David and I hike this path everyday as part of our 3-4 mile woodland loop.
I brought with me a buck saw and a pair of branch clippers, plus my camera. Using the buck saw I cut down the sapling. It was very easy to do but I was sawing so no photos.
I cut down three saplings about 2 1/2" in diameter at the base. I was impressed by the beauty of the leaves and stopped for a minute to do some artsy photography.
I then trimmed off all the branches using the clippers and lugged the branches home. They were each about 10 feet long and it must have been funny watching me meander through the woods with the three trees, the saw and clippers and my camera bag. I kept getting hung up on other trees.
Once at the house I cut the trees to length using the buck saw.
I started building the ladder in place for optimal measurement but putting it together temporarily with masking tape so I could adjust proportions as I went along. I wanted 5 ladder rungs spaced appropriately for the location.
I built the entire ladder this way. It was definitely rickety but it worked.
I kept the rungs a little crooked and a little funky for interest. Once I was satisfied with the placement I put the ladder down and screwed sheetrock screws in from the backside. I placed the ladder on a discarded paperback so as to not accidentally drill into the floor.
Once together I put the ladder back in place.
Next was the plan for what was to hang from the rungs. I have a collection of IKEA tin pails in a variety of sizes. Although I had considered covering them in bark I decided not to because they add more brightness to a dark corner. I took the buckets and punched two holes near the rim using a 10 penny common nail and a hammer.
Using a dental floss threader I threaded regular twine through the holes....
And created a rustic handle for the pails.
I then transplanted the bright yellow begonia flowers into the pails. I put some rocks at the bottom, added some potting soil and the plants. I debated on how to hang the planters from each rung but decide to simply add another screw on the backside of each rung, leaving it protruding about 1/4".
From each of the rungs I hung a pail with the begonia.....
To create a tower of brightness in the corner.........
Of the main entrance to our house......
I'll take more photos once the flowers fill in!
What did you do this weekend?
Update February, 2013
I have used this ladder all year. I have redecorated it numerous times. Check out some of the variations!
Christmas Ladder with Lights:
A Spring Project that will last all year!
This project inspired me to continue exploring ladders in décor. I collected them ll into a theme page with links to many, many different ways to use ladders in decor
- Ladders for Flowers and Plants
- Ladders for Photo Display
- Ladders in the Kitchen
- Ladders in the Bathroom
- Ladders for Magazines and Books
©2012 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy
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