If you are looking for an easy project that will allow you to display some of your favorite items, then follow along on how to create a rustic ladder from white birch poles.
I will admit it, I love anything birch and have since I was a child. Growing up in Michigan fostered that love in me from a young age. We had a glorious white birch tree in our side yard that I was fascinated with. What’s not to love with that amazing papery white bark, the dangly seeds and lovely golden color in the fall?! To me, white birch represents being UP NORTH.
I decided to create a rustic ladder from white birch poles I had in my collection! I’d seen many lovely examples of rustic ladders on Pinterest and I knew I could do it too. So I quit pinning and created one of my own! I had a beautiful vintage linen collection that was hiding in my cabinet. So I knew exactly what I wanted to display on this rustic ladder!
I’m so glad that I incorporated birch into my interior design a few years ago. I started collecting birch poles from several different potteries as well as at craft stores. The poles are grouped in corners in different rooms and I have birch logs in a basket by my fireplace. My favorite piece is the decoupaged old dresser I created. I made this last year with wrapping paper that has a birch bark design. There will have a post about this soon. Anywhere you look in my house you will see birch somewhere because it reminds me of home.
The supplies needed for this project are 3 or 4 birch poles (the straighter the better), jute twine, a measuring tape, miter box and saw, and scissors. You may want to make a simple sketch of your ladder to include measurements. As my Dad used to say (I’m sure you’ve heard this before), measure twice, cut once! I did not make a sketch, but I did write my measurements down before I began cutting.
Once you have assembled your supplies you are ready to go!
- Begin by measuring the rungs of the ladder from one of the birch poles. Be sure to measure precisely then cut carefully on the miter box (remember to follow ALL safety rules when cutting wood – eye protection, etc.).
- My ladder has 5 rungs so it took more than one pole to cut these from. I kept my scrap pieces and put them in my basket by the fireplace.
- Make sure the 2 poles you use for the sides of your ladder are the same length, trim if needed.
- Lay out all of your pieces like it will look when it is assembled. Vvisualize how the distance between the rungs looks as well as the distance at the top and the bottom of the ladder look as well.
Assembling the ladder
- Once it is aesthetically pleasing to you, carefully mark the places where the rungs will be. Or if you prefer just write down the measurement so you will know where to place them.
- You will need to cut 2 lengths of jute twine for each rung, I used 24″ lengths for mine (I cut a total of 10 pieces).
- Tie each of the ends of the jute so it doesn’t unravel as you are tying it.
- Begin wrapping the twine tightly around the rung and the pole at the designated spot. I found that wrapping it in an X pattern on the front and the back worked best for me. You may have another technique that works best for you.
- Complete both sides of the rung before moving to the next one. Measure again making sure the rungs are an even distance from each other.
- Continue this process with each rung until all of them are tied into place.
- Once completed, stand the ladder upright and check to make sure it is relatively even. It will be slightly wobbly* which is okay – remember, this is a RUSTIC ladder. 🙂
- If you wish, you can attach protective felt pieces on the back at the top of the ladder to protect your wall. You can also place small rubber feet under the bottom of the sides to keep it from sliding out of place.
Now you can display your treasures on it!
I adore how my vintage linens look draped over the rungs of this little rustic ladder! I’m thrilled because I was able to add more birch to my decor as well as displaying many of my vintage linens!
Let me know if you have any questions, I am always happy to help. Have fun and enjoy creating something unique for your home!
*WARNING – This ladder is for decorative purposes ONLY and cannot support a lot of weight! Do not allow children or anyone to climb on this.
If you are lucky enough to have birch to use from your yard, be careful bringing it into your home. It may have some creepy crawlers living in it who will be unwelcome house guests! If you purchase it, be sure to get it from reputable sources that practice responsible harvesting of this natural resource.