DIY Farmhouse Mini Mantel Ladder

I made this mini ladder several years ago and it's been on my mantel ever since. I add it to every seasonal display and it always looks amazing! It is easy and you're going to want to make one of your own.
fall mantel with ladder

I needed a small rustic ladder for my mantel displays so I decided to build my own.

The mantel above is a Fall mantel with DIY Autumn rustic blocks.

As you're reading through this post please be sure to visit the bold links for more Homeroad information and the products I used to make this project. 

affiliate disclaimer

ladder for mantel

I used an old piece of 1" x 2" wood I had in the basement and a few spindles from the back of an old chair.

If you don't have spindles available you could use thick dowels available in the craft store. 

vintage spindles

You might want to read about what I did to the rest of that chair too.

First, for the sides of the ladder, I measured the 1" x 2", found the center and cut it in half. 

The size you make your ladder is entirely up to you! 

                    ladder with grapevine wreath

I drilled pilot holes evenly spaced down both sides of the side wood pieces.

And then I drilled pilot holes into the ends of each of the spindles so the wood wouldn't split.

Next, I  screwed the spindles in place.

ladder and cement manequin statue

The 1x 2" sides of the ladder were new wood while the spindles were old and gray so they didn't match.  

I used a vinegar/steel wool solution to paint the new wood, making it match the spindles and look aged. 

Next, I mixed a chalky grey paint with a little of the vinegar/steel wool solution and washed it over the whole ladder. 

The color now matched and the whole ladder looks like I found it that way! 

When all was finished, I hammered a few old tacks into the wood to give it some character.

sides of ladder

Here you have it... a mini ladder to decorate a mantel for any occasion.

As I said, it is always on my mantel, this one highlighted the cement paint treatment I did for an early Spring mantel. 

mantel with mini ladder and clock

You can read all about that DIY grain sack ribbon I made for the ladder here.

ladder with grain sack ribbon and a wreath

Here is the ladder on my Thanksgiving mantel along with an easy Thanksgiving banner I made to hang there. 

thanksgiving mantel with thankful banner

The mini ladder is so easy to decorate using a chain with clips to hang seasonal decorations including this American flag flower pocket I made recently

flag flower pocket on ladder

I also used the ladder on a Christmas mantel one year and it looked beautiful with all the tiny white lights. 

ladder with white lights

ladder with a wreath and mannequin

See more ladder projects from Homeroad.

And finally, here is how I decorated this ladder for Fall

Thanks so much for visiting and before you go be sure to sign up for the Homeroad emails so I can send my next DIY tutorial straight to you! 



I am Susan, the author and creator at Homeroad. I am a wife, mother of 4 daughters, and a grandmother of 5 and counting. I am a retired teacher, a DIY blogger and an artist at heart. .


  1. Your mini ladder looks great and so cute with the wreath!

  2. I Love this Susan!
    Your ladder turned out Awesome!
    Thanks for sharing how you made it!
    Have a wonderful day.

  3. very smart and nice resultsss love it

    love sanne

  4. Great job Susan! I love the ladder look. I think I have one from a garage sale sitting in our guest room. I'd love to dress it up for spring too!


  5. Great idea! I love the ladder and the wreath ~ so pretty.
    I found you today thru The 36th Avenue Linky. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog and leave a comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206

  6. Cute, cute, cute. What a fun idea. Love your display. Hugs, Marty

  7. So Cute!!! You are so creative Susan!

  8. I have a bucket full of spindles. What a delightful way to use them. Love that dress form.

  9. Susan,

    What a clever idea! I need to file this under "why didn't I think of that?"

    Have a blessed weekend!

  10. That's our Susan... don't have the right size ladder?, make your own!


  11. Newest follower here! I found you through the blog hop. You have a super cute blog, I can't wait to read more. You can find me at


  12. So very cute! Such a great idea, making your own, matching colors. Thanks for sharing. Blessings and smiles, Emilou :-)

  13. yes, when you can't find it build it!!

  14. LOVE This, doing this! I think this might be a great way to display some etsy signs at my upcoming spring show!

    catching you!


  15. Oh my gosh, I love this. I think I have the perfect place for this on my craft fair table! I know our readers would love it too and I hope you'll consider dropping by and linking up with our Upcycled Linky Party

  16. That is such a cute ladder. Love the recycled wood on it!


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