DIY Decorative Christmas Ladder

Hello Friends,

Around here, Christmas starts on November 1.  

I know!  It’s totally crazy!

Despite high temps and green leaves on the trees, the Christmas workshop is now open and in full swing.

Today, I’m sharing two little crafts.  Both are quick, easy, and inexpensive, but easily adjusted to fit your space.

And this is actually what I love most about both of them —they truly fit MY space. 

And they will fit yours, too.

DIY Decorative Christmas Ladder

Christmas decor | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Company | The Chelsea Project |

Disclosure: Paint product was provided by Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company, but all projects and opinions are 100% my own.

Before we go any further, let me just say, this has to be the world’s easiest little building craft. 🙂

Let's build a decorative ladder for Christmas | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Company | The Chelsea Project |

Let’s Get Started

All you do is measure your space to determine the height and width of the ladder.  

  • Measure one vertical side (and multiply times 2).

  • Measure one wrung (and multiply times the number of wrungs).

  • The ladder in this photo is 36 inches high and contains 5 wrungs.

  • This means I used 72 inches (36 times 2) of wood for the sides.

  • And 35 inches of wood for the wrungs (7 inches wide times 5 wrungs).

  • All total 72 inches + 35 inches = 107 inches  (8.92 feet).

Custom-sized Christmas ladders are great for your little helpers | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Company | The Chelsea Project |

What You’ll Need


  • An 8-foot strip only costs about $1.00. Just make sure the entire length of the strip is straight.

  • Have the furring strips cut into pieces at the home improvement center.

  • I had to buy one furring strip and used scrap furring strip pieces to complete the wrungs.


  • Two screws per slat. 

  • I used 10 wood screws to secure 5 wrungs.

  • Ask the expert at the home improvement center for the cheapest screws that will do the job.


  • Sand paper (about 80 to 150-grit) is needed to smooth the furring strip and the cut edges.


  • Any paint will do, but I used Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Salem Red.

  • I feel like this color has a very authentic country – farmhousey look for Christmas and is super easy to use.

  • For more information about how to use milk paint, please check out two of my earlier posts:

How to get a Perfectly Worn Finish (Click here)

How I mixed Milk Paint to get a custom color (Click here)


  • An 89-cent brush is fine for this project.  When finished, either rinse it or toss it away.


  • Sealing the paint is totally optional. Since I used milk paint on raw wood, I will not add a sealer. This is because the milk paint sinks into the raw wood and acts like a stain. For normal decorative use, there should be no worries of scarring or staining.

Measure your little helpers so that the Christmas ladder fits them perfectly | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Company | The Chelsea Project |

What You’ll Do

  • Assemble the wrungs to the sides.

  • Paint the wood with your favorite paint.

  • And…when dry… stage your ladder with your favorite accessories.

Custom-sized Christmas ladders are always better when shared with a friend | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Company | The Chelsea Project |

That’s all there is to it.

Fun, whimsical…..and totally made to fit your space.  🙂

Pin for later…

Easy decorative Christmas ladder sized to fit your space | #sponsored Old Fashioned Milk Company | The Chelsea Project |

To make holiday lanterns sized to fit your space (click here)…



To make a Christmas tree sized to fit your space

(click here)...


Tabletop Christmas Tree is made to fit your space | The Chelsea Project |





  • Reply Carolann November 1, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    I just love this ladder Susie! It’s picture perfect! I’d love to try and make one too. What a truly inspiring project for the holidays. I love the color too! You are a truly amazing crafter!

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 1, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks Carolann. You are so kind and encouraging. Appreciate it so very much! XO

  • Reply Sarah November 1, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Oh, so cute!!! My boys would get a kick out of this, too-

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 1, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Thanks Sarah! Oh I wish we were closer, I’d make one for them! Maybe someday! XOXO

  • Reply Michelle James November 2, 2016 at 9:48 am

    This is so pretty Susie! I really want to make one! Pinned!

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 2, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Thanks Michelle! That’s quite a compliment coming from you! Thanks so much.

  • Reply Nancy Isham November 2, 2016 at 11:42 am

    How cute is this? I love this little craft. Great idea!

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 2, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks Nancy! I’m having such a good time creating custom-sized items for my Christmas line-up.

  • Reply Toni Harvey November 2, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    What a great idea, so cute and perfect for a cute decorator touch. I love how you have yours set by the chair for the little foxes to get into the chair. Just lovely, definitely pinning this!

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 2, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      Thanks Toni! My little foxes have been so much fun this Fall….and they are great helpers, too. LOL…

  • Reply Cynthia Chilson Finger November 3, 2016 at 1:04 am

    This is SO cute, Susie! And your foxes! Love them. Did you make them??! My daughter creates animals, and she loved yours. I feel like I should say, Merry Christmas! 😀 Happy crafting, Cynthia

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 3, 2016 at 3:10 am

      Thanks Cynthia! I bought the little foxes. I surely do wish I could make them. Sending XO to your daughter from such talent. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Gail (@repurposedlife) November 6, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    I love your sweet little Christmas ladder! It’s sooo cute! I have an old DIY ladder (already red) that I could use as is or cut it down to size for this. Great idea!

    Thanks for sharing at our under $10 reader challenge. Good luck!


    • Reply theChelseaProject November 7, 2016 at 7:20 am

      Thanks so much Gail! Appreciate the visit. Hope your ladder works out for use in your holiday decor.

  • Reply DIY Rustic Holiday Lantern - The Chelsea Project November 7, 2016 at 6:43 am

    […] Plus a super easy tutorial for making a decorative ladder to fit your space. (Click Here) […]

  • Reply Sue November 7, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    You leave me wanting for more. Love your DIY whimsical Christmas ladder and the foxes are so unique. This should be in a big store window on display for the holidays.

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 7, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks so much, Sue .. You just know how to make my day! XOXO

  • Reply Marie from The Interior Frugalista November 7, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    It’s absolutely adorable Susie and I’m so thrilled you shared it at our Power Tool Reader Challenge link up. Good luck with the power tool giveaway!

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 8, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      Thanks Marie. There’s tough competition over there… Fingers crossed. LOL…

  • Reply Sue Purdy November 14, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    This is so adorable!!! I love it, and as always your instructions are wonderful. Thank you for sharing. I might make one for my porch.

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 15, 2016 at 6:00 am

      Thanks, Sue! Send me a picture if you make it for your porch! XoxO

  • Reply Easy Build Table with Holiday Stencil - The Chelsea Project November 17, 2016 at 4:01 am

    […] had used Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Salem Red on this decorative ladder for Christmas (Click here to see the post) and loved it so much that I thought it’d be perfect for the […]

  • Reply Red Christmas Decor - 25 Beautiful Crafts - Small Home Soul December 7, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    […] how about this awesome Little Red Ladder by Susie over at The Chelsea Project?  You could stage this little ladder so many different ways, but her Christmas Foxes are perfect I […]

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