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This was a fun and simple DIY that took only one evening with the help of my husband, Steve. I have been looking for a vintage ladder to hang a few blankets on for quite some time and never found one I loved. Then one day while rummaging through some of my thrifting finds I spotted the croquet mallets. This was the inspiration I needed for this ladder.

These are the supplies I used: 

  1. Croquet mallets (I used 5)
  2. 2 X 6 lumber 
  3. Saw
  4. Drill with wood bits
  5. Wood Glue
  6. Nail gun (or you could use a hammer or screw and screw driver)

I used a 2 X 6 board, because it is what I had lying around. You could use a 2 X 4 or whatever you like. We measured and cut it to length. I wanted it to be 7′ tall.

We then ripped the boards down to the width that I wanted which was 2 1/2″.

We then positioned the 2 boards next to each other to mark the placement for the rungs for the ladder. I spaced each rung 14″ apart.

We removed the mallet portion from each croquet mallet and cut the handle portion to length on a chop saw. We cut each croquet handle to be 22″ long.

We drilled holes in the boards that will be the sides of the ladder. Each croquet handle had a slightly different circumference, so we used several different wood drill bits for each hole. Each hole was drilled to a depth of 1/2″

Working on one side of the ladder at a time, put a little wood glue into each hole. Place the handle of the croquet mallet into each hole.

Carefully turn it over and place a nail (or screw) in the center of the croquet mallet handle through the board, securing it in place. Repeat for the other side of the ladder.

Sand any rough edges to prepare it for a finish.

I knew that I wanted this to look like an old vintage ladder, so for the finish I wanted to use the vinegar and steel wool method. To make this stain, fill a glass jar with vinegar and add a piece of steel wool. Let this sit for a couple of days and let the magic happen.

I know my “stain” jar looks pretty yucky, but I had made my vinegar & steel wool stain over a year ago for another project. I just save any unused portion for my next project. On the lower portion of the photo you can see where I have applied the stain. Brush it on with a paint brush, let it sit for a few minutes and wipe off any excess. Let dry.

To finish off my aged and vintage look for this ladder, I applied a liming wax or a white wax.

Using a stiff waxing brush, I applied the wax in a circular motion pushing the white wax into the groves and imperfections of the wood.

I let the wax dry overnight and then I buffed it with a clean cotton cloth. This gives it a silky smooth finish with a slight sheen.

Here is the final result of my staining and waxing process. Isn’t it wonderful? It looks so aged and worn, just what I was looking for.

Wasn’t this a fun and simple project? We love it when we can incorporate vintage items into our projects. Has this inspired you to incorporate some items you have lying around your home into your next project? We would love to hear from you, please share with us what you are working on.

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As always here at Sunny Side Design, we hope to


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