An old ladder gets retired to my closet as a ladder shoe rack!

Dec 21 2015
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I used this ladder in my closet for years hanging all of my high heals and scarves and such. It made such a lovely sight and was convenient as well. But everything on it ended up collecting a lot of dust and with my closet makeover it made a lot more sense for me to store them differently. That left the ladder though in limbo. Because of our chimney location in the master bedroom there has always been an awkward space beside Lodi’s closet and it turned out to fit this ladder perfectly!

Like most guys I know Lodi has a number of belts and lots of hats and I had the perfect solution.

I added hooks all down the side of the ladder for hats and belts just lay over the rungs.

It works great for him! You can see it in action here in our newest master bedroom reveal.

An old ladder gets retired to a new job as a ladder shoe rack in my closet for all of my high heals, throws, scarves, diy wood working

Its pretty amazing to read back and realize how much has changed here at Grandma’s house! Here is the original post:

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has seen the amazing things done with old ladders on pinterest! My favorite of all time was an old ladder shoe rack and I just happened to have an old ladder myself!

It was Grandpa’s and was used out here on the farm for many decades before being hung up on the side of the old garage where it hung for years upon years, just waiting for retirement.

I never have the heart to part with anything I can make use out of and, from day one upon seeing this ladder, I tucked it away for just this purpose in my master bedroom closet!

I knew it would make a fantastic ladder shoe rack for all of my high heels and, not to mention, beautiful throws and scarfs that I keep collecting… Ok, maybe “hoarding” would be another way of putting it, but I love them! And, I’m certain, one day I will wear them all at some point…

UPDATE: Go and check out my Master Closet reveal to see this project in action!

An old ladder off the farm is retired into a ladder shoe rack in our master bedroom closet @GrandmasHousDIYAn old ladder off the farm is retired into a ladder shoe rack in our master bedroom closet @GrandmasHousDIY

You can see at the top of the ladder it still holds that AMAZING old hardware. You can’t really see it in the pictures but one of the rungs on the ladder was actually broken off one side and, initially, I had planned to make my cut to remove that so all of the rungs would be really stable.

However, after making my measurements, I realized I would have to cut the top off the ladder to remove the broken rung and, thus, lose that beautiful old hardware. So, that was a no go!

So, I cut the bottom off of the ladder and I was left with a mini ladder with four rungs that will definitely be finding another purpose somewhere in my home!

I love the dark gray of the wood, I love the old paint spills probably from when Grandpa painted the barn or the house decades ago!

When I made the cuts to remove the bottom portion of the ladder, I cut them at an angle with my jig saw so it would stand and lean better. I also put felt stickers on the bottom to protect my hardwood floors from my new ladder shoe rack.

An old ladder off the farm is retired into a ladder shoe rack in our master bedroom closet @GrandmasHousDIYAn old ladder off the farm is retired into a ladder shoe rack in our master bedroom closet @GrandmasHousDIY

I had the perfect spot in my master bedroom closet for the ladder, tucked in the corner across from my white tufted leather hassock and right beside the door to my bathroom.

I started digging and found all of my high heels and pretty throws that have been in storage for three years! I do believe I am do for a time to dress up all pretty and wear those high heels! As a ladder shoe rack I can’t believe how well it works!

I was actually disappointed to realize that I had purged all but five pairs of heels from my collection when I moved two years ago.

I might be a bit of a hoarder but, when it comes to things I won’t use, I’m just the opposite, if its going to be in a bin in storage for ten years without my ever looking at it, touching it, or needing it, I’m going to donate it. Which is what I did with what must have been at least a dozen pairs of high heels that I never wore.

An old ladder off the farm is retired into a ladder shoe rack in my master bedroom closet @GrandmasHousDIYAn old ladder off the farm is retired into a ladder shoe rack in my  master bedroom closet @GrandmasHousDIYAn old ladder off the farm is retired into a ladder shoe rack in our master bedroom closet @GrandmasHousDIY

I did not, however, get rid of a single scarf or throw and I am so glad I didn’t! Now I have a beautiful place to hang all of them and shoe them off with the few high heels I have left!

The old hardware at the top of the ladder was perfect for dangling several of my pretty throws. And all of the rungs (even the broken one!) supported the rest of my scarfs, throws and shoes with no problem!

I can’t believe just how much use that can be had out of an old ladder! I wish I had a couple more of them because I would definitely put one in my living room as a blanket rack!

Thanks for stopping by guys and please consider sharing my ladder shoe rack – every share and visit helps keep my little farm running and helps me with future projects too! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

An old ladder off the farm is retired into a ladder shoe rack in our master bedroom closet @GrandmasHousDIYOld antique wood ladder wooden working show rack in our master bedroom for high heals how to diy do it yourself upcycling recycling


  1. December 24, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I love this!! How clever! Your dark walls and that bathroom!!! Gorgeous!!!

  2. chris aka monkey
    December 26, 2015 at 4:56 am

    i love how you have so much respect for your grands stuff, i am 66 and it is so nice to see xx pinned

  3. May 12, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Very clever use of your ladder. I’m going to remember this idea. ‘-)

  4. May 18, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Such a clever idea, Tarah! It’s as if it were made to hold shoes. I wish I had the space for one–maybe if I move a few things around…thanks so much for linking up with Vintage Charm 🙂

  5. June 30, 2016 at 1:01 am

    Absolute genius Tarah! I adore old ladders too. This is so clever. Thanks for sharing at Five Star Frou-Frou this week. Love, Mimi xxx

  6. July 5, 2016 at 8:37 am

    What a wonderful solution! I’d like to feature this post today at Tuesdays with a Twist! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  7. July 20, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing on Welcome Home Wednesday

  8. August 9, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY link up!

  9. August 16, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Love it! It turned out just great. Good job. Thanks for sharing with #overthemoon!

  10. August 22, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Such a genius idea. Thank you for sharing with us at #HomeMattersParty. We would love to have again next week.

    • August 22, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Sahana, thank you for coming by!!

  11. September 1, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I love this!

    Here from the Homestead Blog Hop!


  12. September 2, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    I love the ladder! Thank you for sharing it at SYC! xx Jo

  13. September 4, 2016 at 5:45 am

    That’s a fun idea~and who doesn’t need more storage space in an old house, plus it makes a gorgeous display.

    Thanks for sharing this at Throwback Thursday this week.


  14. Jann Olson
    September 6, 2016 at 3:29 am

    I have a bit of a ladder fetish! I have a similar one leaning against my porch pillar with a Clematis growing up it. Love what you did with yours, and yes; I love the character that the chippiness and paint splatters give to it! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    • September 6, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Jann, I totally get! Old ladders are SO cool, I have two others that I’m trying to come up with something to do with, one from each of my Grandpa’s 🙂 Thanks for coming by!

  15. September 7, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    What a great idea! I love old ladders and this is an extremely clever way to use one! Thanks for sharing!

  16. September 7, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Tarah, what an awesome idea! Like you I purged a lot of my older heels when I was cleaning out my closet. When it comes to clothes and shoes I use the 1 year rule. If you haven’t worn it in a year it’s time to donate it. I wish my closet was large enough to do this. I love it! Thanks for sharing with us at #SimplifyWednesdays Pinned, Shared, Tweeted

    • September 7, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      Hey Carla, my biggest fault when it comes to keeping clothes is that they’re still “nice” and “good” so I want to keep them even though somehow along the way I got to hate them and will probably never wear them lol. So, now I keep a donate bin right there in my closet for my husband and me, if I put it on and don’t like it for a split second I take it off and throw it in the bin! Thanks for commenting!!

  17. September 9, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Oh, I love this! Ladders are useful in so many ways. It looks like the ladder you salvaged has the perfect amount of rustic charm, too.

    • September 9, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you! I love being able to recycle things like this from my grandparents when a lot of folks would just scrap them!

  18. September 9, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    What a neat idea!!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  19. September 12, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    I love this old ladder. How lovely and looks so much better in your room. Thank you for sharing at Dishing it and Digging it link party.

  20. September 13, 2016 at 12:45 am

    wow! This is the cutest shoe/scarf holder I have seen yet! LOVE it! And that rusty hardware at the top is a major score, glad you kept those rusty gems attached!

    • September 13, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks Audra! As soon as I saw the old hardware I knew I had to keep it!

  21. September 13, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Such a cute idea! I love how you can see all the scarves at a glance!

  22. September 16, 2016 at 1:52 am

    What a beautiful ladder, and I’m glad you saved the top hardware. Thanks for sharing your great project at Together on Tuesdays 🙂

  23. September 17, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    That’s a great way of utilizing old pieces. I have an old ladder in my place too that I love but don’t have anything hanging on it. It just serves as decor.

  24. October 10, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Love this transformation! What a unique way to use a ladder. I’ve seen them as blanket holders before but never as a shoe holder!

  25. October 12, 2016 at 2:38 am

    What a unique, creative, and beautiful idea! I love it (and I love the worn look of that ladder)!

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely evening.

  26. Julie Syl Pit Stop Crew
    October 15, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    What a brilliant idea to repurpose a old ladder. Something pretty clever I must say. Thanks for sharing at the Pit Stop!

    • October 17, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you Julie! I love that I have a safe place for my high heals now!

  27. February 1, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    What a creative idea! My wife loves old ladders and wants to do something like this! Love how it turned out, thanks for sharing!

    • February 2, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      It was SO easy Ryan! And it really turned into one of my favorite projects! Thanks for stopping by!

  28. March 31, 2017 at 11:26 am

    It is so nice when a project turns out well and ends up being just what you wanted it to be! Your ladder rack looks great.

  29. April 4, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Love this! Such a good idea. Thanks for sharing at the Friday at the Fire Station link-up!

  30. May 1, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Hi Taralynn. I really enjoy reading your posts that include a repurpose of a family heirloom. Its a beautiful thing to see. This ladder is perfect what a great keepsake and useful article as well.

  31. June 6, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I love the idea! Thanks for sharing at Sew It Cook It Craft It.

  32. June 15, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    That is so nifty! Funny thing – last night I was talking to the fiancé about redoing our closets and had a vision of using a ladder in it! <3 So this is just fabulous! (:

    • June 15, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      Thanks so much Emily! I can’t believe how well it works for my shoes and everything!

  33. June 22, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I don’t wear heels because I am tall, but I can see how this project could be revamped. So awesome pinned and shared, followed you from the Thoughtful Thursdays party.

  34. July 19, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    It’s nice to see the way your project turned out… looks wonderful! 🙂

  35. Mac
    September 19, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I love how you value things from your loved ones and turn them into something more useful. Thank you for the inspiration!

  36. October 28, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    This is so fab! I just love your posts – most people would just take stuff to the dump but you find wonderful new uses for them. Awesome. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  37. December 9, 2017 at 12:07 am

    What a great idea for a ladder. I have seen them used in bathrooms to hold bath towels. Either way, I love re-use! #ThatFridayLinky xoxo

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