Making something with your hands is one of the most rewarding experiences. Whether it is gardening, building, painting or even writing.
I was walking through one of my favorite antique stores, and saw a bundle of gorgeous reclaimed tobacco wood. I immediately thought of a blanket ladder.
I bought four sticks about five feet long: two for the sides of the ladder and two to be cut in half for the rungs.
I took the ladder back home to my parent’s house. And, I thought making the ladder would be as easy as using a hand saw and hammering some nails.
I asked my dad “where is the hand saw,” and y’all should have seen his face. He started asking about why I needed a saw and what I wanted to do. He got up from what he was doing (relaxing) and headed to the garage full of his tools.
He helped me measure and plan the ladder. He also cut the wood, which in hindsight I was wholly unqualified to do. My dad helped me put the ladder together, and a cheap way to get my blankets off the floor became one of the most meaningful pieces I have in our home.
As we grow older, our relationship with our parents change. I am fortunate, and I think this transition has been easier than expected (though challenging and intentional). Now my dad can share his passion for craft beer and my mom and I can spend an afternoon looking at home magazines.
But, this afternoon with my dad was a window into the part of our relationship that isn’t as pronounced anymore. I needed help and my dad came to the rescue by passing on knowledge and helping me achieve my goals.
While I recommend building this ladder with someone you love, it is not required. This was fairly easy. And, while the electric saw helped, it was not necessary.
Here are some tips from our experience:
- I wanted a rustic look so the wood is not cut completely uniform.
- The ladder is about 4 feet tall
- The rungs were made by cutting two 5-foot sticks in half.
- The rungs are screwed into the sides, and nailed to stop the screws from swiveling.
- We made sure the bottom of the sides were level to stop the ladder from leaning crooked. And, we made sure every rung was level as well.
- I sanded down some of the wood so that the wood would not snag any blankets. I wanted to keep the old look of the wood.
My total investment in this was $16. And, the 45 minutes of quality time spent with my dad was priceless.