How to Decorate a Primitive Ladder

Written by erika marie
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How to Decorate a Primitive Ladder
Use antique wooden ladders to decorate. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Ladders have become a common accessory in many decorating styles. They add height and display options for a variety of decorative items. They are suitable for any room in your home and easily accessorised for functional display. Use either a straight ladder that leans against the wall or a small stepladder that can stand free. Decorate it with accessories that coordinate with your room. Your ladder will emphasise the simplicity and warmth of primitive decorating.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Garland
  • Tin lantern
  • Textiles
  • Plants
  • Metal plant baskets
  • Hooks
  • Primitive accessories

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  1. 1

    Position the ladder where it will be a focal point. If you plan to place live plants on the ladder, consider the lighting requirements. Lean a wall supporting ladder against the wall so it is steady, or open a freestanding step ladder and lock the hinges in place.

  2. 2

    Wrap pip berry or grapevine garland around the ladder. Twist it around one side and across a few rungs or across the top and let it drape down both sides for a natural look. For a more rustic look, use rusty star wire.

  3. 3

    Hang an old or reproduction tin lantern from one of the rungs. Stand it on the top step of a freestanding ladder. Decorate the lantern with berry garland, a homespun ribbon and a battery-operated grubby primitive candle, if desired.

  4. 4

    Drape textiles over a rang. Use a small quilt, homespun table linen or a hand-knit throw for a sitting room or bedroom, or towels for a bathroom or kitchen.

  5. 5

    Place plants in metal baskets with hooks and hang them from the rungs. Stagger their placement for best visual impact. Hang one near the top right and one on a centre rang to the left. For a freestanding ladder, stand the plants in old, weathered pots on one or two steps.

  6. 6

    Tuck in a few small primitive accessories, like a barn star, basket or crow, to fill in bare spots. Hang them from bare rungs or stand them on the steps on a freestanding ladder.

Tips and warnings

  • To add functionality to your ladder, hang magazines over the rungs.
  • Use artificial potted plants, dried, real or artificial flowers, or place berry pips in baskets or glass jars in place of real plants.

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