Thursday, May 22, 2014

diy blanket ladder - a how NOT to tutorial

between my desire to feel cozy and my mother's obsession love of knitting, i have found myself with many blankets over the years and they all hold special memories.

my purple blanket my sister got me for my freshman dorm has depaul university written in big letters across the front and it brings back memories of covering up with it every afternoon that first year of college to take a much needed nap, the pink serape blanket alex and i picked up in mexico while we were on our honeymoon came in very handy when we landed in north carolina - it may have been 80 in cancun but was below freezing in charlotte and i still had on shorts! alex's grey uncg blanket that has a dozen garlic butter stains on it (i'm not sure how or why but if we are eating papa johns we inevitably spill the garlic butter and it always manages to land on that particular blanket), and my two very favorite blankets that my mom made me, and i'm not just saying that so she'll make me more, they really are my favorites!

our wedding present from my mom was a cream colored hand knit wool blanket. when i curl up on the couch with it i always feel like someone should take my picture and photoshop in a fireplace and put in on the cover of country living magazine. it's that pretty. or maybe i just want to be on the cover of a magazine.

this past christmas my mom handed me and my sister similarly wrapped presents and told us to open them at the same time. if you have siblings and you've ever been asked to open something at the same time you just know you're about to unwrap something that matches that your parents thought you'd  both love and you're preparing yourself with an academy award winning "oooh! i love it! how cute!!" followed by "oh my gaw what were they thinking?!" to each other as soon as they aren't looking.

but fortunately, when it comes to my mom, we always open the coolest stuff! finger-less gloves, infinity scarves, and this last christmas she out did herself:

100% cashmere blankets. she felted dozens of cashmere sweaters, cut them into squares, arranged the colors, and sewed them together.

if you've never had a cashmere blanket i feel sorry for you. i had no idea what i was missing out on but it's truly the most cozy, soft, warm, lovely thing i've ever owned.

my mom used different colors that go best with our personalities. my sister got the calm, neutral colors, the ones that say, "hi, i live a life of focus and chic sophistication and i have good taste." and i got all the bright colors, the ones that are like, "heeeeeeeeeey!!!!!!" they fit us well :)

with the cold winter wrapping up i didn't know what to do with all of my beautiful blankets. i didn't want to pack them away but they also take up a lot of space so i took to pinterest, of course. i saw lots diy blanket ladders and got to work!

we had a chuppah at our wedding and i've kept the wooden dowels from it hoping to make something out of them to commemorate our wedding and this seemed like the perfect opportunity!

i'll admit that our first attempt at making this ladder was the closest i've ever come to checking myself into a mental hospital. all those diy bloggers made the project seem so easy. HA! we spent hours measuring, remeasuring, drilling holes, and gluing the rungs into the 2x4's only to have them pop out and get wood glue all over the floor, trying again and again and again until i actually got to the point where i thought it just wasn't going to work. but we finally got the rungs to stick long enough and we put weights on them so they'd dry in place only to leave it overnight to dry and find out that they'd slipped out of the holes and dried unconnected to the rest of the ladder.

i about lost my freaking mind. alex just stood there watching me. i grabbed that ladder and stormed outside, started banging it as hard as i could against the pavement and then threw the broken, mangled mess off the side of our deck and let out a roar that didn't even sound like me.

alex: what on earth just happened?
me: i freaked out! i got irrationally mad and lost it!!!!

it took me weeks to calm down and get over whatever it was that came over me. when i asked alex to help me try again with a new method he made me promise i wouldn't throw anything this time.

i obliged. we skipped the evil wood glue this time and just drilled quarter inch holes in the 2x4's and then drilled screws in to keep the dowels in place.

a little walnut stain, a coat of paint, some sanding, and a few curse words later....i have a cool ladder to hang my beautiful blankets on year round!

***ok, i would just like to say that everything written above this was done before i actually finished the ladder. you know, back when i thought it would turn out well***

i sent my mom a picture of the completed ladder and her reaction, the woman who loves everything i say and do, said "umm...well, hmmm..maybe it won't look as crappy once you put the blankets on it..."

yeah. so it didn't turn out like i had hoped. i was going for rustic chic and i got this:

 maybe it looks a little better with the blankets on it. now that it's mostly covered you can't see as much of the awfulness.  i did exactly what the other girl did! i used to same stain, the same paint, the same sander. hers looked like a beautiful, rustic antique ladder you see in a home decor magazine. mine looks like i found it in a scrap yard. so maybe it's not a total pinterest fail but it also isn't something i should be proudly blogging about. if 'not exactly what i was going for' ever goes into style this ladder will be so cute.

this made me also realize my career in placing blankets gracefully across the rungs of ladder will probably never take off...

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