Cool, compact DIY ladder stencil organizer

Cool, compact DKY ladder stencil organizer :
Well guys, I think I solved a massive stencil storage issue over the past couple of days.

Build It Bloghop on
And I have this Organize Build Challenge to thank! Because there is truly nothing like a deadline.

I’m teaming up with 8 other bloggers to showcase DIY builds that help you organize! They are linked up below my post.

To those of you new to my blog, welcome! I’m Donna with Funky Junk, and love decorating with salvaged junk!

You can check out more of my work HERE.

So here’s my little, easy brainstorm…

Cool, compact DKY ladder stencil organizer as a craft workstation with paint cart and rustic table top wall shelf :
BAM. A cool, compact DIY ladder stencil organizer that is so easy to make, any non builder type could tackle this one as well!

workstation before

This is my photo studio, where I generally just take pictures.

But the DIY part has taken over here, because it’s the only room that has the best light. Of course…

So I had a big problem to solve. I really needed a work station AND stencil organizer that didn’t take much room. Because in all honestly, this wall is all I have to work with that won’t be in the way of photos.

(I have a surplus of stencils because I carry my own line… but this would be great for those with less too! Just make it narrower!)

If you remember, I use to store the stencils on this NO BUILD organizer HERE.

Great idea if you have the space, but it blocked light and was a little too bulky for the room.

The making of a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
While using some stencils, I had quickly hung these up on these photo prop ladders, when the brainstorm struck…

Why not make a custom ladder so the stencils could hang straight down?

Well, it exceeded my expectations. It does work! And it’s simple to move out of the way for photos if need be too!

Here’s how I did it:

Note: The double rung storage only works in a room corner. If placed on a flat wall, you will loose the upper rung storage due to the hanging apparatus too close to the wall.

What you’ll need (all affiliate links below)

2 2x4s
closet dowel rods
cordless drill with drill bit and screwdriver bit
saw / I used a miter saw
sanding sponge or (I used) this Bosch palm sander
hanging apparatus (I really like these wooden clip hangers!)

How to make a DIY ladder

2x4s and closet dowels are all you need! The making of a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
Making a DIY ladder is so easy! So if you can’t land one you love, make your own in just a few minutes.

1. Cut 2x4s to length desired.

2. Decide how wide you’d like your ladder, then cut dowels as needed.

3. Introduce new supplies to cats, so they can be friends. Check.

Painting closet dowels for a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
4. Paint cut dowels, if desired.

I used Fusion Mineral Paint coal black, (affiliate link) so I didn’t have to prime nor overcoat. Best cheater paint ever!

Measuring 2x4s for a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
I had to build my ladder at night (bad pics!), so here’s exactly how I did it showcasing props:

5. Place 2x4s against the wall, and decide where you need the dowels. Mark with a pencil.

6. Lay the 2x4s on the floor, and mark exact placement with an X.

Drilling pilot holes for a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
7. Pre-drill a pilot hole in each placement in the 2x4s.

Inserting screws for a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
8. Start a screw in each hole.

Attaching dowel to 2x4 with Makita drill while making a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
9. While holding one side of the dowel, attach to 2x4s with screws from the outside.

The making a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
10. DONE. How easy is it to build your own ladder?!

HERE’S how I built a ladder using branches. Very quirky!

stencils hung from vintage hangers on a dowel / The making a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
Punching holes in the stencils along a corner, they were slipped onto vintage hangers.

Friend Kim Six had an even better idea… pick up clip pant hangers so the stencils can hang straight down! Brilliant.

Cheap, metal shower hooks are another thought!

storing paint supplies in an old crate / The making a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
Now, the honest part. This ladder is flimsy due to only using two dowels for support. Adding more will make your ladder much sturdier.

My reason is so this crate could be placed in the bottom for extra paint storage.

The ladder sits perfectly, and being so light weight, as long as it’s moved carefully, it shouldn’t break.

an old table top turned into a storage wall shelf / The making a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
an old table top turned into a storage wall shelf / The making a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
For a drop station for paint supplies, this old table top fit perfectly!

THIS RUSTY TOOL WORKSTATION is loaded with other fun ideas to store your stuff. 

an old table top turned into a storage wall shelf / The making a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
I needed this station to work for stencilling, so all my necessary gear is here.

Note paper, pencils for marking centres of boards, masking tape, brushes, paint used for the current project, etc.

an old table top turned into a storage wall shelf / The making a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
cupboard side loaded with paint brush storage / The making a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
Also helping out is this old curb found cabinet turned into a paint cart. 

cupboard side loaded with tool storage / The making a DIY ladder stencil organizer :
The sides are heavily utilized to store more gear. And with the cart on wheels, it’s also easy to move around.

You’ll notice the cart is really only used for a table top and a few tools… that’s because I always seem to gut it quickly to use in shoots! So leaving it emptier is a bonus, yet still handy.

Cool, compact DKY ladder stencil organizer as a craft workstation with paint cart and rustic table top wall shelf :

I’m so in LOVE with this new little workstation! Thanks to yet another ladder.. of sorts. 🙂

What could you use custom, modified DIY ladder for?

Learn more about Old Sign Stencils HERE.

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Ready to see more organizing builds? Check out all these new projects by my building friends below!

Build it Challenge

That’s My Letter

The House of Wood


Pneumatic Addict

Sawdust 2 Stitches

The Kim Six Fix

My Love 2 Create

The Ugly Duckling House

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Categories: All Cool Projects, DIY, Junk Drawer, Old Sign Stencils, Organizing
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  1. Your ladder is awesome, and that wood you used for the legs…swoon! I love it’s rustic goodness. Seriously Donna you make everything look pretty!

  2. Great project, Donna! I think Kim mentioned this, but those clamp hangers made for pants (not the clip ones) might come in handy here to keep hang the stencils without bending. You could avoid holes altogether, but the only downside is it wouldn’t really have the vintage look. Love that you snapped a pic of the cats inspect your project… Charlie does it to me all the time too!

    • Sarah I was just going to comment also about the clamp pant hangers, I have old ones that are wood and metal!!! so if she could find some of those it would still look vintage 🙂 DONNA I simply love this whole idea and my cats do the same thing, there isn’t anything I can do without them hovering and inspecting projects before and after I complete them lol

  3. That’s brilliant Donna. I especially love the paint work station and need to figure something out for myself up in my studio. I’m always making a cluttered situation up there using my supplies and not taking the time to put them back. Some sort of custom shelving system would really help.

  4. That’s a super idea, Donna, and as an added bonus, it looks great too! You must be so pleased. (Love your fluffy helpers!)

    If you recall, I’ve mentioned before that I now live in a condo – one bedroom plus a den. The decor in the main area doesn’t lend itself too well to some of your decor projects but whenever I can, I try to work your ideas into my small den. Even though I have sort of a “glam” look in the main area, I love your decor style and am SO glad I didn’t part with my rustic-looking crates, frames, old windows, etc! I think I need two residences though (lol!) as I love what you do but am limited due to space.