While in Knoxville, Tennessee one weekend, I happened upon a thrift shop that had a pile of goodies outside their dumpster. After confirming that the pile was indeed discarded items… and that they were free!… I plucked one unsuspecting item from the pile.
So which one did I choose?
The ladder back chair! It had a broken, semi-rotted leg that had rendered it “tossable”…for someone who clearly doesn’t upcycle. The rest of it, however, was totally usable…just not for sitting! This post contains affiliate link for your crafting convenience.
After packing it in the car for the trip home, I presented it to Mr. Power Tools (read: Jon) who promptly cut off the ladder back for my project-to-be.
And that project-to-be? A scarf rack to hang on the back of our closet door!
I wiped it clean, and though I didn’t want to paint it, I did give it a nice buffing with some Annie Sloan wax- just to give it a little shine and smooth over its rough spots.
To make it hangable, we attached some D-ring hangers to the top of the back side.
I also wanted extra hooks on the front, in addition to the ladder slats. My solution? Old silverplate spoons!
I have a whole stash of vintage flatware…and while these are just too large for my cameo pendants, I was fairly certain that they’d make for perfect scarf hooks!
To make them into hooks, we first poked holes in the center of each spoon with an awl, drilled through them with a small bit, and partially bent the spoon handles.
Then, we simply attached the spoons to the front of the ladder back and finished bending up the handles to make hooks!
The final step was to finish the hanging mechanism. I strung some heavy-gauge picture-hanging wire between the two D-ring hangers, and secured the ends by wrapping it around itself many times.
And that’s it- super simple, and wonderfully functional- a ladder back rack!
Obviously, it could be used for any number of things…neckties, belts, etc. But my vintage scarves (thanks, Kate DiNatale!) needed some storage space…and now they have it.
As an optional, but helpful step, I added a couple of felt pads (like you use for furniture feet) on the back of the rack to keep it from banging against the door when it’s opened and closed.
Cute, right? And from a dumpster, no less.