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Ladder upcycling: Giving new life to an old ladder

I’ve had this ladder longer than I can remember. It’s moved with me almost 15 times over the years and each time I moved I kept thinking, “I need to get a stronger, safer ladder.” I finally did, leaving me to figure out what to do with the old one.

Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus ladder upcycling

It’s made of aluminum and not too sturdy, so I was thinking of donating it to the Salvation Army. But as I removed it from the shed and set it up, I had an epiphany: Why not paint it and use it as a garden planter?

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I recently painted my shed and had enough paint for the ladder, too. I was excited about the idea of upcycling the ladder, giving it a new purpose and placing it in my garden.

Out came the paint and supplies and the painting began.

After two coats, the ladder was looking pretty spiffy. Now to find the perfect spot in my garden for it.

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I recently had some challenges with my very energetic dog, Callie, who loves to run around the shed at high speed (she’s part border collie and part husky). I wanted to stop her from doing that, so the ladder was positioned near the entrance to the back of the shed.

As you can see, she was not a happy camper but I was! Problem solved.

With the ladder painted, it was ready for styling.

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I really did have a lot of fun thinking about ideas and items that would look amazing on the ladder. As you can see, I gathered a variety of plants (including some that would trail), dollar store red pots, and a white long planter I found in the shed.

Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus ladder upcycling

After placing the plants on the rungs, I added some garden accessories to really complete the look. A sign, a birdhouse and a couple of small birds add that special touch.

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As you can see, to really add interest I staggered the plants and accessories on either side of the ladder, giving some movement to the overall display.

I am so happy with the transformation! Guests just love how unique and welcoming that corner is.

There’s no nicer feeling than sitting on my deck with my coffee (or wine) and enjoying looking out over my gardens. Not bad for an idea that from start to finish took about three hours.

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What do you have around your home that you could transform and repurpose to add to your garden?

Happy hunting!

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About the Author

Sue Pitchforth Decor Therapy Plus

Sue Pitchforth

Sue Pitchforth of Decor Therapy Plus is an international award-winning designer and Readers’ Choice winner for eight years in a row. Sue is a TV personality and professional speaker who takes a refreshingly unique and inexpensive approach to design that yields luxurious results. Believing your home is an expression of your life and personality, Sue says most people usually have a lot of what they need, they just don’t know it. She uses her popular workshops and seminars to inspire homeowners and her newest program is Design & Property Styling from a Distance. Having recently relocated to Ottawa, Sue is thrilled to be here and is already helping homeowners make the most of their spaces.

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