The Little Stepladder That Could!

We have been so fortunate to have some perfect summer weather - low to average humidity with temperatures in the low 80's...just perfect for a little DIY on something that was trash! Let me show you the little stepladder I found in a trash heap.  That's right, I have no shame...and I'm so glad, because I love how it came out!
Here's how I found it:
Dirty and rickety are the best words to describe it. 
Someone tried to stabilize it with nails.  Needless to say, it didn't work!
It had cuts, dings, and paint drips all over it, and it was FREE!  

Time to make it pretty.  The first step was to wash it with good ol' soap and water.
After its bath, the only thing I did to prep it was to hammer those nails back in so they weren't a 'catching' hazard.  Since it will never be used as a ladder, I wasn't worried about stabilizing it, and I wanted to be able to fold it up again when it gets put away for the winter.
I grabbed some leftover white chalk paint, watered it down 50/50, and gave it 2 coats of paint.
I didn't fuss at all since it was going to be distressed with sandpaper.  As soon as it dried, out came the sandpaper and it looked like this:
 The rivets and nails got some distressing too!
After a couple of coats of clear spray sealant, the little stepladder was done!
I found a couple of leftover petunia plants at the nursery for a dollar each and grabbed two planters at the dollar store.  $4 later, the ladder was 'styled' and on the front porch.  The petunias aren't in the best of shape, but they're looking better every day!
Of course, I added one of my ladybugs...
You can read more about the ladybugs I made HERE.  If you'd like one, I still have a few available.
Just a few hours (including dry-time) and this project was complete.  With all of the outdoor work we've been doing, an easy project like this, was a welcome change! 

What have you been up to this summer? 


 I hope you'll pin, share, comment, and follow.  If you click on those 3 little lines at the top right of the blog, you'll see where to find me!


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Comments

  1. Oh my goodness this is lovely...and I have that EXACT ladder. I found it at the curb. Painting it has been on the list forever. You have inspired me...and PS...love the red accents....and those ladybugs!

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    1. Thank you, Kim. Mine has been sitting around for awhile too and I finally decided to get it done since it's such a quick and easy project. I'm so glad I've inspired you...I'll be watching for yours!

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Ann

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  2. Hi Ann - that's really cute. Love the ladybug - how can I get one?

    Thanks,
    Sheila

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    1. Thank you, Sheila - emailed you the information.

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  3. Love cute little ladders and yours was free - can't best that! Cute makeover. Jane

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    1. Thank you, Jane! Free is my favorite word! LOL
      So glad you stopped by...

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  4. This is such a great save, this little ladder could have had a sad and lonely existence in a rubbish dump somewhere - what a terrible thought!

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    1. I couldn't let that happen, Julie. I think it's much better to have it sitting on my front porch!
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. The ladder came out great and looks pretty with the flowers. Thanks for sharing at Cooking and Crafting with J&J.

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  6. I love your ladder!Like you, I'm a fan of roadside freebies . . .got a beautiful primitive stool that way and still use it. I have a little ladder like yours, painted it gold. I keep moving it around with the seasons, inside and out, to make different displays. They're so versatile! Enjoyed our post,
    Cheryl

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    1. That gold ladder must be beautiful! I'll have to stop by your blog to take a peek.
      Thanks for stopping by, Cheryl. I hope you'll come back again soon!

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  7. Hi Ann, I lost track of you and saw you on Marilyns WW this week.
    How have you been?
    Your little step ladder makeover is so cute please stop by and share on #omhgww this week!
    Have a great week!
    Karren

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    1. I am doing well, Karren - so nice to 'see' you again! I sent you a little 'catching-up' email.

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  8. Such a great project, I really like having items to set plants on to give more interest to the veranda!

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    1. Me too, Carole! Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Sometimes, it's the simplest things that give the most joy. Love the little ladybugs, too. Great project!

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    1. So true! I'm so glad you stopped by - come back again soon!

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  10. Oh my gosh, this is absolutely beautiful! I love the colors and how it turned out. Thanks for sharing at To Grandma's House We Go!

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    1. Thank you, Chas. I think this is one of my quickest DIY projects!
      Happy to share...

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  11. I'm loving that lady bug. Nice change for the ladder. Sometimes it looks like a miracle.

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    1. Thank you, Michele. Sometimes the simplest projects turn out to be the best!
      So glad you stopped by.

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  12. It turned out really cute and it looks great with the red accents!

    Tania

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    1. Thank you, Tania... I'm pretty pleased with the results!

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  13. What an adorable idea! I'm going to keep my eyes out for a step ladder like this! Thanks for the inspiration! From The Blogger’s Pit Stop

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    1. I'm happy to inspire, Denise! Good luck with your search!

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  14. Great makeover! How cute! Thank you for sharing on Merry Monday! Hope to see ya next week!
    Kim

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    1. Thank you, Kim...always happy to share!

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  15. Great upcycle idea. I want to find a little wooden step ladder too. Happy Summer, Kippi

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    1. Thank you, Kippi. I hope you find one!
      So glad you stopped by - come back again soon!

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  16. I just redid a step ladder similar to yours. I'm deciding where I want to place it and how I want to style it. Thanks for the inspiration, and sharing on Sunday's Best.

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    1. Happy to inspire, Rhonda. Thanks for stopping by!


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  17. Anne,
    You know I love that step ladder makeover. I am a sucker for those ladders. Stop by Over The Moon Party since you are being featured.
    Hugs,
    Bev

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    1. They really are a fun makeover! Thank you so much for the feature...I'll be by...

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  18. Super cute, Ann. I love your ladybug, too! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

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  19. Your new plant stand looks awesome. To think that I once threw out a step ladder the same as yours - kicking myself. #handmadeMonday

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    1. I think we've all done that, Pam. I had a vanity when I was growing up that I gave away...wishing I had it now!
      Thank you for visiting the Cottage. Come back again soon.

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  20. Adorable.

    I did something simular with an old wooden doll stool/chair.

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    1. Thank you. They really are a great find.
      So glad you stopped by!

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  21. That really turned into quite the stunner Ann!

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    1. Thank you, Mary. It certainly came a long way from where it started!

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  22. Cute project! Thanks for sharing at TFT!

    Amber
    https://followtheyellowbrickhome.com

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    1. Thanks you, Amber, always a pleasure to share!

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  23. What a sweet little make-over Ann!
    Thank you for sharing at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I'm delighted to be featuring your shabby step ladder at tonight's party and pinning too.

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    1. Thank you so much, Kerryanne. You made my day...dealing with tendonitis this week has been a real bummer, so this is a real 'pick me up'!

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  24. Ann,
    I love your ladder. I have three of them and one kinds sort of like yours did. Maybe I should give it a makeover. They are so handy and I use the them all the time. I haven't used one for decor but after seeing yours, I just might have to.
    Hugs,
    Bev

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    1. Thanks, Bev. This year it's in my flower garden with the Swan planter on top. I have morning glories growing all over it. I like to change things up!

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