DIY Hanging Ladder


A couple months ago, I finished my first bathroom renovation, but the finishing touches had yet to be put on. In fact, I still don't have a toilet paper holder. Haha! But one of the latest additions to the bathroom is this rope ladder that is serving as my towel rack solution. It's all thanks to Janet Crowther, DIY mastermind, who brought my vision to life, and she also has given you FREE step-by-step instructions. 

I met Janet through Pinterest, actually. We were both part of the first and only group Pinterest Ambassadors. I had just given birth to Levi, and I had traveled all of the way to San Francisco when he was just four weeks old. It was one of those trips I didn't want to miss, so off to Pinterest we went. Janet was so kind and sweet, and after meeting her I discovered her eye for trends and design is AMAZING. She is a stylist to the core, and has a way of explaining how to do things in simple ways. Her DIYs feel approachable and achievable. No Pinterest fails with this girl! 

In fact, you can get her beautiful book, A Well-Crafted Home, to get all of her amazing DIYs. It's a fabulous gift for the holidays, and it makes a great coffee table book too. 


But back to the the ladder...Man, it was the perfect addition to the space. It doesn't take a up a lot of room, and it holds more than a typical towel rack. It also makes the space feel taller because it is hung from the ceiling to the floor.  Check out the tools and materials you need to make your own, and follow the step-by-step instructions below to make one for your home. 

(2) 1” x 48” wood round dowel
Measuring Tape
Rotary saw or hand saw
Scrap piece of flat wood
Power drill
13/32“ drill bit
6/64” drill bit
20 ft of ⅜” solid braid rope
Duck tape (best to use black if using black rope)
(8) 6D 2” finishing nails
Nail set (optional)
Natural pine wood putty (optional)



  1. Measure, mark and cut each dowel into 3 even sections (approx 16” lengths).

  2. Measure 1” in from both ends of each dowel and mark with a pencil. Holding the wood firmly,  at the 1” mark drill a 13/32” hole through the diameter of the dowel, on both ends. Make sure to drill straight up and down and that both holes are aligned. Repeat and drill through all 6 dowels. You will have 2 extra 16” dowel lengths in case one is off or for practice drilling.

  3. Load the drill with the 6/64” bit and drill into the end of each dowel perpendicular to the ⅜” holes. Going straight through the length of the dowel and right at the center of ⅜” hole. Drill both ends of all 6 dowels.

  4. Sand the ends of the dowels smooth as well as the holes. Wrap a small piece of sandpaper around your pencil to sand inside the 13/32” hole. Make it as smooth as possible so the rope doesn’t snag when threading through.

  5. Tape both ends of rope tightly with duck tape. Find the center of the rope and tape around. Cut the center of the tape creating two 10 ft lengths of rope. Fold one end of rope over onto itself at 12” and form an overhand loop knot. Pull tightly so it stays in place. Repeat on one side to the other length of rope. Make sure the loops are even in size and adjust if needed.

  6. From the bottom of one overhand loop knot measure 21” down and place a ½” piece of duck tape very tightly around. Measure 14” down from the duct tape and wrap another piece around. Repeat 2 more times measuring 14” down from each piece of tape. You should have 4 pieces of tape total. Hold the unwrapped piece of rope next to the tapped one and copy the placement, make sure the knots at the top stay even and tape placement is exactly the same on both.

  7. Lay the 2 pieces of rope on the floor about a foot apart, knots to one side. Take one dowel and slide the taped ends of rope (opposite of the knot)s through the 13/32” holes. Slide it all the way up to the top pieces of tape, the tape should be inside each dowel, hidden by the holes. Repeat with 3 more dowels bringing them up to the remaining tape stations.

  8. Make sure that all the dowels are level and even across the rope. Adjust as you go and check after each nail is placed because once you nail them in you will not be able to adjust! Starting with the top dowel, hammer one finish nail into the small drill hole on each side of the dowel. There will be a bit of resistance when you reach the rope so make sure to hammer straight and forcefully so the nail doesn’t come out where it’s not supposed to. Hammer all 8 nails into the dowels.

  9. This step is optional. If you would like a seamless look on the side, use the nail set and hammer to push the nail further into the dowel and beneath the woods surface. Then fill the small hole in with wood putty. Once the putty is dry use sandpaper to buff off any excess putty from the surface.

  10. Knot both ends of rope right under the bottom dowel. Cut the rope 2.5” from the bottom of the knots. Using your fingers separate the strands of rope and fluff them to create a tassel.

  11. To make the top knot tassels cut the short end of rope 2.5” from the bottom of the knots. Using your fingers separate the strands of rope and fluff them to create a tassel. Trim any longer strands to make even ends.

  12. Hang the ladder from the ceiling using large ceiling hooks.



This post is sponsored by PureBond. 

Our open floor plan posed a decorating challenge for me. There is an awkward, transitional space connected to our family room and our kitchen. I really didn't know how to furnish the area, and shortly after we moved in it became the toy dumping ground (see below). What I love about the space is that I can see the kids playing from every angle of our first floor, but I hated all of the toys everywhere. The room always looked messy and cluttered. So, I had the idea of creating a storage bench that would serve as both a toy box and extra seating. This would have to be a custom project, and PureBond and Pneumatic Addict were excited to help bring this idea to fruition. 

After searching through Pinterest to figure out what I wanted my bench to look like and what type of materials I would need, I reached out to Elisha from Pneumatic Addict. She is a fellow blogger with serious DIY skills. She designs and shares her plans on her blog as well as the process of how to create each DIY. When I reached out to her about this idea she told me PureBond plywood was exactly what we needed for this. Sure enough she was right. 

They sell high quality plywood in a gorgeous maple color that is sourced and manufactured in the United States. It also has a UV protectant to avoid discoloration over time, and is formaldehyde-free ensuring a safe product for my kids. A lot of times you'll see unfinished edges on plywood, but they also have a iron-on banding that matches the color perfectly to create a finished, rich look. Once we measured the area, we ordered what we needed and PureBond delivered it straight to Elisha's doorstep. You can get PureBond from your local Home Depot. 

Elisha built the frame at home and then brought it over and installed it. It took about a day of work to put it all together. One of my favorite parts of Elisha's design is how she thought to install struts on each lid so that the lids wouldn't come crashing down on Elle or Levi's fingers. When you try to pull the lid down it slowly closes no matter how much force you put on it. (Get the full design details and DIY process on Elisha's blog). 

Once it was installed, I knew I needed to put some textiles on top of the bench to make it more cozy. I'm also not a fan of the traditional banister, so pillows help disguise it a bit. I chose blues to tie in the blue in the kitchen, earth tones to tie in the family room and blush pink to tie in the dining room (all spaces you can see from this area). 

Since the kids play in this space I wanted to have a table for them to color on or play with their cars. It also serves as a great entertaining spot with comfy chairs and poufs. Adding an area really defined the spot too, and now it's obvious that this room is great for sitting and playing.

Now, I'm sure you are wondering how the kids get to their toys with all of those pillows on it. Well, the pillows are often on the floor, but because it's all very cohesive it doesn't bother me. It just feels like a cozy spot no matter if things are in disarray or in order. 

I'm so pleased with how this project turned out. Be sure to head over to Elisha's blog for the DIY details and use PureBond for your next project. Stay tuned for more updates on our family room space in the coming months.

Photos by Rennai Hoefer.



This post is sponsored by Savers.

Ugly sweater parties are the best because you don't have to worry about being in style. In fact, it's quite the opposite. The more out-of-date, the uglier your outfit is the better it is. It's as if fashion didn't exist at all - it's like Christmas and Halloween combined. A couple of months ago, I partnered with Savers to create some cool Halloween looks, so naturally, I've teamed up again with them to bring you a light up ugly sweater.

You can find all sorts of things at Savers for the holidays. Christmas ornaments, lights, tinsel and definitely a lot of sweaters that make for a great ugly sweater start.

My intern, Lauren, selected this chenille, red sweater with a zipper for me. I think my mom had something like this in the 90s. It was the perfect foundation for my light up sweater. All you need to create this sweater is a battery operated light strand, a hot glue fun and some colored pom-poms.

Position your lights first to see where you want them to go. Then squirt your glue underneath each spot and lay your lights on top. I put the lights on the back not only because I wouldn't be able to get my sweater on with the cables across the front, but because the battery pack could easily fit in my pocket that way.


I don't know if you can tell, but the sweater says "joy" in cursive. Haha, but either way it sure looks cheery with flashing lights. It's definitely a hit with the kids to say the least. Be sure to visit Savers for all of your last minute Christmas needs from decorations to ugly sweaters!

Photos by Rennai Hoefer


Pinterest is a treasure trove of hair DIY's. From voluminous "Elsa" braids to seemingly impossible up-do's, there's never a lack of hair inspiration. Pinning hair tutorials is easy, but executing them is often a very different story. (We've all seen Pinterest fails...) Many of the hair tutorials I come across require either super long, thick hair or the skill level of a professional hairstylist. My hair has just gotten to the length where it's able to be put up into a braided crown style, and the whole reason we're in search of hair DIY's is to avoid a trip to the salon, right?

If you've found yourself discouraged by hair tutorials in the past, worry not. I've rounded up some easy hair DIY's that can work on almost any hair type, and they're simple enough to execute before running out the door on a busy morning. 

Hair DIY's.jpg

In order from left to right: 

Wrap Around Pony via SELF

Half Up Bun via Kassinka 

Slicked Back via Byrdie 

Pony Tail Barettes via The Beauty Department

Braided Bangs via Style Me Pretty

Half Up Bobby Pin via Treasures and Travels 

For more hair ideas, follow along with my beauty board on Pinterest. 


We always said we would never live in the suburbs. Well, never say never folks because we are rockin' the suburbs now. Maybe the minivan will come next because we also said we would never buy one of those too. We moved away from the city because Ryan was commuting an hour each way to work and we were craving way more family time. It was bittersweet to say good-bye to our cute 1950's ranch house and buy a home in a development where all of the architecture looks the same. Afterall, it was our first house, the place we brought Elle home to and we had put a ton of work into it.  

When we found our new home we knew it would need some work to update it, but the layout and bones were perfect. Ryan and I decided the first thing that we would going to do was repaint the whole house white, replace the flooring downstairs and upstairs and get new appliances. We wanted to start with a clean slate, and the first room to tackle was the kitchen.

As I am sure you know everyone congregates in the kitchen no matter how big or small. You cook three meals a day in there, and with little ones I'm always in there getting snacks too. This kitchen had the original appliances from the 1990's. They were functioning, but the oven seemed like it was going to fall over when you opened the door. We upgraded to stainless steel Kitchen Aid appliances. Though their original oven was electric we saw there was a gas line available, so we chose a gas stove. We are super happy with everything except the fridge. It feels a bit cheap when you open the freezer. 

We chose to pain the walls and cabinets West Highland White by Sherwin Williams. We LOVE this white. It's warm and bright and not too yellow at all. For the new floors we picked out a hand-scraped hickory that had a lot of color variation. We wanted to minimize the appearance of scratches or marks, and we are sooooo happy with this choice. It goes with all of our furniture really well.

I knew I wanted to add hardware to the cabinets. I was toying with the idea of gold handles, but I would have add to change out all of the hinges because you could see the antique brass poking through. Instead, I went with antique brass modern handles from They were under $3 a handle verses $8 to $12 for gold. With 30 cabinets to accessorize you bet I went with the cheaper option. 

We weren't in love with the existing beige speckled countertops, but we didn't have the budget to replace them all. Instead, I found mini hexagon marble tiles that had some flecks of brown in them but also incorporated gray and white. By splurging on carrera marble we were able to elevate the kitchen without having to spend the extra amount on the countertops. 

We are so in love with our newly upgraded kitchen. It finally feels like "us." Sadly, however, a month after we renovated our kitchen flooded and destroyed our new floors and lower cabinets. Luckily we have some leftover wood and the damage isn't too bad, but it definitely is frustrating that we have to rip up the floors again. Oh well! That's life I guess. haha.