17 Easy Ideas to Decorate a Ladder for Christmas

by | Holidays

Have an old ladder laying around?  Try any of these fun ways and easy ideas to decorate a ladder for Christmas with cozy, festive style for the holiday season!  Keep reading to see how I’m decorating my old vintage ladders with Christmas decorations too!

Who else has an old wooden ladder around your home?  There was definitely a time period in the decorating world where a decorative ladder was, quite simply, a MUST!  Even though trends come and go and you may not see rustic ladder decor around as much, I think there are so many great ways to use them in your decor, no matter your style.

Decor styles ranging from farmhouse to traditional to industrial and more can easily incorporate a ladder into holiday decor!

Since it is Thrifting with the Gals day, my thrifted ladder that has hung over our dining room table for several years now seems like a fun choice to share with you!  Today, I’ll show you the two vintage ladders that I have in my home and how I love stying them at Christmas time.  Plus, I’ll share a list of other fun ways that you can use Christmas ladder decoration ideas for the festive season coming up!

Thrifting With the Gals: Monthly Decor Series

Before I get into all of the fun ways you can decorate a ladder for Christmas, let me first introduce you to some friends who love thrifted, vintage home decor as much as I do!  Every month, I join with these ladies for our monthly Thrifting With the Gals blog.  Each of us share a favorite thrifted item and how we are styling it in our homes!

We always enjoy featuring a guest host as well!  You’ll love following this monthly series, as it is full of great ideas for DIY, decor styling tips, thrifting tips, and even great places to go thrifting throughout the country!

This month, check out the holiday version of Thrifting with the Gals from:


view of Christmas tree in front of a dining room with a ladder hanging above it

17 Easy Ideas to Decorate a Ladder for Christmas

Decorate a Ladder for Christmas in the Dining Room

How to decorate an old ladder for Christmas?

Hang chandeliers from a ladder over the table

This thrifted ladder has hung over our dining room table for several years.  Since we have lower ceilings and ample recessed lighting throughout this space, I opted to not have lighting hardwired to hang over the table.  That gives me the fun option of doing some different decorating things.

My current favorite are these chandeliers, also fun thrifted finds, that hang from the ladder.  Even though they don’t offer actual lighting, I love the touch of gold and the vintage style they add to this space!

3 vintage golden chandeliers hung from a ladder over a table

Hang greenery from an old ladder over the table

One of my favorite things to do at Christmas time in this dining room space is to add greenery around the sides of the ladder.  The ladder rungs make it easy to tie the greenery and attach it securely.

We usually just use simple twine!  Sometimes I use real greenery.  However, since I love to decorate a little early, sometimes it looks a little dry by Christmas.  So, this year, I decided to order THIS very realistic faux greenery instead.

greenery strung around a ladder above a table

How to attach greenery to a ladder

How do I decorate a ladder?

The first step is to measure the side of the ladder and multiply by 2.  Allow extra length for the swag!  If you are using real greenery, it can be helpful to trim it before hanging.

Secondly, get a helper!  This is so much easier with two people…trust me!

Next, start in the middle on one side and securely attach with twine.  Since we have a wood ladder, an easy way to attach the garland is to put a small nail in the top of the ladder to loop the twine around.  This is especially helpful if you’re working with thick garland.  It just makes it a lot easier!  Zip ties are another popular choice and can also work great.

Then, you can just string the ends of the garland and attach those securely, allowing  for your preferred amount of swag.  If your garland doesn’t reach all the way to the ends, no problem!  Since you started in the middle and centered your garland, it will still look beautiful!

view of Christmas tablescape with greenery down the table and at each table setting

How to Decorate a Ladder for Christmas Over a Table

Depending on your decorating style, you can add more Christmas accents to your greenery.  Christmas ornaments are a perfect way to tie in your color scheme and add some sparkle too.  The best part is that Christmas ornaments can be a really budget-friendly way to decorate.  Check out thrift shops and yard sales throughout the year to pick up ornaments for very little extra cost to your decor!

To add ornaments to your garlands, simply use ornament hooks and hang them in the garland.

Tip: For a fragile ornament, use pipe cleaner to secure it more tightly.

I am always on the look out for pretty mercury glass ornaments and neutral colored Christmas ornaments.  Over time, I’ve collected quite very inexpensively a few old or vintage ones at flea markets.

At the same time, I added THESE gorgeous ornaments.  Even though they are too small for decorating the greenery on my ladder, I have to share them with you because I just love the vintage mercury glass look.

However, THESE beautiful ornament garlands would be absolutely perfect for adding to garlands around a rustic ladder.  I love the contrast of the old chippy look with the pretty sparkle!

Add natural elements to a ladder over a table

One year for my fall decorating, I confiscated a great pile of cut branches from the side of the road.  My ladder over our dining room table was the perfect place to style this FREE decor for the season!

For the Christmas season, you can also incorporate natural elements like pretty branches.  At the same time, if you want to use greenery like I do, you can tuck in a variety of natural elements.  Antlers and pheasant feathers would give a beautiful rustic look.  If you have access to dried hydrangeas, they would be stunning tucked into greenery around a ladder.

Another fun idea is to dry orange slices (or buy them HERE) and make a quick and simple DIY garland to add to the greenery.  These kinds of natural elements are so beautiful and are a great way to decorate without additional cost!

view of greenery hanging from a vintage ladder hung above a dinner table

Decorate a Ladder for Christmas in the Living Room

There are also a lot of fun ways to add Christmas decorations to a ladder in a living room or even an entryway by the front door.  One year, I used my vintage French ladder as a way to style a branch and little antique grain sack stockings with more dimension.  The final result was one of my favorite Christmas entryway decor styles ever!

Some years, I’ve just let the ladder be beautiful all on its own and leaned it in a corner or against a wall in the living room.  Sometimes, the best decor is the most simple!

ladder leaning against wooden cubbies that are styled with stockings and Christmas greenery

Other creative ways to decorate with a ladder for Christmas

  1. Display Christmas cards
  2. Hang Christmas stockings for the entire family
  3. Make a DIY Advent calendar with a small gift for each day
  4. Hang on the wall as a ladder shelf and display favorite ornaments
  5. String fairy lights around a blanket ladder for a more cozy look
  6. Lean a small ladder in a kitchen to display a seasonal tea towel
  7. Use an angled ladder to make a fun alternative Christmas tree
  8. Hang an old ladder on the wall and line the bottom of the ladder with pretty bottle brush trees of different heights
  9. Use a ladder on the wall as a focal point and add greenery and string lights
  10. Add wooden boards to a double ladder to make a shelf with an industrial look–this is a perfect spot to display a Christmas village!
  11. From a hanging ladder, display Christmas ornaments at different heights

What do you hang on a decorative ladder?

  • 12. Hang a ladder over a dining room table and hang string lights or and Christmas decorative items, like lanterns, as alternatives to regular dining room lighting
  • 13. Make paper snowflakes and hang from the side of a ladder, hanging on the wall or from the ceiling
  • 14. Add realistic faux garland to the sides of a ladder for seasonal style
  • 15. Hang a ladder over a dining room table and hang vintage gold chandeliers from it for an elegant style (spoiler: mine aren’t even wired!)
  • 16. Try a Christmas pennant banner or garland from the side of a vintage ladder for a festive look
  • 17. Tie wire baskets on the bottom rungs (secure tightly) and depending on the size, add cozy throw blankets or favorite seasonal children’s books for easy bedtime stories.
beautiful view of a Christmas tree and a dining room with real-touch Christmas greenery hanging from a  ladder

Well, if you don’t already have a ladder, hopefully I’ve inspired you to hunt for one!  Haha!  You could definitely tweak these ideas to use in other ways too.

However, an old wooden ladder is a lot of fun to decorate for Christmas!  Flea markets, antique malls, and vintage shops are great places to start looking!

Don’t forget to check out the other thrifted decor ideas today from the Thrifting With the Gals!  They are all linked here for your convenience and enjoyment!

vintage statue of a girl ice skating

Kristin from White Arrows Home

small black chair with a Christmas throw blanket and pillow
closeup of ironstone with red embellishments on a Christmas tablescape with candles going down the middle

And our guest host, Kelly from The Tattered Pew

centerpiece featuring a red candlestick, a demijohn, and Christmas greenery with holly berries
I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  










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