Creating an antique ladder memo board & frame

Repurpose flea market finds like an antique ladder, to make a great display board, chalkboard, magnetic board or frame.

Step-by-Step Directions


Trim any rough areas of your ladder with utility shears or utility knife. Sand areas smooth (be careful not to sand too much or you'll get down to new wood, which will lose the charm of the old ladder).


Wipe clean using a rag dampened with denatured alcohol (work in well-ventilated area). Brush on a coat of linseed oil. This will "oil" the wood, darken it slightly and bring out the grain of the wood. Let dry.


Measure openings and decide what you are going to display. You may want to trace an outline through ladder with a pencil. Since some of the rungs are uneven, it's better than just measuring the opening.


  • For a picture or antique type sign: position and tack in place with flat head nails.

  • For a corkboard: cut cork to fit the opening. Cut with a sharp utility knife. Secure with Loctite® Power Grab® and small brad nails.

  • For a chalkboard: there is chalkboard paint available (spray or brush on). You can also use book cover paper – the material is black and you can write on it with chalk. Also, it’s waterproof so you can wipe clean with a damp rag or eraser. Cut piece of cork to fit opening. Now adhere chalkboard paper to cork using Loctite® Spray Adhesive. Adhere to back of ladder with Loctite Power Grab and small brad nails.

  • For a magnetic board: cut sheet metal to size with tin snips. Secure with Loctite Power Grab and small brad nails.

  • Loctite Power Grab is GREENGUARD™ Certified so you never have to worry about indoor air quality. This makes Power Grab ideal for use in office buildings, hotels and motels, apartment complexes and schools.