To first get started, you’ll want to gather all the necessary supplies. While obtaining copper pieces may seem daunting, I’m sharing a little secret into which hardware store has all the supplies and the help that made it so easy! As soon as I turned over my project idea and measurements, the ever so helpful folks at Orchard Supply Hardware custom cut the correct size pieces from multiple 10 feet long copper piping for no extra charge. Major win! If you’re located in the Bay Area, the new, beautiful Fisherman’s Wharf location is the prettiest hardware store ever which makes it that much more fun! While I was there, I was pleasantly surprised to see that OSH now carries airplants in addition to a major succulent selection and a huge variety of potted plants! This project was originally inspired by the ladies behind A Beautiful Mess, but alterations in measurements is completely encouraged if you are aiming for a different size ladder! As long as you work out the measurements, you can customize the ladder to your liking and needs.
 15” pieces of 3/4″ copper pipe ·  20” pieces of 3/4″ copper pipe ·  8″ of 3/4″ copper pipe
 3/4″ copper pressure tees ·  3/4″ copper coupling ·  3/4″ copper tube caps
Brasso (Optional) · Gorilla Glue (Optional)
Once you get your supplies, the building is easy! First, you’ll want to lay out all the pieces of copper, including pressure tees and caps. Start by combining two pressure tees on each end of a 8″ copper piece by simply inserting the copper piece into the pressure tee. The tightness in each piece will vary, but generally all of my pieces were extremely tight. Because of this, I didn’t feel the need to add any glue on the inside of each piece but if you are planning on using the ladder to hold heavy items, I would definitely suggest a little bit of Gorilla Glue or something of that strength to ensure the pieces don’t loosen over time.
Once the first section is built, everything else is super easy. After you connect all the 20” prices with the 8” pieces using the pressure tees, it’s time to add the 15” pieces to the bottom of the ladder to gain height. After, simply screw on the copper caps to the four ends of the ladder and voila- you have just built a sturdy and stunning addition to your home! Before I began to decorate the ladder, I applied Brasso to the copper to make sure it looks good over time, but it’s completely optional.
Once you are done building, it’s time to add some style and design to your ladder! There are a few great additions you can use to enhance to look and function of the piece such as throw blankets, air plants and in my case, printed memories. I have always been one to print photographs throughout different stages of my life, so I was thrilled to have the pleasure of working with Mpix to have images printed straight from my Instagram feed into a Thumbprint Photo Box that I knew would look perfect on the copper ladder! The ease of ordering images straight from my feed made the entire process pain-free and probably the most fun I’ve had when ordering photographs to print!
One thing that’s really awesome about the Thumbprint Photo Box is the two printing options offered. You have the choice between 50 4×4” unmounted prints or 10 4×4” mounted prints. For this project, I chose the mounted version of my prints to ensure the thickness of the images would work perfect on the ladder, but 50 printed images? Sign me up! The set includes 4 display easels to showcase your images on your desk, shelf, fireplace, or wherever you see fit. Once you selected which images you’d like to display on the ladder, you can use fishing line to hang the pictures while creating a really clean design. I found this was the easiest day to attached the photos and because it’s so simple, the option to switch out the images every so often is completely doable!
Additionally, Mpix offers Modern Metal prints that are printed on thin medal sheets for an instant contemporary look and modern feel! Upon arrival, I was so impressed with the vividness of how the pieces turned out that the moment they showed up on my doorstep I instantly made room to display the two prints throughout our house. In addition to the metal prints, Mpix offered a large variety of Framed Prints, Holiday Cards, and endless photo gifts that would be just wonderful as gifts for the upcoming holiday season.
The photo display copper ladder was a perfect, easy afternoon project and decorating it was just as exciting as the actual building of the ladder! While the project may appear to be challenging, I promise you this was one of the more simple projects I have completed that added a super cool element to our apartment. The copper ladder paired with the amazing quality photographs from Mpix, brand new airplants from OSH and thin blankets add just the right amount of personal touch sure to be a great conversation piece.