How to Make a Bamboo Ladder

Written by shawna kennedy
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How to Make a Bamboo Ladder
Decorative ladders add a touch of traditional Asian culture to your home. (bamboo ladder image by Craig Hanson from

Bamboo is growing in popularity with homeowners, not only for its beauty but for its ecological benefits. Bamboo is not a tree but a quick-growing grass that can be grown and harvested sustainably. An individual bamboo stalk can grow several inches thick and up to 70 feet tall. Bamboo ladders have been used in Asia for centuries. Building a beautiful decorative ladder for your home is fairly easy and requires few tools.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2 bamboo poles, 2 inches diameter and 72 inches long
  • 1 bamboo pole, 1 1/4 inches diameter and 72 inches long
  • Sisal or heavy twine
  • Steel wool
  • Workbench
  • Clamp
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Sharp knife
  • Hot glue gun with glue sticks

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  1. 1

    Wipe the bamboo poles with steel wool to remove any residue or dirt.

  2. 2

    Secure the 1 1/4 inch bamboo pole to the workbench with a clamp.

  3. 3

    Measure four lengths on the pole--one of 16 inches, two of 18 inches and one of 20 inches--and mark them with pencil.

  4. 4

    Cut the lengths with a saw, rotating the pole to avoid splitting the bamboo, to make the ladder rungs. Set the lengths aside.

  5. 5

    Take the two long poles and lay them parallel on your workbench. Spread one end of the poles 16 inches apart and the other end 12 inches apart. The ladder will be 4 inches wider at the bottom than the top.

  6. 6

    Measure 19 inches from the bottom of the pole for the lowest rang and mark both poles at this point. From those marks, measure at 15-inch intervals for placement of the remaining three rungs.

  7. 7

    Place the 20-inch bamboo rang on top of the long bamboo poles and over the lowest pair of marks. Use the hot glue to glue the cross bar in place. Repeat with the two 18-inch rungs and then the 16-inch rang. Let the glue dry.

  8. 8

    Cut the sisal or heavy twine into eight equal lengths, each piece approximately 12 1/2 inches long.

  9. 9

    Secure the sisal with a dab of glue to the rang over the vertical bamboo poles. Let the glue dry. Using an X pattern, wrap the sisal around the rang and the vertical pole. This will give the ends of the rungs a decorative look. Tuck the end of the sisal under the X to hide it and secure with glue.

Tips and warnings

  • Let your ladder dry for 24 hours before using it.
  • This ladder looks beautiful as a towel rack in your bathroom.
  • This ladder is for decorative purposes; do not stand on it.

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