How to Do a Jacob's Ladder String

Written by julia drake
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How to Do a Jacob's Ladder String
Learn how to make string figures to show your friends. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

String games -- sometimes called cat's cradle games -- are found in cultures all over the world. By using a string loop, you can make different shapes and figures by looping and twisting the string around your fingers in different ways. Similar string projects pop up in different cultures but under different names. You can learn how to make the string representation of Jacob's Ladder, which is also known among Native Americans as Osage Diamonds.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • String loop

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place your string loop across the palm of each hand. The string should rest behind each thumb and pinky finger.

  2. 2

    Take you right index finger and pick up the string that is resting across the palm of your left hand. Pull your hands apart so that the string is taut. Take your left index finger and reach across and pick up the string resting across the palm of your right hand. Pull your hands apart.

  3. 3

    Drop the string that is looped around your thumbs, and then reach your thumbs under all the strings to pick up the farthest pinky string.

  4. 4

    Move each thumb over the top index finger string and pick up the index finger string that is farthest away from you. Drop the string that is looped around each pinky finger, making sure that the string remains on your index fingers and thumbs.

  5. 5

    Reach each pinky finger over the index finger string and pick up the thumb string that is farthest away from you. Release the string on your thumbs, making sure to keep the string on your pinky and index fingers.

  6. 6

    Reach each thumb across both index finger strings and pick up the nearest pinky string. Take your right index finger and thumb and reach over and pick up the left index finger string and loop it behind your left thumb. Make sure that you pick up the index finger string that is nearest to your left thumb.

  7. 7

    Take your left index finger and thumb and reach over and pick up the right index finger string and loop it behind your right thumb. Make sure that you are picking up the index finger string that is nearest to your right thumb.

  8. 8

    Use your right index finger and thumb and remove the bottom string that is looped around your left thumb. Use your left index finger and thumb and remove the bottom string that is looped around you right thumb.

  9. 9

    Take your index fingers and move them down into the triangle space that forms directly in front of each thumb. Keeping your index fingers in the triangle spaces, slowly drop the string from your pinkies but keep the string around your thumbs.

  10. 10

    Turn your hands so that your palms are facing away from you. Pull your hands apart to tighten the string and create Jacob's Ladder.

Tips and warnings

  • It might take you two or three tries before you make Jacob's Ladder. If you miss a step or mess up, just start back at the beginning. Go slow and keep the string taut throughout each step.

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