How to Make a Jacob's Ladder With a Rope

The term Jacob’s Ladder can refer to a multitude of things. For example, it is the name of a house plant; it is a particular type of electrical arc; and it is a biblical term that refers to Jacob’s vision of a stairway or ladder between Heaven and earth. Clearly, none of the above Jacob’s Ladders are made of rope.

Mariners identify a Jacob’s Ladder as a rope ladder with inflexible rungs, and you can make a ladder that nearly fits this description entirely of rope.

Find the centre of your rope. Tie a simple knot at the centre to make a loop for hanging your rope ladder. Fold the rope in half and hold both strands of rope together crossing the folded centre end over both strands. Bring it back up through the loop you created. Pull both ends tightly and straighten your knot.

Secure the folded loop in some way to keep tension on the project as you work. You can hook it over something or you can hold it taut between your feet (this method will become increasingly difficult as your rope ladder grows in length). Decide how much space you want between rungs. These instructions assume approximately 1 ½ feet between rungs.

Separate the two strands of rope. Measure approximately 1 ½ feet from the top loop of the left-hand strand. Hold the strand in your left hand at that point and with your right hand make a 6-inch loop from your left hand to the right, and back to your left hand.

Pinch the loop between your left thumb and forefinger and pull the strand back to the right. You should see three segments extending from left to right; the end of the strand should hang down on the right side.

Continue to hold your left-hand loops with your left hand as you pick up the right strand of rope. Run the right strand through the loop on the right at the top of your three segments; bring it under the bottom segment and wrap it around all three segments.

Continue to wrap the three segments with the right-hand strand until you have completed a rang of sufficient width (keep it narrow for greater strength). On your final wrap, bring the right-hand strand through the loop on the left side of the rang.

Measure 1 ½ feet on the new left-hand strand and repeat the entire process until your rope reaches the desired length. Clean up your knots and loops as you would any knotted project.