Tutorial: Rainbow Jacob's Ladder

Today I am running a bit behind, but here is the Jacob's Ladder tutorial as promised. This project is a bit fiddly, but the results are worth it- Jacob's Ladders are fun toys! Here's the one I made: 

Here is what you will need:  

  • wood- I used pieces from the craft store that are about 3" wide and 7" long. They are 3/16" thick. You will need enough wood to make 5 2x3" pieces
  • paper- I used different colors of origami paper 
  • ribbon- you will need 3 15" pieces of 1/4" satin ribbon
  • glue- tacky glue and a glue stick
  • xacto knife
  • saw
  • sandpaper

Mark your wood pieces to size- 2" x 3" and cut out five rectangles.

Sand the edges, 

And using the glue stick, coat the surface of the blocks with glue. Then stick on your paper, press and smooth it firmly.

Before you glue paper on the other side, use the exacto knife to trim the extra paper.

Once all your paper has been applied and trimmed, you need to mark for the ribbon placement. This makes it easier to put everything together. On one narrow end of your first block, mark at the 1" point- or the center. On the other narrow end, place a mark at the .5" point and the 1.5" point. You are going to mark all the blocks in this way, just be sure to alternate the marks- see the image below:

Now you are ready to glue your ribbon in place. I found it simpler to apply glue to all the marks ahead of time so the Jacob's ladder will be easier to put together. So add a dab of glue to each of your marks and set out your first block. Glue ribbon to the ends of the block, running the long end of the ribbon over the top of the block. Press firmly on the table to get the ribbon to stay in place. Let this first block dry for a bit, it will make the rest easier to assemble.

Now, place your second block in position, lining up the glue marks with the ribbons, and fold the ribbon snugly over the top of the second block.

You want things to be snug, but not crazy-tight because if the ribbon is too tight, the block won't move as well. Then put the third block on top, 

And continue until you have used all your blocks. I wait to trim the extra ribbon until things are good and dry. Stand the blocks up on their end and press on all the ribbons firmly.

I set mine aside to dry with a light weight on top to ensure good contact between the ribbon and the wood while it's drying. Trim the ribbons when everything is dry- your Jacob's Ladder is done! 

I am honestly not sure what tutorial I will post tomorrow- maybe something knitted, maybe something carved from wood. Depends on my whims and time tomorrow.  As a result of the last three days' tutorials,  the stockings I am making for my kids are filling up, and it makes me happy to fill them with homemade gifts. 

7 Comments