How To Build a Ladder Rope

Rope ladders are flexible ladders made mostly from pieces of rope. These types of ladders are easy to store and are useful for places where a rigid ladder is not practical. These types of ladders are great for backyard tree houses as well as in multi-story homes to create a way of exiting the top floors of house in case evacuation was necessary.

One way of constructing a rope ladder does not require anything more than a length of rope (no tools or other materials are necessary).

  1. Measure approximately 50-feet of 3/8-inch diameter high strength rope.  This should make a rope ladder that is approximately 9 feet long and consists of 7 rungs approximately 14 inches apart.  The amount of rope will vary depending on the desired length, and the number and width of the ladder rungs.
  2. Place the rope on a flat surface so that it forms a “U” shape.
  3. Measure one foot of rope from the end of the right side of the “U” shape.
  4. To form the rungs of the rope ladder, bend the one foot length of rope that was just measured into an “S” shape.  Make sure that the width of the “S” measures the length that you want your ladder rung.
  5. Using the left side of the rope, weave through the “S” shape that was just formed.
  6. To create the ladder rung, run the rope through the top, left bend of the “S.”  Then weave the rope up over the top of the “S” and then under the bottom curve.
  7. Wrap the rope around the “S” shape several times to create the rung of the ladder.
  8. Once the rung is completed, tie the rope off by bringing the rope through the right bend of the “S” shape.
  9. Tighten any slack out of the coiled section, pulling the rope at both ends. This will complete the first rung of the ladder.
  10. Repeat steps 2 through 7, alternating bends and coils to create rungs until the desired ladder length is reached.
  11. Remove any excess rope as necessary.

Another way to construct a rope ladder requires both rope and a second material.

  1. Cut two pieces of rope that are a little longer than the desired length of the ladder. Make sure to you have enough extra rope on each piece to tie the knots that will support each of the rungs.
  2. Drill holes in wood or metal rungs that will be large enough for the rope to slide through.
  3. Tie a knot in each of the side pieces of rope.
  4. Slide the rung under the first set of knots, tying a second set of knots just below to secure the rung into place.
  5. Repeat this process for each rung.


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