How to Make a Paper Ladder

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Things You'll Need

  • letter-size paper

  • scissors

Origami, from the Japanese words "ori" (to fold) and "kami" (paper), is the art of folding paper into sculptures. When paper was first introduced into Japan in the Sixth Century, folding it became an art form and has since evolved into many types. Rick Nordal and other members of the origami listserv compiled a list of more than 80 types of origami, from traditional to animal to food origami.


One of the simplest things to make in origami is a paper ladder. Babysitters, teachers and daycare staff can use these steps to teach children how to make a paper ladder for themselves.

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Step 1

Place the paper flat on a table with the short side nearest you.


Step 2

Make a half-inch fold on the side nearest you. The folded end of the paper should now be pointing away from you.

Step 3

Make four or five more tight, small folds in the same direction, creasing the paper well each time. It is important that the folds stay creased throughout the remaining steps. Use your fingernail to make sure the creases stay in the paper.


Step 4

Roll the remainder of the paper loosely in the same direction around the creased section until you have a tube. The creased section should be in the middle of the tube and should not unfold.

Step 5

Cut the tube twice about three inches from each end. The cuts should be two-thirds of the way through the diameter of the tube, including the folded section. Be careful not to cut all the way through the creases because severing the folds will not produce a ladder.


Step 6

Bend each end of the tube in the same direction at right angles to the tube at each cut, making sure the creased part lies at the bottom of the middle tube. Now you have a one-rung ladder; the bent ends form the feet of the ladder.

Step 7

Cut along the top of the rolled part of the middle so you can see the creased part. Do not cut the creases.

Step 8

Grasp the creased part in the middle and pull it up and out of the feet to reveal a ladder with many rungs.


Practice on a sheet of letter-sized paper then graduate to making ladders out of newspaper.


When cutting the paper tube in Steps Five and Seven, cut only part of the way through the folded section. Severing the folded section will ruin the ladder.


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