Make a Jacobs Ladder Toy - Instructions & Photos

jacobs ladder toy

The Jacobs Ladder toy is a fun optical illusion and toy. I'll show you how to make one with things from around the house, without any special tools.


In case you've never seen one, here's a wooden Jacobs ladder toy in action:

And here's one I made out of blocks of chocolate (I'm serious!):

So now you have two choices:

  1. Make one from wood
  2. Make one from chocolate


Build a Jacobs Ladder Wood Toy

A nice youtube video on how to make one out of blocks of wood and lengths of ribbon (not my video):


Choc Jacobs Ladder Toy Materials

Traditionally, these toys are made from wood and ribbon. But I didn't have any blocks of wood lying around, maybe you don't either. Luckily, there's another material that's perfect - chocolate! Yes, that's right folks, I'm going to show you how to make an edible Jacobs ladder. What could be a better homemade gift for kids than a toy you can eat?

All you need is:

  • 6 small blocks of chocolate (I found some Christmas-themed mini-blocks, but I think Kit Kats could work well too)
  • 2 sheets of paper of different colors
  • Adhesive tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

jacobs ladder toy materials


Make a Jacobs Ladder Toy from Chocolate!

Don't freak out at the number of steps. The only reason there are so many is because I broke it down into tiny, do-able steps. I promise you it's really easy to make!

Step 1

Cut out 9 thin strips of green paper and 6 thin strips of red paper, or whatever two colors you've chosen. Each strip should be as long as two blocks of chocolate laid end-to-end, and about 1/4 as wide as a block of chocolate.

jacobs ladder toy instructions step 1

Step 2

Put a block of chocolate on the table with the nice side up. Stick on three green strip of paper using adhesive tape. Two on the left, and one on the right, like in the picture below:

jacobs ladder toy instructions step 2

Step 3

Put another block of chocolate on the table, nice side down. Similar to the previous step, stick on three red strips of paper using adhesive tape. Two on the left, and one on the right, like in the picture below:

jacobs ladder toy instructions step 3

Step 4

Repeat the previous steps until you have 3 blocks of chocolate with green strips of paper, and 2 blocks of chocolate with red strips of paper. You should also have 1 block of chocolate with nothing stuck to it. Here's a picture of what all the blocks of chocolate should look like now:

jacobs ladder toy instructions step 4

Step 5

Take one of the blocks with green strips and put it face-down like this:

jacobs ladder toy instructions step 5

Step 6

Then fold the strips over the top of the block like this:

jacobs ladder toy instructions step 6

Step 7

Put one of the blocks with red strips face up on top of the first block:

jacobs ladder toy instructions step 7

Step 8

Fold the green ends over and tape them onto the second block:

jacobs ladder toy instructions step 8

Step 9

Fold the red strips over the second block like this:

jacobs ladder toy instructions step 9

Step 10

Place another block with green strips on top, face down. Basically, whenever you add a new block, you always put it so that the strips of paper are on the underside.

jacobs ladder toy instructions step 10

Step 11

Fold the red strips over and tape them onto the top block:

jacobs ladder toy instructions step 11

Step 12

Keep adding the rest of the chocolate blocks, alternating between ones with green strips and ones with red strips. The very last block you add will be the one that doesn't have any strips. Place it on the top of the pile:

jacobs ladder toy instructions step 12

Then fold over the green strips from the block underneath, and tape them on:

jacobs ladder toy instructions step 12b

Finished!

This is the finished Jacobs ladder toy:

jacobs ladder toy stretched out

And here it is stretched out:

jacobs ladder toy stacked

And here it is in action again:

Well done on finishing it! How did it turn out? I hope you found my Jacobs Ladder toy instructions clear. If you have any comments or suggestions on my instructions, or just want to say hi, then please contact me with this handy form


What next?

Looking for more stuff to make? Why not take a peek at:
Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas
How to Make Friendship Bracelets



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