Make It: Rope and Wooden Tree Ladder

Rope Ladder From Below Tree - How to make a rope and wooden tree ladder.

We have been blessed with some pretty amazing weather down here in Houston the past few weeks. As a result, there has been quite a bit of tree climbing going on in our front yard. And not just by our children. We have even been finding other family’s children up in our tree on occasion! Which we totally love by the way. And although the big kids had no problem getting up, thanks to our oldest daughter’s climbing gear and ingenuity, the little ones were left on the ground. Or worse yet, parents had to hoist and catch their babes into and out of the tree. No bueno, right?

Instead of going out and buying a ladder I decided to make one. This isn’t my typical “woodworking” project in that I only had to make few small cuts with a chop saw but it was fun nevertheless! And it was as simple as could be.

How to make a rope and wooden tree ladder - Supplies


– Wooden Dowel Rods – 1-1/4″ , cut to 18 in long

Twisted Nylon Rope, measured to the length from the ground to the limb the ladder will be hung from X 2 plus 4 feet.

DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint

– Paint Brush

Rustoleum Painter’s Touch in Matte Clear


Miter Saw


spade drill bit, 1/2 in

Measuring Tape


painting black crosses, polka dots, fun painting

The whole project is super simple and the first thing I tackled was adding fun designs to the ladder rungs. This is totally not necessary but adds a fun detail. Let me just say though, I grossly underestimated the difficulty of painting on a curved surface! I came *this* close to telling you a white lie by saying the kids did this part…

Measuring for Holes - DIY Rope and Wooden Tree Ladder

DIY Rope and Wooden Tree Ladder, Drill Dewalt

Once I painted all of the ladder rungs and coated them with a quick spray of clear spray paint for protection, I set aside one of them to serve as the guide for the rope and the rest of the ladder rungs. Each rung is 18 inches so I went in 3 inches on each side and using the clamp to hold the rung in place I drilled a hole for the rope to go through. A knot would be tied in the rope below the hole to keep it from slipping when it came time to assemble.

how to tie a knot for a Rope and Wooden Tree Ladder

After the holes were drilled, I went to work assembling each step using this easy method of tying knots for rope ladders. Each step was approximately a foot apart. All in all there were a total of 6 steps.

How to make a rope ladder for a tree, kids climbing a tree

See all the monkeys in the tree? I couldn’t keep them out and they are out there playing even as I write this!