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How to Make a Miniature Ladder

This is a tutorial that shows you how to make a realistic looking miniature ladder. This is the kind of wooden ladder that you might see in a dungeon or some kind of a medieval scene. I made this ladder for my fantasy wall diorama tutorial. Below is a picture of the final product. It is a wooden style ladder that has been lashed together by rope. This is a part of my tutorial on how to make a massive wall diorama. That project is a comprehensive wall mounted diorama that has a lot of different aspects to it including an underground castle, a dragon in his lair, a gold mine and much more. You can check out that project and see videos here: The Massive Fantasy Wall Diorama


Picture of a Miniature Ladder


The process for making this ladder is pretty simple.

Cut the balsa wood

I cut a sheet of balsa wood into strips so they were a about 1/4 inch thick. For the two upright parts of the ladder I cut strips about 4 1/2 inches long and for the steps of the ladder I cut a bunch of strips that were about 3/4 of an inch long.

If there are going to be miniatures in your scene to go along with the ladder you should use a miniature as a frame of reference for the size of the ladder and the steps.


Glue steps

Space your two upright pieces at a distance that looks accurate. For my ladder they are 3/4 inch apart. - And tape them down to the table so they are easy to work with.

Then glue the steps at even intervals. I used a hot glue gun which works really well.


Be sure the steps stick out a little bit on both sides of the ladder. This will make the lashing of the rope easier.


Paint the ladder

Once the glue has dried you can paint the ladder. Various shades of brown usually work well.


Cut string

Get yourself some string, cut small lengths and tie it in X patterns around each rung of the ladder.

String can be a bit tricky and the string I have shown here on the spool is too thick for this ladder. But it is composed of several strands so i just teased out each strand and used them.

Once you have tied the string in an X pattern put a dab of glue or hot glue on it, in the back, to hold it in place. Once the glue dries you can trim the excess string.

It is easier to complete each rung before starting on the next one.


The string is complete

Once you have tied and glued all the x shaped ropes on the ladder you can paint the rope a shade of yellowish brown. Try to get a color that is old fashioned rope. It's kind of a faded yellow brown.

You can see that my ladder has points on the bottom. This is so I can easily press it into my foam dioramas. You should trim your ladder to size needed.


Picture of a Miniature Ladder

The completed ladder im place and ready for the adventurer to use.


A miniature beehive

Sculpting a miniature beehive

This is a fun and easy project that only takes an hour. Just a few pieces of balsa wood and some paint are all you need to make this miniature beehive


Miniature Tree

How to Make realistic Miniature Trees - This tutorial (with a video) shows you how to make great looking miniature trees. The focus here is on using clay to sculpt the trunk. Make realistic Miniature trees