Make your own bamboo ladder

Bamboo is a fast-growing, renewable and extremely versatile resource. Lashed together with twine, it can be used to make a classic bamboo ladder.

Words and styling Sarah Heeringa. Photography Amanda Reelick

You will need:

· 3 bamboo poles (2–3m each), garden loppers, marker pen, craft knife or another sharp knife, cutting board, strong twine

Step 1: Cut two of the bamboo poles to the height you want the ladder to be. Trim away any side shoots.

Step 2: Cut the remaining bamboo pole into a series of smaller lengths (4–5 pieces at 0.5m or less). This is the width of your ladder. You can make these bars all the same or vary them in length for a subtly triangulated ladder shape.

Step 3: Lay the two long bamboo lengths on the ground with the bottoms of the poles lined up. Mark on each pole where you want the horizontal bars to go. Use your knife and cutting board to carefully cut a notch at each mark. (This needs to be deep enough to stop the twine from sliding down the pole.)

Step 4: Cut the twine into approximately 60cm lengths. Tie a piece of twine around the pole at a notch. Lay a horizontal bar across it and wrap the twine tightly around both poles several times to lash them together. Repeat with all bars. Lean the ladder against a wall and gently test the ladder’s strength. If necessary, secure cross bars with an extra string. 

Photo finish

You can either leave your ladder with the natural colour, which, over time, will lose its green hue as the bamboo dries. Or if you wish, you can paint your ladder; do so either before or after you tie it together with twine, depending on whether you want the twine painted over as well or left natural.

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