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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When viewing these instructions, keep in mind that you can modify any of my measurements. If you want a shorter ladder, make less rungs and use shorter string. :) Use different beads, etc. Get creative! Make sure your beads will fit the rope, though!



*** special thanks to my younger brother for posing and being the hand model in the following pictures***


REQUIRED TIME FOR PROJECT: (not counting driving to get supplies) approximately an hour and a half, the sawing and sanding can take quite a while

So, I got bored today. I remembered seeing a cute little rope ladder for sale once. I planned from memory. And, now, rope ladder!

I also made one for my little brother. I let him design the bead pattern and let him assemble it (I created all the ladder rungs for him). He loved it and was super excited about it. If you have kids or nieces/nephews, letting them bead it might be an awesome little project for them. It'll be something they made, too, which they will think is freakin' awesome. :)

If I had to describe the difficultly level of this project, I'd give it a 5 out of 10. Creating the rungs is hard, but assembling the ladder itself is pretty easy. I am a complete novice with power tools, but I found using the drill easy. The hand saw is a bit tiring, and the sanding, too, but overall not to hard.


the lovely (and terrified of the camera) Mr. Cuckoo Ricochet modeling the new toy and my bro's hand

TOOLS YOU'LL NEED:
1) hand saw (you could try a power saw, but I find it splinters and cracks horribly)
2) electric drill with appropriate drill bit, small (for drilling holes into the ladder rungs, make sure your string will fit through. See below for pictures of dowel and ideal hole size)
3) very coarse sandpaper (for smoothing splinters)
4) Dust mask or bandanna/cloth (to cover nose and mouth)
5) protective eye gear (for when sawing/sanding)
6) ruler
7) scissors (cutting hemp)

SUPPLIES:
1) Bucket o' beads ($4.99 at Micheal's Craft store. Bring a coupon! Whatever beads you do use, make sure they fit your string.)
2) around 70 inches of natural hemp rope (around $2 for 10 yards of thick-ish at same store)
3) two metal hook loops STAINLESS STEEL!!!! (3.49 a piece at True Value. Can be found any hardware store. Hook loop is not correct terminology, but they should be in with the key rings, etc.)
4) one appropriately sized, in relation to budgie feet, pine dowel 48" long (can be found at true value. I think they were a dollar a piece. You can get other length dowels, but make sure you have enough for the amount of rungs you want to cut out.)

STEP ONE: making the rungs

This is the intense portion of the process.



1) with a pencil, mark the 48" pine dowel into 4 inch intervals. Each rung is going to be 4 inches. Put on protective eye gear. It may be a hand saw, but a splinter may still get into your eyes. Take the hand saw and cut the dowel where you've marked. In the end, you should have 12 separate pieces; however, I only used 11 in my ladder. I tried a power saw at first and it annihilated one of the rungs. If you can manage a power saw on these, though, more power to you. No pun intended.



2) Eye gear should still be on. Now that you have your little rungs, they need holes. Measure 1/4 inch in from each end of the rung (if you are confused, see picture farther below of the final rungs). Mark the spots for holes with your pencil. Be sure to make sure the holes are lined up to one another. Otherwise, the ladder will be crooked. To get them even with one another, I recommend lying a ruler on a table, lying the rung directly next to it, then marking along the edge of the ruler, which will ensure the holes are even to one another. When drilling, make sure you don't drill into any tables, unless you want to drill holes in them. ;)



3) Now, get that mask/ bandanna /cloth. Wrap it over your mouth and nose. Eye gear, if it wraps snugly to your face, should still be on. If there are any splinters or rough edges on your rungs, sand them down. This can be time consuming, but it will ensure your budgie doesn't hurt his feet. The mask will spare your lungs the dust. If the dowels have a paint marking on one end to indicate size, sand it off to be safe. I sanded the ends of the rungs to, to soften their appearance as well as get ride of any splinters or sharp edges.

4) Now you have rungs!!! (see picture below)



STEP 2: the fun part



1)take two pieces of equal sized hemp. I'd recommend around 33 inches, which will give you wiggle room for mistakes/etc. Weave one piece through a hole in a rung.


2) Begin beading the rope. I used 7 beads, which measured 2 inches, in between the rungs. After you finish beading each section, do NOT tie or knot the rope at all yet. There will only be four knots in the entirety of the rope ladder and they will come at the very end.



3) Add another rung, bead again. Repeat process until desired length.



4) Now, there should be empty rope at each end of the ladder. Bead 9 beads on both pieces of rope at one end of the ladder.



5) Take one bead and thread both pieces of rope into it. Tie a TIGHT knot up at the top of this. Make sure the bead cannot slip past it. Knot multiple times if needed. Repeat this for the other end of the ladder. Make sure that the rope does not go slack and become too exposed between the beads. It will make the ladder easy to break. Yummy chewable hemp is very alluring, after all.



5 Tie a hook loop at each end. I didn't use any special knots. Just keep tying and tying until you get a thick little ball of hemp secured to the hook. I left two little danglers hanging off because I figured the bird would like to chew on it.

And you're done!!







Regarding the hook loops: I only used one on each end of the ladder because my hardware store only had two in stock. They won't get more until Monday. My little bro is waiting on clips for his shorter ladders, which annoys me. :/ I'll see how the bird likes it this way. If it proves too swing-y, I'll put two hook loops on each end. The bird may like it better a little rock-y. We'll see. If I do redo it, I'll post pictures and instructions on how to modify.

Good Luck!
If you make one, why not post pictures, too? Preferably on this thread so people can see the variations (if you've done some or not) for inspiration. :)

:budgie:
 

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Oooh, that is pretty cool! I know Finnigan would love that, he loves things that have beads and shiny things:rolleyes:

Thanks for posting these instructions. I will make it a sticky!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@ spikydavies thanks :)

@helloyo53 wow, thanks! I'm honored it's a sticky. You could get shinier beads than I used, too. Wooden beads could be substituted as well, though they aren't shiny. If you try it, be sure to post pictures if you can. :)
 

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@ spikydavies thanks :)

@helloyo53 wow, thanks! I'm honored it's a sticky. You could get shinier beads than I used, too. Wooden beads could be substituted as well, though they aren't shiny. If you try it, be sure to post pictures if you can. :)
It was a great post, and very helpful, it deserved to be stickied!:)

I would never use wooden beads for Finnigan, he would be very unhappy that there is nothing shiny on it!:p I think I will try this one of these days. Ahh, procrastinating again!:rolleyes:
 

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Ooooooh
I'm going to make on of these.... a long one for my beautiful two.

I'll post pics after I do it.

Thank you!!!

Karma :D
 

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I love DIY's.
The ladder looks great!

I gotta get me some beads now, the proper way I mean. :D
 

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Wow! Rebecca, what a great post. Very clear instructions and nice clear photos that were especially good with your cute budgie demonstrating! I'm inspired and plan to make one. Another form of the ladder would be to just have a hook at one end and have it a swinging type ladder. Of course make it shorter and maybe a bell on the bottom. My birds already have a swinging ladder though, so I'd like to make them one just like yours.:D Thanks for posting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@ all thanks! Definitely give it a go. I can't wait to see pictures.

@ Maple Thanks. I've never actually seen a ladder with a bell on the bottom. That would be awesome. My budgie is positively bell-obsessed. I call his favorite "Wilson" after the volleyball from the movie Cast Away. In case you haven't seen the movie, it's about a man stuck on an empty island. A volleyball floats ashore. He paints a face on it, calls it Wilson, talks to it. Anyways, I digress, I hope you make one and post pictures.
 

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@ all thanks! Definitely give it a go. I can't wait to see pictures.

@ Maple Thanks. I've never actually seen a ladder with a bell on the bottom. That would be awesome. My budgie is positively bell-obsessed. I call his favorite "Wilson" after the volleyball from the movie Cast Away. In case you haven't seen the movie, it's about a man stuck on an empty island. A volleyball floats ashore. He paints a face on it, calls it Wilson, talks to it. Anyways, I digress, I hope you make one and post pictures.
Ah, yes Rebecca, I know Wilson well! Great movie.
Ok I'm cheating. Here's a hanging ladder I didn't make. But will give you the idea.

I think your design could easily be done this way too. I've seen ones like mine that are a few rungs longer as well. The first one I'd like to make is just like the one you made, but maybe if I do ok with that, I'll do a long hanging one as well. I'll post pics. Thanks again for your great instructions!
 

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Great post. I've been meaning to make my birds something like this. Just need to get my hubby to cut the dowel for me.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@ maple that ladder is wicked cool with those bells. I had thought about making a ladder with natural wood rungs, but I was too lazy to get around to it yet. I wanted to make little chunks of woods for the beads (by cutting branches into half inch portions and drilling a hole into them), but the wood just broke apart. I wanted something natural looking to pair with the natural branches. I've made multiple natural wood perches for both my bird and my brothers. They love them, especially my brother's. She literally gnawed all the bark off two of them. I think I definitely need to make a hanging bell ladder for his play trees now. :D

@tstmard If he opts for a power saw and he can actually not splinter/crack the wood with a power saw, I'd love to hear about it. Maybe my power saw just *****. I had to do it all by handsaw, but I managed. Good luck. :D

@horsecrazy202 Thanks. Post pictures when you make it! :D

@ann Awesome! Thanks for the karma, too. :)
 

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I like the idea of those clips to hold it at either end.:) That ladder is similar to something I'd been planning on making for Midge and May. I've got all the parts, but just hadn't started. Rather than making the rungs myself (although I DO have a drill and a hand saw!!), I had picked up a couple of small beaded ladders which were mounted on wire, and was going to use the beads and rungs from them to create one ladder using string instead of wire which would be much more flexible than the wire one, and also the exact size I want for the cage. How to fasten it was the one thing I hadn't quite figured out, so I'll have to go looking for a couple of those. I take it they come in varying sizes. I want to sling it between the two rope perches. I'm hoping the flexibility will prevent Midge from chewing up the rungs, as I've lost count of the number of ladders she's chewed up. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Some of the clips were quite large. There is a decent variety and size variance for stainless steel clips at most hardware stores. I wish you the best of luck. It sounds like it's going to be awesome! You could also opt to have two clips per end (one on each ending rope rather than combining them like I did), which might stabilize it more, although my budgie does seem to like hopping around and swinging on it so far. :)
 

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I'm planning to get all the supplies for mine locally if I can. But at some point I'd like to order from the following Canadian website:

http://www.birdyboredombusters.com/

I think I originally saw this place mentioned here at talk budgies. Figure it would be fun to get some stuff from there and make toys next winter. It''s all bird safe and they sell those hooks as well.
 
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