How to Build a Step Ladder: A Quick and Easy Guide

Stair ladders are perfect for reaching high places, where other steps simply won’t reach. They’re also really useful for indoor and outdoor usage and come in a variety of heights. This guide will help you to build a step ladder of any size by yourself.

Where to use a small step ladder

A step ladder is definitely a useful thing for your home. You can use it in a playhouse, loft, or bunk bed. It’s also perfect for the outdoors when you need to reach something high up on a tree or get into a window. You can even take it with you when you go camping!

How to build your own small step ladder

So, you decided to make a step ladder, but where to start? Read this guide to be sure that you know everything about this.


For the first, you’ll require a sufficient amount of decent wood. The wood you select should be of a good sturdy variety, so it doesn’t easily break. The amount needed would depend on how large the ladder you desire is. Four pieces of 36″ long wood will make a small step ladder.


  1. Tape Measure;
  2. Saw (circular saw or handsaw);
  3. Hammer or Nail Gun;
  4. Drill with bit slightly smaller in diameter than your screws/nails.

Optional Materials:

  • Paint or Stain;
  • Handrail (if desired).

Now that you have all of your materials, let’s get started! 

Step-by-step guide of the building process

The great thing about making your own step ladder is that you can customize it to fit your needs. The height and width of the steps will depend on how tall and wide you want them to be. Here are the basic steps: 

  1. First, you’ll want to measure and cut the four pieces of wood according to the height and width you want your steps to be. Cut four pieces of wood that are each 36″ long.
  2. Drill two holes in each piece of wood (be sure to measure!). If you are using screws, pre-drill your screw holes before driving in the screws. It is also a good idea to use washers on the screws so that they don’t pull through the wood too easily.
  3. Now take care about the steps. You should make sure that each step is the same height and depth. This will ensure safe climbing. You can use a spirit level to get these right, or simply place a piece of wood on each side of the ladder and mark out where you need to cut.
  4. Once your steps are cut to size, it’s time to add the railing. The railing is optional, but it’s highly recommended for safety reasons. Measure how wide you want your handrail to be and then cut two pieces of wood that are this width.
  5. Finish off your ladder by sanding all the edges with some fine-grit sandpaper. This will help keep everyone safe when using your new ladder!
  6. Finally, apply a coat (or two) of your favorite paint.

That’s it! You now have your own small step ladder. Be sure to test it out before using it for the first time to make sure that it is stable and can hold your weight. Enjoy!