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Jacob’s Ladder Icicles

Jacob's Ladder Icicle Ornament steps
This icicle ornament isn’t hanging on a Christmas tree, but hey, it’s JULY!!

I like to have each of my classes make a special ornament for Christmas each year. Here’s an easy paper icicle that’s fun for 1st grade and up. Once students get the hang of it, they’ll be making these as fast as you can cut the paper!

This project is a little more craft-like than I usually do with my students, but during those high energy days leading up to Christmas vacation, it can be just what you need!

The original story of “Jacob’s Ladder” is found in the Bible, in the book of Genesis. Jacob (who God later renamed Israel) had a dream about a ladder that stretched all the way to Heaven. Today, there are toys, string games, and songs, named after Jacob’s Ladder! And now there’s a Christmas ornament, too!

You Will Need:

  • 12″x18″ paper in contrasting colors (you’ll need 2 strips of paper cut to 1/2″x18″ for each icicle)
  • Glue stick
  • Small hole punch (1/8th” size)
  • Ornament hanger or cord
  • Glitter and glue (optional)


1. Cut your strips of paper to 1/2″x18″. (If you only have a letter size paper trimmer, just fold your 12×18 paper in half and cut your 1/2″ strips that way. The paper is going to get folded anyway, so this extra fold won’t be noticed on the finished ornament!)

2. Lay the strips so they’re perpendicular to each other, overlap them at one end, and glue them together.

3. Start with the strip on the bottom and fold it up and over the strip that’s on top.

4. Then fold the strip that’s now on the bottom over the one that’s now on the top.

5. Continue this pattern of folding the bottom strip up and over the top one until the entire length is folded.

6. When you get to the end, glue the shorter piece down and punch a small hole near the end of the longer piece for your hanger. Fold and glue this piece so the end is sticking up from the center of the icicle.

7. Hold both ends and pull them gently apart. Your ladder will stretch to about 6″. Add some glitter, if you want!

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  1. i also get a lot of milage out of this with strawpapers in restaurants, and i’ve seen it used in popup cards. Like your version too!