Jacob’s Ladder Booklets

The Francis Small Heritage Trust has created a short brochure in the form of a Jacob’s Ladder folding booklet. In a Jacob’s Ladder booklet, the pages do not open like a normal book. Instead, the pages are folded backwards and the book is opened at the binding.   The booklet acts very similar to the “Jacob’s Ladder” wooden block toys.

If you would like a free booklet, please contact the Trust and we will send one to you by mail.

Here is how to make and fold your own Jacob’s Ladder booklet:

  • Tools required:
    • Scissors. A paper cutter is also handy.
  • Materials:

Directions: Print the Jacob’s Ladder PDF. Cut the sheet vertically into two 4.25″ by 11″ sheets. (This is where a paper cutter comes in handy.)   Each half will make one book.

The following steps demonstrate how to fold the booklet:

  Step 1:

Start with the sheet in front of you.   You can either use a blank sheet and decorate it later or start with a pre-printed blank.

  Step 2:

Fold the sheet in half, making a good crease in the paper.

  Step 3:

Unfold the sheet and make a second fold so that the edge of the paper just touches the center crease.

  Step 4:

Fold the other side so that the second edge just touches the center crease.   There should be a small gap between the two edges (approximately 1mm or 1/32 of an inch).   This gap will make the booklet easier to open later.   If too large of a gap is left, the final folds may be sloppy.

  Step 5:

The book is now folded into quarters.   Unfold it again and then refold at the center fold so that the book is folded into two, similar to how it looked in Step 2.

  Step 6:

Starting at the center crease, cut two thicknesses of the booklet about one inch from the top.   Cut only until the quarter creases are reached.
Hint: To make the book easier to open, make a second parallel cut 1/64″ (0.5mm) next to the first cut so that the cut is extra wide.

  Step 7:

Just like above, make a second cut about one inch from the bottom.   Again, only cut until you reach the quarter crease.

  Step 8:

The booklet should now look something like this.

  Step 9:

Cut vertically along one (and only one!) of the quarter creases from the bottom horizontal cut to the top horizontal cut.   Do not cut the one inch thick tabs; only cut the center.

Note that where this cut is made, eventually this cut will be taped back together later.   That is, the two panels that were just separated will later be joined in the same orientation.

  Step 10:

The booklet now should look like this with a center “tongue” ready to be folded.   The free end of the tongue should be on the right.

  Step 11:

Fold the tongue towards the front and then around the left-hand outside panel.

  Step 12:

Continue folding the tongue around the back so the the free edge in now reaches the center opening.

  Step 13:

Now fold the right-hand panel towards the front (that is, in the same direction you just folded the tongue).

  Step 14:

Continue folding the panel in the same direction so that the booklet looks as shown.

Note that the cut edge of the right-hand panel is now in the center.

  Step 15:

Pick up the booklet and place a two-inch strip of transparent tape so that the cut edges are taped back together.   Be sure you DON’T tape a cut edge to a folded edge!   The panels that were cut apart will now be taped back together.

  Step 16:

The booklet is now together, but the edge that was cut should be taped on both sides for durability.   Carefully operate the booklet until the opposite side of the edges that were taped together moments ago are now on the outside.

  Step 17:

Tape this opposite side with another two-inch piece of transparent tape.   Remember that only the cut edges should be taped back together.   Do not tape a cut edge to a folded edge.

  Step 18:

Operate the booklet from end to end, flattening it down several times.   Once the booklet has been displayed from end to end several times, it should work smoothly.

Congratulations: The Jacob’s Ladder booklet is complete!.


For the adventurous, it is also possible to make a six page booklet, but the four page version shown above usually works the best.

To restore the booklet, the folding is just reversed.