Eco-Friendly Witch's Ladder Tutorial - Darn Good Yarn

Eco-Friendly Witch's Ladder Tutorial

Written by Kate Curry

Witches' Ladders have been around for hundreds of years, with the first one being found by non-magical practitioners in the 1800’s. Originally, these ladders were made of simple cord tied in different knots and feathers of different birds. Fear mongering made witches ladders out to be used to cause people’s death and suffering.

An old drawing of the first discovered witches ladder from the 1800s

In reality, witches' ladders are used as a tool to help one focus their intentions as they cast spells or meditate. Modern ladders are much more decorative and colorful than the versions our ancestors used in the past. Ribbon and yarn are chosen based on their material and color meanings. Beads, crystals, and charms now are included, along with the feathers.

A traditional witch’s ladder has nine knots, but it can vary from pagan to pagan. Each knot is meant to hold a spell or intention that you say or meditate on while you are creating your ladder.  Each knot is used to help you keep track of your count as you meditate.


On a dark wooden desk a pile of different colored ribbon and flowers are laid out, ready to be braided and woven into a witches' ladder.
  • Thick Ribbon - Each strand 58 inches long
  • Colorful yarn or cords(optional) - Each strand 58 inches long
  • Charms, beads, or crystals (optional)
  • Local flowers and plants (optional)
  • Scissors

For my ladder, I went with 1 skein of Sari Silk Ribbon Yarn and 2 skeins of Reclaimed Chiffon Ribbon Yarn. One skein had amazing embellishments that I knew I just had to have! 

A hand holds a strand of chiffon ribbon yarn, showing an embroidered marigold made out of red, pink, and teal yarn - with a big jewel as the center of the flower!


Step One: Measure and cut your ribbon/yarn. Fold them in half and create a tight loop knot.

Step Two:  Choose the braid you want to use. I’ve chosen a simple six strand braid for my ladder.

Attached to a clip board, six strands of yellow, red, and purple ribbon is being braided together

Step Three: Through the braid, add in some knots or charms if you prefer. I’m making simple little knot with two strands of my ribbon yarn. I prefer the smaller knots, but it's up to you!

Step Four: Braid and knot the whole thing to the length you want, knotting and weaving in your beads, charms, flowers, and intentions.

Step Five: Finish the ladder with a tight loop knot.

You can now hang your ladder, place it in a safe place on your altar, or use it as a circlet.

A section of the finished witches ladder, woven with red, yellow, and purple ribbon and multiple different flowers, rests on a shiny dark wooden desk.
Our witches ladder, hanging from it's loop against a white wall.

Meet the Author

Profile picture of the author, Kate Curry, wearing a dark red Nanda Poncho sitting on concrete stairs in front of brick wall.

Kate has been on the Darn Good Yarn team since 2018.

They have their degree in Creative Art Therapy & Psychology - and like crafting and animals a little too much.