How to Make String from Plastic Bottles

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4024 Articles

By Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4024 Articles

Article Featured Image

plasticString_1

I saw a video last year on YouTube where a Russian maker built a rather elaborate rig to turn PET plastic bottles into a flat, very narrow noodle-like “string” that proved to be surprisingly strong. In subsequent videos, he lashed together some crude furniture and showed some other useful things that could be made from the material.

plasticString_2

I was intrigued by the idea. I don’t know that it has much utility for most of us, but as a form of low-tech re-purposing, for survival applications, village tech, and just because it looks kind of fun, I’ve been looking for an easy how-to.

This video, posted yesterday on Boing Boing, does just that.

While the above rig is very simple, the original Russian design I saw was adjustable (with three different widths of string available for cutting) and was designed so that you could very quickly break down a bottle. It looks like this French maker saw that same video and recreated the design exactly.

After showing you show to make the device, he also demonstrates the strength of the resulting material. He pulls a small car with some and even hoists himself up with a strand.

If you’ve made one of these devices or have seen other videos of string-from-bottle rigs, especially with people doing something useful with the resulting material, please post in the comments.