HOW TO – Make rope from plastic bags

Craft & Design Energy & Sustainability

Seems like a lot of work, but it’s actually amazing how much rope you get from a single plastic bag. I love that his young son is directing the video. Cute.


Too Many Hobbies, Too Little Time

11 thoughts on “HOW TO – Make rope from plastic bags

  1. Bob Hospels says:

    Very nice! I’m going to try one!

  2. Matt says:

    You never know when you are going to have to make cordage/rope. Very nice skill to know. Thank you!

  3. cyenobite2 says:

    just another compliment on this one. Nice vid, and thanks for posting. Hmm, looks like a good project for someone with a LaZZOR to make some gears and such.

  4. Eric says:

    If you anchor the tail end and let the rope push the spreader towards the winder, you’ll find it makes a fairly tight twist. Watch the tension, too much and you could either break the rope or the winder, too little and the rope will unwind when you remove it. This will allow you to splice several sections together.

  5. cornishbob says:

    I’ve made similar stuff myself and find it works even better if you stagger the knots, you’ve got three lines made with the same size “loop” of plastic, tie them on to the spinning hooks at different increments along the first loop of each to the three lines when stretched out don’t have three knots all in the same place. its not such an issue when you’re not working with uniform sections but when you are it makes the rope more consistent without having all the knots together all the way along.

  6. rentarl says:

    I’ve done this in the past with the scouts, but I tried the plastic bags last night with a group of 9 years old Cub Scouts and it really got them thinking about what else they could recycle into rope.

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  11. Tim Short says:

    great idea to use bags, in making rope you usually twist in opposite direction once 3 strands get tight Can make a small crank type handle on the other end . Then as strands get tight use the cross to keep tight and twist the 3 strands together. Makes really strong rope and will not unravel. You can add in some string as you make it to make it even better. Only down side with bags is they are made to degrade and will do so quickly if left in sun light. But makes great project for scouts at camp to be used for a week or so. I am trying making string from plastic bottles and will see if I can add that to make rope…kEEP ON MAKING!!

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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 man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn
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