Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How to Make Your Own Rope For Free

I have been working on a little project at night while I watch videos.  Rope!
This rope is very strong and it's free!  
It's made of braided sections of plastic grocery sacks.  This is a pretty good video for how to get started.
I did differ a bit from her way.  I folded my bags in half and then half again and again rather than rolling it up.  That let me see the lowest point of the handle side of the bag so I didn't waste any when I cut he handles off.

I also cut my pieces a bit narrower, about 1-1 1/2" wide but I did go with 2 strips for each part of the braid.  Her version of braiding is done underhand while I braid overhand, meaning folding over on the top, either will work fine.

I also found it made less big bumps in the rope to stagger the lengths of the strips from the beginning so the knots are not all in the same place.
I filled a gallon size jar with all the strips I cut, yes we had a lot of plastic grocery sacks saved up ... because you just never know when you will need one!
I had an extra scrolling embroidery frame I wasn't using so I wound my rope on that, you could use just about anything, or nothing.  I also held my loose ends together with a clothespin.
A couple more tips: you can carefully use a match or candle flame to seal the beginning end and cut off the knot.  You can also carefully singe off any weird little flaps that stick out or melt down slightly any larger bumps if those bother you. 

My rope is about 1/4" wide, the wider your strips or the more pieces you add to each braid section will make a thicker rope.

It being made of plastic bags, I am not sure how well this would hold up long term outside, the bags would probably degrade over time.  But I'm thinking of crafty uses for the rope too.


Judy said...

You can also make plarn (plastic yarn) with strips of those t-shirt bags to crochet or knit: beach or shopping bags, floor mats, coasters. There are tons of tutorials on you-tube.

lotta joy said...

Oh, oh. I was using our plastic bags to fold up into tiny triangles so we could pop them in our pockets when we take the dog outside. But now, I see I'm going to be making rope. I saw she braided underhand, and it looked so odd to me. I don't have a spinner like you do, and I don't want to keep moving scotch tape, so I've got to figure out something else. It wouldn't make a good rug like Judy said, due to slippage, but a beach bag makes sense if you prefer to crochet. Wow. Lots of ideas. Not enough bags. lol

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