Introduction: Carry Any Bottle With a JUG KNOT Handle

Picture of Carry Any Bottle With a JUG KNOT Handle

Tie a JUG KNOT around a water bottle, soda bottle, or aluminum bottle to make a secure carrying strap.

Re-purpose any container into a reusable water bottle by adding a convenient carrying strap. This Instructable will demonstrate how to tie a JUG knot which like its name suggests, is meant to properly secure around the neck of a container.

With some cord and the knowledge of this knot, you will be able add a handle, lanyard, or carabiner loop to any of your favorite beverages to carry them on the go.

It works perfectly for those disposable water bottles, and who knows, once you add some colorful cord to the plain old clear water bottle you just might be inclined to refill it and use it again.
(Check out pictures 4&5 below)

In addition to plastic beverage bottles like pop, water and sports drinks, you can turn those rugged aluminum beer bottles into a backpacking canteen.

Those of you familiar with my previous aluminum bottle Instructables:
will recognize the water canteen shown below as a re-purposed aluminum beer bottle. Here, I have added a painted surface treatment to turn it into a proper looking water bottle. More on that in steps 13, 14, 15.

Step 1: Getting Started

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Cord size is important. Select a small medium weight cord like the one shown here. It is a general purpose camp cord sold at most sporting goods stores. (shoelaces might also work)

Do not use a heavy cord or rope because the larger diameter will not tuck under the relatively small lip at the top of the bottleneck and the bottle will fall out.

Also, the smaller cord cinches tight on itself and will not loosen accidentally.

Step 2: Form a Bight

Picture of Form a Bight

The next steps show how to tie a 'JUG KNOT'. It is the basic step for adding a carrying strap. It is also the anchor point for any additional fancy bottle trussing you may want to add.


Form a "Bight" in the center of a length of cord. Bight is a knot term for a loop or bend in the rope. In this case the main Bight in this knot is highlighted with a white mark. I makes it easier to follow its path in these steps.

The running ends of the cord should be equal length.

Step 3: Pull the Bight Down

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PULL the Bight DOWN forming two Loops.

Step 4: Cross the Loops

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CROSS the right Loop OVER the left Loop.

Step 5: Pass the Bight Under the 1st Loop

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Take the main Bight and pass it UNDER the left Loop.

Step 6: Weave the Bight

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WEAVE the Bight OVER the portion of the right Loop and UNDER the portion of the left Loop.

Step 7: Extend the Bight

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Extend the Bight OVER the outer portion of the right Loop.

Step 8: Flip the Right Loop Behind

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Additional colored identification points have been added to the loops to follow their travel in these next two steps.

The right Loop *Yellow marker" is FLIPPED BEHIND the knot and ends up on the far left side of the knot.

Step 9: Flip the 2nd Loop in Front

Picture of Flip the 2nd Loop in Front

Raise the green marker (located on what was formerly the left loop) and pull it down and to the right; FLIPPING IT IN FRONT of the knot .

Note the blue portion of the this loop will pass around the outside of the yellow portion of the first loop.

Step 10: Remove Slack

Picture of Remove Slack

Note where the blue, green & yellow markers end up.

Start to remove the slack in the loops by pulling the original main Bight (white marker top right) and the two free standing ends at the bottom.

the bottle neck will pass through the very center of the knot.

Step 11: Tighten the Knot

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After removing the slack insert the bottle neck and finish tightening.

The knot should look like this before slipping it over the bottle.

Step 12: Secure on Bottle Neck

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This is the finished knot shown on the neck of various containers.

The loop end and the two free standing ends can be tied together to create a carrying handle. (last picture below)

Step 13: Aluminum Bottle Water Bottle

Picture of Aluminum Bottle Water Bottle

The next few steps show the features of an aluminum beer bottle re-purposed as a water bottle canteen. It is one of many containers that can be reused as a camp water bottle.

The bottle was lightly sanded, masked and then pained with a "hammered finished" paint to create an interesting surface texture.

Step 14: Tethered Cork Stopper

Picture of Tethered Cork Stopper

Use a wine bottle man made Cork as a stopper for your aluminum water bottle.
Note: Use a cork that was removed from the wine bottle without the corkscrew penetrating through the bottom end of the cork. (A hole all the way through the cork will cause it to leak.) Use the unpierced end of the cork inside the water bottle.

Drill a hole through the sides of the Cork. Thread the cord through the hole to the center of the cord. Use the cork as the main Bight. and tie the Jug knot as shown in the beginning steps.

Now the cork is tethered to the bottle and will not get lost or fall on the ground.

A Carabiner clip passes through the other cord end to attache the water bottle to you belt or pack.

Step 15: Trussed for Transport

Picture of Trussed for Transport

This is another hanging method for carrying your aluminum bottle water canteen. A Jug knot is tied conventionally around the neck.

The running ends of the knot however are pulled down towards the bottom of the bottle. A Barrel Knot is tied about 3/4 the way down the side of the bottle. A square knot is tied on the bottom of the knot to keep the two running ends tight against the sides of the bottle.

I like the look of the accent colored cord running down the sides of the bottle and the fact that the bottle hangs from the belt upside down. It adds to its uniqueness.

The last picture shows another truss variation.

Step 16: Advanced

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Below is a bottle with some additional trussing. You can be creative as you want. It all starts with a re-purposed container and the Jug Knot (and enough cord).


abrahamch10 (author)2017-03-13

Try this simple technique. Much more easier to understand and learn

bouncinglime made it! (author)2017-02-22

I got so close, but couldn't remember steps 8 and 9. Thanks to your color-coded images, I was able to put handles on these jugs for our outdoor workshop. ^_^

(Photo credit to Laura.)

Leeshmonster made it! (author)2015-09-29


marty.mauldin.90 (author)2014-12-29

BSA Troop 45 (Oxford, MS) uses the enclosed two methods to secure a water bottle for hiking. Both methods use 6 feet of 1/8 inch diameter rope. (The length of 6 feet keeps the rope very usable and serviable. Also for knot tying practice the rope needs to be at least 6 feet, any length less makes it harder to understand to knots use).

1) Ancient Egyptian Jug Knot- A bead has been added for decoration (after the knot is made and still in a loose condition, with one of the loose ends, thread the bead and slide it in position- up around between and down to the enclosed loop) . The carring strap may be adjusted by the double fishermans knot (or inside figure eight).

2) Bottle Sling- This is a teaching tool for knot tying and learning each knots use.

Yours In scouting,

Steve Mauldin

oraxia made it! (author)2014-09-25

Thank you so much for the super clear tutorial :) I received a solar lantern cap a while back, but haven't really tried to use it for camping with my Nalgene because I didn't have a good way to secure it to the bottle (and being so used to the attached cap, I figured I would surely drop the thing at an inconvenient time, with it rolling over a cliff or something equally dramatic--that's just the way my luck typically works). This, however, worked on the first try and looks great :D Thanks!

jackscrap (author)2014-01-29

can you please do a tutorial on trussing like that bottom picture i have several bottles that don't have a lip at the top

TheGeek1984 (author)2013-04-21

I had the same reaction as bmelton1, to be honest, this is the first paracord instructable I've ever tried, and it came out perfect. Now I've got a water bottle to attach to my camp/survival pack.

paracorded_inspirations (author)2013-04-10

It looks like its just a Turks head with a loop in one end

Mr.1911 (author)2012-06-11

I commend you on the clear, easy-to-follow, precise instructions. The idea of marking the bights made this a very simple knot to tie. If there were any ratings that went above 5, no matter how much, I would give them to you. Keep up the great work. To sum up what I've written, EXCELLENT JOB!!!!!

Covo (author)2009-09-24

I grew up calling this knot the Anga-gah-sec-agnute (sp?)...not sure if my Grandfather made the name up or it was the scandinavian name. He also said that the vikings would use this to tie a line to their "spirits" and other beverages, then throw them overboard to keep them cold. Anyone ever hear this or was I the victim of childhood gullibility? I currently use it on my key chain.

WayfinderAli (author)Covo2010-09-20

I haven't heard of this, but, if Vikings kept their water/spirits in glass or ceramic bottles it would be VERY possible that they did this. I'm not sure if it would work using some sort of container made from an animal bladder. I do this (this being hang my water bottle over board) when I'm out on an expedition kayaking trip. I lead 5 day kayaking trips along the North Carolina outer banks. To keep it cool I'll often use a carabiner to lash it to my deck rigging and drag it with me. The sound isn't that much cooler than the air, but if I store my water in my cockpit with me, it still gets warmer than the water in the sound. On the deck of the kayak it'll get as hot as bath water. Out on the ocean, where the Vikings would have been sailing, the ocean water would be pretty cold even on hot days and would keep tasty beverages pretty cool.

stormy0314 (author)WayfinderAli2012-06-11

Oft times, in days of yore, containers made of animal bladders were covered with a natural waterproofing material such as insect shellac or some sort of tree sap or gum. This kept bottles from leaking. It didn't keep them from aquiering,(sp), an off taste. The coating also made them hard and they could be hung with out distorting.

geoslim13 (author)Covo2011-01-31

was he a sailor, because this knot was most common on sail boats and sailors make words like that up.

ybunnygurl (author)Covo2011-01-24

I don't know the name but I have heard this story too, when I learned how to make almost the same knot... this is easier then the way I was tough so I'm using this one now.

bmelton1 (author)2011-11-13

I actually laughed when I started tightening mine. Not because it was funny but in disbelief that I did it right!

nutsandbolts_64 (author)2011-11-06

Tip: put up a video, it makes everything easier than it already is ;)

CaseBoy (author)2011-09-29

can this be removed without uniting the knot

hpstoutharrow (author)CaseBoy2011-09-29

Yes, the knot can be loosened without untying it.

JMRaphael (author)2011-08-18

I've been to about a half-dozen other sources and is this is the first one that explained the knot in a clear, easy-to-follow fashion. Most sources fail around the point where you begin crossing loops over, but you did an excellent job of explaining those steps. Kudos to you; keep up the good work.

MSCRCEI7 (author)2011-08-15

I liked the color coded tape to help explain. Kudos.

wibown (author)2011-02-26

Thank you so much. Your directions are VERY clear and easy to follow. I really enjoyed learning how to tie this knot.

jarofol (author)2011-01-16

I must commend you on this instructable on what now seems such a simple not to tie, NEVER have i seen such clear and easy to understand instructions on any knot before.

WayfinderAli (author)2010-09-20

I love the cork stopper. How did you cut a hole in the synthetic cork so that it looks so nice and clean? I was thinking about drilling a hole but that seems like it would look ragged. Also, where did you find a cork that was plain white? All the synthetic corks I see from wine bottles have something printed on them like grapes or something.

The cork does have printing, just not on the side shown. At the risk of plugging a product...Barefoot Wines has a cork with a footprint on it. (Very appropriate for a hiker's water bottle.)

As far as the hole in the cork, a drill works nicely. The cork has a tendency to close-up when the bit is removed so use one larger than you would think.

Kryptonite (author)2009-10-03

Hey great Instructable, I got a new bottle from an expo that I went to on the weekend and it was great for holding it. Do you think you could post an Instructable about different trussing techniques? Any way, thanks. Favourited, and here are some pictures.

mysss (author)Kryptonite2010-06-29

Indeed. I haven't seen anything like that, even though I was already familiar with this knot!

Kryptonite (author)mysss2010-07-11

Yeah it looks awesome.

golfer12345 (author)2010-06-14

guess what i just figured out you can use a neck lanyard and it makes a great handle. the second picture is the clasp on my neck lanyard


skaterqwertyuiop (author)2010-06-05

I always carry my load-bearing Carabiner with me (on my beltloop). If I flip it so the skinny side is down, I can insert a bottle and slide it down, it locks in place because it is a perfect fit. That's how I carry my water bottles with me :P

tulekah (author)2010-01-16

i've been using jug-slings for years (ashley) but it never occured to me to string a cork on the loop.  brilliant!

VikkiHowells01 (author)2009-11-23

Great instructable - thanks!

There is a REALLY neat way of tying a jug knot. Take a look at the link below. Don't worry about the dialoge - actions speak louder than words.

spacedog73 (author)2009-11-10

I just did one of these for a bluegrass fest I just went to.  I didn't have an aluminum bottle so I used an big old Chimay bottle and a natural cork.  Very cool.  I cut up some old can coozies to keep the bottle cold and protected. 

scottm_113 (author)2009-10-28

This has got to be one of the BEST Instructables that I've seen yet. It's a simple project and Very well laid out...and Useful too! I tip my hat to you!

static (author)2009-10-17

 Great instructable with a useful skill to learn. Thanks  for posting.

t-b0ne (author)2009-10-16

i made an awesome water bottle thanks to you!  i got a sweet half liter glass bottle from the army surplus store (the type made for corks), and managed to secure a champagne cork on the knot!  thanks a lot, i have the coolest water bottle ever :)  <3

gHjM3W5T20YCS4e30 (author)2009-09-27

more photos of this version this is perfect for 550 paracord

Here is the complete set of pictures I took. It includes close ups of all the knots - <a rel="nofollow" href=""></a><br/>

rtadlock (author)2009-09-26

Awesome instructable and thanks for reminding me I like to tie knots. Here is my finished product (complete with a few more knots):

seaworthy (author)2009-09-25

Approximately how long a cord should I start out with to get a result like that shown in Step 1? Thanks.

hpstoutharrow (author)seaworthy2009-09-25

The cord length shown in the photo in step 1 is 36 inches.

kleinschmidt (author)2009-09-25

Very nicely done. Two things though: 1. For a first timer, it would be helpful to know how long a piece of cord to use. You say to put the bight in the middle of the cord, but a 24" cord or a 24' cord? 2. It would be nice if the first picture had some size reference. A pencil or a hand or something. The mat and the arrows make it very clear what steps, but they do not give much sense of scale. Thanks for a great set of directions!

24 inches for a Water Bottle......24 feet for a Water Tower It all depends on what you are tying around :)

If you look closely in step 9 you can see my assistant helping with cord he may help with the scale...or k not.

angelmi (author)2009-09-25

Well done. Your use of graphics and color was very helpful. I was making the knot in no time. Thanks.

aphesia (author)2009-09-25

great instructable. and it focuses on the repurposing of otherwise useless refuse. 54 points!

Mother Natures Son (author)2009-09-25

This is killer. I'd love to know how you did the one in the last step, but I imagine that'd be kind of in-depth.

foroncethen (author)2009-09-25

This is quite possibly one of the slickest knots I have ever seen. I am very much impressed by both it, and the quality of this instructable. Well done.

marcintosh (author)2009-09-24

Well yes this is a great instructable. It tells me how to mod some great stuff and It's all green and all that I expected BUT what really pulled me in is the clarity of images and the method you used to illustrate the knot tying.
I've taught kids and adults to tie knots for various reasons in various groups. Your visuals beat any book or pamphlet or flashcards I have ever used hands down. Thanks for your work.

hpstoutharrow (author)marcintosh2009-09-24

Thanks for the compliment. I tried different size cord and rope for the demo but found them difficult to control and look consistent for the photo shoot. Finally decided to use wire. 14 gauge automotive wiring held its shape nicely. Added the directional arrows to the photos with MS Powerpoint.

Sewicked (author)2009-09-24

I'm a little confused *hanging head*. The center of this melange is/will the knot, correct? So I ~lift it up, to move the 'yellow' from right to left?

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