Introduction: Turn Bottles Into Usable Rope!

Picture of Turn Bottles Into Usable Rope!

Turn Bottles that you would otherwise recycle or throw away into usable cord/rope in a few easy steps. This is a great way to recycle bottles and make unique crafts out of the usable cord that make!

Step 1: Collect Materials

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You Will Need:

A Wooden Surface(2x4 works great)

Two Screws(Long enough to go through all of the washers and into the wood)

Eight Washers(Holes in the middle must be smaller than top of screw)

A Blade(You can get these ouy of an exact-o knife or letter opener)

Screw Gun(If screw gun is not powerful enough, screw driver works too)

Power drill(To cut holes in the wood so that the wood doesn't split when you put the screw in) The drill bit needs to be slightly smaller than the screw. You can also do this with the screw gun, but the one I use in this demonstration was not powerful enough.

A marker

2 liter soda bottles

Step 2: Measurements

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Draw a dot on each side of the 2x4 that is one inch from each side and one inch from the bottom.

Step 3: Power Drill

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Use the power drill(or screw gun) and the drill bit to drill a hole through the wood on each of the dots.

Step 4: Set Up Razor and Washers

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Place four washers over each of the holes so that you can see through the washers and into the hole. Now place the razor in between each of the top two washers so that the razor makes a sort of bridge between the two stacks. Make sure that you can still see straight down into the hole through the washers.

Step 5: Screw Everything in Place

Picture of Screw Everything in Place

Now that you have your two stacks, place the screws through the holes in the washers and through the holes in the wood. Use your screw gun to screw in the screws. Make sure that everything is screwed in really tight. If not screwed in tight enough, use a handheld screwdriver to tighten even more.

Step 6: Make Your Cord

Now that you have the cutter complete it is time to make the cord. First you will need to cut of the bottom of your 2 liter bottle. Next cut a little slit at the bottom of the bottle. Thread the slit through the cutter. Now pull on the slit while pushing down on the top of the bottle. Keep pulling and more and more cord will be make. With most 2 liter bottles you will make about 15-30 feet of cord.

Step 7: Be Creative

Now that you have all of this cord, You will need some thing to do with it.

Here are a list of suggestions of what you can do out of the cord:

Weave a basket

Thread them through your shoes and wear them as shoe laces

Make a prom dress

Tie back your hair

Tie it in a knot

Tie it in a bow

Throw it over your shoulder like a continental soldier

Let Your string hand low

Have Fun!!!


Meglymoo87 (author)2016-05-19

Great job! Great idea :)

smacleod2 (author)2016-05-06

WEAVE the strips!!! You could make Car or Truck mats! Placemats! Clothes!

TeresaM7 (author)smacleod22016-05-19

See-through clothing, you perv! LOL! (I'm teasing you, btw. Just to be sure everyone understands that).

Wrrr 10-G (author)2016-05-09

Good point Rorywquin. I never expected PETP to have poor UV-resistance, but apparently this is the case, see:

rorywquin (author)2016-05-08

I assume it would only be short term projects - is the plastic UV stable?

Turtle_Titan (author)2016-05-07

Cool build, do you happen to have footage of it being used?

dragon fllyer (author)2016-05-05

I don't actually get this. By the way the blade looks to be positioned in the photo, I don't see how the bottle would contact the cutting edge...

ak47freak (author)dragon fllyer2016-05-06

in step 6 he tells you how to get it started. You first have to cut the bottom off of the bottle so you can fit it in between the washers.

dragon fllyer (author)ak47freak2016-05-06

The photos for Steps 4 and 5 show the blade mounted on the wrong side of the washer stacks, at the end of the board and with the edge of the blade pointing the wrong direction. Can I really be the only one who was puzzled by this? I eventually noticed the original photo with the blade mounted properly, which made a whole lot more sense.

This is because it doesn't matter which way its mounted.

GreenEyedLad (author)2016-05-06

Very cool idea when in the hands of conscientious people who are careful never to allow the resulting plastic string to wind up in a waterway or mingled with the topsoil somewhere. Earth is choking and good planets are hard to find!

Mullumnic (author)2016-05-05

Great idea, sound principle, what's not to like? I love the almost ditty at the end. The (rude) version I know is about sailors, and it wasn't string that hung low! ;-)

Lardo (author)2016-05-05

Make a prom dress? I really think I might want to go to THAT prom. :)

joekurm (author)Lardo2016-05-05


pauluk (author)2016-05-05

Why not just use a pencil sharpener.

rsfluffy (author)2016-05-05

Make a prom dress?, that'd be a different prom than the one I went to. Oh and then you break out the heatgun and shrink that sucker right up. That boy ain't gonna have ready access now is he? Just goofing, nice instructable.

sunshine64sm (author)2016-05-05

It's easier if you pull the thread to the right, and not to the left!

Congratulations device. It is useful in the household.

devonfletch (author)sunshine64sm2016-05-05

Put a dowel in the drill, and use it to pull the string, winds it up conveniently too, if you control the end-game.

Bentfork (author)sunshine64sm2016-05-05

Probably depends on if you are left or right handed.

rfox4 (author)Bentfork2016-05-05

if you are north of the equator pull left if you are south of the equator pull right.

Eric_Methven (author)2016-05-05

Excellent! Also note that this type of plastic string will shrink somewhat when moderate heat is applied (too much, and it'll melt). So if you use some as a lashing or repair to bind a couple of items, running a heat gun close over it for a second or two, or holding it close to a campfire, will shrink the lashing really tight.

devonfletch (author)Eric_Methven2016-05-05

Good tip, Eric. Thank you!

Katzsta (author)2016-05-05

This is one of those 'slap my head, why didn't I think of that' ideas. Great writeup & video. Thanks!!!!

CrystalG3 (author)2016-05-05

It could also be crocheted into a market bag.

oky jim (author)2016-05-05

If you dont know already, this rope is shrinkable. you can wrap and tie it then heat it with a torch or heat gun and the wrap will be so tight you cant undo it.....

Ye Old Rotsun (author)2016-05-05

i had seen this similar type of project before on kickstarter, and think its an amazing idea and also to put out there i think one of these tools should be kept in a survivalists/backpackers bag because wandering around the forest myself i find bottles that could be used as ropes or anything to bind together pack one

Callie Lea (author)2016-05-05

I wish that you could post a photo of the plastic rope/string so that we could know what the outcome looks like.

Gadget93 (author)Callie Lea2016-05-05

I concur.

mbohuk (author)2016-05-05

This seems pretty simple to make I've seen other ones that required too much work and access to tools I don't have. One idea that I like as a use for the string is wrapping it tightly around the handles of pliers or other tools then use a heat gun to keep it in place, makes for cheap grips for old tools.

RaúlT5 (author)2016-05-05

Buenisimo! Especial ara hacer cesteria. Gracias

MaryM224 (author)2016-05-05

I wonder if this would be strong enough to use for refurbishing a lawn chair. Maybe weaving it.

scorpio957 (author)2016-05-05

Cool idea, I suggest reversing the blade so the cutting edge faces the length of the 2x4 then either fit a dowel or threaded rod to hold the soda bottle..!

lsdowns (author)2016-05-05

I've seen lots of great uses for this, including using a hair dryer and twisting the plastic to give it a spiral look, then heating it again and making into a bracelet. Plastic rope is pretty strong. Saw one post where they used several strands and towed a car with it. I have several ideas saved for making this type of project, but this seems like one of the easiest ones. Can find more ideas on YouTube.

letlarrydoit (author)2016-05-05

GHreat idea, but aren't the edges of the "cord/string strands petty sharp? Any ideas on how to smooth those edges over?

Errol1951 (author)2016-05-05

Great idea, but if you put a rod or dowel up through the neck of the bottle I think it run a lot smoother and you wouldn't have to hold the bottle

joekurm (author)2016-05-04

I saw something similar recently. but this one costs about $22 or so. I planned to make one, and now I have 2 versioins to choose from.

I plan on using the strands to tie up plants and see what else I can thing of.

thanks for the Instructable

openInvent (author)2016-05-04

cool useful trick i will remember it. i wonder if you cand twist the plastic and pull it like making plastic bag rope

Questor (author)2016-05-04

With different thickness of washers or depending on where you place the razor blade, you can make the strand thicker or thinner. Seems to me 3 or 4 thin strands braided may be stronger and more flexible than one single strand.

ewsmith (author)2016-05-04

Really cool. And I like your list of potential uses; great humor. However, this is so cool that it begs the question as to whether the string actually is useful. Cool + Useful and this idea would be a winner. Even Cool + Dangerous would be a winner in my book (is the plastic sharp enough to use as wimpy razor wire?).

Maybe at least mention whether the cord is strong, flexible, etc. THEN this would be a winner.

Still very cool. If you update it you will become rich and famous. Or infamous.

bengermann (author)2016-05-04

I think this would be great to keep in your truck (or car) for when you need a tie down for something. You can find the plastic bottles practically everywhere. I usually have a couple lying around the floorboard of my truck!

Funky Diver (author)2016-05-03

What a cool idea, I am so making one... what I'm going to use the cord for? Not a clue, but it's handy to have I reckon :D

Random Hacks (author)2016-05-03

I'm voting for this!

Benadski (author)2016-05-03

really LOVE this, nice multi purpose string with endless uses. :)

AlpeshP7 (author)2016-05-03

Great innovative idea,
Verry good.
Thanks for uplode the video.

wold630 (author)2016-05-03

This is so great for upcycling plastic!

About This Instructable



Bio: Im in the Centaurus HS Engineering program.
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