Ever wished you could spend a significant portion of your spare time creating homemade denim rope out of old jeans, but weren't sure how to go about it?
Look no further!
To see the quick (2 minute) video tutorial version, just click that play button, or if you prefer to read detailed steps with still images and those fun instructional red arrows, continue reading this denim rope DIY instructable.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Gather LOTS of Old Jeans
Unless you only need a small length of rope, and just want to make a hanging flower basket or something, then you're going to need at least three more pairs than you're estimating that you'll need. I made a cat tower out of mine and used around 6 pairs of men's large jeans, plus a couple medium sized women's.
That gave me enough to wrap tightly around a five foot post, with a six inch diameter.
You will also need:
- Good pair of scissors
- Needle and thread
- A cool plan to use your newly crafted rope
Step 2: Cut, Cut, Cut
Spend days and weeks cutting up jeans into strips and prepping them so you can eventually twist them together.
I spent far longer on this than is necessarily required, due to wanting to make sure all those frayed edges would be nice and tidy, so I cut them, then washed them, then trimmed the frayed bits, then washed them again... In retrospect, I likely could have made the rope first, then washed it, and only trimmed it once.
Step 3: Do the Twist
Not that kind of twist. Though you can when you're done if you like, you know, to celebrate this amazing feat you've accomplished.
The trick to twisting two lengths of anything together and having them remain twisted is simple in theory, but if you're not familiar with it, can get a bit confusing trying to put into practice. Some weird brain thing can't figure out which way you twisted what.
1. Secure two strips together at one end by sewing them together (or just using a safety pin, but unless you're gluing it or stapling it down, eventually you'll need a more permanent connection) and then secure that somewhere you can tug on, without moving it; like a desk or couch.
2. Get comfy.
3. Twist each strip individually, one direction. Doesn't matter which direction, just remember whether you're twisting them left or right. Don't let go!
4. Twist a decent amount of length with them separated, then twist them together, in the opposite direction.
5. When you get close to the ends, secure them together with a safety pin (though at this point you should be able to let go, and they won't unravel much. If they untwist, you've twisted everything the same direction and need to go back and try again. This is the weird brain thing I was talking about.)
6. Sew more lengths of strips onto either end, then keep twisting.
7. Repeat until you've used up all your denim strips.
Step 4: Put Cool Plan Into Action
Once you have enough rope for your Cool Plan, you can marvel at your rope making prowess and then get to work on that DIY project. :)
Participated in the
Maker Olympics Contest 2016