How to Make Yo-Yo String




About: Full time Mechanical Engineer

Yikes! That's the second string I've broke today and I don't have any more replacements.

Here is an easy way to make more string for your Yo-Yo, just like the kind you would buy from Duncan. String is about 38 inches in length. This method can even be modified to make rope.

I did not come up with this method myself, I found a video on YouTube. I just improved the method a bit.

Update July 22 2011:
Wow, I got featured and on the front page. Thanks Instuctable editor(s). To bad I never updated the pictures like I keep planing to do.


Step 1: Gathering Materials


*Tape Measure
*Sewing Thread
*Block of Wood about 5.5 inches X 8 inches
*Hand Drill
*Marker or Pencil
*Few nails (Finishing)
*Wood floor or long wood board that you can mark up and nail

Step 2: Preperation

First you must find an open surface to work on, floor or wooden board about 10 feet in length.
NOTE: use scrap wood or a wooden floor in your garage to mark and nail on , NOT THE FLOOR IN YOUR HOUSE.

Mark out the following;

Start With a Line and Write DRILL next to it. This is where the drill will be placed.

Measuring from previous line and go 107 Inches (8ft 11 inches) and draw a line and write START. This is where the block will start.

From START measure 24 inches (2ft) toward DRILL line and write STOP. You guessed it, this is where the block will stop.

Now from STOP measure 38.5 inches towards DRILL. Write 1/2.

Step 3: Now Nail It!

At DRILL, START and STOP line place 2 large nails each. At 1/2 line place 1

Step 4: Now to Make the Block

Place a large nail in center of block and a small one off to the side.

NOTE: Grind off head of nail so string will slip on or off.

Last place hook in drill chuck.

Step 5: Now Lets Make String!

Place wooden block with nails at start such that nails will hold it back.

Place drill at drill end.

Now tie the string end to small nail in corner.

Loop string around hook and large nail four times.

Tie end of string together with end on small nail, cut off excess.

Step 6: Twist

Turn block so it will pass through the nails.

Place drill in forward such that it will drive a screw in or drill a hole. Turn on drill and run until block hits STOP line.

Note: Plug drill in. Very Important!!

Step 7: Almost There

Place string against nail at 1/2 line.

Take string off hook attached to drill so that you have an open loop at the end. Keep it taut or it will tangle up!

For help getting string off hook see video.

Place drill in reverse, pinch string about 1 1/2" from hook and run drill slowly until an opening appears. Place finger in and remove.

Step 8: Finishing It Up

Keep holding taut, swing string around nail and place end on your finger on the nail in the block that other end of string is attached to.

Pull string looped around 1/2 nail and continue to keep it taut. Facing block spin end in your hand in a counter clock wise movement SLOWLY. String should naturally want to twist that way.. Twist until string doesn't want to twist anymore.

NOTE: String still might twist around still when you let go.

Measure to length, tie knot and go Yo!

Step 9: Extra

Here is video of me making string using method

Here is the "machine" I built to make string easier. I have a few improvements to make and will post them when done.



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    29 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Will this work with loger strings if you stick to the same proportions?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I find this slightly confusing... could you just do a quick sketch on where the parts are? doesnt have to be to scale.. just label the spaces? thanks... and a quick drawing of where the string goes? thanks..

    2 replies

    Is this what you are asking for?

    To be quite honest I hardly remember myself. It has been quite awhile since I made any string let along used a Yo-Yo. I am getting back into it and one of my goals this summer is hopefully to update this Instructable with clearer pictures.


    Yupppp thats perfect.. Just btw.. You happen to know how to do "yuuki slack" by yuuki spencer? (its a trick for all you beginners) cuz i am stuck after the double or nothing part..
    Ps: i will be stocking up on strings this weekend :D


    9 years ago on Introduction

    The end can be done by hooking a yoyo into the looop, and just letting go so the yoyo spins it out for you.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    nice instructable! just broke my string (second time i broke this string, first time it was up by the finger loop so i just cut it short and retied a loop, this time it broke on the axle loop so i'm screwed). i'm gonna go out on my deck and make some strings tomorrow : ) i might try braided fishing line for added durability (instead of sewing thread).


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Yes. That is why it must be folded in half so that the loop is created to attach to the Yo-yo and make it sleep.


    9 years ago on Step 9

    so I like the machine, and was wondering if the dimensions on it were the same as the dims at the beginning. it would be nice if you could put the dims for the machine in a comment so those of us who have the time could make one too. thanks

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 9

    the general layout is the same. Just make it so that the half nail, slide and length are the given dimensions. I would go out and get some quick dimensions but since this it has been disassemble and I am in the middle of trying to devise a new smaller machine but that wont be for a long time.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks alot for posting was really helpful...i went home yesterday and put my own setup together, and made my first yoyo string. The only thing is it was a little too tight. I think I ran the drill just a bit too long, because when i went to bend the string around the nail and bring it back to the block it wouldn't reach. So next time i will just wind a little less. Thanks again for an awesome idea.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    i've been experimenting with 50/50 cotton/poly blends. 4 strands each (2 wraps) poly and cotton + 1 wrap (2 strands) thin invisible nylon = super slick, responsive, and strong! I make all kind of crazy colors and thicknesses depending on the yoyo. Made a new rig with bent paperclips and sharpened ends. It sticks in my carpet and works great. Thank you again!!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    hay perry nice job i live in libya (north africa) nad a yo yo fan and he problom ( you know) now replacmin) so we have to by a new yo yo and play with it so thank u very much


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I just snapped my string on a modded Duncan mosquito. Thought to myself, I wonder if you can make your own? I came here first and what do ya know! Yayyyyyyyy!!!!! Now I have 10 extra strings within 1 hour for pennies!!!! I just used 2 tacks in a wooden floor crack spaced 95 inches apart, wound it with the drill till it was tight (using your video for reference I 'eyeballed' the tightness) then I folded it around my head, looped the first tack and twisted away. It worked perfect! Best string ever! And I can make multicolors too! I heart instructables!!!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Erm the measurements don't add up... also, when I tried it, the string got way shorter, ending at like 34ish... is there a particular direction u have to bend to during step 8? Thanks for making this though

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    It will get shorter in step 8 then the half length. If it is to short just increase the distances between the drill, 1/2 nail and slide. There is no specific direction that I bend to.