Making Rope from Plastic Bags

For my first video tutorial, I demonstrate how to make rope out of plastic grocery bags.


Is there anything you can't do!?!? :)

What are you going to use your rope for?
Teric said…
Dang! So is the plastic rope as strong as standard nylon or hemp rope? Don't know if you'd feel comfortable using it for rock-climbing... :)

Still, that's really impressive, Brig!
Gary Hibbard said…
Great idea. Now somebody needs to make one of those spinny things small enough to put in a survival kit.
Brig said…
I'd say it's not as strong as an equal diameter of nylon rope--certainly nothing that you'd rock climb with. But if you were lashing, it'd be fine.
the said…
Thanks for the tutorial, that was really helpful! I've been trying to understand how this works for a while now!
Brig said…
I had an apostrophe (lightnin' struck my brain...) about what to do with this rope. Stay tuned over the next few weeks and maybe you'll see it pan out.
James said…
This is pretty cool.

Any pointers to plans for the twister and spreader you show in the video? The wooden one?

Brig said…
Try this for instructions on the process in general:

You can find plans for a planetary gear system ropemaker here:

And although it doesn't have plans per se, this thread has a lot of photos and drawings of different ropemaking devices:
Douglas said…
I have been making rope from plastic bags and I found a way to make it go much quicker and the plastic is WAY stronger. Those bags are designed to have their strength running vertically, not horizontally. So, to take advantage of that, lay the bag flat, tucking in the sides of the bag where the creases are. Then, cut each side off the bag so that you have the handle and the bottom seam on each end. By cutting about an inch and a half in from the sides you will create a loop that is VERY strong. You put these loops together with what amounts to a square knot. You get about 3 feet worth per bag. Even if you just go twice around the rope machine hooks so you have two strands per hook, you will get a rope about 5/16" thick and it is strong. I have used it to tie down mattress and box springs in my truck and tie down stuff to haul to the dump. I use the trucker's hitch which has a 2:1 pulling ratio. 40 bags will get you about 20 feet of good rope. I overtightened mine, however, and it ended up like a lariat rope...pretty stiff (but very usable). Just thought I would pass that along. I'm on the ropemaking yahoo group.

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