How to Make a Rope Out of Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are a huge problem for the environment and one way to reduce your impact is by making ropes out of them. Rope-making can be tedious, but it’s an underutilized skill in survival situations that could save you from having to make something else entirely like a tarp or shelter. We’ll show you how easy it actually is!

The “how to make a basket out of plastic bags” is a great idea for survival. You can use a few different materials to make the basket, but it’s best to use something that won’t break easily.


If we need rope these days, we go to our local home improvement shop. 

Making your own rope, on the other hand, involves no special equipment, no specific talents, and just as much time as you choose to devote to it. Rope-making is comparable to knitting in many respects. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll probably be able to do it without looking. 

Rope may be made from a broad range of materials. Cotton, wool, jute, hemp, and other natural fibers are used to make various natural ropes, while synthetic fibers are used to weave just as many or more varieties of rope. However, no additional supplies are required to acquire fundamental rope-making techniques. All you’ll need is a stash of plastic grocery bags. 

Making rope out of shopping bags is an excellent method to get rid of excess plastic without throwing it away. Turning garbage into a tool is one of the most efficient recycling methods available. This rope may also be quite useful: it has all of the properties of regular rope and may come in handy in an urban survival scenario if you only have garbage to deal with. When it comes to strength, it all depends on how tight your braid is and how thick your plastic bag is, but some DIYers have made ropes that can withstand their body weight (though you wouldn’t want to use it in a life-threatening circumstance unless it was really an emergency). Consider braiding completed ropes together to create a thicker, stouter version to build a stronger rope.

If you don’t have any plastic bags on hand, go to the nearest grocery shop. Most offer bag recycling stations where you’ll almost certainly discover lots of items to reuse. Here’s everything you need to know to get started. 

Step 1: Cut the bags in half.


All of your plastic bags should be cut or torn lengthwise. You can cut many bags at once using your hands, but a pair of scissors will speed up the procedure and allow you to cut multiple bags at once. 

Separate by color in the second step.


Separate the bags by color if you have multiple colored bags (this makes the braiding procedure a little simpler to understand). 

Step 3: Puncture a Hole in the Bags.


In the bottom of each bag, tear a tiny hole opposite the single loop. 

Step 3: Add Bag “Strands”


Feed one bag halfway through the hole you made in Step 2 to add your first strand.



Pass the bottom of the bag through its own loop after wrapping it around the other.


Tighten the strand. Here’s a video that will help you understand how to add strands: 


Step 5: Increase the Number of Bags

Steps 2-4 should be repeated until you have two long strands, each approximately 4-5 bags long. Additional bags may be added later, but keeping the strands at this length makes braiding easy. 


Wrap the bags around the anchor in step six.



Wrap your two bag strands around a fixed anchor with the knots offset so they don’t line up. In each hand, you should have two strands. Here, I’m utilizing the latch of a window above my desk, but any fixed location would suffice. The sacks may even be wrapped around your foot. 

Braid the Strands in Step 7

Braiding uses a very particular sequence to weave your four strands together. You’ll be working with four strands. Begin braiding by going through the following steps in this order: 

  1. Two strands on the right: Overlap the right and left strands. 
  2. Two strands on the left: Pass the right strand over the left. 
  3. Pass the left strand across the right strand on the middle two strands. 

Here’s a video to help you understand the process: 


Step 8: Pull Tight, Repetition, and End



A rope variant with a single color of bag.

Pull the braid tight after each braiding cycle and then repeat. When you run out of bags, continue to add them in the same manner as in Steps 2-4 until your rope reaches the required length. Finish by tying a square knot at the rope’s end and trimming the loose ends. 



The “what to make with plastic bag yarn” is a tutorial on how to make a rope out of plastic bags. It also includes instructions for making clothes and a tent.

Related Tags

  • how to weave a bag out of plastic bags
  • how to make bags out of plastic bags
  • how to make plastic rope
  • how to make a hammock out of plastic bags
  • how to make coasters out of plastic bags