Preparedness blog

Rope Making 101

By Ready Expert
More from this author

Knowing how to make rope is a great skill to have in an emergency. You might be able to find weaker materials like twine, string, yarn, plant fibers or even plastic bags but they won’t be able to hold anything strong until they are bound together as rope.

Making rope is a great skill to know and very easy to do. Below, we’ve listed some instructions on how you can make a simple rope design. Keep in mind that there are multiple ways to make a rope and many materials you can use.

For this design, you’ll need:
• Twine or string
• Two sticks

First Spin
1. Attach the twine to one stick using a bowline knot. Make the loop large enough to slip off of the stick, if you don’t, it will get too tight and you’ll have to cut the line instead.

Rope Making First Spin

2. Stretch the twine to ensure all the yarns are of equal tension and begin spinning clockwise. As it becomes more difficult to spin while the strand is under moderate tension, you’re probably  finished. (For very long strands, use a spinner at each end to speed up the process.)

Rope Making First Spin

3. Once the strand is tightly spun, it must be folded to make rope. This is the tricky part for first-timers, since the individual segments must be kept tight at all times to prevent kinks. With two additional helpers placed at “thirds” on opposite sides of the strand, have each back up while holding his or her segment.

These bends are then looped over the spinner and the anchor stick, respectively, making the rope one-third its original length. (This can be done with only two people by looping the strand over something like a trailer hitch ball or a sturdy fence post.)

Second Spin
1. Once the line has been folded into thirds, stretch the three strands until they are even lengths. Continue to spin the rope but this time, do it in the opposite direction (counterclockwise) until the rope is tight.

2. Over-tighten the rope and quickly tug on the rope to set it in place.

3. Slide the rope off the sticks and let it relax a bit. Splice the ends to make sure the rope doesn’t come undone.

Rope Making

Your Advice?
Have you made rope before? How did it go? Comment below to share your advice and tips.


11 years ago
Stan Wagner
11 years ago at 5:51 AM
I agree with Dennis, if there was book that had all of these tips and tricks, I believe I would buy it. I am in the process of developing a 'Quick Guide' for my family and it is time consuming, to say the least, especially since I have to document, cite and the works! But don't stop giving us these tips!
11 years ago at 8:01 AM
I want a copy of the book when it is written!
Vern Walters
11 years ago at 10:46 AM
I have used candle wax at the ends of rope to hold the ends together and it seemed to work pretty good. Also you could heat up crayons and us them as most crayons have or are made of wax. For the ones asking for a book to be made why don't you just print out the subject matter then use a 3 hole punch to put holes in the sides of the papers and put them into a notbook and bing you have a book of the ideas. Thats what I am doing so I won't forget these great ideas.
Vern Walters
11 years ago at 10:48 AM
Sherri you might want to print those out and do as I stated since if we loose power for long periods or for good you will still have them to read since it takes power to run the laptop. Just saying.
11 years ago at 5:54 PM
To Everyone that wishes for a compendium of information presented here, look under READYRESOURCES above.
11 years ago at 9:48 AM
I agree with printing out the lessons and putting in a three ring binder. I like the forum and reading the input from others. My ex husband and I made rope using hair form horses tails. you have to add strands of hair as you go to get the length but this is how it was done in the old days to make lariats.
11 years ago at 11:12 PM
How about how to make cordage from the complete beginning. Then you can thicken to make different widths. You know complete survival on your own.
11 years ago at 3:02 PM
Folks, I know I'm just chiming in way after the fact but i wanted ton address the issue of this info being put into a book. And no o take away from this author but all this a much much more is already printed in a book. As a matter of fact it is a 10 volume set called the "Fox Fire Books". These book's have everything you want to know about survival. I bought my set the year before Y2K. Didn't need them then but still glad i have them. Check them out.
10 years ago at 6:40 AM
Might have been nice if you had not assumed that all of your readers know how to make a bowline knot.
10 years ago at 8:34 AM
Put all these survival ideas (how too's) in a book and advertise it well and it will sell like crazy!!!! Put me on the list for around four of them!
Dennis Haggerty
8 years ago at 2:36 PM
Your last illustration does not show a splice it shows the whipped end of a line. The material used to whip the end of a line (rope) is called serving. There is a splice that is designed to keep the line from unraveling called a backsplice, but it is much more complicated than whipping the line and will not allow the line to reeve through a pulley block.