How To Make String From A Plastic Bottle (Cool Survival Hack)

Video: King of Random

How To Make String From A Plastic Bottle

In a survival situation you will probably need some cordage or string. There are some options usually at hand like plants, clothing and soda bottles.

Yes, soda bottles. Knowing how to make string from a plastic bottle is a survival hack that could help you out of a bad situation.

There are industrial machine solutions that recycle plastic bottles and set them up into a machine that they’ve created that extracts small thin strips of plastic rope which then are bundled up and turn them into heads of brooms.

There are a lot of different tutorials and other inventions made on how to do this very thing. The problem is, the cost of the equipment materials range anywhere from about $5 to $30.

Here is a way make string from a plastic soda bottle with a simple little device that costs absolutely nothing to make.

Now the only tools you’re going to need to make this work are some kind of a knife, a block of wood, and a saw.

If you have some kind of a knife like this with the serrated teeth, you might be able to get with just the knife and the wood itself. You can also make this work with just a basic kitchen knife.

Use a block of two-by-two that I cut 5 inches long. You can get away with a thicker tree branch or any other kind of wood as well.

Clamp your piece of wood an inch from the top is showing, and cut with the grain. You can look down at the top of your piece of wood and see which ways the lines are running We’re going to be cutting with those lines.

With our block in place we can begin cutting, so grab your saw and start cutting exactly down the middle until we make a cut one inch deep.

Once the saw is bottomed out at one inch, we can turn the blade around and cut horizontally until it cuts half way through the block from the front side

Now, all that’s left to do is take your knife blade or something like a chisel and position it half way down the right side of the block and give it a little tap This will knock the little wedge out of the bottom-right corner and as easy as that, our machine is pretty much ready for use. The only thing left to do now is add the blade.

Now with this system, you can make a thickness of rope just about as wide as you want, but I want mine to be on the thinner side, so I’m using the but end of an 8 inch drill bit as a guide. Place your spacer down into the corner of the block and then take the tip of your knife and push it into the corner as well.

Now move your fingers out of the way and apply a little pressure to the tip of the knife until it sinks into the wood.

Once the tip of your blade is in about half an inch, push the rest of your blade into the side piece of wood until it grabs on and holds firmly in place. Our simple machine is finished and its completely ready to start making plastic string.

We want to make the smoothest, cleanest cut possible because that will give the most plastic string we can get. Bonus hack: we get a little plastic bowl out of it. Now if you feel like you did a bit of hack job with the end of your bottle, don’t feel bad, you can easily clean it up with a pair of scissors.

Now take the bottom edge of our bottle, feed it through the gap in the wood, and help it make one full rotation.

What’s that done is cleaned up any jagged edges on the bottom, and now a piece of string sticking out. If we give this thing a tug, we can see the bottle start spinning, giving us loads of extremely strong plastic string.

So you can see now its as easy as tugging on this string and the whole bottle unwinds and gives us a nice bundle of strong, plastic rope.

You can use that for fishing line. Now just for convenience, I turned this thing over sideways because it relieves the pressure on the bottle so its not rubbing up on the knife. It also allows me to grab the string and pull it out at a more comfortable angle so I can do this all day. Pretty sweet isn’t it? It just keeps going, and going, and going. Now you might be wondering what kind of uses there are for plastic string, and the answer is probably as many uses as there are for normal string.

You can use it as improvised fishing line, you can use to rig a snare or hold up your tent when you’re out in the woods. or if you’re using something like my rope-making machine, you might be able to wind it into an actual length of rope.

There really are so many ways that you can approach this. You can use kitchen knives, you can use hunting knives, you can use wooding knives. You can even use razor blades out of your utility knife and shove that up in there as well.

As for as the thickness of the rope goes, you can make anything, almost as thin as fishing line, to about as thick of any cable as you’d want to make. This would help with shelter  building and could be used in many survival problems.

And for as thin as this chord is, it really is pretty strong stuff. Of course you can break it. But the thicker you go….. The much more difficult it is to break.

The home made machine that costs absolutely nothing to make is working and its working very well. So lets move on to all these plastic bottles and try and transform them into string. Sweet! If you run your string in a line across the room, it’ll help relieve the tension, and if you wind it around a water bottle, it’ll organize it into a neat little bundle.

12 two liter bottles can make nearly twelve hundred feet of plastic string. We did measure our results and found that one two liter bottle makes nearly 100 feet of 8th inch plastic string by itself.

Using nothing but extremely simple materials you can probably find in the woods and definitely around your house. You can turn your old two liter bottle into a piece of plastic cordage.

The simplicity of this project came from an idea from Creek Stewart in his book “Survival Hacks”.

With nothing but a piece of wood and a knife, you can make endless amounts of strong plastic string.


This video is only for entertainment purposes. If you rely on the information portrayed in this video, you assume the responsibility for the results. Have fun, but always think ahead, and remember that every project you try is at YOUR OWN RISK.