Make your own designer rope
"A great activity for the cubs that kept them busy the whole meeting!" Jane, Cub Leader
"Such fun. We made so much colourful rope! It took us a few weeks but we ended up making a hammock. It was brilliant!" Dan, Scout
Rope making is an activity that young people love. Anyone can do it and you end up with a finished product that is useful with a number of fun applications.
You will need: Rope making machine. Order one here. (UK only)
You will also need: G-clamp, wool (different colours) and twine (or just butchers string), scissors
Rope is best made using three people: A. to hold the knot, B. to turn the hooks and C. to operate the paddle.
Clamp the machine to a table.
Cut three lengths of twine and three of wool. (The twine gives strength and stability, and the wool gives colour.) Each length should be at least two metres long. The finished rope will be about one sixth of the original length. Make sure the six lengths are all of a similar length to each other.
Hook one length of twine in the middle over one hook. Repeat with the other two lengths of twine and hooks. Now add the wool.
Hook one length of wool in the middle over one hook. Repeat with the other two lengths of wool and hooks.
Gather all six lengths (twelve ends) together. Pull taut and tie a half knot in the end.
Place the paddle in front of the knot with each pair of twine and wool in its corresponding notch.
B. starts to turn the hooks, using the knob, in a clockwise direction.
When A. feels sufficient tension in the knot for it to start turning they let it do so by relaxing the hold slightly whilst maintaining tautness.
As the knot turns, C. moves the paddle slowly down the lengths of twine and wool. The three pairs of twine and wool will start to twist round each other.
Continue until all the twine and wool is twisted with the paddle up by the hooks.
C. eases the twine and wool off the hooks and, with A. still keeping the rope taut, ties a half knot in this end before trimming the loose strands with a pair of scissors. (To avoid having a knot wrap insulation tape tightly round each end, or whip.)
If at any time the rope starts to buckle then B. needs to stop turning. If B. then makes a few turns anti-clockwise to lessen the tension and C. moves the paddle further down the kinks will usually disappear.
Your rope is now made. It can be used as, well, rope or made into all sorts of things such as a bracelet or necklace, a key ring fob, a dog leash, a napkin ring, a coaster. The list is endless. Try using three similar colours of wool, or three different shades, maybe red, white and blue or your scout scarf colours. You could use string, either one length or two on each hook. Dye lengths of white string to achieve some colourful results. If you make enough rope you could even construct a hammock or some cargo netting. One excellent use is as a tie for rollmats on camp.