DIY: Upcycled Jump Rope

goodness gracious living upcycle jump rope

I was brainstorming ideas for some fun projects to try with my new students in my Upcycled Crafting class, when I realized, I never shared one of my favorites from last semester!  I like to work on projects that won’t have the parents saying, “Now what the heck do I do with this thing?”  I want our creations to be useful, or beautiful, or both.  This project wasn’t beautiful, but it certainly will be useful!  I made a jump rope out of plastic bags, yogurt drink containers, and some craft beads.  Right about now, you are thinking, “No way!” but guess what?  Yes way!  It works, and if your kids can braid, they can make this with minimal help.  If they can’t braid, then they can learn while making the upcycled jump rope!  Here’s what you’ll need…

Upcycled Jump Rope

2 or 3 plastic grocery bags

2 yogurt drink containers (or water bottles if you don’t have the narrow containers)

5 craft beads (or tin foil)


Painter’s tape or masking tape

Drill or sharp-pointed object

You will be using the bag as the braiding medium, but first you will have to cut it into string.  Start out by laying a plastic bag out flat and trim off the gusset at the bottom and both handles.  You will be left with a tube of a plastic bag.  To begin making the string for braiding,  cut into only one layer at one of the open ends and cut up 1/2″ and then cut perpendicular to the edge. Continue cutting perpendicular to the edge, going around the circumference of the bag tube until you reach the other end.

goodness gracious living upcycle jump rope

Lay the bag out flat.

goodness gracious living upcycle jump rope

Trim the parts you won’t be needing.

goodness gracious living upcycle jump rope

Cut perpendicular to the edge of the bag to make the string that will be braided.

goodness gracious living upcycle jump rope

String made from a plastic bag.

Once you have cut all of your string, it is time to braid.  Cut three equal pieces of string about 3 feet long each.  If the string is any longer than that, braiding your jump rope will be difficult.  You can make it shorter if it is easier for you to braid; you can always add pieces on by double knotting a new piece to the end of the old piece and braid the ends into the  jump rope.  Tie a knot to join the three pieces together, and secure it with a piece of light-tack tape to a table.  Time to start braiding!

goodness gracious living upcycle jump rope

Tie three pieces together and start braiding.

goodness gracious living upcycle jump rope

Need more length? Double knot pieces together and braid them into the jump rope.

goodness gracious living upcycle jump rope

The double-knotted extensions are braided in. The bits hanging out can be trimmed.

Braid until the length of the jump rope is long enough that when you hold an end in each hand at your sides, the jump rope touches the ground and has a slight bend to it, rather than only skimming the floor.  Tie a knot at the end and remove the tape from the starting point.

Using a drill, put a hole in the bottom of each yogurt drink container.  Feed one end of the rope through the hole, from the outside to the inside.  Pull it through, thread one bead onto the rope, and tie a sturdy knot.  The bead will be between the knot and the inside of the container, and will stop the rope from pulling through.  Before repeating this step on the other end, first thread three beads onto the rope.  These beads will give some weight to the middle of the rope and help it fly over the top when jumping with it.  If you don’t have beads handy, you can wrap some tin foil around the middle of the rope.  Once the beads are on, repeat the first step of threading the rope through the container, through a bead, and then make a sturdy knot.

goodness gracious living upcycle jump rope

Yogurt drink containers make great jump rope handles for small hands.

goodness gracious living upcycle jump rope

Drill a hole through the container. Don’t have a drill? Poke a hole with the end of a scissor or a knife.

goodness gracious living upcycle jump rope

Feed the rope through the end of the container and attach a bead.

goodness gracious living upcycle jump rope

Thread three beads on to weight the rope. Don’t have beads? Use tin foil and wrap it around the middle of the rope.

And that’s it!  The result is a durable toy that can be enjoyed inside the house on cold, rainy days, and outside on all other days.

goodness gracious living upcycle jump rope

An upcycled jump rope!

The best part about this craft is that you can make one for yourself while you help the kids, and you can all get a good workout from upcycling plastic bags and yogurt drink containers.  How about that! – The upcycled jump rope is good for the environment and for your heart!



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8 thoughts on “DIY: Upcycled Jump Rope

  1. Get the truck outta here! I love this! Visiting from SITS. We have tons of plastic bags and I recycle our yogurt containers, but this, THIS is an awesome idea… I’m bookmarking. (Though I should probably pin it as bookmarking is old school, what can I say old habits die hard.)

    • I’m so glad you stopped by and I am even happier that you liked this idea! Pin it, bookmark it, take a screen shot, whatever you have to do so that you can try it out.

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