old climbing ropes

10 Things To Do With Old Climbing Ropes (DIY Ideas!)

If you’re a climbing enthusiast, you know how important it is to check the condition of your rope from time to time. Like many things, rope that has been used for several years is prone to wear and tear.

To prevent any accidents or injuries during your climb, you should replace climbing rope every couple of years.

two climbing ropes green and blue

Some people feel that replacing items is harmful for the environment. However, some old rope is still in good condition and not as bad as it looks.

Should you still throw old rope away for the sake of safety? Or are there other alternatives?

If you are creative, the sky is your limit. Here are some things to do with your old climbing rope.

1. Dog Leash

siberian husky dog biting her dog leash

Tired of replacing and buying dog leashes just to have them broken or stretched out? Then use old climbing rope to make one for your dog.

Making a dog leash from old rope is pretty straightforward. All you need is a locking carabiner, scissors or knife, measuring tape, and a lighter.

First, measure the rope according to the size of your dog (usually not less than 6 feet or 2 meters). Cut the rope and make a loop on one end.

Attach the carabiner onto the loop. Without the carabiner, you can’t attach the leash to your dog’s collar. Finally, burn each end of the rope to remove any loose ends.

2. Coaster

Handmade home decor made from organic jute fiber

One of the simplest uses for old rope is making coasters. To make coasters from old climbing rope, cut the rope based on how big you want the coaster to be.

The bigger it is, the longer the rope you will need. Find a disc or any flat round object that can be used as a template for the coaster.

Put the rope on top of the round object and roll it inward in a circular motion. Make sure that the rope is rolled tightly in the center. Use glue to seal the round shape created by the rope.

Leave the rope for a few minutes to let the glue dry. Then, burn the outer end of the rope to remove loose ends.

3. Rope Rug

Tired of having your floors wet or dirty? Then make a rope rug using old climbing rope.

First, gather old rope, scissors or a knife, glue, and a lighter. Cut the rope according to the size of the carpet that you want to make.

Burn each end of the rope to keep it from unraveling. Depending on your creativity, you can design whatever rope rug you want, but the easiest shapes are round and square.

To make a round rope rug, the process is similar to making rope coasters. Coil the rope until it reaches the size you want. Then, use glue or adhesive to prevent the rope from unraveling.

To make a square or rectangular rug, cut the rope into separate parts and glue them together side by side.

Finally, you can paint the rug to make it look vibrant and fresh.

tangle of rope close-up on texture of handmade carpet

4. Jump Rope

You can also use old climbing rope to make a jump rope. To make a jump rope, measure your old rope according to your body size. If you’re making a jump rope for your kids, make it shorter.

Rope that doesn’t match your height or body size will make you trip while jumping, so be sure to measure correctly. Use a lighter to burn and remove loose ends.

Then, find a PVC pipe or similar object and cut it to match the size of your hand. You will attach these plastic parts to each end of the rope to serve as handles.

You can also attach a small bell or beads to the middle of the rope as a repetition counter. For every jump, you will hear the bell ring or the sound of the beads hitting the floor.

You can also tie cut-up shirts or colorful rags in and around the knot to make the jump rope look more fun.

Happy elementary kids playing together with jumping rope outdoor

5. Pot Hanger

Running out of space to put your indoor plants? Consider hanging them with old rope to save room.

To make rope plant hangers, gather screw hooks, scissors, adhesive tape, and your old climbing rope.

Cut the rope into eight strands of the same length. Join all strands with just one knot. This knot must be made close to one end of the bundled rope.

Place the knot at the center of the pot and use adhesive tape to stick the rest of the rope to the bottom of the pot. This knot will become the base for the net-like structure that will hold the pot.

Once the knots are completed, use a screw hook and hang the plant wherever you would like.

Woman gardener holding macrame plant hanger with houseplant over grey wall

6. Toilet paper holder

You can also turn your old climbing rope into a toilet paper holder.

The easiest toilet paper holder to make would be a horizontal one. To make it, cut the rope according to the size of the toilet paper roll.

Make it a bit longer so that it doesn’t sag when you hang it on the wall. You can either use nails or screw hooks to attach the holder to the wall.

Finally, tie a knot at one end to create a small, loose hole within the knot. This will make it easier for you to attach the holder when replacing toilet paper.

7. Pet Toys

dog with rope toy on sofa excited about biting a rope

Pet toys can sometimes be expensive. However, you can re-purpose your old climbing rope as a pet toy.

To make a pet toy, cut the rope to match the length for your pet. As a rule of thumb, try not to go beyond five feet long.

Then, burn each end of the rope to prevent your pet from chewing on the loose ends. You can use thick binding tape to cover each end. Tie the rope into a knot to make a ball, rope toy, or chew toy.

8. Hammock

 woman relaxing in hammock on tropical beach at sunset

If you’re looking to add more things to your backyard, front porch, or even a leisure space inside your house, then consider making a hammock out of your old climbing rope.

People with knitting or weaving skills can go for a much more sophisticated hammock design. But for beginners, the easiest hammock to make would be a simple no-sew one.

You will need long wood or steel, a tarp or bed sheet, steel rings or carabiners, scissors or a knife, and of course, the old rope.

Avoid using nails or screw hooks to hang the hammock. They aren’t as strong as steel rings and don’t provide enough flexibility for you to swing when laying in the hammock.

9. Rope Ladder

little girls playing in tree top adventure park

Thinking of having portable ladders that are easy to store and lighter than conventional ones? Then use old climbing rope to make a light to medium-duty rope ladder.

The two easiest rope ladders to make are all-rope ladders and tied rope ladders.

To make an all-rope ladder, you must know how to weave and tie a few ropes with one another, especially when making its rungs.

With a tied rope ladder, you will need to use other materials for the rungs, including cylindrical steels, broom handles, wooden blocks, or even sturdy PVC pipes.

10. Woven Stool

Who says that old climbing rope isn’t sturdy enough to be turned into small furniture? Believe it or not, you can use rope and some strong wood to make a small stool.

Create a base for the stool using wood that you can find in your house. You can also use legs from broken chairs, given that those legs are still sturdy and stable.

Once the frame is done, wrap the rope onto the upper part of the frame to create a layer for the woven seat. Start from one side and pull the rope to the other side.

Repeat this process and do the same for the other side. The final result is a crisscross pattern for the seat.

Final Thoughts

Be sure to thoroughly inspect old rope to ensure its overall condition. Do a simple stress test by quickly pulling the rope on both ends. If the rope is still strong, it won’t break easily.

Otherwise, cut the broken parts and do another stress test on the next part until you are truly sure that you’ve eliminated all the frail and damaged parts of the rope.


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