14 Tips and Tricks for Using and Storing String
From cutting pipes to a quick measuring tape substitute, check out these brilliant ways to store and use string.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Cut Pipe with a String
It’s almost as fast as a saw and fits into tight spots saws can’t. To give the string a starting point, cut a shallow notch with a file or hacksaw blade. Then pull the string back and forth to slice through PVC or ABS pipe.
Reopen a Bottle of Wine
Whenever you put the cork back on a bottle of wine, slip in a short length of knotted nylon cord alongside. When you’re ready for another glass, it’s easy to just pull the cord.
If you need to measure the outside diameter of a cylinder or sphere, use a flexible measuring tape. If you don’t have one on hand, go for a cheap and simple solution with a length of yarn, twine or string.
Wrap one loop around the item being measured, mark it with your finger or a black marker, then lay the yarn on top of a tape measure or ruler. Just be careful to exert the same force on the string when you wrap it around the object as you do when measuring.
End the frustration of never finding where the tape ends on your storage boxes, presents and packages. Just lay a piece of string at the seam under the tape, leaving about an inch or two of string uncovered. Instead of searching for the tape end, just pull the string.
Yuletide Yarn Tree
If you have leftover yarn from knit, crochet or other projects, wrap it around a foam cone to create cozy Christmas trees. Secure the yard with tacky glue or a low-temperature glue gun. For added fun, repeat the process with coordinating metallic yarn or other color, wrapping lightly enough to reveal some of the base yarn underneath.
Keep Your Yarn from Tangling
People who like to crochet and knit like having multiple skeins of yarn in their work baskets so they can change colors quickly. Now you can keep the yarn from tangling by making clips on the side of your basket with Sugru and feeding the yarn through them to prevent tangling.
Photo: Courtesy of Sugru.
Rope is the Ultimate Extra Hand
Carrying a sheet of plywood by yourself is awkward and hard on your back. The best method I’ve found is to make a loop from an 18-ft. length of rope and wrap it around two corners. Now I can use the rope as a handle. — Ken Porter.
Anne Murlowski for Family Handyman
Scare away the things that go bump in the night with a friendly yarn monster.
Wrap yarn around a small piece of cardboard (approximately three inches wide) 50 times. Cut the end and carefully remove the cardboard. Tie a second piece of yarn tightly around the middle of the yarn bundle, then cut the looped edges. Flair out the yarn to make it look the way you like.
Accent with googly eyes and looped pipe-cleaner arms, carefully tucked through the center of the yarn ball. You can make cat toys out of yarn, too.
At the End of Your Nylon Rope?
Here’s another smart way to keep nylon rope from fraying when you cut it. Firmly wrap three turns of duct tape around the rope and cut it with a sharp utility knife. The tape makes it easier to cut the rope and keeps the braiding tight. Thanks to reader Tim King for lassoing this fine tip.
DIY Cat Wand
You probably already know cats love chasing after wand toys. But cats destroy them quickly, and you end up buying one after another and cleaning up your cat’s mess. Stop the spending cycle with this simple DIY cat wand project that you can make with stuff lying around the house.
To begin, drill a small hole about one inch down from the top of a dowel. Use this hole to string a piece of brightly colored twine through and secure one end with several knots. Leave an excess amount of twine, about 10 to 12 inches, so you can tie fabric scraps and jingle bells to the end.
Take all your fabric scraps and tie them to the end of the twine. Next, tie jingle bells to different pieces of fabric.
Tangle-Free Twine Storage
Can’t find your twine to bundle that pile of recyclables? Try reader Norm Hoch’s slick solution.
Cut the bottom four inches off a 1/2-gallon plastic milk or orange juice jug and load the container with a fresh spool of twine that unwinds from the middle. Then thread the twine through the jug opening and tape the jug back together. Cut an “X” in the cap with a utility knife to keep the twine from falling back into the jug.
Hang a Laser
An inexpensive keychain laser can be modified into a plumb bob with a bit of sturdy string. Just like that, you’re ready to make your mark!
Laundry Detergent Twine Dispenser
Prevent balls of twine from tangling up by making a twine dispenser from an empty plastic detergent jug. Cut the bottom off the jug and drill a hole in the cap. Screw the jug to your shop wall with the spout facing down. Drop the ball of twine into the jug, thread it through the hole and screw the cap on. — Paul Chupek.