How can I reuse or recycle lots of old twine?

Ball of twineWe’ve had an email from Rachel R, saying:

We accumulate quite a lot of twine from hay bales used to feed horses at work. We get both the rough, “hairy” and plastic kinds. The only thing I can think to do is give it away at gardening sales this spring or to teachers for use in craft projects.

Staying on the giving it away route, someone on your local Freecycle group might be able to make use of it too.

Aside from that, crafty/practical suggestions, the rough hair stuff could be wrapped around a piece of scrap wood to make a cat scratching post (it might need glueing on so the cat doesn’t pull it straight off again) or if you fancy macrame, you could follow a plant hanger pattern which could be used for plants – or presuming Rachel works in a stables (I guess should could be talking about that rare breed of office pony…) – for hanging head height buckets of food/water/treats for the horses.

I’m sure there are lots of other possibilities too though – anyone else got any ideas?

(Photo by Nbauer)

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15 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle lots of old twine?”

  1. fuchsoid says:

    Perhaps it could be crocheted or knitted up into little rugs or doormats.

  2. Rosalind says:

    I have a farmer friend and am always scavenging baler twine from her. Very useful in the garden (although a bit of a lurid colour!) and also I use it to make big bundles of twiggy branches to store in the woodshed to dry. (Then I have a supply of dry kindling on wet days.)

    It might make good string bags – depends on the texture. The twine I get is the plastic thick stuff which doesn’t have much of a twist in it.

  3. Bobbie says:

    I’d put it into bundles, then make a sign saying “Free Twine” and put it by the curb and see if anyone takes it (I’ll bet they do :)

  4. paperlady says:

    I have used the plastic twine to crochet “scrubbies” for the kitchen, like those plastic ones you use to scrub dishes.

  5. Sandi says:

    You could make great shopping bags by crocheting with it!

  6. Jen says:

    there is so much home decor to be made with twine. if you’re not much of a crocheter, try to get into hemp jewelry making. its easy, fast ,and you can make tons of stuff like pot holders for plants, necklaces, door mats, and bags

  7. Gulia says:

    Tie gifts with twine.

  8. BeckyO says:

    Use your low-temp glue gun and wrap a box in it. You can even dye some of it to make a pattern. It makes those cheap cardboard storage boxes look a little better.

  9. Kacy says:

    The Girl Scouts (at least here in the US) use the twine as clothes lines while camping. You could also make clothes lines out of them or donate them to the scouts.

  10. lennyb says:

    try making a rope machine and twist that twine into useful rope.
    heres a link to one i made for instructables .com.

  11. Lacey says:

    Bridon Cordage is a twine manufacturer that offers Revolver. Revolver is their own twine that is made out of 100% recycled twine, and reused by farmers and ranchers. What they do is gather used twine, melt it, and reform it into twine that can be used over again. There are several drop sights in the U.S. for collecting used twine. For more info go to and read the article “The Second Time Around”, or get on Bridon’s website at another article is called “Twine Becomes Twine In Recycling Effort’ ON http://WWW.HAYANDFORAGE.COM

  12. Medeea says:

    Rustic decoration: tie around some candles, or bind together small twigs, tie bags, wrap boxes in it…
    Use it as strings for cloth bags.
    Or donate to a gardener, even a greenhouse to tie plants with it.

  13. Eileen Walton says:

    All the above ideas are very novel and creative. But if you’ve got only a couple of horses you acquire masses of the stuff from both hay and straw bales. Surely there must be someone who collects it for recycling. Putting it bin the bin seems such a waste.

    Also if you’ve got horses you’re hardly likely to have the tome for crocheting etc.

    Any ideas anyone.

    • louisa says:

      I think that’s a common problem we have here – lots of reuses for little amounts of things but once you start generating more than a reusable amount, the time/need for those little projects doesn’t scale.

      However, the original question asker Rachel R makes a good point about passing it on — to teachers or via gardening sales. Even if you can’t reuse it, someone else might be able to.

      You can also try Freecycle/Freegle – people with more time to crochet or whatever would come and collect it from you/the stables at your convenience. And if you know someone with an allotment, they might be willing to take it – to use themselves and pass around to other allotmenters.

      And don’t forget that natural fibre twine can be composted.

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