Saturday, October 19, 2013

homemade jump rope

like most tomboy princesses, mine likes to jump rope.   her school has some but they are literally rope.  no handles, just rope.   they work, as well as just rope works.   the problem with just rope is that the rope is turning but held at the pivoting point, i.e. the hand so they twist until they tangle.   she wanted a jumprope that worked, so i made her one.  no problems.  
 i found some inspiration :



and then i took off on my own.   

first, i did use the t-shirt material but i have some sheets made of jersey.   it's already the length i need.  much simpler.   i had my tomboy princess mark the material at the width of a wide ruler, around two fingers or so.   it's not important that it's exact but you don't want tit too thin or it will tear and too thick makes it harder to work with.   i wouldn't go thinner.   
after marking, i cut the strips and stretched them.   be gentle and slow stretching them.   cut extras.   we broke a few.   you want them to stretch to the point that they become a stiffer "string" but not until they break.   it worked best to stretch them a couple times instead of overstretching the first time.   
this is the difference between the fresh cut and the "string"

try to pull them so they are the same length, approximately.

leave some room at the end.   my regular sheet made one too long for me and long enough for two to turn and one to jump.  knot the first end and then just use a little rubber band on the second end for now.
next, you braid. . . and braid . . and braid . . it's easier if you have help . . .
depending on the help.   my cat was super helpful.   
while you're braiding, you want to pull one string out of the others to keep them from knotting up under you.   just pull one out every 4 or 5 wraps.   obviously, the material will wear out eventually.   you could cut some rubber/plastic tubing beads to put on the middle to protect the rope and give it some weight if you want.   i just didn't have any and couldn't buy any.   maybe next time.  i'll be keeping my eye out for some used fish tank tubing wide enough to go on the ropes.   maybe some small garden hose but you don't want it too heavy either.   i am thinking just a few to protect the center that hits the ground.
next, the handles.   here is where you make a difference between a rope and jump rope.
i used an old hula hoop because it was what i had.   you could use pvc pipe anything hard for the handles.   i don't know if garden hose would work.   it would depend n how stiff it was.   the rope has to be able to freely turn inside the handle.    that is what keeps it from twisting up  
i grabbed a picture of it in the tub when i washed it.  these pictures are totally on the go.   we had several things to do including make a jump rope.   chaos as always, but you are patient with my chaotic pictures.   you're such a great audience!
if you have a cut off wheel for your dremel, you can cut the handles easy . . .i used a serrated knife without cutting myself for once.     seriously, use caution and cut carefully.   be responsible with your cutting.
we measured a bit longer than my princesses hand is wide.   you want room for them to hang on and not interfere with the end of the rope turning.
after cutting, i used sandpaper to smooth the ends.   you don't want the raw edges to cut kid's hands or the rope.   i sanded it inside and out until it was smooth.

 next, string your rope together.    this is why you leave one end with just a rubber band.   it's easier to get through the tubing and washers.
you want your washers on the ends, between the handle and the knot.   that is what lets the rope turn inside the handle.   i happened to have some washers.    (hope my husband didn't need them for anything)   i figured if i couldn't find washers, i would cut a circle out of plastic or even cut the pipe in half and make a hole for the rope to go through.  you could use large beads too.   be creative with what you have.    it just has to be able to turn freely on the end of the handle and not slip into the handle.
 this is the order you string them on.   then just tie your other end and you're done.   if you need it smaller, just tie it up higher.   no problems.   leave it a loose knot so you can make it longer again later.
you could use any color sheet but make sure it's t-shirt material.   you could use a t-shirt too if you wanted.  just cut in a spiral around the shirt from bottom to armpits.   you could use permanent markers to put some color on it as well.

you should be able to make this jump rope from what you have around the house.  with a little creativity, you can probably find all you need without shopping.   be creative and think about what it has to do instead of just looking at my list and wondering if you have what i have.

hope it works well for you.   have fun!