How to Make an Easy DIY Rope Leash

This easy rope leash is even simpler to make than our Quick Dog Leash.

The supplies needed are very basic – just a piece of rope.

You can use any one of several kinds of rope, including nylon, polypropylene, hemp or cotton.

a rope leash

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Various Types of Rope

  • Nylon is rather stretchy and may slip a little in your hands. On the plus side, it can handle getting wet and won’t rot.
  • Polypropylene doesn’t stretch and is good if the leash will often get wet. However, the rope may feel harsh to your hands
  • Hemp rope is made of natural fibers that will rot if not dried out properly after becoming wet.
  • Cotton rope also consists of natural fibers and is therefore not good for wet conditions. It is also much weaker than any of the other three types and therefore you may need to braid several strands together first. However, it may feel better to your hands than the unnatural fibers.

*If using cotton, I’d recommend that you braid several strands of cotton together, since the strands are so much weaker than nylon, polypropylene or hemp. Also, note that hemp and cotton are both natural fibers that will rot if they become wet and do not dry properly.

Materials and Tools Needed for the Easy Rope Leash

  • At least 8.5 feet of your desired rope
  • A lighter or matches
  • A wet cloth


  • With the lighter or matches, melt one end slightly
  • Pinch the end with the cloth so you don’t burn your fingers
  • Now do the same with the other end


  • Fold over one end at least 8 inches.
  • Take the doubled end and cross it over about two inches from the end of the shorter piece.
  • If you put the ropes flat next to each other as shown it turns into a neater knot.
  • Now bring the doubled end under and then through the loop that was formed.
  • Pull tight, adjusting the handle to the size you want.
  • Do the same with the other end.
showing how to make a rope leash

Ta da, you’re done! A very easy rope leash, but so versatile:

  • Push one loop through the collar’s ring or around the collar, thread the other end through the loop and you have a leash
  • Use as a Whipwhir when your dog needs a quick workout (see our Dog Toys page)
  • Thread through the ring on the collar and hold onto both handles at once for a strong, short leash
  • Loop one handle around a post for a quick tether
  • Use it for Bicycle Exercise (see Exercise Equipment)