Make a Temporarily Drinking Cup from Wood and Paracord


Sometimes you need a small container to catch a little water, hold small things together, or only a temporarily drinking cup. Today we will look at how a makeshift cup can be made from a round wood piece with simple means. All we need is a saw, a knife and a little paracord. But one thing at a time. Let’s start by choosing the right piece of wood.

Selecting The Right Stick Of A Tree

There are a few things to consider when choosing the appropriate piece of wood. First of all, I would like to ask you to use dead wood whenever possible explicitly. This behaviour is not only for the reason that no trees should be damaged. Even dry deadwood has the advantage that any moisture will not affect the taste. 

Under no circumstances should poisonous woods such as yew be used. Most yew species, such as the European yew (Taxus baccata), contain very toxic ingredients such as Taxin B. Bark, needles, and seeds are poisonous. However, the red seed coat does not contain any toxins. Cases of fatal poisoning by yew trees are known from humans, cattle and horses.

The use of softwood can also be unfavourable, as these woods often have a high resin content. This resin not only sticks the tools used but is also very stubborn on the skin. The resins themselves leave a nutty to very bitter taste that can be very unpleasant.

When the right piece of deadwood has been found, the question of the right size comes up. Here I recommend a portion for the first attempts you can enclose with your hand if it is a drinking cup. Up to this size, the work steps can still be carried out quickly with a relatively small tool. If the pieces are too thick, a more extensive tool is needed rapidly.

The wood should also not have died for too long so that the structure is still firm and not decomposed by insects. If you knock on the piece of wood and make a dull sound, it may have become too damp. Elements of wood that do not touch the ground are usually more suitable, as these are dry compared to those pieces that lie directly on the ground.
In terms of structure, the areas that have little or no knotholes are suitable. Branches that have grown out of the trunk leave most holes in the trunk that are not conducive to a cup’s function.

Saw The Workpiece To Size

When sawing out the workpiece, the length of the palm of the hand, including fingers, has proven to be practical for me. The longer the pieces, the more difficult it is to split them with small tools. The sawing itself should be carried out cleanly so that the edges do not splinter or break off. After the first cut, be sure to check the inside of the wood for damage from insects or fungi. If the tree is already severely damaged from the inside, further use is not recommended.

Split It Into Parts

The piece of wood must now be split into three or four parts. You can use an axe for this. It is also possible to use a knife and a wooden stick as a hammer. Please make sure that it is best to use a full tang/knife.Process individual parts with the knifeAs soon as the three or four parts are in place, you can start flattening the inside. The goal is to have a cavity in the middle when you put all the pieces back together later. So that you don’t accidentally edit the entire length, you can either mark it with a pen or use the saw. With the saw, you can cut the inside where the bottom of the vessel is to arise.

You should not work on the side walls.If you can work very precisely, it may work, but most of the time, the result is bad. Use the structure that resulted from splitting and leave it as it is. This gives excellent results in terms of water permeability.

Assemble And Tie With Paracord

The last step is to put the individual parts back together. It is, of course, more comfortable if you have identified the individual workpieces.As soon as all parts have been brought together, you can start to wrap a piece of paracord tightly around the bottom of the cup. Complete this process with a knot. The same must then be repeated on the top of the cup. When you have everything tightly wrapped, you can start with the first operational test.

Function Test With Water or Coffee

Finally, you can now test the cup by filling it with water and looking for leaks. If you want, you can still seal the seams with liquid wax. In my case, I didn’t do it.Please note that only drinking water is used in the test phase with a cup that is to be used for drinking.Subsequent rinsing is not possible due to the relatively rough wooden surface.


We have now seen how you can make a makeshift cup in a few minutes with an axe, a saw and two pieces of paracord. It is crucial to choose the right piece of wood. Here again, the important note that you must not use poisonous woods.
Have fun!
Cheers Sven

Leave a Reply