Cuprous oxide and copper have been synthesized via the solvothermal process using basic copper carbonate as the source of copper. Pure Cu2O or Cu could be afforded by simply varying the solvent while keeping the temperature and time constant. In this study, copper-based materials were coated on jute stick pieces (JSP) in situ. Cu2O-coated JSP (Cu2O-JSP) and Cu-coated JSP (Cu-JSP) were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Cu2O-JSP and Cu-JSP were found to be active against Escherichia coli NCIM 2931 (Gram-negative bacteria) and Staphylococcus aureus (Gram-positive bacteria). The antibacterial nature of the material and the buoyant nature of Cu2O-JSP and Cu-JSP were exploited to develop beaded necklace-like strands that could be floated on potable water to effectively prevent aerial contamination. Leaching of copper from both Cu2O-JSP and Cu-JSP into water was found to be below the permissible limit for copper in drinking water. © 2019 American Chemical Society.