How to Make a Hanging Rope Shelf

Add more storage space with this simple rope shelf. It's chic, cheap, and oh-so-easy to make.

Add style to a bare wall with this DIY hanging rope shelf. The project couldn't be easier to make—all you do is drill holes in wood boards, then hang with heavy-duty rope—but it makes a big impact. 

Use a hanging rope shelf to display your favorite knickknacks, store small towels and toiletries in the bathroom, or keep spices close at hand in the kitchen. The options are endless for this versatile shelf. Make one this weekend in an hour (or less!). 

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What You Need

  • 1 inch x 8 inch x 6 foot board
  • Measuring tape
  • Miter saw, or other tool for cutting
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • 1/2-inch drill bit
  • Clamps
  • Sandpaper
  • Clean cloth
  • Clear poly seal
  • Paintbrush
  • 15 feet of 3/8-inch rope
  • Scissors
  • 1/2-inch copper pressure couplings (4)
  • Glue
  • C-hook

Step 1: Drill and Stain

Cut two 16-inch pieces from board. On each corner of both boards, mark a point 1 inch from the end and 1 inch from the side with a pencil. Clamp boards to a sturdy surface, then drill holes with a 1/2-inch drill bit in marked spots. Sand boards and wipe away any dust with clean cloth. Seal wood with clear poly or desired stain color. Let dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Tie Knots

Cut two 7 1/2-foot pieces of rope. Loop the rope through the top of both sides of one board. There will be about 30 inches of rope above. Make a knot on the other side of the board at each corner. It's crucial that you tie the knots as tightly as possible. The weight of your shelf—and everything on it—is dependent on them being secure. 

Step 3: Attach Second Board

Thread the rope through holes in the second board. Leave 6 1/2 inches between the two boards and then tie the knots below. Leave 3 inches of rope below and cut the excess.

Editor's Tip: Your measurements between the boards don't have to match ours, but they do need to be equal on all corners of the board. Adjust based on what you want to place on the shelf and how much vertical space you need. 

Step 4: Attach Accents and Hang

Glue copper couplers to the end of each rope. These accents help prevent the rope from fraying and adds a decorative touch. Add other accents—like ribbon, paint, or stencils—if desired. Then hang shelf on wall with a C-hook.

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