14 DIY Rope Projects That Turn Braided Fibers into Creative Decor
DIY Rope Sculpture
This DIY wrapped wire sculpture serves as a coastal-style accent piece for a mantel or bookshelf. Cut three wires from an inexpensive wreath form to create a trio of circles. Wind a 1/4-inch jute cord around each circle, hot-gluing each end. Adjust and shape the loops inside one another to create your own orb.
Coiled Rope Planter
Hanging Rope Shelf
A nautical-style shelf is the perfect surface to display a plant and favorite finds. Drill four holes to fit your rope, one at each corner of a wood board, such as a cutting board. Slide a strand of rope through D-ring hanging hardware, then feed the ends through the two holes on one side of the board. Knot one end. Repeat with a second length of rope. Screw the hardware into the wall. Make sure the shelf is level before you tie the other knots.
Rope Table Lamp
Update an uninspiring lamp base using some sisal rope, a hot-glue gun, and a soft tassel. We used 3/8-inch diameter sisal rope for this project. Secure one end with hot glue, wrap the rope around to cover the entire base, then glue the other end down. Loop a handcrafted tassel around the top before replacing the shade.
Rope Curtain Tiebacks
To craft your own rope curtain tiebacks, wrap cotton or cotton-blend cord around a book multiple times. Carefully slide the wrap off the book and thread a length of cord through the top of the wrapped loops. This cord will tie around the curtain. (You can temporarily tie this cord in a knot to keep it in place.) Wrap another cord around the top of the book-length loops and tie to make the tassel head. Cut the bottom of the loops to create frine. Trim to an even length and unravel the cord ends a bit if desired.
Add texture and a coastal vibe to any large glass hurricane or candlestick with sisal rope. Starting from the bottom, hot-glue the end of the rope (ours is 1/4-inch thick) to the glass and slowly wrap rope around to your desired stopping point, applying a dot of hot glue about every 6 inches. Embellish by tying a separate piece of rope around the exterior, finishing each rope end with a metallic cap attached with a dot of hot glue for a polished look.
DIY Rope Rug
Tie your room together with a custom mat or rug. We used 1-1/2-inch-diameter manila rope and cotton string in a matching color. Work with a partner to cut lengths of thick rope with a branch cutter; have one person hold the rope tight while the other cuts. Lay out the lengths of rope and weave cotton string or jute through the ropes at the ends of the rug to secure the lengths, or you can adhere the rope pieces to an existing mat with heavy-duty glue. Untwist the ends as desired.
One easy way to update a side table starts with getting rid of the knob that came with it. Put your own spin on hardware with a pull made from soft, 1/2-inch-diameter natural jute rope. Patch the original knob hole with putty; sand, paint, and let dry. Drill two holes big enough to fit the rope. Insert rope into the holes, tying knots on the inside of the drawer so the pull stays put.
Rustic Rope Headboard
Repurpose curtain rods and rope for a rustic DIY headboard. We used 1/2-inch-diameter manila rope and two simple curtain rods. (Match the length of the rods to your mattress size.) Attach the rods to the wall at your desired heights. Knot the rope to the bottom rod, then drape the rope over the top rod and wrap under the lower rod. Repeat to achieve your desired look, and knot the end of the rope to the bottom rod. A few dots of hot glue between rope and rod will hold the arrangement steady.
Important safety tip: This treatment is not appropriate for kids' beds or other rooms where children sleep.
Hanging Rope Basket
Upcycle a can into a hanging floral basket. Remove the paper label, then hot-glue a sisal rope around the can. Spray-paint the bottom few rows with several coats and let dry. Then wrap again until you reach the top. Hot-glue handles for hanging and fill with flowers.
Rope Wall Art
Express yourself with DIY wall art made from rope. Drop thick natural fiber rope into a mixture of 1-1/2 cups warm water, 1 cup flour, 1 cup cornstarch, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup crafts glue, such as Elmer's Glue-All ($2-$44, Michaels). Using a permanent marker, sketch out your word or shape on a piece of plastic wrap first as a guide. Shape the rope into your design, using light-gauge wire to add stability and to form tight letter shapes. The rope should harden within 24 hours. When dry, tack the lettering on the wall, attaching decorative birds or other embellishments as desired.
Braided Polypropylene Rug
Spruce up your floor with a stylish rug made from braided polypropylene rope. We used a two-tone option, available at home improvement stores, for a fun patterned effect. Working on a hard surface, begin coiling braided polypropylene rope as tightly as possible. As you go, attach heavy-duty white duct tape to hold the coil securely in place. Once you’ve coiled the entire rope to the desired rug size (our 5⁄8-inch-diameter rope was 90 feet long, and our finished rug is 3 feet wide), add an extra layer of duct tape all in the same direction, trimming tape ends. Turn over, so tape is on the back. Place a nonslip rug pad underneath to prevent the rug from sliding.
Twine Pendant Light
Light up your space with a pendant made from twine. In a bowl, mix 1-1/2 cups warm water, 1 cup flour, 1 cup cornstarch, 1 cup crafts glue (we used Elmer's Glue-All), and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir until the mixture resembles runny pancake batter. Drop a roll of twine into the bowl, leaving one end out. Wrap the damp twine around a round balloon, rotating it as you go and leaving a small opening for inserting the lightbulb. Once the balloon is mostly covered, knot the twine ends and let dry for 24 hours. Make sure the twine has hardened before popping the balloon. Insert the lightbulb and cord kit through the opening.
Important safety tip: Use a low-wattage bulb in your finished creation for safety.
Twine Memo Board
Turn an old picture frame into a cute memo board by stretching twine across the back of the frame. Measure increments along the back of the frame, marking where each string will be. Cut lengths of twine that will reach across the back of the frame. At each mark, place a dot of hot glue on the frame, then push the twine into the glue with a metal awl. Hold for a few seconds until the glue dries. Directly across the frame, place a dot of hot glue and attach the opposite end of twine, making sure it is taut. Hang the frame on your wall, using clothespins to display photos and mementos.