diy wednesdays: knot trivet

last month i bought lauren a set of “the family creative workshop” books for her birthday. we’ve been having a blast learning all sorts of new things as we make our way through the incredible variety of projects collected in the volumes. one section we were particularly excited to explore was all about knots, which we’ve long admired both for their usefulness and their beauty. this project is based on a “carrick bend” and is great for creating trivets and placemats, but you could just as easily hang it on your wall to be admired for its decorative charm.

have fun!
derek & lauren

CLICK HERE for the full project after the jump!


here’s what you’ll need:

-14 feet of 1/2” rope for an approximately 8” trivet
(we recommend you play around with different lengths and thicknesses of rope until you find a size and style you like. the cotton rope is great for this project, but we couldn’t resist the nylon rope with its amazing patterns and colors.)

*please bear with us on this one. describing how to tie knots can sound complicated and confusing, but with a little patience and a hard look at the photos, we’re certain you’ll figure it out.

1. lay the rope on your work surface with the longer end trailing off to your right.


2. form a loop with the right (longer) piece as shown.


3. bring the left side of the rope under the center of the loop.


4. pass the left end over the right end and then under the right side of the center loop.


5. continue weaving the left end across the loop, passing it over, then under and finally over the next three rope intersections.


6. weave the long right hand side of the rope back through the loops following the path you’ve created with the left end.


7. pull the length all the way through forming the 4th and final loop, and continue weaving the left end through until you run out of rope.


8. once you’ve finished the weaving process and run out of rope, secure all rows of rope with a needle and thread in a few strategic spots so that the pieces stay close together and won’t unravel.


hey grace – the link to CLICK HERE is missing the “h” in the “http://” – not a biggie, but just thought i’d let you know


I’m definitely going to make one of these…the white would look SO great on a headband! Thanks for sharing! =D


I love love love this idea! Can someone please explain, though, how the ends were tied off/connected? should they connect at the end or is there a strategic way to hide and secure them separately?


Another fun DIY project. These would make great drink coasters. Natural twine will be perfect for my outdoor setting. Thanks!

Raquel Raney

i have such an intense fascination with rope and string. totally going to get crafty later. thanks for sharing. .


I love the trivet in the first photo…it’s very nautical, but not cheesy (as a Navy wife, you wouldn’t believe the cheesiness that is out there). I am going to make these for a “Welcome to Annapolis” gift basket…and keep a set for myself, too!


Project looks awesome and perfect for my “knot” themed wedding. (the boy and I both have square knot tattoos)…

Does anyone have any good sources for cotton rope in NYC? Thanks


Whoa, blast from the past – my mom has had this book series in her house since 1977…until now ;)


Hi Ashley-

The rope ends sit on the underside of the trivet and are secured with a needle and thread. If you’re using nylon rope, you can prevent the ends from fraying by melting them with a flame from a match or lighter. Hope this helps!!


love this idea…Fleet Farm has an amazing assortment of ropes with all kinds of pretty colors and patterns…now I know what I can do with them!


Hmm, I love the cotton rope one, but wouldn’t nylon melt when being used as a trivet?? Scary.


I have The Family Creative Workshop! Love that series. It’s nice to see someone make something from it.


so weird.i was just thinking today that i want to learn how to make knots! this is awesome

heather moore

LOVE this! Got a great rope shop around the corner from my studio, and I can’t wait to make this. Thanks so much!


Going to Ireland for a month, would be a great project to do while we “relax” in the wee cottage and bring some pleasant memories back home to Texas.


I remember learning to do this stuff when I was a Boyscout.

katy elliott

I was just bugging my boyfriend who was is a knot expert to make me a door mat in this style. He laughed when I e-mailed it to him. Thanks!

Sharon Kurland

I bought the Family Creative Workshop books at a tag sale
now I inspired to use them!


The nylon rope is super-cute, but I think there would be melting issues for the trivet.


I suppose if you triple the length of the rope, and the size of the rope, you could make a small door mat…that would be uuber cute, then get a piece of cork, glue/sew it to the cork, cut cork to the shape, and magically its amazing!.


Love it!

Laureen: Daytona Trim on 39th street is a great NYC source for rope of different colors and sizes for this project.

Hardware stores and marine supply stores are a great sources for rope, too.


Well, this is timely! I have a friend who just bought a boat–the Emerald Isle. I was looking for something for a boatwarming gift–something nautical, and maybe also Celtic…PERFECT!


West Marine in NYC as well as MJ trimmings both have a great selection of rope. wonderful project!


What a great idea. I think I will try this, this weekend. I love stuff like this. Thanks

Peggy Crabill

I love this craft! Could you tell me what ratio of rope you leave to start? I know you leave the right side longer, but by how much before you begin? Thank You. Can’t wait to try this…
P.S. I too am a visual learner and the pics were great!


I think that that is very very hard but some day I will try to make it but that is so hard bye


No, it was not hard at all and well explained. I made the white trivet as shown at the top and it was a blast. Thanks a lot for this idea. I’ll make more !


Try Fray-check (in copious amounts) to secure the ends of cotton or other natural-fiber rope.


This is such a great idea and perfect timing as I’ve been hunting around for coasters this week.

Liz H

i just made three of these. it worked much better with 1/4 inch and 3/16 inch rope than 1/2 inch rope. the 1/2 inch rope was too thick and bulky. the final product would not lie flat. i did not have that problem with the 1/4 inch and 3/16 inch rope. also, with the thinner rope, i was able to complete the pattern with about 6-8 ft of rope.

Andrea Gray

once again such a great project! I am going to try and make smaller versions of this for my wedding groomsmen to wear instead or along with the flower pin


This seemed confusing at first but the pictures are actually really easy to follow…honestly I hardly even read the instructions I just looked at the picture. I’m going to try and make a small one of these with some hemp string and see how it turns out.


I can’t wait to try this! Great tutorial! Thank you so much.


I have made similar items with knots and have used them for under hot pots on the table.


I love this project, but it would be easier for me to see what the demo photos showed if solid color rope had been used instead of the patterned.


Awesome tutorial! I’ve had this on my list of things to make for some time. Just made three of these for my sister’s birthday. Much easier than it appears – you just have to get your hands on it and it makes sense very quickly.


Very well done tutorial. These can be made from almost any cord, but the better the cord, the better they look :) The most nautical are done using a thick ‘hard laid’ cord. If you want the really rustic, think about 1/4″ manila rope.


Anyone try making these as coasters? If so, what thickness/length would you recommend? Thanks!


I made this with a twisted looking cotton cord and I love it!! Thank you!!


Some people have asked about nylon rope melting if used as a trivet. The nylon used to make rope melts at about 435°F (224°C) so it can be used safely to make place mats and coasters. Use your best judgement when it comes to placing excessively hot cookware on it but it shouldn’t pose a problem with most pots and pans.


I’ve always loved to try this out and finally today I found how to do that,thanks for sharing it by details, Solmaz