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diy project: sisal rope art

by Grace Bonney


i just returned home after a day at the beach, and i am very excited for summer projects! i know a lot of people find the ‘nautical’ theme to be a little tired, but after skimming over some highlights in nautical inspiration, i now understand why it comes around in fashion and interiors every summer: the visual combination of crisp whites and blues with rough organic materials is just inescapably appealing. so i am going to try to bring some fresh eyes to nautical design for our july diy projects. i started playing around with sisal rope, which is incredibly cheap, and after a couple coiled circles, it just grew from there into this beautiful piece of art for my wall. this can be scaled to absolutely any size, which makes it great for an empty space of any dimension. but don’t stop there! these coils could be coasters, place mats, runners, floor mats, throw pillows (sew the completed design onto a fabric pillowcase), you name it.. the rope is pretty forgiving and it wants to coil, so you can go wild on this. i happened to catch the majority of the film cast away while i was making this project, and it was actually very appropriate. wilson!! –kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

materials:
1. sisal or jute rope (this is made with 1/4″ thick rope, which came in 50′ lengths at the hardware store)
2. scissors
3. glue gun
4. cardboard (a scrap surface for gluing- this can get a tad messy)
5. rubber or latex gloves (optional, helps prevent glue burns)
6. hammer and tiny nails (for hanging)

cost:
1. rope: $5 for 50′ (i used two bags)

time:
4-5 hours (coiling is kind of slow because the glue needs to set. this is a good project for a movie marathon, or to spread over a couple days)

instructions:

1. start coiling the rope as tightly as you can, applying some glue every couple inches around the coil. you can pre-cut lengths of rope, or coil from the full length, and cut whenever you want to end a coil. make coiled circles of various sizes, and try experimenting with different designs. when you are gluing, place the glue towards the bottom of the rope, so excess glue will ooze out the bottom onto the cardboard, rather than on top of the coil. use a spare piece of rope to press on any extra beads of glue to get rid of them.

2. when you have all of your pieces, you can start guing smaller coils together to form larger chunks of the design. you can also glue a few rings of rope around several coils to create a variation in the design.

3. once you have all your pieces made, you can lay out the composition to achieve a desired size and shape for your piece. glue all the remaining chunks to each other so the whole piece can be lifted as one.

4. use tiny picture nails to tack the piece up. stick nails through several points near the top of the design to hold it in place.

YOU’RE DONE!


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