diy project: rope, paper + cork floral centerpiece

I love the warmth and softness of cork. The rolls of caramel-y cork shelf liner scream at me every time I pass them in the store, so this time, I gave in to their pleas for purchase. And with fall quickly approaching, it seems like a great time to bring in the warmth and natural, woodsy look of cork. I paired the thin cork sheeting with some natural linen, scratchy sisal and sheer tissue paper to create a fall-inspired armature for the table. Since we don’t really get fall here in southern California, this is probably the closest I will come to integrating the warm caramel browns of true fall leaves into our home. Happy fall! — Brenna

Read the full how-to after the jump!


  • cork shelf liner
  • scrap fabric or paper
  • jute or sisal rope
  • scissors
  • wire
  • wire cutters
  • tissue paper (I used waxed, as it has a nice translucency.)
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • glass hurricane candle enclosures


1. Cut three lengths of rope. Fold two of them in half.

2. Use the glue gun to glue the rope together in an interesting shape. This will be the base of the hurricane lantern.

3. Once the ropes are secured together (you can flip them if there is too much glue showing), add the wire to make them stiff.

4. To add the wire, start at the base of the rope. Twist the rope so it unravels slightly, and insert the end of the wire. Wrap the wire around the rope the same way it is twisted. As you wrap, untwist the rope slightly so the wire goes inside the three twists of rope. Work until you get to the end.

5. Once all of the rope is wired, place your hurricane glass on top of the rope spiral. Bend each wired rope up the sides of the glass hurricane.

6. To make the rope look like branches, separate the rope and tie knots in the small pieces.

7. Make leaves from the cork sheeting. Remove the paper backing from the adhesive side of the shelf liner. Press pieces of scrap fabric or paper to the sticky side of the cork. Cut leaf shapes with scissors.

8. To adhere the leaves to the rope ends, slightly bend one pointy side of the leaf and put a little dollop of hot glue there. Wrap the end of the cork leaf around the end of the rope and hold until set.

9. To make the flowers, take small sections of rope and tie a knot near the end. Fray the end of the rope, and trim to about half an inch.

10. Cut long strips of the tissue paper about 2 to 3 inches wide and 18 inches long. Gather one side of the tissue and pinch it between your fingers.

11. Apply a small amount of hot glue to the underside of the knot on the rope, and press the gathered side of the tissue paper to adhere.

Done! You can also make a loose version for tabletop decor. Enjoy!

  1. Rachel Tatem says:

    It looks so great but doesn’t seem to complicated: just my kind of craft!

  2. Oh wow. Very cool idea for a candle holder. As long as the paper flowers are on the outside! :) Looks very doable!

  3. chrisiec says:

    Soooooo awesome!!! Thanks for sharing!

  4. teresita says:

    nice and easy!!! thank you, Brenna!!

  5. That is so crazy! last week for a last minute in-office celebration, I needed something to spice up the decor, so I made floral vines on rope, too! (I used rope and craft paper from the shipping area for vines and leaves, and hot pink post-its for flowers.) Fun!

  6. Really inspired and perfect for a modern home.

  7. Libby James says:

    The textures here make me fall instantly in love!

  8. Jessica Hansen says:

    So classy and stylish. I love it!!

  9. olgamaria says:

    tradusir em portugues

  10. Sandra says:

    I might do mini versions of these at each place setting for Thanksgiving using clear drinking glass. Thanks for a lovely idea!

  11. The flowers look very hip and chic. This is the perfect centerpiece for almost every home!

  12. patsy says:

    pretty! Nice to make a lot for a garden party! Poetry!

  13. Carolyn says:

    Can you tell I’m getting my D*S fix!!! I love this DIY.. good alternative to the faux flowers at the craft stores. :)

  14. looks fantastic and so cool

  15. easy and beautiful! thanks for sharing, its much easier than my own using fake flowers and tying em up.


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.