DIYdiy projects

diy project: color-block coiled rope basket

by Kate Pruitt

One of my favorite aspects of working for D*S is meeting such open, friendly and immensely creative people. I’m constantly blown away by the design community’s talent and warmth. I met Heather Davidson while I was with Grace and Amy Merrick at the Portland Bazaar last December. She was teaching a DIY class as well, and I knew she was a pro when I saw how cutely she had packaged all the materials for each of her students. In addition to posting original projects on her site, Joy of All Crafts, Heather sells handmade notecards and jewelry in her Etsy shop of the same name.

This week, Heather focused her crafting genius on our new favorite material: rope!* She’s created an easy tutorial for this awesome coiled rope bowl that you can customize with your own color-blocked pattern of neon twine. This project requires very few materials, a small working space and minimal mess — my favorite kind of project :) I’m hoping for another rainy day this week so I can snuggle up in front of a good movie and make a couple of these myself. Thanks so much for sharing, Heather! — Kate

*We’re cuckoo for rope projects today. Stay tuned for another awesome rope DIY in the next hour!

All photographs by Courtney Smith

See the full how-to after the jump . . .

Rope is such a fascinating material. I love how it’s been used for centuries, yet it continues to change and evolve. It’s utilitarian but also beautiful at its core. While walking the aisles of a hardware store, I was struck by the sheer variations of rope. I was drawn to the neon cord, and the pairing of neon with neutral rope colors could not be resisted.

Deciding how to do this was not an easy task, as there is an endless supply of options and methods. However, in the end, thick cotton rope and thin neon line combined perfectly to form this rope basket. What I love about this project is its simplicity, and how it can be easily altered to achieve a different shape and/or pattern. I hope you’ll enjoy making some yourself! — Heather Davidson


  • 3/8″ cotton rope (I used 5 yards for this project, but it will vary depending on your deign. You can find similar rope at Rigging Projects, Inc.)
  • tacky glue
  • wide-eye needle
  • twisted mason line, size #18 (available at Home Depot)
  • glue gun


1. Start by gluing the tip of the rope so that the ends do not fray, and immediately begin coiling the rope. Add a line of glue to the perimeter of the coil.

2. Pull the rope tight around the coil. Continue to glue and wrap, periodically holding the rope in place to allow the glue to adhere.

3. Continue making a flat circle until the diameter is 4.5 inches (or your desired size).

4. To make the sides, glue between the top and side of the rope, wrapping the rope tightly to the glue and holding for 30 seconds to adhere. Moving outward, wrap and glue the rope twice around the circle or until you are ready to start the pattern.

5. Thread the twisted mason line through the needle, and point the needle into the top of the rope that is below the piece of rope you want to wrap. Leave a bit of a tail and begin wrapping the neon line around the rope, securing the tail as you go.

6. Continue to wrap for two inches.

7. Secure the end to the top of the rope below it, then sew the tail of rope into what you’ve just wrapped.

8. Cut the line as close as possible.

9. Glue the rope to the previous circle for two more inches, and then repeat two more times, wrapping the line around the rope. Once you’re on the second row, line up the wrapped mason line, 1/2″ before the previous row’s wrapped section. Continue this pattern until you have the desired effect. After two rows, do the opposite — wrap 1/2″ after the previous row’s wrapped section began. Also, to achieve the egg shape, when you’ve reached the fourth row of wrapped patterns, pull the rope inward as you wrap. This will narrow the opening of the basket. There are numerous patterns possible; have fun experimenting!

10. Once the pattern is complete, glue one more row of rope to the top. Trim the end of the cord, put hot glue on the tip and tuck it to the side of the previous row.


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  • So fantastic!!! Thank you for sharing, now I have something to do over the weekend!

  • This is the first I’ve seen that didn’t use a firm. I love it! I wonder how big I could go with this. How many yards of cotton rope went into this basket?

  • Oh man – If I start now I could get holiday gifts “wrapped up” by summer! And bonus: This looks like the perfect project to do out on the balcony, so I can enjoy the nice spring weather, too. Thanks!

  • This diy tutorial is giving me a couple of ideas, like how the rope can also be used to make a vase for handmade flowers. Wrapping the rope around a vase would give you the right shape and would make an interesting conversation piece.

  • Jennifer,
    I used 5 yards of rope for this project, however, it will vary depending on the thickness of the rope. Glad you want to give it a try!
    :) Heather

  • Would love to make this but cannot find a supplier of cotton rope in Australia (or someone who will deliver to Oz). If anyone can help please shout out!

  • Hey wonderful..!!!
    So nice, will surely like to try it…!!!

    Thank you for putting such a creative ideas.

  • What an awesome idea!

    I was wondering if you think it would work with nylon rope?? I happen to have a lot of that laying arond

  • Cassandra, The idea would would with nylon rope, but not the glue. I would suggest using hot glue, as that will allow the nylon to hold. However, the downside to using this glue is that you will be able to see the glue. But play around with it, you might end up enjoying the result! ;)

  • It is easy to see that. The materials in the home, it makes great use of creativity. I made ​​a piece to / from Thailand.

  • Mason line is my favorite thing about going to the hardware store. I’ve been dying to use my stash, now I have a perfect reason.

  • I just found this on Pinterest and it’s amazing! I love the colour blocking and you’ve just inspired me to do a little DIY project and when I do, I’ll definitely link back to you. Thanks for sharing!

  • I saw this in april and bought the necessary stuff, and put it off until last weekend. Well,,,,,, when I started making the base, I just kept on going. Bought more rope and now I have a circle rope rug and replace the mason line with hemp. I love your site. Thank you for the wonderful ideas.

  • Hi! We just made these and couldn’t find cotton rope so we used nylon with hot glue and it was fine.
    However! Instead of sewing the mason line through the bigger rope, we just twisted it around before we glued it down. It was much simpler and looks way cleaner!
    Thanks again!

  • Omg. I realize this pretty old, but I can’t wait to attempt to make a puppy bed for my old Great Dane!!!i think this would look really awesome and more modern than most of the beds out there.