How to Make a Rope Basket

Sewing rope baskets can be a delightful and creative adventure, perfect for beginners and seasoned crafters. It’s like bringing a touch of handmade charm into your home while gaining practical storage solutions.

Rope basket sewing is an easy, learn-as-you-go craft you can proudly show off to friends and family. These projects often take less than an hour to complete.

If you’ve never sewn a stitch in your life, no worries! In this article, we’ll explore the basics and details of how to sew a rope basket.

Rope Basket Sewing Ideas

You can create unlimited cool and decorative baskets with a sewing machine and rope. You can also customize these rope baskets however you like for DIY fun.

If you are lost on where to start, choose any of the following rope basket sewing ideas to begin crafting at once:

1 – DIY Cotton Clothesline Rope Basket

How to Make a Rope Basket
How to Make a Rope Basket

Grab some soft cotton clothesline rope, a sewing machine, thread, and a dash of creativity. In no time, you’ll whip up a cozy, stylish basket to stash your stuff with flair.

2 – DIY Rainbow Rope Basket

Ready for a burst of color? Get your rainbow-hued ropes, scissors, a trusty sewing machine, and a sprinkle of imagination. Depending on your skill, you can dye white ropes rather than buy rainbow-hued ropes. Whether tidying up toys, organizing craft supplies, or adding a pop of cheer to your space, rainbow rope baskets will be handy.

3 – DIY Rope Knot Fruit Bowl

This rope basket is a creative twist on a classic fruit bowl, which can be gifted to friends at weddings or birthdays. Sustainable, sturdy ropes, a sewing machine, thread, and a glue gun are ideal materials for this masterpiece.

4 – DIY Rope Basket Wall Art

Rope Basket Sewing Ideas: Wall Decor
Rope Basket Sewing Ideas: Wall Decor

If you have multi-colored threads and a dose of artistic flair, brace yourself for a whimsical DIY rope basket wall art project! This one might take longer, but it’s a colorful journey. Weave, coil, and create stunning designs on your wall, turning ropes into a vibrant masterpiece.

5 – DIY Lined Rope Basket

DIY Rope Basket Sewing Ideas
DIY Rope Basket Sewing Ideas

The beautifully lined rope basket is your secret weapon against clutter! Perfect for wrangling toys, magazines, or even your cozy throws. You’ll need sturdy rope, fabric for the lining, a sewing machine, and some thread.

6 – DIY Dyed Rope Basket

Can’t find multicolored thread or rainbow ropes? No worries, get some plain rope and your favorite fabric dyes. You can turn a simple coil into a vibrant and personalized masterpiece with a splash of creativity and color.

7 – DIY Rope Tote Basket

DIY Rope Tote Basket
DIY Rope Tote Basket

Once you master basic rope basket ideas, don’t hesitate to try out tote baskets with handles! With sturdy rope and a little stitching magic, you’ll craft a fashionable and functional tote perfect for beach trips, picnics, or grocery shopping.

8 – DIY Rope Baby Changing Basket

Sewing Rope Baskets: Easy Home DIY
DIY Rope Baby Changing Basket

You can step up your skills by making bigger rope baskets. The perfect project is the wide baby changing rope basket with handles. Completing this project as a parent adds an extra sprinkle of joy to parenthood.

9 – DIY Rope Basket with Lid

DIY Rope Basket with Lid
DIY Rope Basket with Lid

Rope baskets can also be made with a lid or stylish cover. Instead of a loop at the side, create a dazzling top using a flat piece of coiled rope. Sew it securely for a lid that’s both functional and chic. Now, your treasures stay hidden in style!

How to Make a Rope Basket: Required Tools and Materials


  • Cotton clothesline rope (1/4 inch or 3/8 inch thick)
  • Fabric strips or cotton cord (for covering the rope, optional)
  • 100% Polyester thread
  • Fabric for the lining (depending on your rope basket design)


  • Sewing machine: Use heavy-duty sewing machines since they are ideal for handling the rigors of stitching through thick rope. With these machines, your rope basket stays together and doesn’t fall apart at the seams.
  • Universal needles
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Safety pins
  • Iron and ironing board

Sewing Machine Setting

  • Set the machine to a zig-zag stitch.
  • A medium stitch width and a shorter stitch length (around 2.0mm and 2.5mm).
  • Use a size 90/14 needle, sturdy enough to sew through the rope.
  • Use a 50-weight thread to provide added strength and durability to your stitches. Consider using a slightly thinner thread if you’re making smaller, delicate baskets. On the flip side, using thicker thread can be a good idea if you’re crafting larger, robust baskets. It all boils down to what look you want and how you plan to use your rope basket.

How to Make a Rope Basket: Step-by-Step Guides

Rope baskets are easy to sew. But, if you are a sewing learner, starting with simple small rope bowls before moving on to advanced styles is best. This way, you can easily master the basic steps of rope basket sewing.

How to Sew Simple Rope Bowls

Step 1: Choose the Right Rope

How to Sew Simple Rope Bowls
How to Sew Simple Rope Bowls

Choosing the best rope for baskets is key to crafting a masterpiece. Go for 100% cotton or jute ropes 1/4 to 3/8 inches thick. Also, aim for a medium-weight rope that is not too thick to handle or thin to lose its structure.

Why? Because your rope needs to be flexible, sturdy, and easy to work with. This will make the baskets look fantastic and durable. Another reason is cotton and jute ropes take dye beautifully if you want to add some pizzazz.

Steer clear of nylon and polyester ropes. They can be too stiff and slippery for basket weaving, making your DIY project more challenging than fun.

Step 2: Prepare the Rope

First, unroll your rope from the pack and set it free. You may cut off only the amount required for sewing. Afterward, run your fingers along the rope to smooth out any kinks or knots.

To prevent fraying, wrap some masking tape around each end. This keeps things tidy and your rope intact. You can also cut the beginning and end of the rope at an angle to ensure the rope coils tightly.

Depending on the type or design of the rope basket, you can use fabric dye or paint to give your rope a unique personality. Once dry, your rope is ready for sewing!

Step 3: Start Coiling

Sit by the sewing machine and start coiling; gently twist the rope towards yourself. Keep the coil tight and centered to avoid any poor shapes.

Ensure that the loose end hangs out on the right side of the center. Give the rope a little spin to the left while you sew in a clockwise movement. Make 2 or 3 round coils and start sewing.

Coiling from the right position ensures your basket keeps its shape and strength. If not coiled properly, you might have a wonky, wobbly basket that won’t hold its form.

Step 4: Sew the Base

To start sewing the rope basket base, place your coiled rope under the presser foot and lower it down. Configure your sewing machine to zig-zag stitch and adjust the length to about 2.5cm.

Begin by sewing a few anchor stitches in the center of the coil to keep everything snug and secure. Now, sew along the coil, ensuring the zigzag stitch catches both sides of the rope.

As you go, gently guide the rope to maintain a consistent shape. Before sewing up the sides, ensure the base is nice and flat. You can gently press down with your hands or use pins to hold it.

Step 5: Build Edges and Sides

You’ve aced the base, now it’s time to conquer the sides! First and foremost, remember that the size of your base matters. A bigger base means straighter sides, while a shorter base means poor edges.

Hold the base at a slight angle, about 45 degrees. As you start sewing upwards, keep the rope snug against the base.

Sew up and around, maintaining that 45-degree angle. Use your right hand to shape the sides as you go gently. Your left hand should be used to guide the rope into the sewing machine. Keep sewing until your basket reaches the desired height.

Step 6: Add Finishing Touches

After sewing the rope basket round to the perfect height, you can dab some clear glue on the end to keep it from fraying. Grab your trusty scissors and give any loose ends a little snip-snip.

Want to add a fancy flourish? Create a loop by shaping the end and sewing it in place. Instead of a loop, you can twist the end into a cool spiral and secure it with a few stitches.

Another idea different from loops and spirals is using leather strips to give your rope basket a rustic and unique touch. To do this, first, select thin leather strips in colors that complement your basket’s aesthetic. Then, thread a large-eyed needle with a strong thread or thin cord, and secure one end of the leather strip to the base of your basket with a few sturdy stitches.

How to Sew a Fabric-Covered Rope Bowl

How to Sew a Fabric-Covered Rope Bowl
How to Sew a Fabric-Covered Rope Bowl

Ensure you have all the materials listed above before starting the project. Decide on the size of your fabric-covered rope bowl. Cut the clothesline rope into the desired length, typically 6 to 8 feet. If you want a larger or smaller bowl, adjust the length of the rope accordingly.

Step 1: Prepare the Fabric Strips

Cut fabric strips into approximately 2-inch wide strips. The length of the fabric strips can vary, but a few feet long should work well.

You can use a single fabric for a uniform look or mix and match different fabrics for a patchwork effect.

Take one of the fabric strips and fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together. Place the end of the rope inside the folded strip and pin it in place.

On the machine, sew along the edge of the fabric strip, encasing the rope inside. Use a zigzag or straight stitch, depending on your preference.

Step 2: Coil the Rope and Start Sewing

Once the rope is slightly covered in fabric, begin coiling it into a circular shape to form the base of your bowl.

Use pins or clips to hold the coils together as you work. Make sure the coils are close together, and the shape is consistent.

Thread your sewing machine with coordinating thread. The ideal stitch is the zigzag or a wide, decorative stitch.

Position the coiled rope under the presser foot of the sewing machine. Afterward, sew along the outer edge of the coiled rope, securing the coils and creating the sides of your bowl. Continue sewing around the entire circle, adjusting the coils to maintain the circular shape.

Step 3: Finish the Bowl

When you reach the desired size for your fabric-covered rope bowl, cut the rope, leaving a few inches extra. Tuck the end of the rope under the previous coil and sew it in place to secure the end.

Trim any excess rope. To add a fabric lining to your bowl, measure and cut a piece to fit the interior.

You can sew the lining pieces together and hem the top edge, depending on preference. Place the fabric lining inside the bowl, folding the top edge over the rope at the top.

How to Sew an Oval Rope Basket

Sewing an oval rope basket differs from crafting circular bowls due to its unique base shape. First things first, get your materials and tools ready.

How to Sew an Oval Rope Basket
How to Sew an Oval Rope Basket

To create one using a sewing machine, follow these essential steps to ensure the base remains truly oval, not circular:

  1. Create the Oval Base: Begin by coiling the rope into an oval shape and securing it with pins as you go. The key here is to make sure the oval shape is well-defined. Pay attention to the curvature, and adjust the pins to maintain the desired oval shape.
  2. Start Stitching: Thread your sewing machine with matching thread and select the zigzag stitch. Sew the rope along the winding edge, keeping the stitches close together. The zigzag stitch helps secure the rope layers and prevents them from unraveling. Be sure to maintain the oval shape as you sew.
  3. Continue Coiling and Stitching: As you coil the rope upward, sew it in a continuous spiral, gradually angling it upwards to create the sides of the basket. Keep a close eye on the oval base, adjusting the rope to maintain the shape. You may need to periodically pivot and reposition the rope to achieve the desired oval form.
  4. Finishing Touches: Once you’ve coiled and stitched the rope to your desired basket height, trim any excess rope and secure the end with a few extra zigzag stitches. Tuck the end neatly into the basket to conceal it.

How to Make a Square Rope Basket

You can also sew a rope basket with a square base. Although the process is identical to the previous projects, you may need to pay attention to the gaps created at the square base.

How to Make a Square Rope Basket
How to Make a Square Rope Basket

Follow these steps to sew a square rope basket:

  1. Establish the Square Base: To start, coil the rope into a square shape by bending the rope into vertical corners. Focus on forming the corners at right angles and adjust the pins to maintain the square shape.
  2. Stitch the Corners: Once you coil up to four straight corners, use a zigzag stitch to sew along the spiral edge of the rope.
  3. Continue Coiling and Stitching: As you coil the rope upwards, sew it in a continuous spiral, gradually building the sides of the basket. Keep an eye on the corners to ensure they maintain the square shape. You may need to occasionally pivot and reposition the rope to maintain the corners’ right angles.
  4. Fill the Gaps: There may be small gaps in the weave due to the angles involved in creating a square shape. To fill these, you can take a piece of rope and tuck it into the gaps, securing it with extra stitches. This will help maintain the basket structure while closing any visible openings.

Continue sewing around the edges until the basket reaches the desired height. Finally, add finishing touches by using scissors to trim unnecessary rope.

Best Tips For Sewing Rope Baskets

Rope basket sewing becomes easy after several practices. The following tips will also help you master how to make a basket from rope:

  • Start with the right kind of rope for your project. Cotton clothesline rope is a popular choice, but consider experimenting with different materials for unique textures.
  • Keep your sewing area tidy to minimize hazards.
  • Use a heavy-duty sewing machine needle, like a size 90/14.
  • Invest in good-quality thread. A strong, heavy-duty thread will keep your basket together for the long haul.
  • As always, set your sewing machine to a zig-zag stitch with medium stitch width and shorter stitch length.
  • Adjust your machine’s tension to suit the rope and thread you use.
  • If it’s your first time making rope baskets, practice on some scrap rope to get the hang of it before starting your main project.
  • Start slowly. Take your time, enjoy the process, and savor the satisfaction of creating something beautiful.
  • Keep the rope taut as you sew and gently guide it through the machine.
  • Periodically check for loose threads and remove them to prevent jams.
  • Feel free to get creative with your designs. You can add colors, incorporate different stitches, or mix in other materials for a unique touch.
  • Tie back long hair. Avoid wearing loose materials, clothing or accessories that could get caught in the sewing machine.

Making a Rope Bowl FAQs

What is The Best Rope For Making Bowls?

Cotton clothesline ropes are the best rope for baskets. They are versatile, soft, pliable, and easy to work with, making them a favorite among crafters.

How Much Rope Will I Need?

You need around 50 to 100 feet (15.24 to 30.48 meters) of rope to complete small baskets. For medium-sized baskets with a diameter of about 8 to 12 inches and a moderate height, you need around 100 to 150 feet of rope (30.48 to 45.72 meters).

If you're uncertain about how much rope you'll need for a specific project, starting with a bit more than you'll require is a good idea. This way, you can work confidently, knowing you have enough material to complete your basket.

What is The Best Sewing Machine For Making Rope Baskets?

The best sewing machine for rope basket making should be able to handle thicker materials like rope without struggling. Heavy-duty sewing machines can easily sew through multiple layers of rope without getting jammed or overheating.

On the other hand, avoid sewing machines designed for lightweight fabrics or basic sewing tasks. These machines could malfunction or break when used for rope basket sewing.

What Should I Do When I Run Out of Rope?

Start by cutting the end of your current rope at a slight angle, creating a point. Then, take your new rope length and cut it at an angle. Next, apply a dab of glue to the cut end of your existing rope and firmly press the angled end of the new rope against it.

Give it a moment to set. Now, you're ready to continue coiling and sewing. The transition should be seamless, and once you've completed your project, it'll be hard to spot where you added the new length.

What Size Needle Is Best For Sewing Rope Bowls?

Go for a size 100/16 or a 90/14 needle. These sizes are sturdy enough to handle the thickness of rope without any trouble. Extra needles can be handy since you cannot predict needle breakages.


Learning how to make a rope bowl not only provides a fulfilling hobby but can also be a profitable venture if you ever decide to share your creations with others. The versatility and functionality of rope baskets make them a fantastic addition to any home, offering both style and practicality.

A recent report revealed that 89% of consumers have shown more interest in sustainable products such as rope baskets in the last five years. So, whether making them for yourself or considering turning them into a small business, sewing rope baskets is a skill worth honing.

Leave a Comment