— whollyKao

DIY rope basket

Ever feel like you need more storage bins for all your odds and ends? I sure do! I had been on a quest to find a basket to hold my sewing fabric, and luckily I stumbled upon this rope basket tutorial from Childerhouse. I knew I had to make it. After all, I couldn’t leave my fabric sitting in a plastic bag now, could I?


-rope cord (3/16″, available at Home Depot)

Start by winding your cord into a tight spiral. You’ll want to start with the rope end on the left side, and wrap your spiral going clockwise.
Set your sewing machine stitch to zig zag (I used a medium-width stitch), then start sewing your rope from the center, where the rope end is. Make sure you’re sewing the edges of the rope together, otherwise you end up with gaps in your basket.

Once the spiral is large enough, tilt your bowl and sew the rope at an angle. If you want a bowl with perpendicular sides, tilt your bowl 90 degrees. For a shallower bowl, tilt the bowl at a shallower angle. This part was tough for me, so I had to do it over a couple times before I got it right. Practice makes perfect…right?

Keep sewing, until your basket reaches the desired height. To make a handle, mark off equal areas on your basket, and skip that portion when you’re sewing. Then on the next round, incorporate the rope back into the basket as the next layer. When you make a handle, you’re essentially making a hole in the basket, where the rope isn’t sewn.

I loved the blocks of color in this basket: they’re so fun. And this helped me use up all the remnant thread I had lying around at home. Not bad for a $6 spool of rope, right?

I ended up making 2 baskets: my first was giant and kind of unshapely. It’ll be the one that holds my fabric. The second is a small one that I use to hold my jewelry pliers. I bet it’d be great as a pencil cup too.

What would you want your rope basket to hold?

  1. Jaya says: May 10, 20146:32 AM

    thank you so much for this great tutorial.. this seems doable for someone who hates handsewing :)

  2. […] I found a tutorial on WhollyKoa, […]

  3. Caroni says: October 23, 20133:42 PM

    Is there a way to get these directions in a form that I could print out? I tend to do better with directions right in front of me. Thanks, Caroni

    • whollykao says: October 27, 20139:03 PM

      Hi Caroni, unfortunately I don’t have a PDF version of the instructions. Your best bet (although tedious) may be to copy/paste the directions into a word doc to print. :)

  4. DIY rope basket | Fit Mama Real Food says: October 8, 20139:35 AM

    […] by Bonnie’s DIY rope changing basket, and then followed the tutorial she directed to for a DIY rope basket.  After making my tiny little basket, which took about 30-40 minutes, I’m in awe of the work […]

  5. Tried&Twisted says: June 6, 20138:19 AM

    I absolutely love this and totally want to give it a try sometime! I love how the thread adds such a subtle pop of color.

    • whollykao says: June 6, 20135:14 PM

      Yes, you should give it a shot! It’ll give you a good excuse to go get some funky colored thread!

  6. {diy or buy} textile baskets says: March 7, 20136:06 AM

    […] These rope baskets are so great.  The photo above is from Childerhouse, but Esther from Wholly Kao has a great tutorial for making these. Love it but don’t want to make it? Snag one of these beauties handmade by […]

  7. Gen says: September 17, 201211:52 AM

    That is so cool! I’m always searching for the PERFECT size basket, great way to make it! Love the color effect, too. Guess it would be best to practice on a small basket first, hein? Thanks for sharing!

  8. Mary says: September 16, 20124:41 PM

    Amazing! How great they look as well as the concept that you can store all your fabric in one large basket! :)

  9. Riality Studios says: September 11, 20121:02 PM

    Very nice!

    I’ve had plans to do something similar to this for a while, only with knitted icord instead of store-bought rope. I’ve got a probably-almost-literal ton of acryclic yarn that I’m likely not to use for anything else, so I thought about knitting it into an icord and then making baskets, lamp-mats, and rugs out of it. They’ll be really good to hold the myriad odds and ends that always seem to collect whenever I live somewhere for more than 3 months. :)

  10. Chelsea Ward says: September 7, 20126:34 PM

    Love these! I’m addicted to making them! Got all sorts of sizes and color combos going. Now I can’t walk down that aisle at the hardware store without staring at the rope, envisioning their potential :)

  11. Carson says: September 4, 20121:27 PM

    This is fantastic. I want 10 of them in different colors to hold my washi tape, my adhesives, my markers…
    Now I just have to get past the absolute distaste I have for threading a bobbin. Thanks for another great and doable tutorial.

    • whollykao says: September 5, 201212:32 PM

      No kidding, right? I bet these would be fun to make for your crafty friends (you know…the ones you never know what to make bc they’re good at making everything themselves?!)

  12. jessica says: September 4, 201212:13 PM

    i love the colors!

    • whollykao says: September 5, 201212:31 PM

      Aren’t they fun? Thanks for the inspiration for this project. I loved how your baskets turned out!

  13. pam says: September 4, 20128:27 AM

    That’s fantastic! Wish I new or was interested in sewing….

    • whollykao says: September 5, 201212:30 PM

      Thanks! Or you could have a friend make these for you! :P

  14. alicia says: September 4, 20122:09 AM

    Awesome job!!

    • whollykao says: September 5, 201212:29 PM

      Thanks Alicia!

  15. JeannieRichard says: September 4, 20122:08 AM

    this is neat – keeping this in my DIY folder! thanks Esther :D

    • whollykao says: September 5, 201212:29 PM

      Thanks Jeannie! I bet these baskets would make good housewarming gifts too!!

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