When my parents visited us for Thanksgiving, my mom showed me how to make these awesome, DIY fabric covered rope baskets. She made one for my birthday and I use it to store some of my makeup. In this post I’ll give you easy to follow instructions for how to make fabric coiled baskets. You will be able to make this satisfying project in no time at all!
This post was updated June 16th 2019
The coiled rope basket she made for me is such a fun storage spot. It makes me smile and think of her every time I use it. Rope baskets are one of the most satisfyingly simple crafts you can make.
You can sew up one of these baskets together in about 3 hours or less. It’s a great project for both advanced and beginning stitchers. This rope bowl tutorial will give you everything you need, including pictures to help you make a beautiful project.
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These bowls use 3/16 clothesline rope and are such fun to make, they are addicting. I made 4 of them in a weekend and plan on sending one to my husband’s mom for Christmas!
If you sew or if you enjoy quilting, you likely have a ton of fabric sitting around, taking up space in your closet. Fabric wrapped clothesline baskets are the perfect project to use up leftover scraps from quilting or other sewing projects.
I used at least 1 bobbin per bowl. Also, white thread seems to go well with most fabrics. Unless you are working with a predominantly single-colored fabric design, your best bet is to probably sew it with white thread.
You will need about 33 feet of clothesline to make one basket that measures 10x4x3.5 inches. This is similar to the oblong rainbow specks bowl you see in the picture below.
Although cotton clothesline or rope is preferred, I used a nylon blend and it turned out very nicely. My heavy duty needle didn’t have any problem with the nylon clothesline and I wonder if you could use larger gauge nylon rope to make bigger projects like rugs, etc.
If you want to make rope baskets about the size of those in the picture, you will need around 1 1/2 yards of fabric. Cotton quilting fabric works the best and is so easy to use.
There are many ways to start wrapping to make your fabric rope. I prefer to keep things simple. Fold about 1.5 inches over the tip of your rope.
Tuck everything in and start wrapping the clothesline in fabric, overlapping by 1/4 inch.
I overlap my fabric strips as I wrap by about 1/4 inch because this gives me enough fabric to tuck in the parts that tend to start sticking out as I wrap.
You will notice the edges of my fabric strips are a little rough and frayed. It doesn’t matter because everything will be hidden by the coil and zig zag stitch when you sew the rope basket together. The wrapping doesn’t have to be perfect.
When wrapping the rope to make your basket, make sure you cover the clothesline well. Some people wrap as they go, while others will wrap the entire 30 feet of rope before they start sewing the rope basket. I have tried it both ways. If you aren’t alternating colors, I recommend wrapping everything at once while you are watching a movie or doing something that doesn’t require much attention.
If you are trying to achieve a specific color pattern when rope basket making, wrap as you sew so you can easily swap out colors as you desire.
If I am taking a break, I clip the end so my wrapping doesn’t fray.
Insert your heavy duty needle into your machine (Brother Sewing Machine, XM2701, Lightweight Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches, 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholer, 6 Sewing Feet, Free Arm and Instructional DVD‘ rel=”noopener noreferrer”>sewing machine and it only has 1 stitch length for the zig zag. You want your zig zag stitch to be long enough to connect both sides of your fabric wrapped rope.
I find a 3.5 to 4 mm stitch works well. Take a look at my stitching here and you will get an idea of how wide and spread out your stitches can be.
Make a tight coil for the base of your basket. Once you have 2-3 circles in your coil, secure it with a couple of pins and zig zag stitch your fabric rope to secure it in a coil shape.
When you are putting this together, you will probably miss connecting the rope layers together in some places. That is perfectly fine. Just go right back over that section when you are done and zig zag them together wherever you find a hole. You do not need to rip out previous stitching.
Zig zag stitch with a 3.5 to 4mm stitch in a straight line from the top edge of your coil, intersecting the coil starting point and through to the bottom edge of your coil.
When you are done with this step, you will see a straight line of zig zag stitching that holds your rope coil together.
Remove the coil for inspection. Remove your securing pins and insert the coil back into your sewing machine so the bulk of the coil forms on the outside of the sewing machine arm.
Start from the center of the coil and stitch your clothesline, connecting to the outer coil, rotating around as you increase the size of your coil. You will see the base of your rope basket forming before your eyes.
Frayed edges are just fine and get wrapped up into the project when you sew them together. It also gives your rope baskets a nice, textured/ organic look if you are working with really frayed fabric.
When you sew, think about the shape of your future bowl. My first bowl was oblong, so I started with a 4 inch fold in my line when I made the initial coil.
You also want to keep in mind the direction you will be sewing and make sure the growing bowl will be on the outside of your machine as you can see here in this picture.
To get your basket to start curving upwards, firmly lift your coil up off the base of the sewing machine arm for several coils to create a curve. You won’t probably notice the curve after the first pass through the coil but you should start seeing a distinctive curling up of your basket edge by the time you get the second coil sewn on your rope bowl.
When you have made the rope bowl in the size you want, you can finish it off by wrapping your fabric past where you cut your clothesline, making your wrapped area progressively smaller so you can hide the end of your rope into the edge of the bowl.
On several of my bowls, I actually stitched up the end of my clothesline and end-wraps to make it more secure and help it blend in better with the edge of the bowl.
After you finished attaching your rope at the end, when you complete the rope basket, go over the entire top edge of it with a zig zag stitch to finish it off.
You don’t need to have your sewing needle go through the fabric on both sides of the zig zag. Just slide the bowl edge halfway into your machine so you sew onto the bowl edge with 1/2 of your zig zag stitch. Let the other half sew into nothing (if you know what I mean).
The sewing machine will loop that other half of your zig zag in with the bobbin thread from the bottom of the stitch and make a nice, secure wrap for the top of your rope basket.
This is such a fun and easy project to sew and after all the wrapping is done, you can whip this together in 1/2 an hour or sewing or less. There are so many other fun ways to use this technique to create little storage baskets that coordinate with your décor.
You can make placemats or coasters. One blogger made an entire rug, using clothesline like I used here for these baskets. There are so many possibilities with this sewing technique. As you can tell, I am addicted!
These are such a unique item and you can really personalize color, shape, and style to fit the person you are gifting your rope basket. I made the gray one shown in the tutorial for my mother in law. It was the base for a kitchen themed gift basket.
Here are some examples of other people who have made projects using this technique. Check out the artistry and creativity!
Make a coiled fabric rope rug This is beautiful! My mom is making one right now and you could totally pull a room together by making a rug from drapery fabric scraps, or perhaps something that coordinates with your throw pillows!
You don’t have to wrap your rope in fabric strips. Try painting it before sewing with acrylic paint for a super quick craft using this same sewing technique!
If you decide to try this sewing craft, make sure you select a nice, thick heavy duty needle. They will ensure you can sew through any type of clothesline. The heavy duty needles will work with both nylon and cotton clothesline.
If you don’t have a fancy sewing machine, never fear! My daughter’s inexpensive brother machine also worked nicely for this little craft project.
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Filed Under: DIY projects, Home decorTagged With: design, DIY, DIY rope bowl, homemade, rope basket, rope baskets, sewing
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Summer time means picnics, barbecues, and potlucks! Many times we are invited to outdoor activities and everyone is asked to bring a dish to share. I thought it would be fun to create a reusable fabric bowl cover so that we can tote our side dishes to these events in style. These are also great to have at an outdoor picnic to keep the bugs off of your food when no one is eating.
These bowl covers will take you no time at all. It will probably take you longer to decide on your fabric and coordinating bias tape than it will to actually sew them. Make one for your favorite bowl or make a whole set for all of your serving bowls!
So, let’s get started……….
1 Fat Quarter (should be enough for a large bowl)
1 package double fold bias tape (or you can make your own)
Thin Elastic – 1/8″ or 1/4″ (the amount depends on the size of your bowl)
Take the bowl that you plan on making a cover for and flip it over. Place it on your fabric. If you are using a directional print or something with a certain design, make sure to center your bowl over the design.
Using scissors or a rotary cutter, cut a circle that is 2″ wider than your bowl.
Sew your bias tape around the entire edge of the bowl (click HERE for my bias tape tutorial). Leave an opening in your bias tape large enough for a safety pin to fit through.
Above you can see the opening in my bias tape.
Measure towards the top of your bowl and subtract two inches – that is how much elastic you will need. My elastic was very stretchy, so if yours isn’t, then you may need to make yours a little longer. Stick a safety pin through the end of the elastic. Typically I use a bodkin to thread elastic, but in this case, only a safety pin will fit through the bias tape opening.
Thread your elastic through the bias tape opening and around the circle. Stitch the ends of elastic together and close the opening in your bias tape by top-stitching with your sewing machine.
Fabric scraps, what to do with them? Well, you’re in luck because there are over a hundred sewing projects for you to upcycle your leftover fabric. Check out these amazing ideas below:
Making coasters is one of the most fun and easy DIY projects. With your fabric and ribbon scraps, you can sew a dozen of these coasters, place them in a box and tie it with a nice ribbon.
If you want to learn How To Make A Fabric Coaster, watch this video tutorial.
These tiny key chains look more adorable when embellished with button flowers and felt monograms! And, you can also sew whatever other designs and patterns you can think of.
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Sew this SD card holder for a perfect DIY gift. Your friends will appreciate it more if you insert an SD card or anything camera-related. Keep your SD card safe so you can save photos for Instagram or Twitter!
This is a great sewing project that uses only a tiny amount of fabric remnants.
Easy to make, and the perfect size for slipping into a purse, this makes for a great Mother’s Day gift. Also, school-aged children can place this in their backpacks for hygienic purposes.
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If you want a bag for your essential things like your phone, keys, wallet, and cards, this is one of the best DIY ideas! Sew this bag with a couple of zipper compartments to help you organize your things better.
These cute hair pieces are perfect for any little girls. Just get some unused strips of fabric, and make this headband for your precious little girl!
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Protect your sunglasses by placing them in this case made from fabric strips. Mix n’ match your scraps of fabric for a fabulous sunglasses case.
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Since these towel ideas are so simple to make, sew some nice embroidery to make them adorable.
you’re looking for adorable gift ideas for your favorite couple, look no further. You can give this with their picture inside.
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First, put your jams, jellies, and other preserved dishes in these mason jars. Then, decorate the lids by putting pretty sewn fabrics on top and securing with a ribbon tie. These are also great gift ideas.
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Dress your dining table with these simple-to-make napkin rings. Make this gorgeous napkin ring with scraps of fabric in multiple colors and textures to suit any occasion. Or, make a set to give as a special gift.
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Directions found on Craftstylish. A creative design that uses origami to turn fabric into a bowl that holds water and Another cute cat toy from Craftstylish.
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A creative design that uses origami to turn fabric into a bowl that holds water and won’t leak! Directions can be found on Craftstylish.com.
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Another cute cat toy from Craftstylish.
A fun toy for any catnip-crazy cat. Direction from Craft Leftovers.
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An easy to sew tunnel perfect for playing or snoozing. Directions found on Canadian Living.
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If you have a hairless kitty, this is a must for you! Directions on Cut Out + Keep.
Fabric Crafts How to Sew a Fabric Bowl – CraftStylish. by diyprojects Methods to Sew a Material Bowl – CraftStylish Material Crafts. Pinterest.
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