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How to make a Rope Bowl

Learn how to make a rope bowl with this easy sewing tutorial. Rope bowls are made by wrapping and sewing rope together.

Rope bowl

We are in the process of updating our youngest daughter’s bedroom. We bought her a new dresser and a metal bookcase. Her bedroom is really coming together nicely. She asked me to make her a rope bowl to put on her bookcase to store some of her jewelry.

After I made the rope bowl, my eldest daughter asked me to make one for her too. They are really easy to make and I figured I could share with you how I make them.

Ready? Let’s learn how to sew rope bowls.

Rope Bowl Instructions

Supplies:

  • Rope – 100% cotton (I used 100% sash cord 7/32inch thick. 100 foot long, that’s enough to make a lot of bowls.)
  • Thread – Good quality thread
  • White glue

Tools:

  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Jeans/Denim sewing machine needle
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Paint brush

Here’s the cotton cord I used, it’s the same as we used to make the window macrame valance.

A bundle of cotton sash cord.
Cotton rope used to make cotton bowls.

Instructions:

Making the base of a rope bowl

Step 1: Take the end of the rope and wrap the rope tightly around it a few times to make a circle coil. I wrapped mine about 4 times.

End of cotton rope.
Wrapping rope.
Coiling rope together.
Coil of rope.

Step 2: Secure the circle coil with two pins on opposite sides to keep the rope wrapped together.

Adding pins to coil.
One pin in coil.
Two pins in coil.

Step 3: Thread your sewing machine with the desired thread, I started with black thread. After that, insert a jeans/denim sewing machine needle into your machine.

Package of denim sewing machine needles.

Step 4: Set your sewing machine to zigzag stitch.

You will need to play around with the width and length to select the correct setting that allows your sewing machine to sew a zig in one rope and zag in the next rope. The settings depend on your machine and the thickness of your rope. I had mine set as its widest (6) and longest (3).

Sewing machine settings for zigzag stitch.

Step 5: Using a zigzag stitch sew the rope circle coil together going across one side to the other, remove the pins as you go.

Make sure to back stitch at the beginning, middle, and end. It’s important that the remainder of the rope is on the right of the circle.

Circle rope coil under presser foot.
Sewing coil.
Removing first pin.
Removing second pin.
First line of zigzag stitch.

Step 6: Rotate the rope circle and sew again repeating Step 5 to make an X.

Sewing second line.
Sewing across the other stitch.
Circle with X sewn.

Step 7: Time to start sewing the bowl.

Place the rope circle under the presser foot so that it’s on the left of the presser foot and the loose rope is on the right. You want the needle to go into one rope then into the other as it does its zigzag stitch, this will attach the rope together.

Rope coil under presser foot with rope on the right.
Circle on left rope on right.

Step 8: Stitch and backstitch then start sewing.

You will need to rotate the circle as you sew. At the beginning it will be a little messy and that’s ok, as the circle becomes bigger it will keep cleaner and easier.

Sewing and wrapping rope.
Turning circle while sewing.
Sewing base of the bowl with a zigzag stitch.
Rotating circle while sewing.

You can make your bowl as big as you want. I wanted this one to be on the smaller side, so I stopped sewing the circle when it reached about 4 inches, however you can make it as big as you would like.

Note that if you want your bowl to be bigger, make sure to add a sewing machine extension table or stack books beside your sewing machine. It’s important the base of the bowl stays level.

Base of the rope bowl measuring 4 inches.

Making the sides of a rope bowl

Step 9: Once the base is the desired size, lightly elevate the base as you sew to start making the sides of the bowl. I do so by sliding my hand underneath it. Eventually guide it completely up against the sewing machine.

Hand under the base of the bowl.
Gently lifting the base.
Base starting to curve.
Lifting base to touch the sewing machine.
Rotating while sewing.
Making sure the bowl touches the sewing machine while sewing.
Sewing the bowl making the sides higher.

P.S. If you run out of thread as you are sewing the bowl, don’t worry. Re-thread your sewing machine backstitch a few stitches before where you ran out of thread and continue sewing as you were.

Step 10: (Optional) You can change the thread of your sewing machine to give the bowl a fun look. Make sure to do a few backstitches before and after changing colors.

I started with black thread, then changed to white thread, and finished with black thread.

Backstitching before changing colors.
Inside of the bowl with black thread.
Adding white thread to bowl.
Sewing white zigzag stitches.
Bowl with black and white thread.
Interior of bowl with black and white thread.
Adding more black stitches.

Step 11: When the sides of the bowl are the height that you want, backstitch and remove the bowl from the sewing machine.

I stopped building up the sides of this bowl when it reached about 2 inches high.

Showing thread color pattern, black, white and black.
Backstitch to finish sewing bowl.

Step 12: Use good scissors to cut the remaining rope.

Cutting rope.
Close up of end of rope.

How to finish off a rope bowl

Step 13: To finish off a rope bowl, seal the end of the rope with white glue using a paint brush. It will dry clear.

White glue and paint brush.
Dipping paint brush into white glue.
Applying glue on end of rope.
Applying glue on end of rope to seal it.
Glue on end of rope to finish off the rope bowl.

DIY Rope Bowl

To recap, the rope bowl that we made together has a bottom diameter of 4 inches, 2 inches high, and has a top diameter of 7 inches.

Ready to see the bowl we made?

Rope bowls
Rope bowl in hand.
Inside of the bowl.
Black and white bowl.

The bigger bowl I made has a bottom diameter of 5 inches, 2.5 inches high, and has a top diameter of 8 inches.

Here is the bigger bowl I made:

Big rope bowl.
Inside of the big bowl.
Big rope bowl.
Two DIY rope bowls.
Inside of the two bowls.

Making rope bowls is really fun. I love that each one is unique and that it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake, those mistakes make beautiful details in the bowls.

Have you ever made a rope bowl before? Once you start, it’s really hard to stop. I even made a few round placemats, which one serves as a lid for one of the bowls I made. I’ll try to remember to take a photo to share with you.

I hope you have enjoyed learning how to make a rope bowl with me.

P.S. If you want more sewing projects, check out my sewing tutorials.

Have a wonderful day!
Christine

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Johanne

Monday 21st of February 2022

Making these rope bowls is soooo satisfying. Thanks for your great tutorial. Keep up the good work!

Decor Craft Design

Thursday 17th of February 2022

I love how you combine it with black thread. Simple yet beautiful. Thanks for sharing the tutorial. #HomeMattersParty

Kerryanne

Thursday 17th of February 2022

What a cute bowl Christine! Thank you for sharing this DIY at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I'm delighted to be featuring your rope bowl DIY at the party tomorrow night and pinning too. Hugs, Kerryanne

Niki ~ Life as a LEO Wife

Wednesday 16th of February 2022

Congrats! I'll be featuring your post tomorrow on Crafty Creators. Be sure to come grab your "I was featured" button!

Diane

Wednesday 16th of February 2022

Great job on the Rope Bowl. I've been meaning to try one, thanks for reminding me of this. I found you on the Craftastic Link Party.

(I'm a host of the new Fabulous Friday link party. We'd love to have you link up there too. southhousedesigns.com/fabulous-friday-link-party-2-18-22)

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