This tutorial teaches you how to make exquisite DIY coil rope baskets from clothesline that look store-bought!
Sewing rope baskets is one of my favorite projects ever because it’s so easy and inexpensive. I love natural looking fibers like unbleached cotton clothesline. Not only is it super affordable, but the process of sewing in circles is downright mesmerizing once you get the hang of it.
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What items are needed to make a coiled rope basket?
Step by step guide to sewing a coiled rope clothesline basket:
- Completely unravel the clothesline and place in a basket or bowl on the floor in a loose pile.
- Roll the end of the clothesline inward a few times into a circle and pin in place.
- Sew a top-stitch across the top remembering to backstitch at the beginning and end.
- You will want to use a Zig Zag stitch for the rest of this project. I set the length on 4, the width on 5 and tension on 3.
- Place the circle under-and to the left of-the presser-foot.
- Very slowly, sew the two outer layers of clothesline together while rotating counter-clockwise.
- Once you have sewn a few more outer layers, place your thumb against the right side of the circle and your index finger on the next outermost layer.
- Pinch those two outer layers of clothesline together and continue to sew while rotating in a counter-clockwise direction. (At this point, you may feel more comfortable to speed up.)
- Once you have reached the desired diameter, begin to guide the bottom of your basket upwards toward the sewing machine. You may mark your place with a pin or clothespin to be more methodical. I found it easier to just intuitively guide the bowl upwards increasing it more and more as I sewed.
- As the bowl moves upward, you should replace your thumb with your middle finger and continue to pinch the two outer layers of rope together while you stitch.
- Sew until desired height, still leaving plenty of slack left to use. (STEPS 11-15 Option 1)
- Place your hand in the space between the top of the basket and loose rope to mark (or pin) your handle.
- Measure halfway across and also pin so the second handle is evenly placed.
- Leave gap for handles and-very slowly-begin to zig-sag stitch again, use your index finger and thumb.
- Do this until you reach desired height and/or almost run out of rope.
- Tuck loose end of rope inward and sew into place.
- (Option 2 beginning with Step 11) Sew until desired height with enough rope to round the top of the basket halfway.
- Roll end into a tight circle and zig-zag stitch together in the same fashion as you have been doing for the basket.
- Hot glue or fabric glue circle to side of basket.
More Rope Craft Ideas Using Cotton Clothesline
Using the method I will show you in this tutorial, you will be able to make the following in addition to rope baskets:
Coiled Rope Christmas Ornaments
Coiled Rope Trivets
Coiled Rope Ring Holder
Coiled Rope Placemats
What Can a Rope Basket be Used for?
I love giving handmade birthday, Christmas, baby shower and housewarming gifts. This one is always a winner because not only is the basket a gift, but you can use it as the actual GIFT BASKET.
If you know anyone about to have a baby, you could make one (or several) and fill it with diapering essentials. I gifted my Grandmother one for her birthday and filled it with coil rope trivets (more on that below), homemade essential oil room spray, and other little goodies.
In my home, I use rope baskets as storage organizers for our diaper changing station. It looks super cute and hides all of the clutter underneath.
Tips for sewing a coiled cotton clothesline rope basket:
Load 3 bobbins with your thread before beginning. You will need at least 2 bobbins for 100 Ft of clothesline.
I have used a regular-sized needle, but I would suggest a leather or jean needle just to make things go more quickly. I have broken a few regular needles on this project!
If you have gaps in your basket, you can hot glue them together!
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