Arts & Crafts

Rope Bowls

Let it be known that 2018 was the Year of the Rope Bowl. At least in my house, where I absolutely fell in love with making adorable little personalized gifts out of inexpensive clothesline and paper & fabric scraps.

I found a few videos on YouTube to help guide me, but other than a few basic skills, you really don’t need much to get started.

  • Rope – look for 50 to 100 yds of cotton clothesline
  • Sewing machine with heavy duty needle and zig- zag stitch
  • Fabric or paper scrap

The first step is to create a little spiral with your rope. This takes a little practice, but you’ll get good in no time. Just make the spiral, put a pin in, and start to stitch back and forth until you get it stuck together well. Make sure your loose end of rope is to the right of the spiral. After you have it holding together, you can start to sew your zig zags.

Keep your disc flat on your sewing machine. You’ll see why in a minute! As your disc grows, think about how large you’d like your bowl.  Five inches is a good place to start, so when you get to that diameter (approximately), lift the disc up at an angle with your left hand as you continue to sew.

This will naturally create a bowl shape. It’s that easy!

Slowly feed the new rope, and let your zig zag stitch bond the it to your spiral. It’s really important to go slow so you don’t screw up. Screwing up looks like gaps between the ropes. Not a huge deal, but not great.

Now, the fun part. Pause. Pick up a piece of fabric that you’ve cut into a small strip (we’re totally flexible here. try 4 inches long by 1 inch wide). Wrap it around the loose piece of rope that’s about to be sewn in. Hold that in place as you slowly sew again. Keep your eye on the space where the ropes meet, and make sure that feeds evenly into your sewing machine foot. This is the secret to success, this spot right here.

Keep going!

Now that you have the fun part down, explore with different colors, different fabrics, even paper. I used an old onion bag from our cafe! It had really cool patterns.

Try this fancy technique I made up myself

Cut a piece of paper approximately 3 inches by 1 inch and fold it in half. Loop it over the loose piece of rope that is about to be fed into your bowl, with the folded end on the left, where it will be attached to your existing bowl. Slowly sew it together, but leave the open flaps of the paper…open!

Then after you sew all the way around your bowl and come back to this spot, just bring the new rope between the two sides of paper and continue to sew.

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