Sewing a Rope Bowl Using Recycled Rope




In this Instructable, I will show you how to sew up any sized rope bowl, using even small pieces of rope. For the one I made, I actually deconstructed a hammock that had holes in it. I asked my kids unknot the pieces (in exchange for extra screen time) which was tedious, and resulted in some long and some short, but all useable pieces.

Recycled rope can be found everywhere! A friend collected some that had washed ashore. I found more at a rummage sale that was going to be thrown away.

Not only will this be a fun and functional project, but really good for the environent, too. Now get out there and collect some so we can get started!


Step 1: Gather Up Your Materials

Rope. I only use 100% cotton. Laundry line works very well. One continuous piece or pieces.

Thread. A lot of thread. More than you would think.

Sewing machine with a zigzag stitch

Heavy duty needle

Step 2: Prepare Your Rope

These bowls take a whole bunch of rope and it needs to be continuous when you sew it, so if you have pieces, they need to be connected first. Overlap the rope pieces you want to connect, and wrap some thread around them, tightly, keeping them together. I just wind it around and around. Tie a knot to secure when you are done. I used black thread so you would be able to see it, but you can also use white if you don't want it to show. You can also use a slightly thicker thread (like embroidery thread) if you want to make it more of a design element.

Step 3: Start Your Bowl

Coil your fabric into a small spiral shape. Hold tightly, and stitch straight across it using a zigzag stitch to hold it in place. Basically you are just using this to tack it, so it won't unravel while you are sewing. Make sure your fingers are clear of the sewing machine needle.

Step 4: Make Your Base

Start in the center of the spiral, line up your presser foot so it is in the middle of two rows of rope, and zigzag stitch (catching both sides) while turning your coil. Do this very slowly to start out, and make sure to keep your fingers out of the way!

Keep going around and around, sewing between the rows. This is the base of your bowl/basket.

Step 5: Make the Sides

When your base is as wide as you want it, lift it up (while sewing) slightly, so that it is at an angle while you are zigzag stitching. Keep sewing the wall of your bowl as high as you want!

Step 6: Wrapping It Up

You can finish your bowl in several different ways. I like to end mine in a spiral.

With the last bit of rope (however large you would like to make your spiral- I used about 6 inches), make a spiral on the side of your bowl. Holding against the bowl, you will stitch across it like you did in Step 3, to keep it in place. Then zigzag stitch around the spiral (slowly). This part can be a little tricky, but I found if I squish the bowl, I can maneuver it pretty well, until the spiral is properly secured.

Step 7: Fill Your Bowl

You are done! These are great to hold notions, or decorative balls, or even gifts. Once you have made one, you will want to make lots. Believe me.

If you would like to see others I have made, check out these posts:

Teacher Gifts

Trash into Treasure

More Rope Bowls



    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019
    • Fandom Contest

      Fandom Contest
    • Party Challenge

      Party Challenge

    4 Discussions


    2 years ago

    It's really so nice.


    2 years ago

    Wow, looks great!! Have to try these someday.


    2 years ago

    These bowls would make great proofing baskets for bread making.

    1 reply