These fabric rope bowls are so much fun to make and they have so many uses! Make a fabric rope bowl for an Easter basket, fruit bowl, notions catch-all, gift basket, craft storage basket, toy basket and more. This is a perfect diy home decor project! If you use washable materials to make them, you can wash your finished projects. I’ve popped mine in both the washing machine and the dishwasher.
The construction starts with cotton rope or nylon cord. You can buy a cheap clothesline or start with cording from your fabric shop. Cotton results in a soft, flexible basket while nylon yields a firmer shape. The diameter of the cord is up to you, as long as it fits under the presser foot of your sewing machine. My machine can handle cord up to ¼-inch in diameter.
Fabric rope bowls are perfect scrap-buster projects! I like to use the pieces I cut off to straighten an edge before cutting strips that becomes scrap fabric. They are generally about 1-inch in width, but not perfectly straight for your quilting projects.
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Here is our rope bowl tutorial.
What kind of rope do you use for a rope bowl?
I prefer cotton clothesline or cording. You’ll be sewing this on your sewing machine. So think about two things when selecting the rope or cording for your bowl. 1) Will it fit under your presser foot? and 2) Will my sewing machine needles sew through the cord easily?
I have used nylon clotheslines and they work great for a firm sided rope bowl. Macrame yarn is a great alternative, too. I just find the cotton clotheslines are inexpensive and easy to use.
If you are making a very small rope bowl, I prefer cording. I have made several that are only 3-inches diameter. They are perfect for holding my thimble, a spool of thread and my needles for hand sewing.
How much cord do I need for a fabric rope bowl?
It depends! Generally about 10-15 yards of cording or rope will make a decent size bowl with a top diameter of about 8-10 inches. It all depends on how big you make your base and how you bring up your sides with the wrapped rope.
How do you make different rope bowl shapes?
It’s all about how you start your rope bowl. If you start wrapping the fabric rope coil in a circle, the base will be circular and result in a round bowl. If you start with the fabric rope coil in an oval, you’ll end up with an oval rope bowl!
Have fun and play around! You’ll get hooked on making these fabric bowls and baskets. Here are some we’ve made.
How do you make a small rope bowl?
In the image below, there are three sizes of rope bowls. To make the very little one, just start building up your sides very early. I used cording purchased at a local home dec store for smaller baskets as it is easier to work with than bigger diameter cording or rope.
Check out all of our sewing projects on Create Whimsy.