Making a fabric rope basket is a low-investment, high-reward DIY project – it’s just nuanced enough to get you in your creative zone and get all your happy brain chemicals pumping.
Besides, fabric rope baskets are excellent plastic container replacements and give your storage and organization solutions a lot of character.
Using different fabric styles and prints gives a DIY storage basket a tastefully vibrant look, and it can elevate dull and plain furniture and give it a pretty, lively lift.
The best part? Baskets only take a few fun hours to make – it is the perfect relaxing afternoon project!
In this post, we’ll learn how to make fabric rope baskets from expert DIY YouTuber Crafty Patti.
Her simple tutorial has already helped thousands of beginners make a fabric rope basket without any raw edges – which is something you rarely find in stores!
Here’s what you need to grab before you get started:
- Piece of fabric of your choice
- Cotton sash cord (Patti uses a 100’ piece)
- Small metal clips
- Sewing thread and bobbins that match/compliment the color of the fabric
- Sewing machine capable of zig-zag stitching
- Sewing pins
- Rotary cutter
- Omnigrid ruler
01 Cut the Fabric
Start by cutting the piece of fabric into 1 and 1/4″ wide pieces. Measure with the Omnigrid ruler, and carefully slice using the rotary cutter.
Folding the piece of fabric in half will make this quicker and easier.
Skip to 3:20 on Patti’s video below to view this step.
02 Sew the Fabric
The next step is to sew the strips together.
Place a strip horizontally, and place another strip on top of it vertically, matching up the ends. Sew from corner to corner where the pieces match up.
Snip off the excess fabric to make sure that the seams don’t get too bulky.
Skip to 3:37 on the video below to watch Patti illustrate this step.
03 Fold and Wrap
In the video, Patti folds the fabric over half-an-inch and irons the fold to cover the rope’s raw edge.
She only wraps the fabric around the rope for about 12 inches, and then wraps and sews as she goes.
But if you want to wrap the rope as you watch TV and sew in one go, you’re welcome to do that, too!
But don’t stitch anything together when you wrap – use the metal clips to hold the fabric and rope together tightly.
View this step in the video below from 4:35 to 6:25
04 Wind and Stitch
Take your fabric-wrapped rope, and wrap it in a circle tightly. When the circle is roughly an inch in diameter, use four pins to hold it in place.
Sew across the circle twice, and the foundation for your basket is ready!
Now, for the fun part. Zig-zag stitch consecutive rings to make the sturdy bottom of the basket.
Watch Patti masterfully pull off this step in the video below from 6:25 to 11:00.
05 Make the Edge
Hold the bottom of your basket right up against the sewing machine – or at least as far as it goes – to get your basket’s bottom to rise.
Continue sewing till the basket is as tall as you want it.
Watch Patti demonstrate this in the video below by skipping to 11:03.
06 Wrap the Final Circle
Snip off the end of the rope at an angle, so the basket’s final part is a little less bulky.
You have to repeat step #4 – wrap the rope in a tight circle, and sew across twice.
Finally, stitch the circle to the side of the basket, and your DIY fabric rope basket is ready!
As promised, the rag rope basket will not have any raw edges.
You can view this step from 12:31 to 19:14 in Patti’s video below.
Now that you know all the steps, you can watch the full video or go over the segments you need help with.
Can I use scrap fabric that I have lying around?
Of course! But you must make sure that the strip is between 5/8” to 3/4″ wide, or the fabric won’t cover the rope well enough, and it will bunch up.
Wouldn’t using glue be a lot quicker?
Sure! But the glue may ruin your basket’s aesthetic, and the basket won’t be as sturdy as a basket that’s sewn together.
How thick must the rope be?
Patti uses a ¼” thick rope, but you don’t necessarily need to use a rope of the same thickness. You can use any rope as long as it fits your sewing machine.
You can make a lid for the basket using the same technique you used to make the basket. It will keep the contents free from dust!
Rope baskets are not only fun to make, but they also make for the perfect housewarming gift – you can roll up some dish/bar towels, some hand cream, and some other items and present it to the host!
If you loved this comprehensive tutorial on how to make fabric rope baskets, make sure you subscribe to Crafty Patti for new DIY projects every two weeks!