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How To Make A Rope Basket And Can You Spray Paint It To Add Some Color?


  1. Cotton rope.  I used about 50 feet for my basket.   
  1. Painter’s tape 
  1. Spray paint  
  1. Hot glue gun and glue  
  1. A basket or container to use as a template for your basket shape.   
  1. Strips of leather for the handles.  If you have fake leather that only has leather on one side, then you will need to double, and thus need a little more.  
  1. Optional: thumb tacks or other item to put on the leather handle for decoration or to help hold the leather handle in place.   
  1. Optional:  you may need to change the color of your thumb tacks or other item you use.  I found nail polish or acrylic paint works well to cover my thumb tacks.  I used gold acrylic paint, and covered it with a clear top coat of nail polish.   

I started at the bottom of my metal container template, and wrapped the rope in a coil around the bottom.  I applied hot glue as I went, but tried to only apply the glue to the edges of the rope that would be sticking to another piece of rope.  I did not want to glue the rope to the container, because I was going to remove this container when I was finished.  A plastic or metal container will work best for this part, because if you do get some hot glue on it, then it will not be too difficult to take it off or wiggle the rope free.  I did not like when the basket was lifted up that you could see some small gaps where there was no glue applied.  So, I applied glue along the entire length of the rope so I would not have any gaps in my basket.  If you choose to keep your plastic or metal container inside the rope basket, then you can glue the rope directly to the container, and you do not have to apply glue the entire length of the rope, just every now and then.  This step takes a little bit of time, but it is not too difficult.  Just keep wrapping and gluing the rope until you reach the end.   

rope basket

Once I reached the end of my rope, I glued down the end of the rope to itself.  I used scissors to trim a little bit of the end of the rope at an angle so it laid down nicer.  Make sure to glue this piece well so the rope does not unravel.  You also do not random threads of the rope to be loose and flopping around.   

rope basket

Once my basket was made, I took it off of the metal basket template.  It came off pretty easily, you may need to wiggle it back and forth just a little bit.  It also helps to wiggle your basket back and forth as you were gluing it, to insure it was not stuck to the container.   

rope basket

I then taped off the areas of the basket I did not want to get spray paint on.  I also used a plastic bag so I did not have to waste as much tape taping everything off.  When spay painting make sure you are in a well ventilated area.  I applied two coats of the spray paint all the way around my basket, and let it dry between layers.  I also spray painted the bottom of the basket just because I liked the completed look.  You could leave the bottom unpainted if you wanted too.  When you lift the basket up some of the rope stretches out and you can see parts of the rope that did not get covered with the spray paint.  If this bothers you then you could stretch it out as you spray paint it.   

For the handles I used some small faux leather I had.  It was pretty cheap stuff and only had the leather part on one side.  You could use a Cricut or hand cut this leather with scissors.  I used my Glowforge laser printer, since I had it on for another project I was doing already.  Either way you decide to cut your leather strips make sure you measure the length you want your handles to be before you cut them.  I used a piece of ribbon to ensure the curve of the handle was included in the measurement, then measured the ribbon’s length to know how long of a piece of leather I needed.   I needed to cut 4 strips leather, because I did not want the uncovered back of the leather to show.  I also decided to add a little curve to the ends of my leather strips, this is not necessary.   

rope basket

Once my leather strips were all cut out, I glued two of them together so that the leather part showed on both sides.  You will do this twice to make two handles out of your 4 strips.  I used gorilla glue in-between these leather strips, because I wanted a smooth glue when dry.  Hot glue can be bumpy and thick when it dries, which would have made my leather handles look weird.   

rope basket

Leather is typically attached with a metal clip type piece.  I wanted a similar look on my leather handles, but did not want to go out and buy the supplies to do this.  So, I made a fake one with a thumb tack.  I used acrylic paint to cover my thumb tack gold, my store was out of gold thumb tacks.  I also applied a clear top coat of nail polish over the gold paint when it was dry, to help protect it from scratching off.  I then cut off the backs to all four thumb tacks with wire cutters, so they would lay flat.   

I used hot glue to attach the gold thumb tacks to the ends of each of my leather strips.  I then applied hot glue to the backs of my leather handles and applied them to my rope baskets, where I liked.  After taking some photos of the basket and moving it around a bit, then next morning the handles where laying on the floor.  So, I decided to use gorilla glue this time to attach them to the rope basket.  This did the trip and I have not had any issues with them coming off.     

I really like how this project turned out.  I did a similar project, but tried dyeing the rope instead of spray painting it.  To see how that turned out please click here.  I think the spray painting method was my favorite of the two, because it was less time consuming, and I like the look of it better.  My boyfriend likes the look of the dyed rope basket better. He said he liked that uneven distribution of color.  So, which method you choose depends on which style you like better.  This project was a bit time consuming, but not too difficult to make.  I know some people have even sewed their rope together when making these types of baskets.  I am not good at sewing or have a sewing machine.  So, this was a quick but affective method to create this cute basket.  I will be using it to hold my extra toilet paper.  That way it is easy to find when I have guest over and they need an extra roll.  It perfectly fits 3 rolls of toil paper.  You can make this basket as big or small as you like depending on your needs.  You could hand paint designs on the rope, add tassels, and really make it your own.   

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