Today’s project was dreamed up after seeing all those gorgeous diy rope bowls floating around the internet. I’d been thinking about buying a tray and started thinking, why not try a rope tray? The idea stuck and using a lot of clothing line I did it!
This DIY requires three things, rope, a sewing machine and thread. Really that’s it! Honestly this is a really, really basic sewing project, anyone can do it but it does require patience, lots of patience. But the end result is beautiful, tough and can be painted (before or after sewing it together). I opted for just white, at least for now 😉
What You’ll need
- Sewing Machine
- 2 spools of white or cream thread
- Size 7 Cotton/Poly cord (I got mine here)
Get your cord out! I used about two thirds of my cord and made a tray about a 1′ (foot) long and 10″ wide. It’s the perfect size for a coffee table to hold remotes, paperbacks, a notepad and pens or other small knick knacks. Basically I and my living room table are in love with the end result.
First step, bend about 2 inches of cord back towards the roll. This will be the base of your tray! (Bowls usually have a much smaller base, an inch or less)
Sew the base together using a zig zag stitch. For a little extra strength I sewed the two ends together up to the bend (above), then hit the reverse button on my sewing machine and sewed all the way back up to the end of the base. Wrap the free end of the cord around your base, and sew the next coil on.
Coil, sew, repeat. SO MUCH REPEATING!
Keep on sewing! Something I learned the hard way, make sure your coil is turning out away from the sewing machine, counter-clockwise. The rope coil is not a very soft structure so there’s no way to curl it up like you would a quilter’s role. This project also took a full spool of white thread so have another standing by.
I wanted a rectangular bowl so once I got about an inch from the width I was looking for, I added corners! I like the stylistic gap these corners created. To make them work, sew up to the start of the desired corner. Then size up how big you’d like your corner gap to be, leave the rope for the corner free and sew back over the coil until you reach the end of the corner. Tuck the loose rope back into the coil and start sewing again (above).
Back to the coiling and sewing again my friends. I promise it’s worth it! You should have a pretty sizable bottom to your tray now!
It’s time for the sides of the tray! Tip the bottom of the tray up so that it’s almost parallel to the sewing needle (well about as parallel as it can get). Keep the tray bottom tipped up and carry on. I made my tray walls about 10 coils deep. To finish the tray, cut the cord and curl the loose end back towards the sewing machine needle (the same way you made the base). Sew the loose end to the tray.
Enjoy your beautiful new tray! My remotes are happily stowed away in mine.