Make a Knotted Dip-Dyed Bottle Carrier

Practice your knot-making skills with this useful household accessory from blogger Stephanie Congdon Barnes.

As one half of the force behind the blog 3191 Miles Apart and the new book, A Year Between Friends, Stephanie Congdon Barnes is well known to her readers for sharing the projects and recipes she cherishes most. One of those projects is her knotted, dip-dyed bottle carrier. Stephanie created these bottle carriers to tote a bottle of wine or beer to parties, doubling as a gift for her hosts. Not only do they work well with spirits bottles, but Stephanie has found that her water bottle and large jars of homemade pickles fit nicely in the carrier as well.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Learn how to make your own bottle carrier from Stephanie below.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Knotted Bottle-Carrier

courtesy of Stephanie Congdon Barnes

I love that my friends can reuse these carriers as they see fit or pass them on when they themselves are the guest somewhere. They are quite simple to make; don’t be intimidated by all the steps here. If you can tie a knot, you’re halfway there.

You will need cotton rope of approximately 1/8-1/4 inch (3-6 mm) thickness. Anything of a larger diameter will result in bulky knots, and anything smaller may not properly hold your bottle. (I used macrame cord from the craft store. Your local hardware store most likely sells cotton clothesline that will work well.) Hemp rope or bright nylon cord would look handsome, but if you are planning on dip-dyeing your carrier like the ones shown here, you will want to stick to light colors and natural fibers for the best results.

Other supplies needed for the project include:

  • scissors
  • an empty jar or bottle of your choice
  • dye packets in a variety of colors
  • clean buckets to use for the dye baths

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

To get started, cut four lengths of rope 80” long. (I am showing them in four colors here to help you understand the knotting process.) Find the center point for each length of rope and double it over to form a loop.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Next, lay two of the lengths of rope out straight, making note of their center point. At the center point, pass one of the looped ropes underneath and lay one over the top as shown.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Pass the ends of each of the doubled-over lengths through the loop of the other as shown.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Pull the ropes tight.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Now you are ready to start your knotting. Spread out each of the rope lengths and pair it with the one adjacent to it.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Tie off each of these pairs together with a slip knot approximately 2” above your center knot. Make sure all of your knots are the same distance from the center and make necessary adjustments before you proceed.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Once again spread out each length of rope and pair it with a length from the adjacent knot. Tie another slip knot 2” above the previous knots with each of the four pairs.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Your carrier will start to take shape as you work around.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Continue along knotting this way, pairing each length of rope with one from the adjacent knot and tying a new slipknot 2” above until your carrier is long enough. I tied six rows of knots in most of the carriers I made.

Tip: It may be helpful to slip a bottle into your work as you move along, so you can better see your progress.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Once your carrier is tall enough, group four lengths of rope together from each side and tie securely with a large slip knot. Trim ends.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

To dye your carrier, place it on an empty bottle and thoroughly wet it under running water. Prepare your dye bath. I used powdered dyes from Rit in shades of navy, wine and golden yellow. Mix about half the dye packet with a gallon of very hot water and stir to dissolve (wear gloves and an apron and protect your surfaces when working with these dyes). Pour the dye into a container tall and wide enough to fit your bottle and carrier. I used a glass jar, but a large yogurt container would work. Pour just a few inches of the dye bath in a second container.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Start by dipping the bottle and carrier in the taller dye bath just long enough for the dye to saturate the rope; a few seconds. Take care to keep the handles of your carrier free of the dye by tying them at the top. Then place the bottle in the second dye bath. Let it sit there until the bottom color is deep and saturated, about 10-15 minutes.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Stephanie Congdon Barnes

Carefully transfer your carrier to the sink and rinse under warm water, and then cold water, until it runs clear. Make sure to always run the water from the un-dyed top of the carrier down to the darker dyed portion. Hang your carrier to dry.

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