How to Make Chic Baskets From Clothesline Rope

Use a simple zigzag stitch on your sewing machine to turn ordinary clothesline into stunning and functional bowls.

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

By: Carla Wiking

Simple meditative sewing seems to create a bowl almost by magic. Use paint or contrasting thread to turn these simple storage containers into beautiful pieces worthy of display.

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

Tools and Materials

  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • cotton clothesline
  • thread
  • denim needle
  • craft paints
  • paintbrushes

Step 1: Prep Your Machine

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

Fill at least one bobbin with your thread choice. I recommend coordinating natural colored thread if you plan to paint your bowl and wish to hide any sewing imperfections. Or, for a fun look chose a dark thread to lend contrast and have the thread become part of the design. Install a denim needle into your machine and set it to a zigzag stitch that has long, fairly close together stitches. For my machine that was 2 on stitch distance and 5 on stitch length.

Step 2: Start the Coil

Roll the clothesline into a small, tight coil and secure it with a pin. Place this small coil in your machine and sew across the center, reversing and sewing forward several times to secure that small coil. Slowly start rotating the coil to create a small disk.

Step 3: Sew Bottom of Bowl

With your small disk started you can begin to create the base of your bowl. Place the coil under the presser foot with the loose clothesline coming off of the right side. Make sure the space between the coil and that loose clothesline is centered under the presser foot so that when the machine sews a zigzag it pierces each side, sewing the two pieces together. Turn the coil counterclockwise as you sew. Soon a flat disk will appear on the left side of your presser foot. Continue sewing until your base is as large as you would like it to be. I recommend four inches for a small bowl and up to eight inches for a large bowl.

Step 4: Shape the Sides

To shape your sides, use your left hand to tip the coil up against the left side of the sewing machine. Continue sewing as you did for the coil, slowly rotating the coil towards you as you sew. A bowl shape will appear to the left of your machine, sew until you have reached your desired bowl size. Reverse your stitches before removing the bowl. Simply tie off the loose clothesline or go to the next step to create a loop handle.

Step 5: Sew Handle Loop

Cut the clothesline about three inches from the bowl. Tuck the edge under to create a loop. Sew a few lines of zigzag to secure.

Step 6: Paint

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

To add extra flair, use craft paint to create a design on your bowl.

Step 7: Display

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

Use your bowls as stand-alone decor or useful storage vessels.

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