We're tackling this Tuesday morning in the finest of forms with this fantastic DIY rope bag. Having recently been inspired by this gorgeous version of Doug Johnston's, our resident DIYer has taken it upon herself to show us how to create our very own, from scratch, using materials found at a hardware store no less. With some basic sewing skill and a handful of rope you'll be totally and completely styling at the beach and the market in the coming months.
200' of 3/16" white clothesline rope (we got ours at Home Depot)
Threads in multiple colors- 2 spools each
Set your sewing machine to a zig zag stitch and load with your white thread and a bobbin of white thread. If you have enough bobbins, it will save you time to fill 2-3 bobbins of each color at the start.
Start by folding one end of the rope into a 12" length, with the cut end on the left side. Sew the two pieces together starting at the fold, down to the cut end of the rope. Make sure the sewing machine is sewing both pieces of rope together by staying centered under the needle- it sews right through the rope! How cool is that? When it's not centered, you'll only sew one side of rope which will leave you with a gap in your basket.
When you reach the end of that section, continue winding the rope around itself in a clockwise direction. Continue sewing around the rope. Keep the rope flat and even as you sew, creating a long flat oval.
When this bottom section has about 22 wrap arounds (or is about 5.5''x16"), you'll be ready to start building up the sides of the bag. With the next wrap around, hold the bottom section as perpendicular to the sewing machine as you can while sewing. This will help the rope attach to itself at an angle.
Continue holding the bottom at a 90ª angle as you add more layers. Once you feel like the bag has started to build up the sides, you can make the angle a little shallower. (This helps the bag build up wider as you sew it instead of narrowing at the top).
Continue sewing the sides. Feel free to alternate colors of thread to create bands and stripes of color as you go up, just stop sewing, cut the threads, and start again with a new color. When you reach about 10" high, you're ready to sew on handles.
Mark a point 2" in from the sides with masking tape on all four sides. On your next wrap around, sew normally until you reach the masking tape. Stop at that point and sew a half inch in reverse to strengthen the connection. Trim the threads but keep the rope attached, and measure out 24" of rope. Put the end of the 24" of rope at the next masking tape point and begin sewing again. Remember to sew in reverse to strengthen that connection point.
Continue sewing until you reach the next masking tape point and repeat the same steps to create a handle. When you finish that handle, continue sewing and when you come to the first handle, keep sewing and just sew along the handle itself. Repeat for one more row (the handle should be 3 rows thick). Cut the rope after the third handle pass and sew in reverse to prevent fraying. Your bag is finished!