Interiors Director Meg Crossley creates mini display bowls using cotton rope and colorful thread.
After a recent trip to Portugal, I was inspired to create simple, nautical bowls with deep blue and green thread and creamy white rope. Wonderfully weathered ropes are scattered throughout the country’s seaside ports, and people have been weaving bowls with natural materials for centuries. This project is pretty simple once you get the hang of it, but it does take a few hours to finish a whole bowl. Set aside a lazy Sunday, put on your favorite playlist and take your time!
You’ll need 5mm-diam. cotton rope, waxed hemp or cotton thread (I used 20 lb. hemp cording), darning needle, clear
tape, and scissors.
Begin by wrapping a piece of standard clear tape around the end of your rope to prevent fraying. Next, cut the rope down the middle of the taped section so the end of the rope is less bulky. Fold over taped end of rope to create a loop. Wrap your thread around the lower part of the loop multiple times, covering the tape and leaving the top of the loop open. Trim excess rope below thread.
Thread your darning needle, then wrap the thread around the rope five times, leaving equal space between wrapped threads. Take the looped end of your rope and fold it in half, creating the start of a spiral.
Take your threaded darning needle and sew it through the coiled section of rope. This allows you to anchor the spiraling rope as you go.
Lay your spiral of wrapped rope on a flat surface as you begin to form the base. Working in sections, continue wrapping your thread around the rope five times, then coil your rope a little further and sew the darning needle through the coiled section of rope. Repeat this, matching up your wrapped thread from row to row. Attach a new piece of thread using a small knot when needed.
To create the sides, place the rope on top of the base edge, so the diameter of the bowl will get larger as it gets taller. Continue to wrap the thread around the rope five times, then sew the darning needle through the layer of rope below to anchor it.
Tip: Keep the thread slightly taut so each layer of your bowl is firmly attached to the layer below.
Continue building up the sides of your bowl, layer by layer. Once your bowl is tall enough, finish by folding the end of your rope to create a loop and wrapping the base of the loop with thread (as you did in Step 1).