Saturday Sewing: Rope Bowls

Today I bring you a quick and easy decor project! Rope bowls! These seriously have endless uses around the house. These are so fun to make that you won’t be able to stop making them! The materials are very affordable and easily customizable. I swear I’m not lying about the easy part either. The hardest part is at the beginning and end and I’m going to give you some tips and options to make those parts easier.


  • Macramé cording in your choice of size and colour (larger diameter cord will be a softer more flexible bowl, smaller diameter will be more rigid)
  • Thread (I used Madeira Polyneon in Neons!)
  • Janome Sewing machine with zig zag capabilities 

Setting up your machine. 

You are going to want to play around a bit with some scraps of cording. You want to pick a zig zag stitch that you like the look of and that will catch the two cords, covering enough area where everything is secure. On my Janome M7 Continental I used a middle zig zag (stitch 9) with a width of 6.2 and a length of 2.4.

Up first you need decide what shape you want your bowl to be. If you are looking for a round bowl you are going to start with a spiral and if your are looking to make a long bowl you will start with an oblong design (side note, oblong is a great word!)

This part is very important: No matter what shape you are making you want all the cord to be added to the right hand side of your bowl. This is way ahead of the game but the picture below shows how we will be making the sides go up. If you are adding cord to the left side of your project you will not be able to turn your sides because your bowl with be in the throat of your machine. 

Tips for starting with a spiral

This is a little tricky but hang in there, it is worth it. The issue with starting with a spiral is that it doesn’t all touch the feed dogs so it has trouble feeding at first. So my solution to this is, don’t start at the beginning. What am I talking about? Hang in there.

Make your beginning spiral and then keep adding rope and not stitching until it is big enough that it will reach more of the feed dogs. Then start stitching there and add a few rounds. This is going to hold everything in place. Now you can go back and finish all the way to the centre without a struggle. Then go back and keep adding more rounds. 

Tips for starting with an Oblong

This method is a bit easier than the spiral. Determine the starting length. You may have to play around with your cord a bit to figure out exact dimensions if you are looking for a particular finished size. Your starting length is going to be shorter than your finished length because you will be adding rounds to it. Once you have selected your starting length, fold your cord in half with the end on the left. You are going to start stitching at the fold, NOT at the end.

Next steps:

Keep adding cord to your base (try not to get dizzy) until they are the right size. Once you have the base at the right size you are going to move on to the sides. To do this, leave the needle in your project and pick up the base and tilt it upwards. How sharp of an angle that you lift it will determine the steepness of the sides of your bowl. For gradual side, just lift your project a few inches. For a sharp side lift your project completely vertical. Then keep sewing. It’s as easy as that!

Finishing the bowl:

To finish the bowl there are endless options but here are my favourite.

  1. Tie a knot in your cord and continue sewing until you are as close to the knot as possible, backstitch to secure and trim the cord to the knot.

  2. Cut your cord approx. 1.5” past where you want the bowl to end. Fold the end underneath and then stitch down. You will have to stitch it down in 2 sections as seen below.

Stitch on!


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3 Responses to Saturday Sewing: Rope Bowls

  1. Jan says:

    Loved your tutorial. What size needle did you use?


    • AmandaBee says:

      Hi Jan! Our Janome Red tip needles were used. They are a size 14 with a nice sharp point. The cord is a very loose twist and it is super easy to sew through. Happy Sewing!!!



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