Sisal Rope Bowl

By Kate Riley July 18, 2011

I once fell in love with a rope bowl, it was by David Stark for West Elm.  Sadly that awesome rope bowl is no longer available, bring it back, bring it back I say!   My latest crafty project was inspired by that bowl and I believe has something to do with my fixation on neutrals with layers of texture.  In fact, I think I need an entire Pinterest category devoted to it. 

I’ve had that rope bowl on my mind for many months, so I snagged a cheapo metal bowl from a craft store on clearance a few weeks ago, plus a couple of rolls of sisal rope from my local hardware store, and then got crafty with my glue gun. 

sisal rope bowl by kate


How to Make a Sisal Rope Bowl:

Grab yerself a vessel, whatever you like.  Aluminum handled bowls like this speckled one (reowr) work great.  Also grab a dozen glue sticks, your trusty hot glue gun, and 50 to 75 feet of sisal rope (mine was ¼ inch thick).


rope bowl supplies


Then follow these simple steps:

steps for rope bowl

1) Start with the handles, gluing the first part of rope in place.  2)  Finish each handle wrapping the rope as shown, hot gluing every second wrap around.  3) Begin the outside of your bowl by securing an end of rope under the handle, then keep gluing the rope all the way around.  4) Finish your bowl off by wrapping the rope around the inside.  You determine how far you want to go, all the way around the inside or half way, it’s up to you.  Or whenever you run out of rope . . .

And there you have it, in less than an hour, a sisal rope bowl to call your own.

kates sisal rope bowl


Both textural and versatile, rope bowls are a catchall for anything from fresh fruit, to bills, to your collection of quirky matchbooks.

Set me loose with some sisal rope and a glue gun on a galvanized bucket or a cake stand and we’re talking about even more rope fabulousness. 

rope bowl by kate

Sisal rope is your crafty friend.

You can quote me on that.

Got a recent rope project you’ve finished?  Go on and share it!




  1. That looks great…personally, I think it looks better than the David Stark one!

  2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…..some people are uber talented (you) and some people wish they were! (me). This is amazing. I’ll be honest and say I’ll probably never make one. Sure I’ll buy the rope and the metal container and I have a glue gun. But hoarding the materials and saying I’m going to make something is usually where it ends. Thank goodness for blogs like yours so I can at least look at something awesome!

  3. Every time I think that you can’t possibly get anymore amazing, you go and do something like this. I love it!!

  4. Totally love this! I’ve seen a few of the rope bowls before but I really like the handles on yours. It looks amazing!
    Jenn :)

  5. Thank you so much for ending my craft rut! I just haven’t seen anything out there that’s really gotten me excited in a while. I totally love this! Now I have a project to look forward to! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Great job Kate! Yours is much better than David Stark’s. I love the rope wound handles, really makes the project. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  7. You never cease to amaze me! I wish I can borrow your creativity for a day.

  8. I like your bowl so much better than your inspiration bowl! I’ve been thinking of wrapping a brass lamp in some sisal rope, and now I think I will! Thanks!

  9. LOVE this! I’m a texture fanatic, too, as most of our house’s backdrop is neutral….will definitely give this a whirl.


  10. You made this look so easy… Anything with sisal rope would look great in our dining room where I have a minimal beachy theme going. I might have to try this sometime…I’m also thinking it would look cute wrapped around a picture frame.

  11. This is just another reason why I NEED to buy a glue gun. i’ve been doing without one for too long. Thanks for the inspiring rope bowl tutorial. I’m already thinking of all the things I could wrap! Haha. I think a planter would look cute for my balcony.

  12. What a great idea! I am sure I have all of those items on hand here at home, I am going to try that one! Thanks!

  13. This is such a fantastic project, I can’t wait to give it a try….love the look. Take Care, Carrie {the vintage wren}

  14. Your bowl is WAYYYY cooler than David Stark’s!!! :o)
    I have the bucket and glue gun. Now jute is on my shopping list!

  15. I guess you haven’t had trouble with any oil-stink? The only sisal rope I’ve been able to find in the hardware was treated with oil (apparently it lets them eke out a few more feet from the raw material), and stank to high heaven even after washing it several times. Did you actually find an untreated sisal rope, and if so, what brand was it?

  16. YES!!!! Love it kate! I did the same thing to my son’s Ikea light fixture. Sisal rope is your crafty friend!

  17. OMG i am in LOVE with this basket. soooo simple and adorable. i am making. and will share on my blog ;) thanks for the tutorial.

  18. What an awesome idea!!! it looks so good in your kitchen I might have to make one for my new kitchen!!!

  19. Looks wonderful, Kate! I love the texture of sisal rope. I used sisal rope on candles last year and gave as Christmas gifts to the neighbors.

  20. You come up with the best ideas! It looks perfect! I really like it!

  21. Love this! I am not a traditional basket kind of girl, but I could totally use a rope bowl. I am adding this to my project list for the weekend. I am thinking about making one and then spraypainting it a bold color. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  22. I just came across your blog and I love it. I wish I had seen this post a few days ago because I just bought a new fruit bowl and while I like it, I like this one a lot more!

  23. Love how fantastically easy you make this! Such a sweet and pretty DIY project, can’t wait to give it a try!


  24. i jsut wanted to let people thow that there are alumnium buckets at Target for sale for %90 off in the seasonal department. This project would make them great!! Each bucket ended up costing me 20 cents.

  25. I love it! I’ve had that same West Elm bowl on my inspiration board for a while now. One of these days I will get around to making my own!

  26. This is perfect for my kitchen. I found it on Pinterest and had to trace it back. Thanks for the tutorial, I will definitely be trying this one myself :)

  27. just got here bia knock-off decor….your rope container is heads over tails waaaaaaaaay cooler than the west elm bowl. if those two were sitting side by side….i’d choose yours over theirs in a minute. honest to peanuts….this is amazing. and i’ll bet you’ll find far more use with it than the other bowl…which looks a bit….well, tippy/tipsy. stuff would fall all over and out of that thing. your stuff is going to stay snug and secure and look adorable in your bowl/bucket. great work!

  28. This is a MUST MAKE! Love it! Thank you for sharing! Would be such a great summer hostess gift!!
    Tootles, TJ

  29. I love, love, love this! i recently updated a pair of yard sale lamps with jute string wrapped around the bottom and top of both shades. it added just the touch of texture that i was looking for. i so need to make this bowl now!

  30. Kate Your bowl came out wonderful. I love working with sisal and other natural ropes, like twine.
    I make kitchen utensil jars with sisal rope and sharks teeth. It adds such a great natural texture to the kitchen. I also make sisal decor balls. I just love the nautical touch a little sisal rope can bring to any object! and it doesn’t mind getting wet!

  31. I use jute twine all of the time but I love the idea of rope!!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  32. I used this rope to make a scratching post for my cats. I just wound it around a 4 by 1 (about 20 inches long). It’s much more durable than the cardboard ones that you spend a small fortune on. It came out great, and the cats LOOOOVE using it. It’s over a year old, and still looks new.

  33. i found this on pinterest… and i LOVE it! i am craving some craftiness this weekend and i think it is the perfect replacement for my current fruit bowl. i will definitely give you credit if and when i make it and post it to my blog… thanks for a great tutorial!

  34. I bought sisal from Lowe’s and it had an unpleasant smell, similar to gasoline. Any suggestions on how to get rid of the smell? or where to buy sisal that doesn’t smell?

    • Oh no Wendie, that’s terrible. I bought mine at ACE Hardware as I recall…. The untreated versions are better. :)

  35. Looking at this pot reminded me of a big terra cotta pot I covered with rope in the same fashion and added a big fluffy paper flower in a matching color. I have used it for a flower pot cover, made arrangements for it and loaned it to my co-worker for fall table decoration last year. And I’ll be darn if I know where it is!!!! I do you I coiled the rope 2 or 3 rope on the bottom to protect furniture and the floor! Thanks for the reminder, you bet I will be looking for that pot!!!

  36. Im going to make this tomorrow using the box from my daughter’s diapers and wipes. Thanks for the inspiration!

  37. What a great idea! Thanks for the tutorial! This project is definitely on my list to do this winter.

  38. Love, love, love this! Love the nautral and this outside of the box idea. Love your blog too and I am your newest follower!

  39. Hi, I’m your 11000th follower! Someday I hope to read something even remotely close to that in my comment section! I actually have been following you for awhile and only just realized that I never actually signed up in the followers section…so it sounds ridiculous, but congratulations on your 11
    000th follower. Keep doing the voodoo that you do so well! Karajeanne

  40. I see several mentions of candles wrapped in sisal or similar products. I like the idea, but is this not a fire hazard? If not, I’m going to try it…..Thanks

    • Hi Bev, I think you’d be better off wrapping a glass candle, I would hestitate to wrap just a wax candle in sisal, yes that is a fire hazard.

  41. I wraped the bottom of a glass lamp. I no longer have it. Gave to my sister-in-law who was doing her boy’s room in a cowboy theme. I thought, I’ll find another lamp and make another, just never have. It really looked great. Just another idea.

  42. What a great idea ! Could you paint or stain it ? I can’t wait to try it.

  43. Saw this at a craft fair in Arizona three years ago. They had all different shapes, sizesand designs. Only used only rope and glue guns, no base shapes. Still very solid and beautifully done.

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