Apr 19, 2012

Rope knot bookend {DIY}

Hey, all! Hope you had a good week. TGIF!

I recently crossed a DIY project off my list, something I'd been looking to tackle for a little while: making one of these decorative rope knots.

It's called a monkey fist knot. Ever since I decided last spring to redo the office, I got the idea of using some nautical elements, and I just loved these knots -- but not 48-dollars-love, if you know what I mean. Once the office bookshelf makeover was finally complete, I had a nice place to display one, so I decided to get to work on it.

It took me a while to get the hang of it, but once I did, I realized it's really not that hard. I have a tutorial for you so you can give it a try too!

First, you'll need to stop by your local hardware/home improvement store to pick up some rope. Both Home Depot and Lowe's sell it by the yard. I opted for some natural manila 5/8-inch rope from Lowe's. I got 15 yards to make sure I had enough -- you probably could get away with less, but I found it easier to make the knot loose, so I liked having all the extra. It cost 58 cents a yard.

You'll also need something to support the center. I used this foam ball. If you wanted to make a doorstop or paperweight, you could use a tennis ball that you cut and filled with rocks.

What follows is my tutorial in photos, but if you need more, I used this video to learn the steps (skip to 1:57 to see the tutorial portion -- I didn't even listen to the sound, just watched it). I hope you enjoy my awkward hand positions as I try to hold the rope while also taking pictures :)

Start by taking the rope in your hands, with your left hand about 6 or 7 inches from the end of the rope.

Coil the rope in your left hand until you have four loops.

Pull the rope straight down to the bottom of the loops...

...and wrap it around the bottom of the three loops.

Bring it up and wrap it around the top. Do this until you have three loops on the top.

You're almost there!

So, now you have two sets of loops. The end of the rope should now be hanging down to the floor. Take the end and stick it in the space between the two sets of loops, like so...

...and then pull it all the way through.

This is the trickiest part. You want to wrap the rope around the outside of the three loops on the side that's facing away from you, and then pull the rope through the hole on the bottom, shown with arrows here.

And then repeat, so you're making more loops over the top.

Do it until you have three loops in the front like this and the end of the rope is coming out the back.

Sooo close!

Now, it's time to insert your ball.

But it still looks kind of rough, doesn't it? Now comes the really fun part -- tightening the knot. Essentially, you just go around and around the knot, pulling each loop tight. You'll have to do this a few times to get it tight and symmetrical.

I made a little video so you can see how to tighten it. I apologize for how dark it is!

Once it was all tightened, I cut one of the rope ends really close to the knot...

...tucked the end just under one of the loops and hot-glued it in place.

I made a loop with the other end and also hot-glued that in place.

And it's done!

It's holding up some books on our office bookcase. I'm loving the texture it adds.

I can't believe those stores charge nearly $50 when all it took me was $9 and a little time! I'm totally addicted to them now...I want to make a zillion!

I found that this rope shed little pieces, so you'll probably need to vacuum and brush off your clothes after you're done. :)

If you give making this knot a try, I'd like to hear about it!

Linking up!


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Andrea @ Life Love Larson said...

I have been wanting to make one of these for my new bookshelves! Thanks for the inspiration!


Sherry said...

Oh gosh, that is so neat! It sounded complicated until I watched the video. I have to give this a try. I'm a new follower and would appreciate you following me back. Thanks

JENNY K. said...

Visiting from TT&J. Thanks for sharing! I have some extra rope from another project I'm working on and I wanted to make one of these but hadn't taken the time to search for a tutorial. Now I don't have too! Thanks again!!!

Shannah @ Just Us Four said...

Wow, that turned out great. You did an amazing job tying a pretty difficult knot. This is a great project! Would you consider linking it up to my Pinworthy Projects Linky Party over at Just Us Four?

Pam - @diy Design Fanatic said...

Very nice! I just saw these on Ballard Designs.com today. Love it!

Roeshel said...

Awesome job! Great tutorial! Those always catch my eye. I'm so glad you shared detailed directions. I'm going to include a link back in this week's highlights. Thanks for sharing in the DIY Project Parade! :)

Bonnie @ Uncommon Designs said...

I think I am a little in love!! These are great!! :)

Laurel Stephens said...

Holy Moly, $45! You are so SMART! Thank you for sharing this. I'm going to pin it, and I bet a lot of very happy people are going to save a lot of money on a beautiful rope knot bookend!

Hip Brown said...

I love this... it is gorgeous! How clever you are to work out how to do this and then share. I so want to make one. x