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How to Make a Rope Trivet

8 inch rope trivet made with colorful scraps of cloth on a wooden counter

In the last year, I have become obsessed with cotton rope projects. Baskets, coasters, and even the rope trivet I am getting ready to introduce you to. These trivets are such easy and functional projects that don’t take up a lot time and energy.

Need a last minute house warming gift? Realized you don’t have enough trivets in your own kitchen to hold your hot pots and pans? This is a great project to use up old scraps, while making an item people will love to use. Here is what you will need.


  • About 20 feet of 7/32″ Diameter (#7) Cotton Clothesline Rope – (Thinner rope will take more, thicker diameter rope will take less.)
  • 1 inch wide strips of cotton quilters fabric about 1 to 1 1/2 foot long. (This is a good way to use up your scraps!)
  • Heavy duty gage sewing needle – (I use a universal sewing machine needle in a size 18)
  • All purpose sewing thread (I use white, but you can use the color of your choosing.)
  • Small clamps (You can use stick pins if you don’t have clamps, just be careful not to stab a finger!)


  1. Open your rope and find the starter end. If you are starting from a fresh package of rope, clip off the end of the rope that is covered in tape to keep it from unraveling.
  2. Start to coil the rope in on itself starting with the end you just cut. Continue this spiral until the circle is about 3 inches across and secure it with a clamp.
  3. With your sewing machine loaded with the heavy gage needle and all purpose thread, set your machine to a straight stitch (the length and width do not really matter for this step) and sew across the circle. I then back stitch to the middle, turn the circle 90 degrees and repeat. I divide these spaces again until I have what looks like an 8 slice pie. This will secure the center for us to sew the trivet. Don’t worry if the center still feels a bit unstable as we will be coming back to add to the center later.
  4. Remove the circle from your machine and snip the loose threads.
  5. Now set your machine to a zig zag stitch. I try to go with a bit shorted of a zig zag length (1.5 on my Singer) and my with I set to 5. This gives me plenty of “straddle” room for my stitch to straddle over the gap between 2 pieced of rope. The goal is for the needle to plant itself firmly within each piece of rope without going into the “ditch”.
  6. Place your circle back on the machine with the loose rope coming from the top edge of the project and running along the right side of your circle, under your sewing machine arm and then down to the floor at your feet. Start your zig zag, but be sure to back stitch about 1/2 inch the come forward again to get the stitch going. Now that it is secure, sew a couple of rounds to get the feel of stitching over the ditch before moving on to the next step.
  7. Take a strip of your fabric and start wrapping it around your feeder rope (the loose rope hanging towards the floor) about 3 inches down from your presser foot. Make sure the fabric is facing with the right side out. Wind the scrap kind of tight and try to limit any puckering that may occur. To start the scrap wind, you can hold it with a clamp until you have it secured by the first few inches of wrapping. Clamp the end when you are finished winding.
  8. Making sure the top clamp is removed and start sewing across the ditch, just as you did when you were sewing the plain rope with the zigzag. Once you sew past the end of the fabric scrap, sew a bit with plain rope, then add another fabric scrap just as you did in the steps above.
  9. When your circle measures about 8 inches from side to side, you will need to cut your rope about 5-6 inches from the presser foot on your sewing machine, then cut the end of your rope at an angle as shown in the video.
  10. Curl under the end of the rope to the left about 2 inches back towards the circle to create a hanging loop. Be careful with this step. It is better to use a pencil or chopstick to hold the rope secure for a tight stitching than your fingers. Sew the loop edge to the circle leaving the center of the loop open big enough that your first finger will fit in the hole. I pass over this area several times with the zig zag stitch the keep it from unraveling.
  11. Secure the zigzag with a backstitch and clip your thread.
  12. This next step is optional. You can now go back and zig zag over the ditch in the center of your trivet. I saved this step for last as it is much easier when the rest of the project is secure. When finished with this step you should have a trivet that looks similar to this:
3 rope trivets of various sizes made with rope and scrap fabric, one trivet has a red pot sitting on it. All on a wooden counter.

These rope trivets have endless possibilities. I have them in several colors and sizes. Not only do they make great custom gifts, but they make great table placemats, too! We hope you have as much fun making these rope projects as we did. Until next time, Happy Sewing.

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