No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.


Rope Bookends




Ask your lumberyard to cut a 4-by-4 into a pair of 3 1/2-inch cubes and a pair of 2 1/2-inch cubes. Smooth edges and corners of cubes with sandpaper or a file (so they won't snag rope). Paint cubes same shade as rope, and let dry. 

Each large cube needs 40 feet of  3/8-inch-thick twisted nylon rope or 35 feet of  1/2-inch-thick rope. Each small cube needs 35 feet of 1/4- inch-thick rope or 30 feet of 3/8-inch-thick rope.


  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Permanent craft glue
  • Wooden block cube


  1. Step 1


    Using masking tape, secure rope to side of cube. Wrap as shown. (As you work, tape down loops to hold them temporarily in place.) Continue until front and back of block are fully covered.

  2. Step 2


    Tape at corner. Give cube a quarter turn; wrap in opposite direction to cover sides. (Remove tape from step 1 as loops stay in place.)

  3. Step 3


    Wrap remaining sides by threading through the open loops. (Remove tape from step 2.)

  4. Step 4

    Pull each loop from first round until rope is flush with cube. Trim ends and secure to cube with permanent craft glue.

Martha Stewart Living, July 2005



Reviews (6)

  • kabalduc 17 Feb, 2011

    Ran out of comment space... here is a great Monkey's Fist tutorial on YouTube:


  • kabalduc 17 Feb, 2011

    As a sailor, I am fascinated by all things nautical-themed. I think this project is a cute idea. The theory behind using the block in the center is to increase the size and give it a little weight -- how would the bookends be useful otherwise?

    Anyway, for those of you unfamiliar with the Monkey's Fist knot, let me Google that for you: is monkey's fist knot?
    Also, this is a great YouTube video which shows you how to tie a Monkey's Fist.
    Cheers and happy knotting!

  • impartial_path 16 Feb, 2011

    Any suggestions on what kind of paint to use if I wanted to make one in a bright or holiday color?

  • sawzbella 15 Feb, 2011

    A Monkey's Fist is basically that rope knot, without the block!!

  • mykele 15 Feb, 2011

    What is a Monkey's Fist????? mykele

  • amy0175 15 Feb, 2011

    Or you could just tie a Monkey's Fist with a block in the centre.