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Striped Rope Baskets

Turn humble cotton cord into a basket with natural appeal.

Photography: Ditte Isager

Source: Martha Stewart


Like magic, humble cotton cord meant for Venetian blinds becomes a basket with natural appeal and chic style. Plastic flowerpots are used as molds for the baskets and trays. To make a tray, use a wide pot and wind the rope only a short way up the side. For lampshades, start the cord spiral at the top of the shade and glue directly to it (skip the ribbon shown here).

Resources: Venetian-blind cord, in Blue, Natural, Black, and White, Aleene's Original Tacky Glue,


  • Glue

  • Applicator bottle

  • Twill tape

  • Flowerpot

  • Pliers


  1. Transfer glue to applicator bottle. Cross 2 pieces of twill tape over the bottom of a flowerpot; secure with a small piece of tape (this will help you remove the pot from the basket).

  2. Dab glue on end of cord and along a few inches of the length; be generous but neat with the glue. Carefully wind cord to make a flat spiral about 1 1/2 inches across; place it on the bottom of the pot, where the pieces of twill tape cross. Continue gluing and wrapping, pressing each new layer of cord to the one before it.

  3. To add a stripe, cut the cord, and make a straight (not angled) cut. Dab glue onto exposed end. Take a cord in a different color -- also cut with a very neat, straight end -- and press it right up against the end of the first. Continue gluing and wrapping until stripe is the width you want. Repeat, adding more stripes as desired.

  4. When basket is the size you want (you don't have to cover the entire pot), cut cord straight, cover end with glue, and press in place.

  5. Let glue dry (about 1 hour). Remove plastic form by gently flexing the rim of the pot and then pulling ends of twill tape. If your basket breaks, just add glue along the edges of the break; it dries clear, so don't worry if it seeps through to the outside of the basket.

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