How To Make a Rope Shelf

As part of my small bathroom makeover Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 I wanted to put some shelving on the far wall. I had originally made box type shelving but didn’t like it. So, Plan B is this rope shelving. Honestly, I was surprised at how easy it was to make! So join me in my latest post on how to make a rope shelf.

This rope shelf turned out great and was made in an afternoon. Luckily I had extra wood and the rope was left over from another project. I used 1*8 pine and 1/2 inch sisal rope. All I needed to get were the hooks and the O rings for hanging up the shelf.

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Materials and Tools

Materials needed:

Tools needed:

  • Saw (electric or hand)
  • Sander and sand paper
  • Clips or heavy duty scissors
  • Drill and 5/8 inch paddle drill bit
  • Rag
  • Tape
  • Straight edge
  • Pencil
  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • Clamp
Step One

The first step is to cut the wood to size. I chose to make three shelves using a piece of 1*8 cut to 20 inches. The great part of this project is that the shelving unit can be very customized to meet the needs of the space. The depth, length, and number of shelves can all be changed. If the length gets to long, add extra rope in between for stability.

Step Two

The second step is to drill holes in each corner of the shelves. Measure one inch from each edge, and mark with a pencil. Using the drill and paddle drill bit, drill holes though each corner.

Pro tip – do not drill all the way through on the first side. Drill through enough that the drill bit has just broken though the bottom of the wood. Once this is done, flip the wood over and use the small hole to position the drill bit and continue from the other side. This will prevent the wood from splintering (see the second picture with my helper Samoa).

How to make a DIY rope shelving unit
Step Three

The next step is to measure and cut the rope. For this project, cut two lengths measuring 8 feet. I left plenty of extra rope because I would rather cut some away at the end then have too little to complete my project.

Next find the center of each rope. From the center, measure and tape the distance between each shelf. I used 12 inches between each. When I got it into the bathroom, I ended up wanting to change the distance. The great thing about this shelf is that it is easy to change.

Step Four

Before threading the rope through the wood, insert the O rings on to the middle of each rope. Next, line up the end of the tape with the top of the shelf. Then tie a knot under the shelf. Keep it fairly loose for now. The knot can be tightened when you’re checking that it is level during the hanging process.

How to make a DIY rope shelving unit
Step Five

Using a level and tape measure, determine where the hooks should be placed on the wall. Mark where the screws should be inserted with a pencil. Drill holes in the walls and insert dry wall anchors. Next, install hooks using the drill and screws. Hang the rope shelves using the O rings. Take the level and place it on each of the shelves, adjusting any of the knots that need to be adjusted and tightening the remaining knots. Finally, cut off the ends to the desired length and either rap the ends with string or fray the ends to the knot. Then decorate!

How to make a DIY rope shelving unit

I found this project to be pretty easy and it’s a great look for the bathroom!

What did you think of this post on how to make a rope shelf? Have you given it a try? Let me know in the comments below!

how to make a rope shelf

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Casey
Guest

I love this!! Def going to have to make my BF make this for me lol

Mariam
Guest

This looks so nice! I had no idea you could make one of these in a short amount of time.

Hannah
Guest
Hannah

Such a cute idea for storage in a small space!

Kelsi
Guest

Such a cute idea!!

Marissa McDaniel
Guest

This is adorable! Definitely interested in making one! Thanks for sharing!

Shayla Marie
Guest

Very cute! I bet my brother and sister in law would love one of these for their ocean themed guest room!

Marta
Guest

This is definitely going in our pool bathroom! I love it!

Stace Conliffe
Guest

I absolutely love this. Was thinking of putting one of these in my camper, now I definitely will!

Emily
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Emily

Love this idea of DIYing a shelf instead of just buying one!

Helen Little
Guest

Oh I really love this shelf! I’m always cautious to tackle DIYs like this but with your instructions I’m feeling confident!

Life of a Cherry Wife
Guest

What a great and cute little DIY! Love it!