So far I have made a round rope basket with leather handles, a cat face rope bowl, and next I decided to make a long oval rope basket. It is actually more of an oblong trough shape instead of a basket.
The round basket and cat face bowl used exactly 2 packages of rope. That’s 200 feet of rope. For the oval, I bought 2 more packages of cotton clothesline rope at Canadian Tire.
Before I could start with the rope though I needed something to use as a “vessel” to form the shape of the oval basket. For the round basket I used an old crock, for the cat bowl I used a regular bowl from the kitchen. For the oval we were going to have to make something. I wanted the ends to be rounded since I didn’t think the rope would be able to make sharp corners.
We decided to go with 24 inches for the length. In the workshop, Jim took a piece of scrap lumber and cut it to 24 inches long and 4 inches wide. He used a protractor marking both ends so they were rounded.
The ends were then cut on the bandsaw.
Then re-cut with the bandsaw table tipped so we could cut on an angle. We did this so the ends of the basket wouldn’t be straight up and down but angled out.
We threw around a few ideas and landed on cardboard for the sides. Figured it would be the easiest way to round the ends. We made the sides 5 inches high, and used a stapler to attach it to the wood.
For the ends we used 5 inch long strips of cardboard stapled in place…
…and then tuck tape was added to cover the whole thing to give the cardboard strength. Now if you have something on hand that is oblong/oval, you could use that and skip all the fuss in the workshop.
I was planning to use parchment paper like I’ve done before so the glue wouldn’t stick the basket to the “vessel” but according to Jim, nothing sticks to tuck tape.
Lies I tell ya. I cut the end of the rope to start with a clean edge and took the scrap and glued it to the tuck tape as a test. Mistake. I managed to get it off but it’s parchment paper for me from here on out.
Since this is an oval shape, the start would have to be different than a pinwheel shape. Its all guess work really, so I started like this.
Also wanting to try something different, I cut strips of material. The pattern on the material isn’t important, just the colors.
I took a strip and cut the end on an angle and glued it into place on the rope. Then wound the material around the rope until reaching the end where I glued it again.
I worked my way to the edges of the “vessel” and this is what I had.
Now for the hard part. Making the transition from the bottom to the sides, while working upside down. I ran a strip of glue down the rope then pressed it into place. I will say that one end turned out better than the other.
At this point I had used up one 100 ft package of rope. You can see where I started with the second package of rope.
While I was working away with the glue gun, I had picked up a small piece of brown leather from my brother-in-law (who makes beautiful wallets from leather) and cut it to size using an exacto knife.
It was pretty thick and stiff so he told me I would have to soak it in water, take it out and shape it, then let it dry. I had to weigh it down with a spoon because it wanted to float.
Back to the rope… with the basket finished, I found out that the weight of the sides made them want to push outwards. Not floppy, just heavy.
Jim brought me in a piece of copper wire that he had shaped to the inside dimensions of the basket. I wrapped it in fabric and glued it in place just under the leather end pieces which were also glued in place at either end.
Overall I am happy with the basket.
Not sure where it will land, maybe here…
Or even here…
Love this basket but now I have 3/4 of a package of rope left over. Coasters maybe?? Not sure. Maybe I’ll just use it for an actual clothesline outside.