Cabin fever doesn’t even begin to describe what we’re experiencing in Boston as we dig out from our fourth blizzard in less than 3 weeks. In an attempt to entertain ourselves beyond watching another climbing video and doing another hangboard session, we reached out to our uber crafty friend Jess, to show us the “ropes” on some climbing related DIY projects.
I have a confession for make: I love a good DIY. Repaint thrifted furniture? Done. Recover lampshades in colourful material? Done. Wedding stationary from scratch? So done. So when it came time to retire the pretty green rope my husband and I climbed on during our honeymoon in Kalymnos I knew I wanted to give it a second life in our home as a woven rope rug.
There are plenty of instructions on how to weave rope rugs online in a variety of patterns. However, I decided to go the easy route and use a pattern from Retired Ropes Rugs. This company sells two Do-It-Yourself Kits ($25), one for a rectangular rug that I used, and one for a rad oblong pattern that I want to try next.
- Totally trashed climbing rope (mine was a 70 M rope)
- Retired Rope Rugs Do-It-Yourself Kit (roperugs.com $25)
- Lighter or matches
1. Wash that filthy rope! A good soak in the tub will do the trick.
2. Weave the first pass. Flake your rope, find the middle, and mark it with tape. Starting from the middle of your rope, working toward the outside, follow the pattern provided by the Retired Rope Rug Do-It-Yourself Kit to establish the weave of the rug. I found it difficult to keep the rope in place while establishing the weave so I taped the rope to the pattern each time a turn was established. With this clear pattern and simple tape hack I was able to weave the first pass of the pattern in about an hour.
3. Open up the pattern (Optional). If you have a fat, long, or stiff rope open up the pattern by feeding 6 ft of rope into the weave.
4. Weave the second pass. Starting at the middle of the rope (marked with tape), working with the side you have not woven yet, trace the pattern made on the first pass. The pattern makes this weave very easy to establish too.
5. Weave the remainder of the rug. Continue to trace the pattern, establishing a third, and possibly fourth pass, until you run out of rope. A good time to stop is when both ends of the rope are near each other. From when I started to the end of this step took me about 3 hours.
6. Adjust and Dress the knot. After finishing the weave find the middle or your rope (still marked with tape) and work from the middle out on one side (put an arrow on the tape to keep track), to pass through any loose rope and dress your knot. Repeat on the other side of the rope. Unfortunately, I did not dress my knot well when I was tracing my weave so this step took me a few episodes of Gilmore Girls. My cuticles were also super dry from an earlier hangboard session and cracked and bled during this step. Moisturize and consider protecting your fingers with some climbing tape! All and all this step was totally worth the time and effort since the rug looks way better now and should stay tight longer.
7. Bring the ends of the rope together. Make sure the ends of your rope are close together. Ideally, you should adjust the weave and cut the ends so that they point at each other.
8. Tying off the ends. Cut each of the ends, melt them with a lighter or matches, and pinch them to join the sheath and core. Finally, melt both ends simultaneously and stick them together. So far this melt and stick method has held on my rug.
9. Enjoy your new rug!
Thanks Jess for sharing your tips! We’ll put this on the agenda for the next blizzard!
Climb on! ~Cate