DIY Rope Shelf

Such a cute idea – reminds me of childhood tree swings and what a cute place to decorate and display favorite accents. Denise from Pink Post Card built this beautiful rope shelf:


Materials:  two 4 feet x 12″ wide boards, 20 feet of rope, some plant hooks, and a 3/8″ dowel.

Drilling holes in the boards for the rope to go through.  She used a 7/8″ bit, and drilled 1 1/2″ from the edges.


She sanded down the edges and around the holes, and then painted the boards.  She chose a pretty bold orange…


Then like most of us, she changed her mind and decided to do a white wash and added in a tiny bit of black paint to give it that touch of gray.  A little more beachy and you can see the knots and wood grain. 

Measure, check to make sure the length of the ropes would be stopping where she wanted and installed the plant brackets.     At this point there was a lot of back and forth of holding up the shelves, looping some of the rope around the brackets.

Once the hooks were installed, she began threading the rope through the holes and figuring out how far apart the top shelf would be from the bottom.  She found it was easiest to do this with the shelves on their side, on the floor.  There’s quite a bit of adjusting and it’s not easy to do when you have it hanging.
Next, cut the 3/8″ dowel into two inch pieces. These will become the supports for the upper shelf.
For easier threading, tape the ends of the rope.
Put a knot in the end of the rope leaving about 6 inches of “tail” for fraying the ends. She then measured 12″ between the boards and used the cut dowel pieces, pushing the dowel through the twists of the rope. Again, not hard, it just takes a few adjustments here and there. She also cut the rope into it’s two final pieces- a length for each side.  At this point she recommends  hanging it up, see what adjustments need to be made to the knots under the bottom shelf or the dowel supports, and take it back down to work on it on the floor (so the rope isn’t tight and hard to maneuver.)
Put the rope shelf up using a  level to do the final bit of adjusting, and it’s done!
The last bit is to unwind the ends of the rope for the frayed edge:
Here are the shelves finished and installed:
Denise is working on an office makeover.  Here is the rope shelf area before:
and the after:
Cost break down:
rope: 63 cents a foot (I bought 20 feet) $12.60
plant brackets: $3.83 each
pre cut pine boards: $6.48 each
dowel: 60 cents
Leftover  flat white interior paint on hand.
Just under $34 for the project!
To see the entire office remodel and more, follow Denise at
Thank you for sharing your cool rope shelf tutorial, Denise!  Love it!

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