This blog is updated in 2020
Bekka Palmer is a maker, designer, and photographer living in Brooklyn, NY. As a child of two creatives she found herself between her mom’s sewing room floor and her dad’s wood shop, so it was only a matter of time before her own craft developed. Today we’re highlighting not only her gift for photography, but also a little taste of her textile shop. Bekka is generously sharing instructions on how we can make our own colorful rope necklace with helpful tips and clear images that will instill confidence in even the most craft-aversive. We love these necklaces because they’re minimal, sturdy, and the colors can be completely customized.
Photography and craft by Bekka Palmer
Image above: All the supplies you’ll need to create a beautiful wrapped rope necklace, courtesy of Bekka Palmer.
- 5 feet of rope (Bekka used solid braid cotton in 3/16 inch)
- Embroidery thread, you can use scraps or small amounts in any colors you want (Bekka used DMC Cotton Pearl because she likes the sheen)
- Dull needle
- Sharp needle and thread
- Sharp scissors
Cut the length of rope in half. If you want a shorter necklace you could use as little as 4 feet for this project.
Take one half of the rope and find the center by folding it in half. Find a spot a couple of inches from the center. This is where you will start wrapping the embroidery thread, so make a knot there with the thread.
Pull the knot tight.
Then, while holding the loose tail down with your left hand, use your right hand to wrap the long end around, over and over again (making sure to cover that tail in the process). The wrapping can take a while, but once you get into it, I find the repetition meditative.
Continue wrapping until it covers several inches of rope. It’s really up to you how much of each color you want to use. I prefer an asymmetrical look, but if you want it to be perfectly even, go for it!
Make another knot once you are done with this color section.
Pull the knot tight.
Slip the dull needle under a few layers of the wrapped thread.
Put the tail of the thread through the needle.
Pull the needle all the way through and remove the needle to finish the knot.
Trim the tail.
Start another color right next to this, repeating steps 2-11. Then repeat steps 2-12 on the other half of the rope with more colors of embroidery thread.
Lay your two halves down on a table.
Now place them as shown so the two halves are lying in opposite directions on top of one another, with one half wrapping around the outside.
Take the ends that are currently on the outside (the left side in the photo above) and pull them under and through the loop created by the rope on the right.
Now pull the tails of the left rope through that loop.
Gently pull on both sets of tails.
Tighten to desired look.
Now for the finishing touches. Make a knot at the end of one of the rope halves.
On the side that doesn’t have a knot, we are going to sew a slit. Just test the length and make sure both sides are even to determine where the slit should go. Make a few stitches to attach the two pieces of rope together. I would stitch at least 10 times between the 2 pieces to make sure it holds. If you have a sewing machine, you can make a few zig-zag stitches right here forward and backward 3-4 times.
Measure the size of the knot and make sure your slit will hold the knot snugly, but not too tight. Then add stitches to the other side to finish.
Test to make sure your knot fits through the slit and then you are all done!