This is the kind of project that you can really take pride in making. So of course I couldn’t wait to share it. We are beginning to discover the wonders of cotton clothesline and all the amazing things that you can make with it. Like these gorgeous clothesline baskets! This project requires simple materials to create a beautiful gift item or stylish home decor accent. Plus, cotton clothesline is softer and easier to craft with than other types of cording, which makes the whole DIY process that much more enjoyable. The only material you really need for this is clothesline. All it took was a simple stop at our local hardware store to pick out solid braid cotton clothesline with a 7/32-inch diameter. You can choose different thicknesses depending on the clothesline baskets that you would like to create. Once you have your clothesline, you can head over to your sewing machine to start crafting. Follow the step-by-step photo tutorial below, and download the printable written instructions for more help with the crafting process. The beauty of this project is that you can use the technique to create any sort of basket that you need. Play around with different heights, widths and shapes to make a whole set! The most important thing to note is that you will need to use the zig-zag stitch setting on your sewing machine.
Once you finish sewing your clothesline baskets, there are plenty of easy things that you can do to personalize them. As you can see, we decided to add some paint to ours. We got some metallic gold faux finish from our local paint store (it was on sale!) to add the painted accents at the bottom of the baskets. Because clothesline is such a malleable material, the paint gives it some great body and structure to help it stand upright. It also makes it easier to wipe down the baskets with a hand cloth. If you are painting your clothesline baskets, be sure to dab the paint so that it soaks through the zig-zig stitching. You can also finish your baskets by adding leather accents or playing around with the shape of the handles. The sky is the limit!
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These baskets can be used for holding blankets in the winter, organizing your children’s toys, storing your knitting or crafting supplies, or anything else you can dream up. Browse all of our sewing projects to explore the other goodies you can make with your sewing machine, and take a look at our membership options to start crafting with us! Stay tuned for clothesline bowls to match this basket set, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for a daily dose of DIY. Enjoy! ~ Lia
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[…] DIY Cotton Clothesline Baskets – Lia Griffith […]
Hi! I have a hard time when I get my tote or large basket pretty tall. The sides seem to get too floppy and wider as I go taller. What can I do to fix that? Thanks!
As you sew the clothesline be sure it is directly on top of the last to avoid the basket getting wider. If your basket has gotten wide begin sewing so that the basket comes back in, having the top be narrower than the middle will make the basket more stable.
Do you know how you would reduce the diameter of the basket before finishing off? Thanks so much!
I haven’t made a basket like that, but think you could just bring the rope back in slightly with each time around (opposite of what we’re doing in the tutorial).
What sewing foot attachment did you use?
Just the standard, nothing fancy!
I have extended the handles to make it into a shoulder tote. It has lasted through two summers of constant use in Australia.
What a great idea!!
[…] These are so easy and fun to make! All you need is a sewing machine, thread, and cotton clothesline. […]
It worked beautifully! I can’t believe that this is soooo easy! Thank you for this
Yay! I’m so glad to hear it 🙂
You make it look so easy that I can’t wait to try. They will make wonderful gifts
Agreed! We’ve made so many bowls and baskets now, they’re just too fun to make.
You mentioned the serger, If I turn off the blade, can I use my serger to put the clothesline cord together?
Hmm we didn’t use a serger for this project. I don’t know if turning the blade off will work but you could always give it a shot to see if you’re happy with the way it comes out.
I would like to purchase in bulk. Checked everywhere locally. No one has COTTON clothesline. Amazon has a TWISTED cotton. Will that work, or does it need to be braided?
The braided rope has held up nicely and feels very durable, so I can’t really speak to twisted cotton. This is really similar to the brand we used: https://www.amazon.com/Household-Essentials-04800-All-Purpose-Clothesline/dp/B007UTM9GM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491247004&sr=8-1&keywords=cotton+clothesline
Where did you find the cotton clothesline? Can’t find in stores around here.
This is what I found at my local hardware store! https://www.amazon.com/Wellington-Cordage-10712-x100-Clothesline/dp/B00004Z1UG
Could you please clarify the stitch width and length? The directions are confusing because you have both dimensions labeled as “width” of the stitch.
Thank you for catching that! The wide stitch width should be 4.5mm, and the medium stitch LENGTH should be 1.4mm 🙂
Why are the picture instructions one big jpeg instead of each step being a separate picture? It makes it impossible to print without shrinking and then you can’t read the steps. Is there another way?
Hi Nancy, that is why we added all the written instructions as a printable pdf as well:-)
I absolutely love the clean, beautiful look of these baskets! I can’t wait to start mine. I wish I had enough sewing machines to teach my high school students to make them… I guess this one will just be for me. (Smile)
So happy you like it, it is one of our favorite ones. We have a few more coming:-)
Lia, these are fantastic! I would love to sell them in my online shop.
I am a terrible seamstress though. I have tremors and seizures so I probably wouldn’t be able to hold it still while I sewed them. I may still give it a try though. Thank you for sharing. Hugs, Katherine
Start small! You can try making coasters. 🙂
I’ve made these for gifts!!! so much fun! Changed the color of thread also while sewing. Makes a sweet and affordable gift. ;D
It really does!
I have seen these made using fabric strips to cover the cord as you sew. A great way to use up leftover fabric!
What kind (brand) of sewing machine do you use? I am in the process of purchasing a new machine.
We have babylock machines, both serger and regular machine. LOVE them!!
Totally inspiring ! My mind is taking off with all sorts of different materials and projects to make. Thanks to you and your team.
That is our goal! Whoot whoot!!
Lisa ! I love the basket idea from clothesline…but my question is about the little sheep in the photo! My daughter collects little sheep…did you make the sheep, too? Is there a pattern for that? It is ADORABLE!
Yes! The little sheep are coming up in a post with a tutorial!
They look fantastic. What length of cord did you need for the large basket please?
You will need around 300ft for the big basket!
What if I like to make this but I don’t have a sewing machine? Can I make it with glue?
No, you will need a sewing machine for this.
Mmm awesomeness! Can’t wait to try my hand at some of these. Did you have any issues with needles breaking going through the thickness.
You will want to use a heavy duty, needle size 100/16.
Love Love Love this idea!!!
Question…. What type of thread is best for this project?
Thank you for sharing!!!
Regular cotton sewing thread works great.
Yes, they are lovely. 😉