DIY: How to Make Your Own Rope Vase

I don't know if you have seen these popping up as you shop, and search Pinterest, but I LOVE the rustic, shabby chic look of a rope vase filled with flowers!!

They are sold in high-end decorating stores for lots of money... but (ssshhhhh...) they are super simple to make!! I made one for about $3.00. Yep... three buckaroos! Fill it with some fresh flowers (or fake ones like me if you don't have the real deal on hand), use dried flowers, twigs, bamboos, or candy! These make super cute holiday centerpieces or is perfect all year decorating! You can even embellish the vase on top of the ropes with seashells, buttons, or other fun goodies!

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Want to make your own? Here's how:

• any size glass vase (I got mine {3 7/16" diameter x 7 5/16" tall} at the Dollar Tree)
• SISAL rope - choose the thickness you like - available at home improvement stores {$4 for the roll and I didn't even use half of it for my vase}
• glue gun and glue
• scissors

Step 1:
I used my glue gun to seal the cut end of my rope. Just a tiny drop of glue on the very end and using the end of my glue gun I spread the glue around to cover the end of the rope. You can also dip the end in a little bit of Elmer's glue (white glue) to seal it... but honestly... I didn't have the patience to wait for the glue to dry. ♥

Then place a small amount of glue on the base of your vase to attach the beginning of your rope. You want to be careful not to put a glob of glue because it will seep out the sides of your rope and you will see the dried glue.

Step 2:
Continue gluing the rope around the base of your vase. You will want to check as you go that the bottom edge of your rope if even with the bottom of your vase.

When you get back to your beginning, glue your rope as close to the beginning as you can, then start a second row on top of the first.

Step 3:
As you continue to glue your rope around your vase, place a small amount of glue every 1/2" to tack your rope down. You don't need to glue the entire thing. When I glue mine on, I like to kind of "smush" the glue so that a little ends up on the side of the rope to hold the two rows together as well as hold the rope to the vase.

Try and keep your rope rows tight so that you don't have gaps between your rows. It gives it a seamless look.

Step 4:
Continue to glue your rope to your vase until you have as much on there as you would like. In my case I chose to only cover about the bottom third of the vase. If you cover the entire vase you will (obviously) be using more of your rope, so make sure you plan ahead so that you don't run out of rope halfway through your project and have to go back to the hardware store.

When you are done wrapping your rope cut the end at a slight angle so that it will lie down fairly flat against your rows. You will end up stopping at about the same point that you start. {You can see the beginning of my rope on the right side of my vase.}

Glue down your rope end and "smush" it {technical term again} against the previous row so that it creates a mostly straight line against the rope next to it.

Step 5:
Admire an easy job well done... and don't forget to remind your husband about how much money you saved by doing it yourself!!

Fill it with your favorite flowers and you will LOVE the way it looks! 

*You can use this same technique on any size vase or even a metal can -- even cheaper! It is a lot of fun and you might just find yourself getting addicted to using rope in all your projects... consider yourself warned! LOL!!! ♥

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For anyone who wants to pin it to save it for later, feel free to use this fun image with all the steps in one place for easy reference. Then you can check back on this post for specific instructions if you need them. 

"Quilt-A-Long Series" - Baby Quilt: Assignment 3 - Adding the Border to Your Quilt

Hopefully everyone has caught up on our quilt-a-long series. If you are just joining in you can scroll to the bottom of this post to see assignments one and two. By now your quilt should look something like this:

The center portion of your quilt is done!

*This Weeks Assignment:
 Complete the two border pieces surrounding your quilt center.

Don't know how to get started? Here's how I did it.

Step 1:
Using your solid color 1/4yd piece of fabric, cut strips (from selvage to selvage) that are 1.5" wide. You will need 4 strips (43/44" long x 1.5" wide) and will have a small bit of your fabric left over.

Step 2:
***Before continuing on, take a minute to square your quilt -- you will be so glad that you did. Make sure that all four sides of your quilt are straight and that your corner make a 90ยบ angle. If you don't square up your quilt your finished quilt may be a little wonky! 

Taking two of your cut strips, pin (or use wonder clips like I do) your border piece to the long two sides of your quilt center. You can fold your strip in half, finger press the fold, and line up the center of your strip to the center of your quilt. Your strips will be plenty long so if you want to just "eye-ball" the center that it fine too! ♥

Step 3:
Stitch your border to your quilt top using a 1/4" seam allowance. Have I mentioned how much I love my new 1/4" quilting foot for my machine!? No.... well, I LOVE IT!!! It allows me to make a perfect 1/4" seam every time. {I got mine on for around $15--- so worth it!!}

Repeat for the other long side of your quilt.

Step 4:
Take your quilt top your your ironing board. First press the seam as you sewed it to set the stitching. Then open up your seam and press your border into place. Repeat for the other long side.

Step 5:
Using a ruler and your rotary cutter, trim the excess border from each corner of your quilt.

Next, take your other two strips and pin them onto the shorter sides of your quilt top using the same method as before.

Your corners will look like this. When you sew your strip on, be sure to sew all the way to the edge of the strips you have previously sewn on.

Be sure to set your seams and press your strips open after sewing them on. Then trim the extra fabric off of each corner. Your quilt top will now have a solid colored border all the way around.

Step 6:
Now we are going to create the outer, wider border for your quilt. Using your 1/2 yd of printed or solid color fabric, cut strips that are 4.5"x43/44" (width of your fabric). You will need 4 strips.

Step 7:
Pin your large border pieces onto the longer sides first, sew using a 1/4" seam allowance, set the stitches, and press your fabric open.

Repeat with the shorter quilt sides. Be sure to trim the excess fabric from the corners on the long sides before you pin and sew the short sides.

Step 8:
After pressing your entire quilt top (feel free to use starch on your borders if you like) stand back and admire your handiwork! Your quilt top is now officially DONE!!!

Up next week we will work on putting the quilt top, batting, and backing together. We will also use the sewing machine to quilt our baby quilt. If you don't already have a walking foot for your machine, you should see about getting one for next week. You can order them through or stop by your local sewing machine store and pick one up. A walking foot helps to feed the top and bottom layers of your quilt through your sewing machine at the same rate so that your fabric doesn't bunch on the bottom as you sew. You will also want to pick up a can of basting spray at your sewing supply store (it makes your quilting life so much easier -- trust me!).

To get this week:

Basting Spray

Walking Foot


Check out the previous assignments here if you need to play "catch-up". 

Visiting Teaching Message Handout February 2014

As promised... here is the visiting teaching handout for February. You can find the full message here

Download your printable handout here. It prints as a 5"x7" image and there are two to a page on your PDF file. 

Since this month is Valentine's Day, I decided to make the handout with a cute pink design. You can pass it out with a cute Valentine's gift for your sisters. 

Be sure to pray for your sisters so that your message can meet their particular needs. The message this month asks two questions. Consider them as your plan your visit this month! 

  1. 1. 
    How does knowing that the Savior is the Good Shepherd bring peace into our lives?
  2. 2. 
    How can I support parents whose children have wandered from living the gospel?

"Quilt-a-long Series" - Baby Quilt: Assignment 2

Hopefully everyone has their supplies ready to go! I can't wait to see what fabrics/colors you chose!!

* This weeks assignment:
Use your 5" fabric squares to create the center part of your baby quilt.

 Don't know how to get started with it? Here's how I did it.

Step 1: 
Decide on a layout that you like. My combined 3 charm packs for the center of my quilt (choosing only the brown based colors that I liked from each of the 3 packs) so I have a couple duplicate prints but not enough to really have a "pattern" to my squares. I laid them out on my cutting mat and fiddled with them until I got a look that I liked. You will want your layout to be 6 squares by 5 squares (for a total of 30 squares).

Step 2:
Time to start stitching your squares together. On a big quilt this can be time consuming, but since we are working with such a small area it really goes quickly! I start by taking one row of squares and stacking them (right sides together) on to the top of the next row of squares.

Then I take and sort of collate those pairs of squares being sure to keep them in order. {This becomes more crucial is you have a pattern to your square layout.} Then I take the stack over to my sewing machine. You will want to have a 1/4" seam allowance. This is where having a quilting foot for your machine is a big plus! This is what my quilting foot looks like. It has a guide on the edge to line up the edge of my fabric with. It helps to guarantee that my seams are all 1/4".

When I sew my pieces together, I like to chain piece them when possible. Chain piecing simply means that you don't cut your threads between each set of squares that you sew. Instead, you just leave a little space between them and just keep sewing. It makes the sewing go a lot faster and you waste less thread -- two very big advantages!

After you have chain pieced that row of squares together (it will look like a string of bunting) take it to your ironing board. Press the seams open so that your pieces lay nice and flat. Then you can cut the little pieces of thread holding your chain together and place them back on your quilt layout. I like to keep my pieces down on the floor until they are all joined together so that I can be sure to put my pieces back in the same order I had them.

Step 3:
Repeat. Grab the squares from the third row and stack them onto the fourth row. Sew them and iron them open using the same method.  You will then have one two sets of rows that are sewn together and an extra row of squares that are not sewn. Stack the sixth (last) row of squares onto the fifth row of squares (that have already been sewn to the fourth row).

Then stack your rows and repeat the chain stitching and ironing to create a set of 3 squares sewn together.

Now all you need to do is join your sets of three squares with your sets of two squares to create completed rows. Stack your pieces together again, chain piece them together, iron them, and set them back down.

Here is how your finished rows should look. Now take and stack the rows onto each other and use the same sewing and ironing method to join your rows together. This can be the only tricky part. You may want to pin where your seams match up so that they will stay lined up as you sew. This creates perfectly straight lines. Your fabric will have a little give to it so that if you need to stretch one piece just slightly to get your seams to line up you can. As long as your squares were all the same size and your seam allowance was 1/4" you should be just fine!

Step 4:
Once all your rows are attached it's time for a final ironing of your quilt center. When I make quilts I like to use a little spray starch. I find that it really helps to smooth out my quilt top and keep everything nice and crisp for my next quilting steps.

Your quilt center is now done! Ta-da!!!

Time to get sewing!!! It took me about an hour and a half to put this center portion of my quilt together. So either find a chunk of time to get it done, or make sure you have some space where you can keep your fabric squares out for the week while you work on it. If you don't have the space to leave it out, take a picture of your layout with your phone or camera and print it out. That way when you have time to come back and work on sewing it together again you will be able to remember what it looked like.