Upcycle Final Report: Woven Rope Rug

This project of the upcycle has been a very fun and interesting challenge! I started out by throwing around ideas about many different types of materials and designs before I started thinking about who I am and what materials I already owned. This was a big idea as I wanted the item I chose to be something that both meant something to me but also was something that I wouldn’t use for any other purpose and would, therefore, be a perfect upcycle material. I fell upon the idea of using an old retired climbing rope I’ve hung onto as it encapsulates all of this: who I am as a climber as well as a material that is useless for its intended purpose and would otherwise be trashed. Once I had decided on the rope, I began thinking of things I could turn it into to create a project I would be proud of and hang onto even after this course. Knowing the durability and strength that the rope still has, I began thinking of projects I could make out of it that would still take advantage of its material qualities, and not necessarily just an item to look at. I also thought it would be an interesting twist if I were to use rope in ways climbers are traditionally trained not to, therefore creating a twist on the original purpose of the rope itself. This idea led me to thoughts of chairs, rugs, and other items in the home where the finished product would be stood upon, sat on, or used in ways a climbing rope is not intended to be. From this thought process, I decided on the idea of a rug/doormat as climbers are never supposed to stand on their rope – creating a fun twist on an old piece of gear.

Once I decided upon my material and project, I had to figure out how I was going to create it. I looked into many different styles and patterns before I found one that I truly liked. The design I landed on is called an “Ocean Plait Knot” and can be woven using a single strand of rope. I set to work finding a template and learning how to tie this knot. I found the template shown below, took some measurements, and ran some numbers to make sure I would use the right length of rope and set up my pattern the correct size. To attain this pattern, it’s advised that you hammer nails into a board with the design drawn on it so you can weave the rope without worrying about keeping it in place. I cut the rope at a 50′ length and made note of how far apart the nails I would be using should be. I quickly realized that my mat was going to be smaller than I intended but I had already cut the rope. I decided to just go with it and see how it would end up and I’m so glad I did!

Ocean Plat Pattern – Found template which dimensioned were pulled from. https://justalittlefurther.com/just-a-little-further/the-blue-view/blue-view-recycling-old-line-into-ocean-plait-mats


Quick measurements and proportionality calculations.


My template with nails and the pattern drawn.


I then set to work after I hammered my nails in and wove the rope around and around. I got so into it that I forgot to stop and take pictures of the progress – I just kept going! You will notice the darker lines at the intersections of multiple lines on the template above – this is how I knew which strand of rope went on top of another. After a few passes, it became much easier to just follow the previous strand of rope through and I was able to remove the know from the nails to finish it off. When it was done, I have a few feet excess slack on both sides. As the thing had ended up being much smaller than I intended, I decided to use that slack to add interest as it would likely not be used as a rug anytime soon. I decided to tie a couple of monkey fists to finish it off. I’m very happy with how it turned out and while I likely won’t do much more with this one, I will likely make more of larger sizes in the future when I have more ropes to retire!


Work Station (with steel-toe-boot standing in as a hammer, haha)


Finished Product


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9 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Davis,

    This is a great. The design reminds me of a lot of Celtic designs. The weaving and blue color match a lot of the stereotypical Celtic designs.I wish it were only a little bit bigger so that it could be more of a useable rug. The addition of the monkey fists was a fine addition in the “upcycling” aspect of this project. Overall, a great job.

    Justin Lim

  • The design and flow of the rope is mesmerizing. It really catches the attention of the audience. And the balls were a great way to wrap up the pieces. Very smart. How would you have done it if you had to make it bigger? What other colors would you have used if you could choose any? Were there any other designs that you looked at online? I wish it was bigger. It looks really cool and I know it would take forever, but I really just want it to be bigger.

  • Hailee Pritchard
    February 17, 2020 11:31 am

    Davis, this was such a cool perspective of the upcycle project, and i love how your rug turned out! It was so well designed and thought out, and the monkey knots added a really unique take on the rug. I think it made it look more like a piece of art, good job!!

  • Firstly, beautiful knot work, all the rope is extremely tight and the entire design has a very minimalist, clean feel to it.
    As mentioned in class, I think it would be cool to do this in red and gold, due to the very Chinese aesthetic of the knots.

  • Your presentation was very detailed and comprehensive in the layout of how you designed and fabricated your upcycling project. The pictures of the template were very helpful for the audience to see your manufacturing process and how you weaved and tied the knots together. One thing I would suggest to improve you presentation and project would be to up-scale it a bit more to ensure the functionality of the final product. Other than that this turned out very well. Good Job!

  • Davis,
    This is one of my favorite projects. The aesthetic is extremely clean. I think you nailed the upcycleness of this project, utilizing only existing materials in your home. Great work, I would have loved to see it bigger as a full sized rug, i just think that would be an awesome piece to have on your floor.

  • Addition of the monkeys fist was a great idea, because I feel that it helps transform the rug into a bit more of a piece of art!

  • The whole idea looks cool. With the whole template that you used to implement the design and started weaving the rope around. The design looks really good, but it not easy, it hides the complications in it. It definitely has a great look and will end up as a great product in a household. Great job done on the presentation.

  • Nice!


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