DIY Rope Rug

The transition to a “minimalist” lifestyle isn’t only about limiting the number of physical items you possess, it’s also about working to minimize your footprint on this planet. Oftentimes decluttering belongings, such as clothing and appliances, is the easiest and most logical place to start. But what happens when those tried-and-true possessions are solidified? Is your minimalist journey over?!?

I think not. Minimalism, in my mind, is very much about the 3 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle. Decluttering or purging belongings (aka: reduce) is usually the first step on a longer journey.

Minimizing & Managing Waste

Waste is such a huge part of our society. Even in our household of two, we produce an amount of garbage that I find baffling. Food packaging, junk mail, food waste and other miscellany fill our wastebaskets so quickly.

We could certainly be more conscientious of how much trash we produce, but I try to reuse items when I can. Old jeans often become shorts. Tattered t-shirts become tank tops or rags. Empty Mason jars become food storage for rice, ground flax, or other bulk goods. So, when my boyfriend informed me that his rock climbing rope was shot, I wondered what we could do with 70 meters.


I’ve been shopping online for area rugs, which are expensive, and I can’t seem to find any that I love. After a bit of discussion, he showed me some forum posts where people had turned their old ropes into rugs. Off I went, Googling DIY rope rug tutorials, which there are a ton of!

After finding several, Boyfriend suggested looking up projects specifically using climbing rope since the diameter is often larger and the rope less flexible. This produced fewer results than my general search — some of which are very intricate and cool — and led us to this basic coil rug. There will likely be more (fancier) climbing rope rugs in our future, but I didn’t have the patience for weaving this weekend!

Coiled and ready for adhesive.

Following the instructions provided, I coiled our rope on the patio.

We ran out of caulk (3 tubes) and used E6000 glue on edges.

We purchased some seriously, heavy-duty caulk and laid it on thick. The extreme weather, ultra-strong option probably wasn’t necessary since our rug is going to be indoors and I don’t think we need to put it on as heavily as we did, however, it was held together pretty well without the duct tape. Let the caulk dry for 24 hours, or according to packaging instructions. We let ours dry overnight.

Both layers of tape complete.

Apply two layers of duct tape; the first going one direction (“vertical”) and the second perpendicular to the first (“horizontal”). This basically just ensures that everything will stay in place.

I found that the tape didn’t stick very well to the caulk, throughout, so I made sure to press it into the creases near the edge on the first layer and leave a bit hanging over the edges. Once the bottom is fully taped, cut off the excess around the edge and press the tape to the rope to hold in place.

Completed rug.

It’s not perfect, by any means, but it will make a nice entry rug that’s much easier to remove sawdust and woodchips from. It’s quite sturdy (and heavy!). The tape on the bottom allows it to slide easily if you find a new location for it, and it seems like it would muffle sound if you had wood flooring in an upper-level apartment or condo.