How to Create a DIY Rope Bench

DIY Project: Rope Seating With Existing Frame

Project Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Project Time: 2 Hours

Materials Needed: Rope or Cording. Bench Frame. Scissors. Upholstery Gun. Staples.

The other day while I was thrifting I spotted this sleek rattan frame without a top. I was wondering if I should even purchase it or not because I knew that I would have to get involved in another pricey project. However, I'm too addicted to shopping so I did it anyway. My poor debit card.

I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to repurpose the frame just yet, so I reached out to my trusty instagram followers for some advice. My favorite ideas were getting a glass top made for it (or thrifting one for cheap) for a narrow coffee table, upholstering it with a cushion for a nice end of the bed bench or simply attaching a plank of wood on top for a plant bench.

After scrolling through Pinterest for a few minutes I got inspired by this bench here.

It was the FDB Møbler’s J83B bench, for only $560 (plust $82.45 for USA shipping). I'm all for hacks, especially when it comes to budget. With this as my guide and inspiration, I went to the nearest Michael's to get my rope. Now you can get any old rope from your local hardware store, like Lowe's. I specifically wanted a light thin rope to continue the sleek look, while adding to the nature element that the bench already had.


Here's what you'll need to create your own rope bench if you already have a frame:

  • Handheld Upholstery Gun & Staples - I already had a few Upholstery Guns from other projects and used D-Type Staples for this project. You can also use upholstery tacks with a hammer.

  • Scissors - Your kitchen scissors should be able to cut the rope just fine, too.

  • Rope - I used cotton cording because it had less fraying for a cleaner look. It took me less than 7 spools of the 23.6yds. My bench measures 43.75" W x 13.5" D, so before you get started measure your surface area to give you the best idea of how many spools to get. Keep in mind that you will need to create a layer for extra support, so add a spool for that.

*I suggest not buying online because the rope colors may differ. Check my mistake below.*

Getting Started

Step 1.

First you want to sit your frame on a level and clean workspace. You will need room to spread your rope out and toss it back and forth throughout this project.

Go ahead and unroll your first spool. We are going to create the support layer.

Step 2.

This is where the staple gun comes in to play. Take your first strand of the unrolled rope and staple it to a corner of your surface. Make sure it is secure enough, because we are going to be pulling this rope tight.

Step 3.

Run your rope to the other end of the bench and repeat the stapling process. At this point your frame should have a single line of rope stapled to it. Do not cut your rope.

Step 4.

With your rope, you are going to create a weaving layer. If you have a support beam in your frame use it to create an over-under pattern. If you don't it is okay. Make sure that when you are pulling your rope that you are making it tight. Once you have completed this step for the whole frame cut any excess off. Tie a knot with the end of the string to one of the woven strands or frame. For extra measures you can staple your end piece to the frame again - like I did below.

Step 5.

Unroll a new spool. Staple an end inside the corner of the frame going the opposite direction than your previous layer. Then wrap your rope around the outside of the frame. Remember to pull tight. Repeat until you've run out of rope on the spool. Tie the end to a strand of the support layer. Slide the knot under your work.