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How to Embroider on a Cotton Clothesline Rope Basket

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Learn how to embroider on a cotton clothesline rope basket or bowl to create unique embroidered baskets or bowls.

So, last week I shared with you how to sew a cotton clothesline rope basket using your sewing machine, cotton clothesline rope, and the zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.

embroidered cotton clothesline rope basket

This week, I thought we’d build on what we learned last week and kick things up a notch by embroidering beautiful designs onto the inside bottom of these baskets.

They quite simply make for beautiful, unique, even one-of-a-kind baskets, bowls, bins, coasters, placemats, and more!

But First, Some Tips

Before we learn how to embroider on the rope baskets, let’s talk about a few important tips. If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below and I’ll be glad to answer them.

Tip #1: Use Cotton Rope

This tip really applies to the construction of the rope basket, but I felt it worth reiterating here that you need to be sure to use 100% cotton clothesline rope. I’ve bought my rope from Amazon, Harbor Freight, and even Ace Hardware.

Tip #2: Stitch the Bottom of the Rope Basket First

You will be embroidering your design on the inside bottom of the rope basket. You will stitch the rope together until it’s large enough for your embroidery design.

sewing cotton clothesline rope

Tip #3: Do NOT Cut the Rope

When you stitch the bottom of the rope basket, do not cut the rope when you move it to your embroidery hoop.

embroidering on cotton rope

Tip #4: Knot the Threads

Then when you stop stitching the rope basket bottom, leave the threads long enough that you can knot them. In other words, stop stitching, pull the rope away from the sewing machine, and trim the threads so they are long enough to knot. And simply knot the threads together before embroidering.

Tip #5: Use Spray Adhesive

You are going to “float” the rope basket bottom on top of the tear-away stabilizer. To hold the rope in place, simply spray the back (bottom) of the rope basket with spray adhesive. I like to use Therm O Web Spray N Bond Quilt Basting Spray. (See my supply list below for a link to this product.)

supplies for cotton clothesline rope basket

Tip #6: Choose Appropriate Designs

For best results, don’t choose a design that is heavy on the satin stitching, with multiple layers, or solid fill. It’s also helpful to select a design that is round in shape. Here are a few designs from Embroidery Library that I have used successfully with rope:

Tip #7: Use a New Needle

In order to have the best results and to keep your thread from breaking, be sure to use a new needle.

Tip #8: Use Water Soluble or Tear Away Stabilizer

Because the stabilizer will be on the bottom of your basket, you really want to use a stabilizer that will be removed once you are finished with the embroidery design. I like using a tear-away stabilizer, but you can also use a water soluble stabilizer.

Tip #9: Hoop the Stabilizer

Make sure you hoop the stabilizer so that it is nice and taut. Again, you can use either water soluble or tear-away stabilizer.

hooped stabilizer

Tip #10: Trim the Jump Threads

I like to trim my jump threads during the embroidering process. When the machine “jumps”, I let it take a couple stitches, pause the stitching, trim away the jump thread, and then resume. Also, I like to trim the thread tail once I change the thread color. I let the embroidery machine make a few stitches, pause the machine, and trim away the tail.

I just find this creates a neater design. But, you can certainly wait until the design has finished embroidering before you trim your jump threads. If you leave the jump threads until the end, some of your stitches may stitch over top of the jump threads and you won’t be able to trim them or trim them as easily.

embroidered cotton clothesline rope basket

How to Embroider on a Cotton Clothesline Rope Basket

Now that I’ve shared all my tips with you, it’s time to look at just how easy it is to embroider on a cotton clothesline rope basket.

Supplies Needed:

supplies for embroidered rope basket

Equipment and Tools Needed:

You will also, need your sewing machine, cotton clothesline rope, and all-purpose thread to make the rope basket. You’ll find the tutorial on how to Sew a Cotton Clothesline Rope Basket here.

embroidery machine and rope with embroidered design

Video Instruction

If you learn best by watching, simply click on the video image below to go to my YouTube channel to watch the video tutorial on How to Embroider on a Cotton Clothesline Rope Basket.

youtube video link
Learn how to embroider on a cotton clothesline basket

How to Embroider on Cotton Clothesline Rope

Yield: 1 embroidery design
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate

Learn how to embroider on cotton clothesline rope so you can make beautiful, custom, embroidered rope baskets, coasters, bins, placemats, and so much more!

Please read through the entire instructions before you begin this project.


  • water soluble stabilizer or tear-away stabilizer
  • embroidery thread
  • adhesive fabric spray
  • cotton clothesline rope
  • fabric protector spray (optional)


  • embroidery machine
  • embroidery hoop
  • scissors
  • fabric marker (I like to use Frixion pens)


  1. Follow the instructions on how to sew a cotton clothesline rope basket and stitch the rope until the diameter of the rope basket reaches its desired size for embroidering. It's helpful to keep it small enough to fit in your embroidery hoop.
    Do NOT cut the rope when you remove it from your sewing machine.
    Pull the bottom and top threads together and knot. Trim the thread.
  2. Load your hoop with stabilizer so that it is taut. Learn how to embroider on a cotton clothesline basket
  3. Apply adhesive spray to the back (bottom) of the coiled rope and center on top of the hooped stabilizer.
  4. Locate the center of your rope and mark with fabric marking pen. (I like to use FriXion pens by Pilot.)
  5. Load the hoop onto your embroidery machine.
  6. Load your design, if you haven't already, in your embroidery machine.
  7. Adjust the layout of your design so that the starting position of the needle is directly over the center mark on your coiled rope.
  8. Press "Start" on your embroidery machine.
  9. Continue to follow the prompts on your machine to change threads.
  10. When your embroidery machine creates jump stitches, pause the machine and trim the jump threads as you go. You can also wait until the design has finished stitching before you trim the jump threads, but I find that it gives a neater finished design if I trim as I go.
  11. When your design has finished stitching, remove the hoop from the machine. Unhoop the design.
  12. If you used tear away stabilizer, tear away the stabilizer from the back of the design. If you used water soluble stabilizer, follow the manufacturer's instructions to remove the stabilizer.


Once you have finished embroidering your design, you can continue sewing your basket, bin, coaster, placemat or whatever you're making with your clothesline rope.

More Ideas

If you enjoyed this tutorial on how to embroider on cotton clothesline rope, you might also like these ideas from The Birch Cottage:

Be sure to pin this idea to your favorite Pinterest board so you can refer to it later or share it with family and friends!

embroidered clothesline rope basket

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