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Get roped in: How to highlight your handmade potted style

by Timber Press on May 10, 2017

in Craft, Gardening

All other photos by the authors with Sydney Michael and Amanda Brooks.

Craft your own DIY, rustic planters for a Mediterranean look inside or outdoors.

Rope is one of the most tried and true DIY materials. In this project, we move away from its utilitarian past and into 21st-century decor with a handsome cylinder planter. We love pairing these textured garden planters with more conventional containers like terra-cotta and giving them a modern rustic quality. This simple idea requires only a few materials, is inexpensive and easy, and looks fantastic.

In this Mediterranean-style location with a heavily carved wooden door and a rock path, we used natural jute rope in two sizes for rustic, textural contrast. You could also work with brightly colored rope, synthetic fibers, or both. For another effect, you can paint the rope or dip-dye the entire container.


Tools  and Materials

  • 5-gal. black nursery container
  • ¾-in.-dia. jute rope
  • 2-gal. black nursery container
  • ¼-in.-dia. jute rope
  • Scissors
  • Painter’s tape
  • Medium grit sandpaper
  • Caulking gun
  • Waterproof caulking adhesive
  • Gloves


1. Sand the entire surface of the 5-gallon container until it is roughed up and no longer smooth. This will allow the adhesive and rope to get a good grip.


2. Cut the ¾-inch rope at an angle at its starting point. This creates more rope surface for the initial bonding of the materials and gives it a clean end. Turn the container upside down. While wearing gloves, use the caulking gun to squeeze out a dime-size amount of caulking adhesive just under the rim, and press the angled end of the rope into it. This is the starting point. If the container does not have a rim, hold the angled end on the container ¼ inch from the top edge. The angled side of the rope should press into the sealant.


3. Squeeze a thick line of adhesive around the pot, and begin wrapping the rope over it. Make sure the rope doesn’t slip as you apply the sealant; it should be snug against the container. Add another generous line of adhesive and wind another row of rope around the container. Keep each row of rope close to the previous one. Squeeze out another line of adhesive onto the pot and follow with the rope, smoothing and pushing each row close to the next. Continue in this manner until you reach the top.


4. When you reach the top, make the same angled cut from Step 1, followed by another thick application of adhesive to hold the end in place. Use painter’s tape to keep the rope secure while the adhesive dries (don’t be afraid to use a lot of tape). Repeat the process with the 2-gallon container and ¼-inch rope. Allow the adhesive to dry completely before you use your new planters. Whether these planters live inside or outdoors, you’ll find they bring an interesting textural element to your potted arrangements.



Annette Goliti Gutierrez was a screenwriter and former ad agency producer who procrastinated by remodeling houses when she met and Mary Gray many years ago. Gutierrez runs the marketing and design work for Potted. She writes the Potted blog and contributes to Sunset Magazine’s blog and many print publications.





Mary Gray was a set decorator and art director when she met Annette Goliti Gutierrez many years ago. Gray is the head of all things visual at Potted, creating compelling installations and curating the diverse objects used as planters. Potted has been featured in the LA Times, Sunset Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine Best Of, California Home and Design, Country Living, Gardenista, Apartment Therapy, Design Sponge, Garden Design, and The Huffington Post.



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