Turn your old rope into something new

If you have the time and patience, why not transform your old rope into a rope mat – for use at home or as a sit mat for camping or the crag. Those happy climbing experiences will all come flooding back every time you use it. It looks good and might even help keep your house clean. For best results, we recommend that you wash your rope first.

Rope Mat Material you need
Fig.0: What you will need


  • 40 m of old climbing rope or two 20 m ropes
  • A wooden board of 75 x 65 cm
  • A hammer
  • 18 nails at least 5 cm of length
  • A rope cutter (borrow one from your local dealer or climbing gym), alternatively use a knife and a lighter.
  • The Pattern sketch

Rope Mat Instructions Step 1
Fig.1: Securing the sketch


1. Secure the sketch on the wooden board

Take the sketch and use the nails to secure it to the wooden board. The crosses indicate where to put the nails.

You are now ready to start weaving.

Rope Mat Instructions Step 1
Fig.2: The first round

2. The first round

Begin at number 1 and follow the sequence to number 19. Note that the lines have different marks. Thick bars tell you which rope should be on top in the weaving process.

Between numbers 1 to 10, keep the rope tight as it passes around each nail.

Between numbers 11 to 19, it is important to leave enough space to fit another line of rope between the first round of rope and the nail. So keep the rope a little loose as it passes around each nail.

Rope Mat Instructions Step 1
Fig.3: Check

3. Check

Once you have completed the first round, it is best to take a moment to check your work for mistakes, and correct them now rather than later.

Beginning at number 1, trace the rope with your finger all the way along the circuit to number 19. It should be an even rhythm of under, over, under, over… the whole way. If you find a mistake, undo the weaving to that point. Correct the mistake, continue carefully and then check again.

Rope Mat Instructions Step 1
Fig.4: Single Ropes

4. The second round

At number 1, follow the rope on the inside (or left) of the first line of rope so that at number 2 it passes on the outside of the first rope. You will see that all turns between numbers 1 to 10 will then pass on the outside of the 1st rope.

Once you reach number 11, you will see that the rope naturally leads to an inside turn. At this point, pass the rope between the nail and the first round of rope, keeping your work flat and tidy. All turns between numbers 11 to 19 will be inside turns.

Rope Mat Instructions Step 1
Fig.5: The third round

5. The third round

Continue to follow the rope around as in round 2.

At 11, this time pass the rope on the INSIDE of each nail through to 19. Be careful not to pull the rope too tight. Instead, lay it neatly next to the laid rope. If your rope runs out (i.e. if you using a 20 m rope), continue with the next length. You can melt them together later.

Rope Mat Instructions Step 1
Fig.6: The fourth round

6. The fourth round

Continue as for round 3.

At the end of this round, or as soon as the rope becomes difficult to weave, lift the work-in-progress off the wooden board and lay it carefully onto the table or a flat working surface.

Rope Mat Instructions Step 1
Fig.7: The fifth round

7. The fifth round

Pat the mat down with your palms so that it lays flat.

Weave the fifth and final round by simply following the rope around the circuit as before. Make sure you don´t pull it too tight. Ensure that the ropes lie next to each other, not on top of each another.

Rope Mat Instructions Step 1
Fig.8: Fixing the ends

8. Fixing the ends

Cut the ends with a rope cutter and melt them together. You can either melt the ends onto each other or to the strand next to them.

If you don´t have a rope cutter secure the ends with tape, cut them with a knife and then melt them together using a lighter. You can remove the tape once you have finished.

As a final step, turn over your finished rope mat.

Finished Rope Mat
Fig.9: Finished Rope Mat


  • In case you do not have access to a wooden board, you can simply secure the pattern to the ground using tent pegs, sticks, and alike.
  • Wash your rope before starting to weave for a cleaner, more vibrant finish.
  • Try using different coloured ropes for really cool designs. You need approximately 10m for each round.


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