Have a go at knotting a set of coasters and place mats

These nautical-style rope coasters and place mats are simple to create once you know how. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to make a set of coasters and place mats to update your table.

Whether that's exciting upcycling projects involving maps, or smaller ones like this craft to make a set of coasters and place mats, there's no better time than now to invest in sprucing up your home. We've got plenty of ideas on craft projects for you to try your hand at, from outdoor crafts to indoor creations.

How to make a set of coasters and place mats

To make this set of coasters and place mats, you will need:

  • Pencil and compass
  • Paper
  • Drawing pin and pins
  • Canvas, cork or foam board
  • 12m of 9mm braided rope for coasters
  • 10m of 12mm braided rope for place mat
  • Matching sewing thread
  • Hand sewing needle

How to make a set of coasters and place mats:

Using the compass and pencil, draw a circle with a 6cm radius in the centre of the piece of paper. If you don’t have a compass, use a drawing pin and string to make your circle instead. Attach the piece of paper to your canvas, cork or foam board with a drawing pin in the centre to secure.

Time required: 1hr

For the coasters:

1. For each coaster, cut a 3m length of rope. If the ends fray, wrap with some tape. Pin the rope into the shape of a pretzel, as pictured, inside the circle drawn on the card.

2. Loop the rope around again to create a third curve, following the image as a guide. Push long pins through the rope and into the board to hold the rope in shape.

3. Bring the rope under the first loop to create the fourth outside curve of the coaster and pin in position. This is where the project gets quite tricky, as the overlapping ropes can get muddled, but do this step slowly and you’ll get it right.

4. Guide the rope over the next piece of rope you come to and under the next. Then create a loop with the rope to make the fifth and final outside curve. Make sure the curves stay inside the circle.

5. Weave the rope under, over and under the next intersections of rope to get back to where you started. Position the rope to the inside edge of the original rope and pin in place.

6. Now simply follow the original rope pattern, pinning the rope along the inside of the first design. Continue until you’ve repeated the whole pattern, then pull the rope through to the reverse of the coaster.

7. Remove the pins and take the coaster off the board. You should have a short tail of rope that was the starting piece and a long tail of rope leftover at the end. Pull on these to tighten the design and bring it together.

8. Turn the coaster over and, with a needle and some matching thread, sew the loose rope ends together. Make a couple of stitches in the underside of the coaster, too, to strengthen. Cut away the excess rope.

For the placemats:

  1. Follow the coaster instructions, from Steps 1-6, drawing a 13cm radius circle and using a 10m length of 12mm rope for each place mat instead.
  2. Repeat the design a total of four times to create a larger pattern.
  3. Then follow Steps 7 and 8, making sure to be careful when lifting the place mat from the board and to stitch the rope together securely.

Tip: Want to add some colour to your project? Try dyeing the rope before you begin knotting.

Esme Clemo
Craft Writer

Esme is Future's resident craft expert, working across titles such as GoodTo, Woman&Home, Woman’s Weekly, Woman, Woman’s Own, Chat, Now, Pick Me Up and The Craft Network. Successfully turning her sewing hobby into a career, she's adept in a number of crafts, including sewing, papercraft, calligraphy, embroidery and printing.