Climbing Rope Rug
by Wes John-Alder Follow

As a climber, I tend to accumulate a lot of gear. Sadly, this stuff only has a shelf life of about 10 years +/- a year depending on the number of falls it caught. This is the first climbing rope I ever bought, and at the time I could barely afford it. I have a lot of nostalgia attached to this rope, and I don't want to throw it away. That's when I discovered that it can be recycled into a doormat. 

Here is a fairly inaccurate simulaton of the stress this rope has endured: 



  • I chose to follow this basic tutorial on the Ocean Plait Mat: 

    5 years ago
  • It all starts with an overhand knot....

    A really freakin BIG overhand knot.

    5 years ago
  • Then twist some loops, do some basic weaving, and lock in the pattern. My mat should be just over 3 feet long.

    5 years ago
  • Take the long end of the rope and trace the pattern until you have no more rope.

    This basically takes forever.

    5 years ago
  • This ugly picture is for posterity. Once you finish weaving the mat, you need to spend the next 7 years of your life tightening it.

    Ran out of rope, time to tighten.

    5 years ago
  • 7 years later, and a couple more wraps.

    Completed. Late at night. But not fully tightened.

    5 years ago
  • The only thing left to do is tie of the ends. I'll probably try to melt them together with a lighter in true climbing rope fashion.

    Tightened, but not tied off.

    5 years ago
  • I tied off the ends of the rope with my trusty torch lighter. First step is to cut the ends cleanly with a very sharp knife. Then use the lighter to melt the nylon strands into liquid form. Fuse the ends of the rope together, and apply the lighter where necessary to clean up any loose strands.

    5 years ago
  • Another shot of the tie-off.

    Still some blood, sweat, and dirt on this guy.

    5 years ago

Discussion 10

  • KnittyNora commented 5 years ago

    Wes, this is AWESOME! I've got one or two old ropes to use up myself..........may have to have a go at this beauty :)

    Wes John-Alder replied 5 years ago

    Thanks so much! It's by far my favorite way to retire ropes.

  • Nora commented 5 years ago

    Great picture of the final project!

    Wes John-Alder replied 5 years ago

    Thanks, Nora. I was waiting around before coming to work to see if the sun would come out and I could finally finish this thing.

  • Rick Banister commented 5 years ago

    It's going to save your life a second time when you come home with muddy shoes one day.

  • Carmen commented 5 years ago

    What a great idea! I've got a DIY on crocheting a light-up rope rug, I think you might like it:

    Wes John-Alder replied 5 years ago

    That rug is totally sweet! If climbing rope were a more malleable kind of cord, I would try to weave some lights into it. But as this is my first attempt, I'm going to try to keep it basic with the Ocean Plait Matt. I just busted another rope two weekends ago, so I may get fancier with the next version.

  • Sarah Colligan commented 5 years ago

    Really love this idea! I am doing a rag rug for the Fashion Manifesto contest out of old shirts. It always is nice to repurpose something that has a lot of meaning. I really like making rugs and this weaving technique is very cool! Can't wait to see the finished product :)

  • Panu commented 6 years ago

    Excellent! I also have one old rope back home, I think it will make a great doormat...

  • vvonder commented 6 years ago

    I'm so excited for the out come! You can also crochet it and make something like this:

See Full Discussion

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