I recently decorated a coastal summer tablescape but I did not have any chargers to use for it. I saw an old picture of some rope chargers that were sold at Pottery Barn and fell in love with them. They are no longer sold, but even if they were still sold I am sure they would be out of my price range! 🙂 I decided they would be easy enough to make myself, so I did a little checking around and found a couple other tutorials…no need to reinvent the wheel, right? I combined a couple of the ideas from the tutorials I found and was able to make my own DIY rope chargers.
The chargers fit into my coastal theme perfectly and were really easy to make but did take a little time. In my mind they are worth it though since I will be able to use them for other table settings and I was not able to find them to buy anywhere else. The process got quicker as I went along and were a fun and simple project to make while watching TV.
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For this project you will need:
- ⅜ inch rope (200 ft to make 6 chargers)
- Drop cloth (or other fabric for bottom)
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Tape Measure/Ruler
- Charger Template
The chargers I saw from Pottery Barn were actually a thicker diameter rope than I used but if you have ever bought rope you know the bigger it is, the more expensive it is. I initially bought ¼ inch rope from Menards because it was cheaper. After getting it home and looking at it, I decided I would be more happy with ⅜ inch instead. Now after making them, I am glad I made that decision! I think the bigger diameter rope makes them look nicer and more robust. In reality, it was not that much of a difference in price either.
I needed something to glue the rope onto and wanted it to be soft so it wouldn’t scratch our table. Also, I figured that fabric would be a better choice for the base than cardboard or cardstock in case of a spill in the future. I had plenty of drop cloth around from leftovers of other projects so I decided to use that.
To get the charger size correct, I bought a cheap plastic charger from Hobby Lobby to use as a template for these. If you don’t have one, you can just cut out a 13 inch circle from cardboard and use that for a template. Using the template, I traced it onto the drop cloth 6 times and cut out the circles.
I thought it would easiest to start in the center and work my way out with the rope. To find the center of the circle where you will start your rope, you can just fold the circle in half. Then fold that in half again and mark a dot on the point.
The beginning of the rope was the hardest to work with. It is a little stiff to bend so I had to work with it a bit to form the beginning of the spiral. It will start to unravel if you mess with it too much however. I bent the start of the rope over and glued it to itself. I started forming the spiral before gluing it down to the center dot on the drop cloth circle. After I had a small spiral going, I glued that down to the drop cloth piece.
Now I just followed along the bottom of the rope with glue in about 3 inch sections. Press the new rope firmly to the glue as it dries. You will use A LOT of glue for this. I went through probably about 4-5 glue sticks per charger. I just left the rope on the spool as I went along. You will be able to make 3 chargers from a 100 ft spool of rope.
Keep gluing and wrapping until your fabric circle is covered and the charger measures 13 inches across.
You may have a little fabric poking out on the edges when you are done but that is easily trimmed off with scissors.
I wanted the end of the rope to look nice and clean, so decided to cut it at an angle. This way it would fit snug against the rope it was being glued to. Make sure you have nice sharp scissors to cut the rope with!
Some of the chargers had a little curve to them in the middle when they were done. However after putting our heavy plates on top of them for a while they are all now straight as a board! 🙂
Super easy, right? I am really happy with how they turned out. Also, I know I will be able to use these in the future since they are a neutral color.
Have a wonderful day!