Roped In – Rope Monkey Fist Ornaments

Roped In – Rope Monkey Fist Ornaments

We love these beautiful rope ornaments imagined by Gemma Patford in her fantastic book, Roped In. 

You can dip these in bright acrylic paint as pictured, use different coloured rope, or even bunch them together into clusters. Great as a rustic alternative to baubles, but equally at home on a key ring all year round!

You will need:

  • 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) of cotton rope
  • Wide paintbrush
  • Water-based white acrylic paint
  • 1 m (3 ft 3 in) x 1 m (3 ft 3 in)
  • piece of paper to paint on
  • Other water-based acrylic paints (in your choice of colours)
  • Embroidery thread in complementary colours

A monkey fist knot is a tough one to master initially, as you have to manoeuvre the strands of rope into place a little. But after your second attempt you will be a pro!

Step 1

Loosely wrap the rope around your pointer and middle fingers three times.

Step 2

Thread one end of the rope through your two fingers and wrap this end horizontally three times.

Step 3

Carefully remove your fingers from the knot and thread the first end of rope through the top loop and the second end through the bottom loop.

Step 4

Gradually tighten all the strands of rope until it resembles a tight ball.

Step 5

Coat the ornament in white acrylic paint and leave to dry.

Step 6

When dry, decorate the ornament using the coloured acrylic paint and embroidery thread. Hang and admire on your faux tree.

These hand-formed ornaments are addictive to make. Source more rope and repeat steps 1 through 6 to make monkey fist clusters.

Copyright © Gemma Patford, 2017. Photography by Amorfo. Extracted from ROPED IN by Gemma Patford, published by Hardie Grant Books


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  1. Pingback: Roped In – Rope Monkey Fist Ornaments – Charlotte George Colouring

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