Make Hanging Shelves Made Of Rope

  • Make Hanging Shelves Made Of Rope

Create storage in the kitchen or an open-plan living and dining room to display ornamental items like jugs. 

Turn two timber boards about 500mm long into a pair of hanging shelves joined by rope you can buy at the hardware store.

While the idea is simple, the look is limited only by your imagination, as the raw timber shelves can be painted, stained or left bare. 

For this project, they were finished with a simple wood wash made from paint so the grain stayed visible.

The rope can be any colour or thickness but must be strong enough to carry the shelves when loaded. 

Use a drill to make holes in the boards large enough to thread the ropes through, knotting them above and below to join the shelves. 

To hang the shelving, use a stud finder to locate two adjacent studs, then drill pilot holes and secure the lashing hooks with 40mm x 8g screws.

Thread the rope hangers onto D shackles, then attach them to the lashing hooks secured to the studs. 


  • Two 500 x 240mm timber boards
  • Drill and 12mm spade bit
  • Sample pot of acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Two lengths of 10mm rope
  • Two lengths of 3mm cord
  • Two D shackles
  • Two lashing hooks
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors

hanging shelves made from rope, DIY, Handyman magazine,
Display decorative knick-knacks on these open hanging shelves

Step 1. Prepare the boards

Lay the boards on a flat work surface, then mark the hole centres located 25mm from the ends and 20mm in from the front and back. Use a 12mm spade bit to drill holes in each of the four corners of the shelves.

Step 2. Paint the timber

Apply a wood wash to each side of the boards to stain instead of painting so the grain shows. Dilute four parts acrylic paint with one part water and apply the wash with a paintbrush, wiping it off with a soft cloth.

Step 3. Make the hangers

Wrap masking tape around the rope ends. Thread a length of 3mm cord and 10mm rope through each D shackle, making hangers with 1m long tails. Tie the ropes in a half hitch knot 300mm from the ring on each tail.

Step 4. Add the top shelf

Take the tails of one rope hanger and thread through the drilled holes on one end of a board. Knot the ropes underneath the board, pulling tightly so the tied knots sit firmly against the shelf. Repeat for the other end.

Step 5. Tie the ropes

Take the 3mm cords of each hanger and knot them together, then tie them to the 10mm ropes to form
a cross shape. Make a knot on each tail about 300mm from the knot at the base of the top shelf.

Step 6. Finish the shelves

Thread the rope ends of each hanger through the drilled holes in the lower shelf and knot to secure, trimming the ends. To hang the shelves, attach the D shackles to

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