How to Make a Rope Shelf; Dollhouse Style

I’m no stranger to creating my own shelves. Have you ever DIY’ed your own shelves? I’m always surprised at the cost of open shelving, especially since they are so popular and easy to make. Yesterday I was walking the isles of Hobby Lobby and happened to see a set of fun rope shelves. They looked so cute! Then I looked at the price tag. Whoa, I couldn’t believe a few simple slabs of wood with a little sisal rope would cost nearly fifty dollars. You know what’s coming next; I decided to create my own rope shelves but with a twist. I’ve got a fun idea up my sleeve and I want to show you how to make a rope shelf; dollhouse style.

how to make a rope shelf

I’m sure you’ve seen a few rope shelves for sale somewhere. Like I said before, I saw them at Hobby Lobby. The price tag was high but believe it or not that wasn’t the real reason I didn’t want to buy them.

You are probably wondering what in the world I mean by “dollhouse style.”

My four year old daughter has loads of baby dolls ranging from big to small. She loves to sit them up in a row so she can see them. Why not create my own rope shelf for her to use?

Currently, her dolls are scattered all over her room. I’m a huge fan of organization, and I wanted a dedicated place where she could see all of the dolls rather than on the ground :(.

Do I really think she will keep them on a shelf? Not sure, but it’s an excuse for a new project so I’m diving in!

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase from one of these links I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Materials list for the rope shelf

  • Twisted sisal rope – I used 1/2″ and ended up removing one of the coils after I realized I didn’t need a rope that thick.
  • Wood slabs for the shelves. Decide how large you want the shelves to be. I used left over Weaber lumber wall boards. Since I wanted my shelves to be small, these 4″ boards were perfect. They were 4′ long so I cut them in half to have 4″ by 2′ shelves. I decided to make 4 of them.
  • Drill
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape

How to make a set of DIY rope shelves:

  1. Cut the wood to the dimensions you want for your shelves.
  2. Mark one hole on each side of the wood for the rope to run through.
  3. Drill the holes through the wood. You can use a spade drill bit, spiral flute drill bit, or if your wood is super thin you can probably get away with a regular old wood drill bit.
  4. Once the holes are drilled, grab your rope and tie a knot at the bottom.
  5. String the rope through the first side of the first board so that the bottom of the board sits on the knot.
  6. Decide how much space you want in between each shelf and then tie another knot.
  7. Run the rope through the second board until it sits snug on the knot.
  8. Continue this process until the rope is through one side of the shelves.
  9. After one side of the shelves were secured with the rope, I hung it up so I could make sure to level the shelves as I was adding the knots to the other side.
  10. Once you’ve run the rope through the sides of the wood, tie a knot at the top and you should be done.
After the rope is strung through one side, continue process on the other side.

Now that I’ve walked you through HOW to create a set of rope shelves, let me show you what I did with ours!

how to make a rope shelf
rope shelves
DIY rope shelf
how to make a rope shelf
how to make a rope shelf
DIY rope shelves

I can’t wait to show my daughter her new shelves! I’m hoping this will help her doll organization a little. If it doesn’t, oh well she has some cute shelves now!

Side note; you might recall this space from a while back when I made over her room.

I removed the Rain Gutter Bookshelves for now. My plan is to put them in her closet.

FIve DIY rain gutter bookshelves

If you want to see more of her room you can see the whole post HERE.

Interested in seeing more DIY Shelves?

Click on the picture to see the post.

Industrial pipe open shelves
DIY Floating Dining Room Shelves

Well friends, this has been a fun little Friday DIY. I hope I’ve inspired you to create something!

Until next time,


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