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Nautical Rope and Baker’s Twine Christmas Tree Centerpiece Tutorial

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We still don’t have a “real” Christmas tree, but now we have three tiny ones at home! I’ve made two different Christmas tree topiaries, and we have a really cute little potted evergreen, too. Theoretically we’re going shopping for one tonight, but we’ve been saying that for about a week now. We’ll see what happens. In the mean time, I’ll keep making Christmas decorations and putting them around the apartment, anyway!

Nautical Rope & Bakers Twine Christmas Tree Centerpiece Tutorial

I know, I know – I already made a shell tree. I had a second paper-mache cone, though, and I couldn’t let it go to waste! Plus, I’ve been selling a lot of this natural cotton rope on Etsy recently and it got me thinking what I could do with some of it, myself. If we had a real dining room table, this set up would definitely be on it as our Christmas centerpiece. Maybe next year.

Nautical Rope Tree Christmas Centerpiece

I used almost 50 feet of 1/8″ cotton rope on my 10.63″ high cone. I know you can get small lengths of cotton and hemp rope at craft stores, as well as big spools of hemp twine. Either should work. If you need to piece together several lengths, just butt the edges up as closely as possible and keep wrapping! You could even use cotton clothesline, it just would be braided instead of twisted like “real” rope. Or, of course, you can pick up a nice continuous length of the same rope I used over in my Etsy shop because, trust me, you don’t want to order 1,200 feet of it from the manufacturer like I did. That’s way more tiny rope than any one person needs! The exact quantity of rope you need depends on how thick it is and how large your cone is. If your cone is the same as mine but you’re using twine, you’ll probably need more. If you’re using a thicker rope, then you may need a little less.

Materials for nautical rope and baker’s twine Christmas tree centerpiece

  • A paper-mache or sturdy foam cone (I used a 10.63″ Darice cone)
  • About 50′ of rope
  • Baker’s twine
  • Hot glue
  • White glue
  • Scissors
  • Starfish topper (or a bow/other decoration)

supplies for nautical rope and baker's twine Christmas tree centerpiece

How to make a rope and baker’s twine Christmas tree

1. First you need to saturate one end of your rope with white glue so it won’t unravel. Some rope is worse than others about fraying, but I think it’s worth a few extra minutes to make sure your decoration will be more durable!

coat rope end in glue

2. Once the white glue is dry, begin hot gluing your rope around the cone’s base. Continue making wraps, gluing every few inches. Try to make your wraps as snug and close together as possible.

begin hot gluing the rope in place

3. Keep gluing and wrapping until you reach the top!

continue wrapping the cone with rope

4. Trim your rope and add a little white glue to the newly-cut end to make sure it stays put, too.

wrap the entire cone with rope

5. You’re done with part 1! Now it’s time to add the baker’s twine. Find where you started wrapping the cone on the bottom and then glue about an inch of the baker’s twine inside the cone, right behind your rope’s starting point.

hot glue the baker's twine inside the cone

6. Bring the baker’s twine to the outside of the cone and wrap, laying the twine between the rows of rope. Use very small amounts of hot glue to help in stay in place. I found it’s easiest to unplug your hot glue gun and continue using it as long as you can without re-plugging it. Cooler glue comes out more slowly, making it easier to apply tiny amounts.

lay the baker's twine between the rope wraps

7. Continue wrapping all the way between each row of rope. When you get to the top, cut the baker’s twine and secure it with a final dollop of hot glue.

rope and baker's twine christmas tree

8. Use hot glue to attach your starfish, bow, or other ornament.

starfish topper

9. Sit back, admire your new decoration, and give your hot glue trigger finger a break!

Nautical Rope Tree Centerpiece

Looking for more nautical Christmas tutorials? I have a shell Christmas tree topiary tute:

Coastal Christmas Tree Shell Topiary Tutorial

And cute frosted beach glass ornaments with super easy to make bows!

Frosted Beach Glass Ornaments w Easy Fork Bows


Are we the only ones who still don’t have a Christmas tree, or are some of y’all still waiting for the right moment to go shopping, too?


{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Marieken December 14, 2014, 07:51

    You most definitely make the cutest Christmas decorations! I am curious what you would make of a ‘real’ tree.

    • Natashalh December 14, 2014, 07:53

      I’m curious, too – we still don’t have a ‘real’ tree! We’ve had a lot of car trouble in the last few days and have never been able to get one. I painted one for us, though, and I plan to show it off soon!

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