A rope screen is a relatively easy way to create a partition between rooms or areas of a room. Rope screens can be simple or complex, colourful or made utilising the variey of naturial colours in the materials you use.
Rope screens can be used inside or outside, or between the house and garden depending on the materials used.
Some designs incorpoate the skill of macrame made so popular in the 1970’s but the designs have been made more contemporary and are in line with the current design tends for natural materials and colours in home furnishings.
You can of course buck the trend and make ropes screens out of colourful poly rope like the birght blue and yellow one we stock in the DIY Toolstore.
Hegzagonal Yarn Screen
One of our favourite designs is more of a yarn screen and is made up of hexagonal timber frames with colourful string or yarn woven into a simple starburst design around the bolts that hold the frames together (see below).
In this design the natural colour of the wood is offset by the bright yarns used, but you could use natural twine, cotton string or jute to keep the whole screen in natural neutral shades I that suits your interior décor better.
This partition screen looks deceptively simple, however it employes some amazing carpentry skills to get all the frames tesalating as well as this, so let’s look at some simpler ideas to start you off.
Hanging Rope Screen
This rope screen (below) is a commercially available one, but you could easily make your own hanging rope screen with a piece of timber at the top, with holes drilled in it to thread the rope through, and then knot the rope top and bottom.
We recommend cutting the lengths of rope slightly longer than you need, then threading and knotting all the tops of the ropes first, before fixing into place on the ceiling and then finally knotting the bottom of the lengths of rope to make sure you give the effect you want. Knotting the bottom helps the ropes to hang straight, alternatively you could thread them through a second length of timber.
If you drill the holes through the top timber on the diagonal at approximately 45 degrees so that the top knots don’t prevent you putting the timber flush to the ceiling above – you can then fit the timber to the ceiling by fixing straight through the timber with our the need to use brackets. If you need help with that bit head over to tour fixings section in the Project area of the website.
Alternately you can drill the holes straight through the timber and then face each side of the timber with more wood to create a channel for the top knots to sit in which will mean that they are hidden from view when the rope screen is fitted. See an example of this in our Screens and Partitions Project. You will need to use brackets to fix the header in place.
Decorated Rope Screen
This effective decorative rope screen is used to create a private dining area, but it would also look great around a bedroom or to create a divider for a reading space or home office.
The mechanics of the rope screen could be created the same way as the simple rope screen above and then lengths of turned wood are threaded through the rope. You could utilise light pulls or find lengths of balustrade and drill an appropriate diameter hole in them to accept the thickness of rope you are using.
More experienced woodturners amongst you could have great fun turning wood into decorative ‘beads’.
You could glue the wood in place or knot the rope beneath each decoration.
This rope partition has been created using a similar method to the top screen, but then each length of rope has been threaded through a bottom timber to hold it tightly in place. You can see that the holes are drilled to allow the knots to be made at the side of the timber so that the top and bottom can be fitted flush to the ceiling and the wall respectively.
The knots also create a decorative element of their own when they are presented in this way.
The thinner coloured rope tied in at mid-level is a great decorative feature that adds colour and forms a ‘waisted’ look that adds interest to an otherwise flat wall.
Macramé Jali Screen
This macramé rope screen is reminiscent of traditional pierced Jali screens found across India, Pakistan and North Africa.
Lengths of narrow rope are simply looped over a curtain rail in this design so there is no need to drill the wood, although you might like to take a look at our Project on fitting curtain poles.
This design would require very precise knotting to make sure it retains its geometric perfection. You will find loads of projects on You Tube to gain the skills you need to recreate this type of rope screen.
If you want to get inspiration for something rather more asymmetrical then take a look at the next picture.
Organic Rope Screen Design
This organic rope screen is installed in a restaurant to create a partitions to break up the space and make a more intimate setting for diners will also making a beautifully original pattern for customers to admire.
The rope is anchored to the walls and ceilings using large eyelet fixings through which the rope is threaded before being woven into shape.
If all that seems too much weaving and knotting you could go for the maximum rope screening effect employed by another restaurant (below) where rope is fixed to the ceiling and then cut to different lengths to provide booths for diners to sit in, however this may be more rope than anyone could bear in a domestic setting!